Laser SB20 Scottish Championships & Images

Awesome Scottish scenery, the beautiful mountains surrounding where the Gare Loch joins the Firth of Clyde, greeted competitors arriving for the weekend.  Add to that a £25 entry fee, free craneage, berthing and camper van parking with electric hook-up in Rhu Marina and this event is sounding good.  Add free drinks evening at the very hospitable Royal Northern and Clyde Yacht Club on Friday courtesy of the event sponsor GSS (Gareloch Support Services (Plant) Ltd) and the stage is firmly set for the third edition of the Laser SB3 Scottish Championships.  Breakfasts and evening meals and bar in the marquee at Rhu Marina complete the scene.

Team Baloo (and The Little Man) travelled up from Yorkshire to defend their title.  Other travelers included Huttons from Yorkshire, a crew from Ireland and TB4E who had driven the 500 miles from Essex, with one of the crew having come from Falmouth – now that is commitment!!

Add a whole bunch of Scottish boats, many with owners new to the fleet and the SB3 fleet is in business with its own class start at the annual GSS Regatta organized by Clyde Cruising Club.  Extra event support allowed the Sailing Instructions to remove the need to carry all the engine equipment or alternative ballast, leaving the boats able to sail lighter.

Saturday morning dawned with sunshine (in Scotland in September???) and around 10 knots of breeze from the South West (ish).  The result was a champagne day of challenging sailing on the Clyde with a breeze that fluctuated between 8 and 15 knots with direction changes driven by clouds and the hills (oops mountains).  It was all about good gear changing and getting the shifts right.  Three races were successfully completed before the fleet adjourned for evening refreshments and entertainment.

Sunday brought Scottish drizzle (very thoughtful to lay on this free sail wash facility at the end of the season) and a very feeble breeze.  As the fleet went afloat the breeze faded even more before dying completely.  Early radio entertainment was provided by Geezer (Geoff) starting a game of eye-spy.  This led to much more radio inter-boat frivolity, some of which questioned the Scots ability to play rugby, as all the SB3 crews were sustained by warm drinks supplied by the bigger cruisey IRC fleet.  The PRO was eventually forced to abandon racing and the Championship was decided on the results of Saturday’s races.

Prizes for the SB3 fleet were generously provided by Marineaglaze and the RNCYC:
– 1st and Scottish Champions – Baloo, John Outhwaite, Yorkshire
– 2nd and most travelled UK SB3 2010 – Huttons, Ben Williamson, Yorkshire
– 3rd and first Scottish boat – The Young Pretender, Callum Calder, Scotland
– 4th and thanks for driving the rebirth of the Scottish Championships – Tonic, Doug Paton, Scotland
– 5th and newest to the SB3 – SB33dboat, Ross Lang, Scotland, first sailed his boat Friday evening.

We are promised the same reception and treatment by the organizers and the generous sponsors, GSS and Marineaglaze, for next year so put this event in your diary now.  Superb.

John Outhwaite

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