Oban Town Regatta 2001

Crew: Peter, Keith, Twig, Alan, Andy (Saturday), Gill (Sunday)

After launching the previous weekend and picking up my sails from Owen Sails the night before I took the boat to Oban (NW’ly, my foot!), this regatta came almost too soon for us! Both the forecast and the reality looked ominously windy, and I had some misgivings about racing till we fortuitously picked up Twig to augment the crew.

Saturday’s race took us out to Ganavan and across to the Creags in a fresh to strong northerly breeze which topped out at around thirty knots. Sailing with a full main (so I didn’t want to reef the new Pentex main first time out!) and no.3, we had to work hard on the beat but never struggled like we might have done with the old Dacron mains. The leg back to Oban Bay was thrilling, running as deep as we dared under main, no.3 and a consciously depowered new kite, and we must have hit double figures even if some crazy problem with the log prevented it from recording more than 3 knots! (Fellow Impala ‘Wise-Crack’ hit 10.9 just before a spectacular broach as they fought to close us down on the run, but the flying Laser 28 ‘Farr Out’ recorded an even more impressive 14.4.) We came third on handicap behind the Dehler 39 ‘Finale’ and ‘Farr Out’.

Sunday’s first race also took us out of the bay, but only as far as Sgeir Dhonn and in considerably less testing conditions. Once again we were well beaten by ‘Finale’ and ‘Farr Out’, but beat ‘Wise-Crack’ and ‘Pacesetter’ in turn. A short lunchtime sail with sailmaker Chris Owen to look at the new main (before taking it back to the loft for a couple of tweaks) was much appreciated and, although we still couldn’t touch the afternoon winner ‘Farr Out’, we came very close to beating ‘Finale’ in the race round Oban Bay. So the fast keelboat class finished with a 1-2-3 of ‘Finale’, ‘Farr Out’ and ‘Fly’, with the H Boat ‘Rainbow’ taking the slow keelboats and the bold Colin Kupris and Alistair Olsen taking the dinghy class with an excellent display of heavy weather handling as the sole entrants in the Mirror ‘I Don’t Know’.

After briefly flirting with the idea of trying to get Friday off work to race the SK700 ‘Hutch’ to Glencoe with Colin and Alistair, a flash of inspiration led me to make an alternative offer for Twig and the boys to join ‘Fly’ for the Glencoe Regatta. With Keith already lined up to bring the boat back to Loch Leven on Monday, this arrangement appealed to everyone and the deal was done!

Feedback to sailing@petestack.com

Valid HTML5