Mixed Bag of Weather for Kippford Week and RNLI Regatta 2019

A week of mixed sunshine, showers and winds from nothing to “sailing perfect” produced another year of challenges for sailors young and not-so-young for the Solway Yacht Club’s main event of the year. As always led by the Club’s highly experienced team of Race Officers and safety crews, but in particular this year’s Club Commodore, Lindsay Tosh.


Day 1 quickly identified the leading crews in the various classes and the pace was set. Many familiar faces but several new ones going well, particularly among the young.


Tuesday, day 2, and as the fleet launched many were towed out to the start line with virtually no wind. An hour passed before a few slight zephyrs could be felt and after a wee while more, enough to get the races underway. Further offshore it was again the Hawks that dominated the Cruiser class with the David Henderson and David Butler crew winning again but back in action in the Flying Fifteens after the previous day’s breakage were Colin Filer and Jamie Gascoigne. They weren’t having it their way again, beaten by the Scott Train and Anne Stewart crew. In the dinghy fleet Stewart Mitchell led the fast handicap class to a win in his Olympic Finn, fresh back from a great performance in Denmark in the World Championships. Medium handicap class saw a close finish with Emily Biggar and crew Mhairi McFadzean take “line honours’ but it was Ian Purkis and crew Emily Overend in their Firefly who won after handicap corrections. The slow handicap class was won by Megan Greaves in her Topper. With the light winds, the inshore races were finished “on the water” thanks to the safety boat of Duncan Gillespie and crew, pressed into timing the finishers ensuring there was a fair result.


Windy Wednesday brought a big change to the weather with a near perfect strong steady wind which got the leading boats really flying.  Offshore again it was the Henderson/Butler Hawk but in the Flying Fifteens it was the Jim Holland and Dewi Williams crew that had a big lead at the first mark and were delighted to win by a narrow margin beating the fast closing Filer/Gascoigne boat. In the dinghy classes, Alex Gendinning in his Vortex won both races in the fast handicap class, while the medium handicap class the Biggar/McFadzean crew were really flying stretching out a big lead in their 420 boat (the Olympic training type), getting their first win. The slow handicap fleet again went to Megan Greaves, clearly now the one to beat.


Thursday and another day of light winds saw a similar pattern but by now in the medium handicap class it was getting very crowded at the top of the series with Stewart Biggar in his Laser 4.7, James Bishop in his Laser Radial and the GP14 crew of Mark Lewis and Beatrice Overend joining the Biggar/McFadzean crew, all in with the chance of an overall win.


With several fleets results already settled, interest was all in the medium handicap class. On the water, line honours went to the GP14 of Lewis/Overend, but the handicap win to the Laser Radial of Alex Noble but despite only finishing third, it was just enough to secure Biggar/McFadzean the overall series win.


Despite the domination of the cruisers by the Hawk yachts, all week the other cruisers were still having their own battles. Mention must be made of “Kintra”, skippered by John Searle and his crew Andrew Bodenham who consistently came out on top of the rest.


In a very crowded clubhouse, prizegiving celebrated all those series podium place winners and those who had made the whole week run so smoothly and successfully from the galley to the race office, the mark layers, the safety crews and many others. However special awards went to Jim Prentice for his immaculate and “very shiny bottomed” foiling catamaran and most especially to Deirdre Harding for her outstanding contribution to the whole of the Club and Club life, much behind the scenes, from her days as a cadet through to today. A massive “Thank You” from everyone.

Kippford Week 2019 Prizewinners (Photo by David Overend)

Kippford Week overall podium results.


Cruiser Class

1st David Henderson and David Butler (Hawk 20)

2nd Angus Campbell and David Henderson (Hawk 20)

3rd Sandy Mair and Alison Young (Hawk 20)


Flying Fifteens

1st Scott Train and Anne Scott

2nd Jim Holland and Dewi Williams

3rd Colin Filer and Jamie Gascoigne


Fast Handicap

1st Stewart Mitchell (Finn)

2nd Rhys Williams (Laser)

3rd Steve Brisley (Laser)


Medium Handicap

1st Emily Biggar and Mhairi McFadzean (420)

2nd Mark Lewis and Bearice Overend (GP14)

3rd Stewart Biggar (Laser 4.7)


Slow Handicap

1st Megan Greaves (Topper)

2nd Tamsin Wallace and Mollie Keiley (RS Feva)

3rd Louisa Birdsall and Alice Parker (RS Feva)



A correction from the Club’s Cadet Week report was that the great Cadet Dinner was actually prepared by Duncan Gillespie, Kate Copland and her sister Jean, Apologies to all concerned for the previous error.


Kippford RNLI Regatta Prizewinners (Photo: Rebecca Davison)

Saturday 3rd August, The Kippford RNLI Regatta


With all entry fees being donated to the local Kippford RNLI, the Regatta races are a separate event but linked to the main Kippford week sailing. With several crew changes and new entrants, boats were in the same classes as the main Kippford Week. This time all the races, including for the larger cruising yachts and Flying Fifteen keelboats were started from the same inshore start line. This made for a very crowded water and quite a spectacle for those ashore. With the Kippford lifeboat doing the lead boat turn, assisting sailors to follow the correct course, the races got underway.


In the light wind it was a test of sail trim, balance and patience but in the glorious summer weather, the beautiful Colvend coast was looking its best. One feature, welcomed by some, was the larger cruising yachts breaking the stranglehold previously held by the Hawk yachts in the class, with Fiona Blandford and her crew taking second.


With no sign of the wind increasing the Race Committee again called on the Safety crews to provide “on the water” finish lines between a convenient course mark buoy and their safety boat, something that had already become a feature of Kippford Week 2019


So concluded another Kippford Week with huge thanks to all those who made the whole event possible from the Race Committees, the safety crews and many more to everyone who kept the sailors fed and watered in the galley and the bar.


Kippford RNLI Regatta overall podium results.


Cruiser Class

1st David Henderson and David Butler (Hawk 20)

2nd Fiona Blandford and crew (Delpha Classic 700)

3rd Sandy Mair and Alison Young (Hawk 20)


Flying Fifteens

1st Scott Train and Anne Scott

2nd Colin Filer and Jamie Gascoigne

3rd Jim Holland and Dewi Williams


Fast Handicap

1st Stewart Mitchell (Finn)

2nd Mark and Anna Simpson (National 12)

3rd Mark Crowther (Laser)


Medium Handicap

1st Mark Lewis and Bearice Overend (GP14)

2nd Ian Purkis and Emily Overend (Firefly)

3rd James Bishop (Laser Radial)


Slow Handicap

1st Tamsin Wallace and Mollie Keiley (RS Feva)

No other finishers



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