A total of twenty four boats entered across seventeen classes, with each nominated as the Scottish Champion, Series Champion or a female representative competing for the Women’s Championship.
A light Northerly breeze greeted the sailors as they arrived at the club on the Saturday morning. With a fair distance to sail out to the course area off Helensburgh pier the smart sailors were quick to launch and the unlikely combo of international moth and solo led the fleet out. Some of those last to launch obviously had the weather gods on their side as shifty conditions on the course area prevented the race team from getting a course in and racing off on schedule. After a short delay the breeze did settle in and the fleet were set off in two flights to cut their teeth on a windward leeward course.
Setting off five minutes after the slow handicap flight the faster boats were racing to catch those ahead of them and the sight of a foiling moth and solo battling for mark room is one of the magical things about this particular event.
The second race saw the breeze continuing to shift with the fast handicap fleet going into their final minute with a little bit of port bias in the line. Having had a frustrating first race in marginal foiling conditions the international moth was going full out for the next race lining up for the port tack flier. Edge of your seat stuff for competitors and race management teams alike saw the moth comfortable clear the fleet and lead up the beat in pursuit of the slow handicap flight.
The third race saw the breeze starting to soften and die with a race within a race as the race team worked to get a third race completed. With the fleet starting to finish those on course had an agonising wait at times for the patches of breeze working across the course. Credit to the race team who kept their nerve and got all the boats through comfortably inside the time limit.
In keeping with the spirit of the event the evening saw sailors from across the classes getting together for pizza and the inaugural Champion of Champions Quiz night. (it is yet to be confirmed whether the sailors at the event would have been selected to represent their classes based on quiz skills). Quiz winners ‘It’s all gone to RS’ from East Lothian YC and overnight leaders Colin and Oly Murray from Invergordon BC were those with it all to celebrate over-night.
Day two dawned with clear sky and a light enough breeze to send the sailors rushing onto the water to make sure they were at the start in time. An ebbing tide made the sail to the course area a little shorter but once more the weather gods decreed and a short postponement as the fickle breeze tested out most of the possible wind directions.
Racing between classes was tight all the way through the fleet with battles within the classes keeping everyone honest right the way round the race course. The final race of the day saw the race team go with the ‘W’ this proved a smart move as a big wind shift saw the course turned on its head as the sailors reached to the first mark before beating up the reaching leg. ‘Not where I expected the beat to be’ was the feedback from one of the competitors crossing the line after the first lap, a sentiment echoed by the race team.
After a hard fought weekend the Norfolk Punt of Colin and Oly Murray took the overall prize with Stuart Gibson in his Solo take the runner up spot and prize for first single hander. Third overall was the RS200 of John Wilson and Laura Glover who just pipped fellow RS200 sailors Brendan and Kirsty Wilson. First all-female boat was the famous Zippy the D-Zero sailed by Elizabeth Potter. (Take a look at Liz’s blog on the D-Zero website for Zippy’s account of her latest weekend of adventures afloat.)
Big thanks to Helensburgh SC for hosting the event and the massive effort put in by all their volunteers. The provisional date for the 2020 Champion of Champion’s Trophy is 24/25 Oct.
Full results available here