British Soling Champs in Fort William 2019
written by Andy Mckenna on May 21 of 2019 and read by 265
GBR 155 Gary Richardson, Stuart Lee and Oliver Murray the 2019 champions
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After two weeks of warm sunny Mediterranean weather, the West Highland weather to a turn back to normal - dull and light rain, and 12/14C.
Nine boats prepared for racing and launching into Loch Linnhe, a sea loch by Fort William, Outdoor Capital of the UK. Visitors from Australia, France and England received a warm welcome at Lochaber Yacht Club, where six resident Solings are sailed every week through the season. Three boats were borrowed by the visitors while local sailors crewed four. Two Solings made the long tow north.
Friday evening was a social evening after a short AGM of the British Soling Association, when excellent lite bites and Highland cask ale was available for competitors.
First race began in 9-10 knots from the NE and flat sea at 10.30 on Saturday morning of 18 May. A long windward - leeward course had been set and crews found the Spring Tides interesting. During the morning it was clear that Gary Richardson was setting the pace, chased by Solaris loaned to local sailor Jon Gay a regular dinghy helm.
Two back to back races and in for a tasty lunch and an opportunity to dry it soggy clothes.
The afternoon weather allowed Race Officer “Twig” to get another four races in for the day as Sunday's forecast was for lighter winds from the SE.
In the evening around 45 sailors gathered in Lochaber Yacht Club for a Soling Dinner provided by club members who presented baked salmon, roast beef, salads, baked vegetables and various desserts - washed down with fine wines and more cast ale. The evening was a superb success and a great opportunity for visitors to talk boats and politics with local sailors.
Sunday morning was an early 0930 start with the windward leeward course reversed. Only two shorts races in a 8 knot SW wind before the breeze left the loch for another place…
A tasty lunch was provided and afterwards a good prize giving with lots of winners. Votes of thanks to LYC and in particular Hamish Loudon who worked hard to bring the event together.
Visitors boats were pulled out the water on a falling tide and onto their road trailers, ready to head south through some of the most spectacular scenery anywhere…
Haste Ye Back !
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