Kipp­ford sea­son fi­nale

The Galloway News - - READER TRAVEL -

Light wind sail­ing un­der Screel Louisa Bird­sall and Philippa Howie mak­ing slow progress to­wards the wind­ward mark After an­other sea­son of great sail­ing in Kipp­ford, Satur­day was the fi­nale of the club cham­pi­onship se­ries, count­ing dou­ble to the over­all re­sult.

Un­for­tu­nately, the weather hadn’t got the mes­sage and it was pretty un­pleas­ant for those after a good plac­ing. With fierce gusty winds off­shore but fickle and shifty up river, race of­fi­cer John Col­beck had the job of set­ting a fair course in the tricky con­di­tions.

Race one started against the in­com­ing tide with Ian and Mar­garet Purkis risk­ing a shal­low wa­ter start out of the main tide in their Fire­fly while the rest were in the main chan­nel. The Purkis boat quickly built up a good lead while John Broad­bent and his crew Fin­lay Train (GP14) led the oth­ers. Early ca­su­alty was Rhys Wil­liams in his Laser with a rig fail­ure but a quick pit­stop and he re-joined last.

The Purkis crew rounded the first turn­ing mark well ahead but once the tidal ad­van­tage was lost, Broad­bent closed and took a nar­row lead as they headed back up­river. At the line, and after hand­i­cap cor­rec­tions, the two boats were tied with race two to fol­low. Wil­liams re­cov­ered but could only man­age a dis­tant third.

Race two was a very dif­fer­ent story. Fresh from his strong sec­ond in the Laser Grand Prix Open two weeks ear­lier, Rhys Wil­liams, rig now sorted, pow­ered away into the dis­tance to a clear win. The Broad­bent/Train GP14 sailed a steady sec­ond with the Purkis Fire­fly just too far be­hind to of­fer them a se­ri­ous threat. Re­tire­ments in the tricky con­di­tions in­cluded Richard and young James Col­beck in their Mir­ror, son and grand­son of John, the race of­fi­cer – a real fam­ily af­fair!

It was also cran­ing out day for the big yachts at the end of their sea­son. Al­ways a del­i­cate op­er­a­tion but nev­er­the­less suc­cess­fully com­pleted and a spec­ta­cle for Kipp­ford vis­i­tors.

After the tra­di­tional end of sea­son cran­ing out sup­per so­cial, it was back on the wa­ter on Sun­day for the au­tumn pur­suit race. Held over 90 min­utes, con­di­tions could hardly have been more dif­fer­ent – bright and sunny but no wind in the es­tu­ary and only light shifty puffs off­shore. Race of­fi­cer Ian Mur­ga­troyd ar­ranged for com­peti­tors to be towed out and find­ing just enough wind set a tri­an­gu­lar course off Al­mor­ness Point.

With the slow­est rated boat first to start, Sol­way Yacht Club cadet cap­tain Philippa Howie and her crew Louisa Bird­sall led off in their RS Feva but be­ing “over the line” they were im­me­di­ately dis­ad­van­taged hav­ing to re­turn and restart. The Purkis Fire­fly was next up with Dewi Wil­liams, fa­ther of Rhys, start­ing well in his Laser. Pa­tiently wait­ing and last to start, the pow­er­ful Dart cata­ma­ran of Chris Nur­ney and his first time cata­ma­ran crew Mhairi Her­rick had lit­tle chance of a re­sult in the light wind con­di­tions but weren’t giv­ing up.

Rhys Wil­liams wasn’t show­ing much re­spect for his el­ders and rel­e­gated his dad to fourth by the wind­ward mark. The Purkis Fire­fly caught and passed the Howie/Bird­sall crew on 10 min­utes and led un­til Rhys Wil­liams, sail­ing beau­ti­fully, took the lead on 48 min­utes, never look­ing back to an­other clear win, prov­ing he is a young mas­ter and the lead­ing Sol­way Laser sailor in all weath­ers.

After a tow home, it was talk of the next but last club races of 2017 in a fort­night’s time.

Be­low Mhairi Her­rick in her first cata­ma­ran sail en­joy­ing the chase. Chris Nur­ney is on the helm. The RS Feva of Philippa Howie and Louisa Bird­sall is still a long way ahead

Left Tim­ing the au­tumn pur­suit race, race of­fi­cer, Ian Mur­ga­troyd, keep­ing con­trol of pro­ceed­ings.

Above Squeez­ing the last once of en­ergy from the light wind, Ian and Mar­garet Purkis roll-tack­ing their Fire­fly

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