Scottish Championship Report & Results
Held at Holy Loch SC, 14th-15th May
The Holy Loch welcomed a small but keen fleet of Flying Fifteens to the Scottish Championship, the Skelly Trophy. This event was planned for 2020 but unfortunately world events lead to the championship being cancelled that year. For those arriving on Friday there was a warm welcome with the Bar open and a Fish & Chip supper ordered in; the fabulous scenery enhanced the evening.
For those observing the history of the class there is a fabulous picture of FF 55 on the wall of the club showing Uffa Fox in ‘Titania II’ winning the Nationals sailed at Hunters Quay just down the road. His crew, a local lad Jeremy Thompson, winning his first Nationals. The local lad went on to sail in the America’s cup yachts built on the Clyde and be part of winning teams in the Dragon Class for several years. He is
still an active member of the club at 95 and was sailing in the Piper OD class a few seasons ago. Some of the shots accompanying the report are his, taken on Saturday
And so to the racing, Saturday dawned with very little breeze but more forecast for start time, with AP hoisted ashore there was time a plenty for an extra breakfast from the galley, the bacon and ‘slice’ [authors note Scottish vernacular for Lorn Sausage] rolls went down a treat. Just as your correspondent was launching Nigel Biggs and Checkmate XIX ( now known as ‘Just in time’) arrived, they made the start.
Sailing out into the Clyde in the gentle breeze one wondered had the PRO been a bit too optimistic but no, right on que the breeze chimed in from the SSW and the fleet were treated to the Clyde at it’s best. Those who stayed away or were shy of the journey really missed a treat on one of the UK’s finest sailing waters. Racing got underway with the Tulletts in Niffty taking a well-judged port tack flyer at the pin to an early lead, there was close racing down the fleet for a two lap windward – leeward race. The Tulletts held their lead to the gun though there was place changing a plenty behind. Nigel Biggs in Checkmate XIX coming second with Preston/Jamieson in B of the Bang pulling up to third on the final run. In the Silver fleet John Best (Loch Earn) took the win from Hugh Simson (also Loch Earn) and in the Classic fleet Glen Fullarton taking the win from Jim MacLean.
Race two was set for a 3 lap Windward/Leeward course it was again fairly close but this time with Nigel Biggs taking the win from Preston/Jamieson The Tullets in Niffty after making a rather uncharacteristic false start coming through to take third. In the Silver Fleet the same result as race one though the classic fleet saw Graham Sharp, sailing the beautiful Chippendale 485, take the win from Glen Fullarton.
On to race three, with the visitors gaining a good feel for the water and the shifts, the fleet again set off for another close race. As in race two it was Nigel Biggs from Preston/Jamieson with the Bowens from the local club pulling into third in 4013 More Mischieff, and the Tulletts in Niffty fourth.
The fleet made the most if the building breeze to plane back to the Holy Loch to a berth in the marina as provided by the organisers. The evenings entertainment being an excellent curry supper in the club and an early night for some tired arms, after an excellent days sailing.
Day two was forecast for easterlies, lighter than day one but blowing straight into the Holy Loch, the PRO set up just out into the loch from the club so there was opportunity for shore side spectators. The fleet got away in the light easterly for three lap windward leeward race. This was going to be a tight affair with three boats in the mix, however at the second windward mark Preston/Jamieson fouled the Tulletts and were required to exonerate themselves. The Tulletts slipped into the lead also passing Nigel Biggs in Checkmate XIX, and although the front two had a close race to the finish the Tulletts prevailed. In the Silver Fleet John Best took the place from Hugh Simpson and in the Classics Glen Fullarton managing to put a boat between them and their rival Graham Sharp in Gilmac.
This was setting things up nicely for a close championship between the Tulletts and Nigel Biggs, with Preston/Jameson hoping to perhaps capitalise on the battle. It was set to be equally close for the Silver and Classic title. However, the wind dropped in the rain and the true forecast failed to materialise, so the final overall results from race four would stand. Nigel Biggs taking the championship from the Tulletts in second and Preston/Jamieson in third. In the Silver Fleet John Best took the trophy over Hugh Simpson and the Classic Title by Glen Fullarton from Graham Sharp.
The fleet was treated to a fabulous prize giving tea provided by the club before the dash for the ferry. The association are very grateful for the work put into the organising of the event by Holy Loch Sailing Club volunteers, the race committee and of course the sponsorship of Dunoon Presents, without whom the event could not run.
The next championship event for the Flying Fifteen Class will be the Inland Championship at Grafham Water on the 28th & 29th May incorporating the Classic Nationals. The Holy Loch are looking forward to the Polaris Regatta and next years Scottish Championship will be at Solway Yacht Club at Kipford.