Kippford week competitors set sail
Time to take the Challenge
Almost as soon as the serious racing, fun and games of the SolwayYacht Club’s CadetWeek had ended, followed by the 60th anniversary boat pageant, it was straight into this year’s Kippford Sailing Week.
With many experienced, competitive sailors arriving from all round the UK, one even arriving from the Caribbean, to join the home fleet, competition got under way.
This year there were two shorter races each day for the inshore handicap (HCP) fleets.
The larger offshore cruising yachts were starting and finishing most of their races from the starting hut, sailing out into the Solway on one long race each day, maximising their race length and coincidentally giving spectators ashore a much better view. Another first for Kippford were two Challenger trimarans entries, boats designed specifically for disabled sailors.
Days one and two were blessed with favourable weather conditions and with excellent courses set in the Solway and around the Urr estuary by the very capable hands of principal race officer Lindsay Tosh and his team.
Day three, Wednesday, dawned with gale warnings combined with heavy rain. Despite this, most competitors turned out on time, rerigging boats with storm sails and preparing for a battering.
With rising winds and increasingly anxious support teams, the PRO reluctantly but wisely cancelled all dinghy racing, leaving only a handful of the larger cruisers taking on the elements.
Despite this, several of the experienced dinghy racers launched for some serious heavy weather sail training.
With only four cruisers finishing, it was David Henderson in Tara who took the honours. The evening barbecue became an indoor event but was followed by an amazing presentation by John “Jock” Wishart, once the SYC cadet captain but now a long experienced expedition leader, who gave a fantastic stimulating talk on his voyage, rowing with his crew of five others to the North Magnetic Pole, only possible now because of global warming and the retreating Arctic sea ice.
Day four, Thursday, and back to more good weather and fine sailing. By Friday it was even better and with glorious sunshine, blue skies, sparkling sea and a fresh breeze. This was “champagne sailing” out in the Solway.
Sails full and straining at the rigging, boats surging through the waves, spray flying, cooling the hard working crews and great competition.
As the week ended, it was particularly good to see both the Challenger trimarans qualify overall in the results. Steve Laycock and Stephen Bate and their shore helpers were great additions to the regulars at Kippford Week.
The Sailing Challengers are suitable for able-bodied folk as well as disabled sailors. The single handed tri-maran is sailed from a forward facing sitting position (but can also be sailed with a “buddy” helper) and with only one sail it’s easy to learn how to sail.
Steve from Loch Ken and Stephen from Annandale were made extremely welcome and would like to thank Solway Yacht Club for inviting them along. Challengers had not sailed at Kippford before and there were many positive comments from cadets and seasoned sailors.
The experience of sailing in multiple classes and multiple races was a huge learning curve but one well worth the effort with the long courses providing a great chance to hone sailing skills.
Overall winners were David Henderson and his crew from Solway YC aboard Tara in the Cruiser class, Scott Train and Ann Stuart in the Flying Fifteens also Solway YC, Neil Towart and Claire Sharpe from Holy Loch, HCP 1 (fast) class, Ian and Nicola Holden from Scaling Dam in Yorkshire HCP 2, and SYC’s Emily Biggar in HCP3. Prizes were presented by Jock Wishart to worthy winners before a great party followed with supper and dancing into the late evening. Kippford Regatta Race:
Saturday and it was Kippford RNLI Regatta Day, with funds raised going to the local lifeboat. One long race was planned offshore for all classes but the “champagne sailing” had given way to threatening overcast skies and gear breaking winds, so apart from the cruisers, races were held in the comparative shelter of the bay. Despite this, one boat broke her mast before reaching the start and with other breakages and many retirements, it was a credit just to finish.
Results were significantly different from Kippford Week with only David Henderson repeating his previous win. The Flying Fifteens were won by Solway’s Colin Filer and his crew Jamie Gasgoigne. HCP1 was won by Peter Nelson from Norwich and his “wonder-crew” Nicola Holden, who’d just jumped ship from her dad Ian’s previous HCP2 winning GP14 and now saw dad demoted into second with his stand-in crew as the SYC’s Rhys Williams powered over the line in his Laser, well ahead.
HCP3 winner was SYC’s young Sally Mackay with her dad Hamish as crew in their Mirror dinghy. Prizes were presented by Gareth Jones, the local RNLI operations manager, but with many gear failures it was no surprise to see another young cadet, Dominic Colbeck, still clutching his broken Mirror centreboard when collecting his well-earned fifth place in the HCP3s! It’s almost time for the Hardrock Challenge again.
The much anticipated duathlon takes place in Dalbeattie Forest each autumn – this year on the weekend of Saturday, October 1 and Sunday, October 2.
Organiser Stuart Macintosh said: “The closing date for senior entries is Wednesday, September 28. No entries after this date.
“Starting time is 11am for both days so please register in plenty of time and certainly by 10.30am on the Sunday.
“As usual entry can be an individual or team and the price is the same as the last few years, so is good value for the entry charge.”
It’s a duathlon over the marathon distance of 26 miles and is contained within the forest. The event consists of a 10 mile run of which eight miles are on good forest road and the remainder on woodland track.
This is followed by a 16-mile bike run over the 7Stanes red route, of which 10 miles are on forest road and six miles on rough and steep single mountain bike track. The route is hilly in places with a height gain of 700 feet on the run and 1000 feet on the bike.
The forest is varied in nature with great viewpoints. The event starts, changes from foot to bike and finishes at the Richorn Trailhead 7Stanes Car Park.
More more information check out www. dalbeattiehardrockchallenge.org
Family affair Robert Morrow from Kirkcudbright completed the Lakeland 100 Robert is pictured with son Lewis, who completed the Lakeland one-mile race.
Winner Solway YC’s own Rhys Williams powers his way to victory in the HCP2 class during the Kippford Regatta Race
At the ready Crowded start line action during the off at one of the Handicap 2 class races during Kippford Week