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Ideal conditions for start of Pentland Firth Yacht Club summer series


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Lasers of Mark Johnston (nearest), Marjory Lord (middle) and Martin Lord (farthest away) with Bosun and Mirror behind at the start of race three.
Lasers of Mark Johnston (nearest), Marjory Lord (middle) and Martin Lord (farthest away) with Bosun and Mirror behind at the start of race three.

Sunday saw the start of the summer series of racing for Pentland Firth Yacht Club.

Conditions were ideal for dinghy sailing, with a steady wind from the south-east at 15 mph gusting up to perhaps 20 mph.

A good turnout of boats was assured, with temperatures reaching 16 degrees Celsius and blue skies being the order of the day. Even the occasional capsize would be welcomed in the summer conditions.

Three races were held, with six boats sailing in the first and seven in the second and third. These were the Lasers of Marjory and Martin Lord plus Mark Johnston for the second and third races, the Toppers of Thomas McAlonan and Iain McLean, the Bosun of Ian Carlisle with crew James McLean, and the Mirror of Katie Carlisle with crew Donald McKenzie.

Dave Lord and Ian Grant ran the race from the all-important rescue boat, with Marjory giving Dave a sail for the second race while she took a turn in the rescue boat.

The first race saw a close tussle at the front between the Laser of Marjory and Topper of Thomas but a problem with the steering of her Laser meant that Thomas got the lead which he held to the finish, Marjory coming in second and Ian Carlisle third.

Martin was in contention until a gust of wind caught him out and he became the first sailor to capsize.

The second race saw Mark Johnston joining the fun and he showed his expertise as he led from start to finish.

Second place became a duel between Dave Lord and Thomas McAlonan. This time it was Thomas who was caught out by a gust of wind and he went for a swim, allowing Dave Lord to take second place while Thomas had to settle for third.

The third race saw Marjory back in the Laser and Dave in the rescue boat. Once again Mark Johnston took the honours but Marjory was not far behind. A wind shift late in the race meant some extra manoeuvres were required to complete it and she lost her chance of a win.

However, she settled for second place with Thomas in third.

There was close racing throughout the fleet with Katie Carlisle in her Mirror and newcomer Iain McLean putting in creditable performances.

Anyone wishing to get involved can visit the club's Facebook page and send a direct message, or email pentlandfirthyc@gmail.com – the club is also on Instagram (pfyc thurso).


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