Malcolm sails to overall victory in Pentland Firth Yacht Club regatta
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The summer regatta of Pentland Firth Yacht Club was delayed because of the impact of the Covid-19 crisis on the early part of the sailing season.
However, the wait did not lessen the enthusiasm of the core active members in testing their skills against each other.
The continuing restrictions meant that the event on July 25 was not advertised for visiting boats from other clubs to attend, and the usual food provisions were replaced by a “bring your own” philosophy.
Eight sailors took part, with the rescue boat crew of the morning session sailing in the afternoon and two of the morning sailors taking their turn in the rescue boat for the afternoon session.
Three races were sailed in the morning and three in the afternoon, making a full day on the water.
The morning saw light winds and during the latter stages the wind direction changed by 180 degrees, providing challenging conditions for the rescue boat crew setting the course and for the sailors trying to work out where the wind was coming from to optimise their course and make sure their sails were generating the maximum force to drive the boat forward.
There were four Topper dinghies sailing (Malcolm Lord, Maja Redlowska, Thomas McAlonan and Ian Grant) and two Lasers (Liam King and Martin Lord), and the first race resulted in a win for Liam in his Laser.
Malcolm Lord proved too strong in the other two races and his experience in the changing conditions meant he took the honours in races two and three.
Following a break for lunch, Malcolm and Maja had their turn in the rescue boat and Dave and Marjory Lord took their Lasers out for the afternoon session.
By the start of the afternoon sailing the wind strength had increased to a steady force 3 (about 12 mph) and the direction was much more constant than the morning session.
The first two races went to Marjory Lord, although the second was extremely close with the Topper of Thomas and the Laser of Dave being only seconds behind Marjory when the different handicap of the Topper was taken into account.
All this meant that the final result of the regatta depended on the final race – a win for Marjory would mean her taking the prize, a second place would mean a tie, and a third place would mean Malcolm would take the honours overall.
Once again the race was close, particularly between the three Laser 4.7s of Marjory, Dave and Liam.In the end it was Dave who crossed the finish line first, with Liam second and Marjory third – so it was Malcolm who was the overall regatta winner with Marjory runner-up and Dave in third place.
The result was not the important part, however – the taking part and fun of the chase all the way from first place to last was what mattered.
The rescue boat crews were entertained by the bird life of Thurso Bay in the morning as a group of terns dive-bombed a bonxie which had decided the rescue boat would provide protection from his attackers.
In the afternoon it was the turn of the marine life as a pod of dolphins came to investigate the rescue boat and provided distraction for the crew.
The club is always looking for new members. Anyone who has an interest in sailing or would like to become involved should contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Overall positions: 1 Malcolm Lord; 2 Marjory Lord; 3 Dave Lord; 4 Maja Redlowska; 5 Liam King; 6 Thomas McAlonan; 7 Martin Lord; 8 Ian Grant.