Solway Yacht Club Launches 2022 Season With A Fun Filled Easter

After two years of seriously restricted activities, it was great to launch the new season with a packed Easter programme. From craning-in the larger cruising yachts and two days of racing in the firth to a novelty Easter egg hunt on the water for the cadets, even the Kippford RNLI seemed to join in the fun with their own Easter egg training hunt!


Several weeks behind the scenes preparation that included a First Aid course, a safety boat crews’ refresher day and working parties to prepare the Club boats and facilities, led to Easter Saturday, craning-in day. With favourable weather and a big tide, several of the larger yachts were lifted off their winter berths and gently lowered into the creek beside the pier before cautiously motoring down the narrow channel and out onto their moorings. By the evening it was time for a relaxed and socially distanced time in the Clubhouse but sadly Covid hadn’t done with the Club yet. Our popular social secretary and expert chef, Duncan Gillespie had gone down with the virus and while much preparation had been done in advance, it was left to the reserve galley team to do the cooking. Nevertheless, and great evening and a substantial collection for the local Marie Curie charity resulted.


Easter Sunday and the pier was a hive of activity. Despite light winds, the first competitive event, the Easter race series, got underway after the fleet was towed out to the start line. With fast and medium handicap entries, the two groups sailed three races under the expert management of Race Officer John Broadbent. The Finn of Stewart Mitchell led the fleet with the Flying Fifteen of Colin Filer and Jamie Gasgoigne giving chase. The RS400 of Scott and Nicola McColm plus the second Flying Fifteen of Scott Train and Anne Stewart weren’t far behind. In the medium group, Ian Purkis and his first-time racing crew, 11-year-old grandson Oliver in their Firefly were in a close race with two Laser Radials of Finlay Train and Simon Wilson but at the line the Purkis Firefly was ahead finishing fourth overall. Race two and a longer course saw a similar pattern and by the third race, the Firefly improved to second overall. However, it was the ever-consistent Mitchell who scored a first, a second and a first overall that led the fleet at the end of day 1.


While all that was going on further out, the Cadets’ Easter egg hunt, led by Cadet Officer Joanne Harris and her team was in full swing. Fourteen cadets, including four who’d never been afloat before, had a great fun filled time in five Club boats under sail, hunting for eggs and miscellaneous novelties on the water and ashore up and down the estuary. It was a really well organised fun day with lots of boat handling practice in for good measure.


Easter Monday and day 2 of the racing brought a significantly stronger but chilly wind. Now in the experienced hands of Race Officer Lindsay Tosh, the fleet, less a couple of non-starters from day 1 but with several additions, got away to a clean start out on a longer course, South of Rough Island. The wind strength suited the powerful Vortex single-hander of Alec Glendinning who stormed round to take line honours by a big margin but was just pipped to first place after handicap time corrections by the Mitchell Finn followed by the Train / Stewart Flying Fifteen that only just made the line with a broken main sheet pulley block, so non-starting race 2.


The final race and another good start saw the Mitchell Finn to another win, but Finlay Train in the Laser Radial was going much better in the stronger winds getting a good second in the final race.

Final Results:


1st Stewart Mitchell (Finn)

2nd Scott Train and Anne Stewart (Flying Fifteen)

3rd Finlay Train (Laser Radial ILCA 6)

4th Colin Filer and Jamie Gascoigne (Flying Fifteen)

5th Alec Glendinning (Vortex)

6th Ian and Oliver Purkis (Firefly)

7th Scott and Nicola McColm (RS400)

8th Simon Wilson (Laser Radial ILCA 6)

9th James Bishop (Laser ILCA 7)

10th Keith Veasey (Finn)

11th Chris Nurney and Steve Gaughan (Dart 18)

12th Katie Bishop and Nicola McColm (RS400)



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