Scottish Areas at East Lothian YC – 1/2 June 2024

A combination of crew call offs and injuries resulted in a fleet of 6 boats setting out to enjoy some of the best sailing conditions of the season so far.
As is the current fashion the RO set a trapezoidal course; the Ents were set an additional lap round the outer loop, starting behind the ILCA fleet (more of which later).
Saturday’s races were sailed under clear blue skies with a steady Easterly F3 occasionally F4
Race 1: Racing up the beat was close, the shifts were quite small and the tide didn’t seem to favour one side or the other. Charles and Dan got to the windward mark first and extended their lead, planing rapidly across the relatively short reach. They were never headed with Gerry & Lois second and Callum & Mhairi third. Paul and Dougie, as two helms in one boat, were still getting used to each other, scooping a little water on a couple of occasions
Race 2: Paul & Dougie had got their act together and reached the windward mark first having gone out to the left where there might have been a little more pressure. Meanwhile in second and third Charles and Gerry had to negotiate some trailing ILCAs rounding the mark. Charles & Dan came out relatively unscathed whereas Gerry & Lois were delayed. Paul’s lead was not insurmountable however and Charles & Dan were first to the windward mark on the loop lap and went on the take the gun.
Race 3: This time it was Gerry & Lois who showed the fleet the way and built an impressive lead by the windward mark. Paul & Dougie were second but Charles & Dan pulled past on the downwind leg and then Callum & Mhairi did the same on the beat. Neither Charles nor Callum were able to make any impression on Gerry & Lois’ lead, who if anything pulled further away for a well deserved win.
The (mainly) younger element of the fleet remained in North Berwick to make very full use of the bar before retiring to various camping locations. The mainly older members returned to Edinburgh to enjoy a relaxing evening meal followed by a number of single malts.
There was plenty of discussion and advice around Andy’s boat which seemed to have developed mast step ‘issues’, here’s hoping they can be fixed in time for the next event.
Sunday dawned with a westerly F3 on a falling tide under clear blue skies.
Race 4: The first race on Sunday followed the pattern of Saturday’s first race with the boats in the same order, except that because of a combination of ankle injury and child care issues Peter & Ailsa were unable to go sailing. The final leg was interesting with Gerry, Callum and Paul all very close down the run before the final positions were settled
Race 5: This time it was Paul & Dougie who got to the windward mark ahead of a gaggle of ILCAs. Charles & Dan had to negotiate the melee including one which had capsized at the mark. Space was limited, too limited as it proved and Charles had to spin after brushing the mark on the way through. The result was that Paul’s lead extended on the reach across and Callum closed right up in third. Charles & Dan had a good second beat to be close behind Paul down the run to the finish, however by this time the wind was building and a gybing match down the final leg might have been unwise! Paul & Dougie held on to take a deserved win. Callum as Mr Consistency finished 3rd again (four 3rds over the event) but was pushed back to fourth overall as a consequence of Paul’s win in the last race.
A sixth race was scheduled but the increasing wind strength and resulting sea state meant that the committee boat started dragging its anchor. The Race crew made a number of sterling efforts to re-anchor the boat in order to complete the schedule but all to no avail with the wind now a steady F6 with stronger gusts. After some time the fleets ‘voted en masse’ to return to shore with some of the fastest sailing of the weekend!
Congratulations to Dan for crossing the line ahead of everyone else the most times over the course of the weekend!