This unique event sees different classes of boat all compete against each other under the Portsmouth Yardstick handicap system. With all entrants already Scottish Champions of their respective classes they are a talented bunch. The racing could be compared to wacky races with International Moths taking on optimists and the range of ages from the competitors ranging from 12 to 65, there really is nothing quite like it in sport.
The autumnal conditions provided the race management team with a challenging easterly breeze, gusting up to 30 knots on the Saturday. Patience and perseverance saw the fleet launch at 2.30 and manage three races in varied wind speeds as it gusted down slopes of the Largs shore.
RYA Scotland Class and Academy Officer Matt Toynbee was the race officer alongside the team of volunteers from Largs Sailing Club. He said:
“It’s great to see the event building in strength with some of the best dinghy sailors in Scotland representing so many classes including all the youth classes and some great old hands. It was a cracking job by the mark laying and safety team from Largs Sailing Club alongside the team on our committee boat to ensure the racing went ahead in the conditions.”
Sunday dawned to an equally challenging north westerly breeze. The crews all rose to this challenge and set afloat, successfully completing an exhilarating race. There were many thrills and spills as each variant of dinghy coped with the conditions, with several not making it all the way round the course. Special mention should be given to the youngest competitors Morven Wood and Conner Kennedy who completed the course in their Optimists and arrived ashore with huge grins.
After the calculations on handicap the title was retained for a third year by the National 18 Ultra three man crew, helmed by Stuart Urquart and crewed by his brother Richard Urquart and Phil Hermiston from Findhorn YC.
Stuart commented. “A great event under challenging conditions and very well run to get four races in over the weekend and a nice way to end the season. If we have another good season we hope to be back again.”
The singlehanded trophy was lifted by Jono Shelly in the Musto Skiff who also finished second overall just 3 points behind the National 18. He notes, “I think this is a great event, it’s the first time I have done it and I’m really impressed by the turnout and good to see all the different classes competing against each other. I really enjoyed it.”
The event incorporated the Scottish Women’s Championship which had mother Bess Homer racing her daughter Susie and sisters Morven and Christine Woods battling it out in the varied classes there were some really fun aspects to the racing.
In the end Bess Homer sailing her Europe “It’s been challenging and very windy today with some really exciting reaches. I love all the classes coming together and seeing a whole load of faces I haven’t seen for a while and going out racing against each other. Tactically, trying to figure out where to go with all the other boats on the course heading at different speeds and directions makes it great fun.”
Christine Woods finished second women and third singlehander and commented on racing against her younger sister Morven. “It was pretty windy, I had two capsizes and Morven missed the toe straps as I went by, which was very funny. So much fun racing against each other and Morven managed to just beat me across the line in the last race.”
The longstanding trophy is an invitational event based on Scottish Championships and traveller series results throughout the season. RYA Scotland support and number of class racing initiatives including class grants that aid towards training and coaching.
For full results of the RYA Scotland Champion of Champions please view below: