Restless Wave takes the honours after weekend of sailing
LOCH Sarclet hosted an enthralling weekend's sailing when members of Wick Model Yacht Club came together for their annual May Day event with eight races over two days.
The annual race normally also sees sailors from Kirkwall Model Yacht Club take part, but this year they could not attend. Undeterred, local yachters enjoyed two challenging days in strong breezes with no single yacht dominating and the lead changing hands numerous times over the course of each race.
As closely matched as the racing was, however, there had to be an overall winner, with Restless Wave – sailed by Graham, Adam and Willie Robertson – taking the honours after accumulating the most points.
Racing began on the Saturday with spinnakers on the starboard side for the first leg of the Thrumster Estate Cup.
After the yachts were released it became very obvious this was a fast leg and each competitor had to run to keep up with the quickly moving vessels. A couple of adjustments on the short side and Blue Haze (sailed by Kevin and Lewis Paterson), Restless Wave and Donald McWilliam's Apollo arrived at the returning goal together.
On the return, each boat tacked twice apart from Blue Haze. The yacht sailed high and got lucky with a short tack across the finishing goal to move into the lead followed by Restless Wave and Apollo. Aurora (sailed by Archie and Fiona Miller) caught and passed Skua and Fulmar (sailed by Innes and Barry Scollay and David Sutherland) just prior to the finish.
Result: 1 Blue Haze; 2 Restless Wave; 3 Apollo; 4 Aurora; 5 Skua.
The wind eased slightly for the second race, the first leg of the Quatercentenary Cup. Restless Wave, with a good run, entered the returning goal first, but Aurora clinched the lead after its spinnaker was removed.
On the return, Apollo's jib was slack and it continually stalled. The Fulmar, with its smaller sails, moved slowly to complete the race.
Result: 1 Aurora; 2 Restless Wave; 3 Blue Haze; 4. Apollo; 5 Fulmar.
In the third race – the second leg of the Thrumster Estate Cup – Restless Wave was clearly the fastest. Blue Haze was slower on the return leg and couldn't keep pace, giving Aurora hope for second position as it gained, but as they approached the finish Aurora required an extra tack.
Apollo had fitted a larger spinnaker with the intention of extra speed. However, the boat was less controlled and meandered down the loch. At the rear was the unfortunate Fulmar which inadvertently backfilled twice.
Result: 1 Restless Wave; 2 Blue Haze; 3 Aurora; 4 Apollo; 5 Fulmar.
For the final race of the day – the second leg of the Quatercentenary Cup – Apollo and Restless Wave made good progress but on the return the yachts had two long tacks across the loch, eventually landing in the Hole.
Blue Haze, behind, miraculously avoided the long tacks by pointing high and switching tack mid-race. Then as it tacked towards the Hole it hit a stone again and switched tack, sailing towards the finish line ahead of both Apollo and Restless Wave.
Trailing, Aurora picked up weed as it exited the returning goal, dramatically slowing it down.
Result: 1 Blue Haze; 2 Apollo; 3 Restless Wave; 4 Aurora.
Day one overall points – Thrumster Estate Cup: Restless Wave 11 (55:04); Blue Haze 11 (55:33); Apollo 7 (1:03:26); Aurora 4 (1:03:53); Skua 2 (35:03); Fulmar 2 (39:05).
Quatercentenary Cup: Blue Haze 10; Restless Wave 9 (56:15); Aurora 9 (56:37); Apollo 8; Fulmar 2.
The weather remained overcast and windy on the Sunday. Nonetheless, sailing continued with spinnakers fitted to the starboard side for the opening races.
Blue Haze got off to a good start in the first leg of the May Day Shield, sailing from goal to goal, while Aurora and Restless Wave had a couple of adjustments on the short shore.
On the return, Blue Haze's jib was slack, and both it and Aurora landed in the Hole. Each required a tack which returned both vessels to the Pier, whereupon Restless Wave – sailing a different path – managed to avoid the Hole and continued past to obtain the lead.
Result: 1 Restless Wave; 2 Blue Haze; 3 Aurora.
For the sixth race, the first leg of the SMYA Northern Trophy, Blue Haze began well but midway it backfilled heading to Chicken Rock. Meanwhile, the ever-steady Aurora continued to the returning goal.
Restless Wave, sailing unpredictably under spinnaker, also landed at Chicken Rock. On the return leg, Aurora was falling away heading into the popular Hole but the wind was bending as it blew across the loch and it was redirected and sailed straight across the finish line.
Blue Haze struggled along the short shore and Restless Wave caught up until they were sailing side by side. But, as they approached the end, Restless Wave lost some time as it was adjusted at the Point.
The Apollo struggled on its spinnaker run losing a lot of time.
Result: 1 Aurora; 2 Blue Haze; 3 Restless Wave; 4 Apollo.
The next race – the second leg of the May Day Shield – saw Apollo and Aurora clash and continue as a catamaran for half of the loch's length before separation.
Blue Haze, with a slack mainsail, landed on the rocky shore line prior to Chicken Rock. Restless Wave, with a clear run, gained a lead.
On the return, all the boats were not sailing as high as they should have been and landed in the Hole. The Apollo was fortunate with a short tack, whereas the others with a longer tack lost time.
Blue Haze, moving slowly, passed Restless Wave and Aurora but as the finish line approached the faster sailing Restless Wave pipped Blue Haze at the line.
Result: 1 Apollo; 2 Restless Wave; 3 Blue Haze; 4 Aurora.
The eighth race – the second leg of the SMYA Northern Trophy – saw Aurora first to the returning goal followed by Restless Wave and Blue Haze.
On the final return leg all three followed the same route, requiring a long losing tack from the long to the short side before progressing. Last-placed Apollo managed to sail very high, not requiring the long losing tack, and passed the other competitors just metres from the finish line to win the final race of the weekend.
Result: 1 Apollo; 2 Restless Wave; 3 Blue Haze; 4 Aurora.
Day two overall points – May Day Shield: Restless Wave 11; Blue Haze 9; Aurora 7; Apollo 6.
SMYA Northern Trophy races: Restless Wave 9 (50:32); Blue Haze 9 (50:37); Aurora 9 (52:23); Apollo 9 (56:59).
Viking Cup (most overall points): Restless Wave 40; Blue Haze 39; Aurora 32; Apollo 30; Fulmar 4; Skua 2.