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Strengthening wind poses a challenge for Pentland Firth Yacht Club sailors

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Sailors taking part in one of Pentland Firth Yacht Club's races on May 8.
Sailors taking part in one of Pentland Firth Yacht Club's races on May 8.

Sunday, May 8 was a glorious sunny day for sailors of Pentland Firth Yacht Club with a brisk south-easterly wind making for ideal sailing conditions.

Six boats planned to sail with the safety boat crew of Martin and Marjory Lord. However, only five dinghies took part as Kyle Oag sensibly judged the conditions to be too strong to sail with a beginner.

Two races took place before the abandon flag was displayed.

On handicap the first race was won by Sam Hodgkinson (Topper), followed by Dave Lord (Laser 4.7), Thomas McAlonan (Topper), Ian and Katie Carlisle along with Donald McKenzie (Bosun) and Ian Grant (Topper).

There was a capsize of the Laser 4.7, to which Marjory had swapped, at the start of the second race which she quickly righted but started behind the others and had to fight her way back through the field.

The Bosun suffered a tiller failure (loss of steering) and had to retire. Sam’s Topper also suffered a minor failure and he also retired but not before completing one lap, enabling him to get a result.

A strong gust caused Marjory and Thomas to capsize near the end of the second lap. The race was then abandoned.

The resultant placings taken over the first lap were Thomas first, followed by Sam, Marjory and Ian Grant.

Despite some minor equipment failures in the strengthening wind all participants reached shore safely after a challenging sail.

Club officials point out that sailing is a highly enjoyable water sport and on a glorious day can be a major boost to mental and physical wellbeing. While sailors compete in races against each other, the ethos in the club is to have fun.

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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