Scottish Bluebell – Enterprises at Forfar
The final round of the Bluebell series was sailed at Forfar SC in light and shifty conditions.
eleven visitors joined one local boat for an interesting weekend’s sailing.
Race1: A light westerly swung to the south in the final minute favouring the pin end – but
that was close to the trees. Charles & Alison from the centre of the line led the fleet to the
‘Gap’ between the ‘spit’ and the ‘shallows’ where Gerry & Roger then took over to lead
around the next mark and back through the ‘Gap’ which now provided the only beat on
the course. Neal & Ellen and Charles & Alison then crept past the leaders who had found
their personal calm – it was to be a story of the weekend. Neal & Ellen led to the finish of
the race (shortened to one lap) while Charles forgot a mark and by the time Alison had
beaten some sense into him Gerry & Roger had closed significantly. They took advantage
of a flapping Charles to gain second place with Callum & Mhairi securing fourth.
Race 2: Only a reaching start was possible given the configuration of the Loch (prevailing
Westerlies are fine) but a new course included a slightly longer beat across the Loch,
albeit through the Gap from north to south. Four boats got away from the rest of the fleet
which rafted up passing through the Gap on the run. At the end of the beat Neal & Ellen
pulled way as Paul & Helen and Charles & Alison did spins enabling Keith & Caroline to
move through to second. Those positions were held for the second lap and would have
been the result, however Keith missed the penultimate mark and by the time he had
recovered Paul had gained 2nd and Charles 3rd.
Race 3: After the first loop through the Gap and back with much place changing on the
beat Paul & Helen led down the long fetch followed by Charles & Alison. Charles & Alison
managed to creep past Paul to windward and these two pulled away from the challenging
boats. By the start of the next long fetch Charles & Alison had built a significant lead but
then found their personal calm and parked – Charles was still negotiating with the traffic
warden as Paul & Helen found their private breeze to sail through to leeward and pop out
in front. They held on comfortably to finish first with Charles & Alison 2nd and Gerry &
The Gap had provided some ‘interesting’ moments as the Ent fleet were beating through
in one direction with the Handicap fleet reaching and running through in the other. This
was obviously further complicated by the restricted space; shouts of ‘Room to Tack’ and
‘Starboard’ were heard echoing across the water. Much could be gained by getting it right
and many places lost with giddy moments if not!
In the evening Forfar SC provided its usual wonderful hospitality. The evening’s ceilidh
was complemented by a great variety of delicious home made dishes and definitely the
cheapest bar in the solar system. Several hangovers were in evidence the next morning.
Race 4: The heralded F3 gusting F5 had not yet arrived and in its place was a light and
shifty easterly. A new course removed the possibility of fleets crossing through the gap by
sending boats to a leeward mark at the western end of the shallows, though that caused
a different issue! The beat to the windward mark was challenging: Neal & Ellen came out
on top with Charles & Alison in second. These two pulled away from the rest but on the
second beat from west to east along the length of the course Callum & Mhairi closed the
gap and moved into second with Gerry & Roger also challenging. On the run Charles &
Alison found breeze on the left hand shore to move back into second place. Meanwhile
Neal & Ellen seemed to have taken up residence at the leeward mark and were
negotiating rent with the landlord. Charles & Alison rounded onto starboard and in
attempting to lee bow them Neal’s boat – now on port – refused to respond to the helm.
Weed was the culprit. Neal’s turns were expertly completed but Charles & Alison were
now in pole position which they held to the finish. Callum & Mhairi followed Neal across
the line to take 3rd. The weed had allowed all boats to pass unscathed on the first lap,
but then caught some while ignoring others on the second; it certainly played a part in
determining the final positions.
Congratulations to Neal and Ellen on winning the event, the Forfar Enterprise Cup and the
Bluebell Master’s trophy. Congratulations also to Dan Swaffield crewed by Sam Jones in
winning the Bluebell Junior Trophy, helming an Enterprise for the first time at an Open