Solway YC Celebrates The Prize Winners From A Very Short 2020 Sailing Season

Planned over twelve months ago when hardly anyone had heard of Corona virus, the Solway Yacht Club in Kippford still managed to hold its mid-winter prize-giving party on 23rd, celebrating the previous season’s Club winners.

Not in the Village Hall, shared with Kippford RNLI after their SOS Lunch as is now tradition, but, of course, now it had to be an online “virtual” event. As well as the winners on the water, Club Commodore Robert Dinwiddie had arranged a clever, sailing-themed cartoon competition that had attracted entries from both adult and cadet members.

Welcoming quite a crowd of members who’d joined through the wonders of the Internet the Commodore thanked everyone who’d helped organise the event and using a Powerpoint presentation, he then talked about the main trophy awarded for the Club Championship, the Tordoff Cup. It had been presented to the Club by David and Anne Tordoff after they’d returned from the voyage of a lifetime late in the 1990s, sailing their yacht “Status Quo” from Kippford, all round the world, and back to Kippford. While in the Southern Hemisphere they’d had a stop-over in Cape Town and had been utterly astonished to meet two other Solway YC members, David and Deirdre Harding from Rockcliffe, who happened to be working in South Africa. They’d heard the Tordoff’s had arrived and had tracked them down amongst thousands of others in the harbour for a most unexpected reunion.

It was then down to the winners; the Tordoff Cup for the much-truncated Club Championship was awarded to the very consistent brother and sister pairing of Scott Train and Anne Stewart in their Flying Fifteen with Stewart Mitchell (Finn) second and Mark Crowther third in another Finn. The Championship includes the Lotus Cup for the highest placed Cadet crew and this had been a well-deserved win for another brother and sister pair, James and Katie Bishop in their GP14.

Late season short-series events included the Autumn Handicap with the result reversed, Stewart Mitchell claiming first place, the Train/Stewart Flying Fifteen second while Hamish MacDonald (Laser Radial) was a popular third. The Final Fling and “Bumfreezer” events, held in mid October, were again won by either the Train/Stewart crew or Mitchell with only Ian and Margaret Purkis (Firefly) getting the final third place of the season. The final presentation, the “Sailing By” vase, donated in memory the late Kevin Paul, quite recently the Club’s Bosun, was awarded to John Searle. This recognises the member who has done most for the Club during the year but is not on the Committee. Last year he’d spent many hours clearing mud off the slipway and a multitude of other behind the scenes tasks and was fitting reward for his hard work.

The eagerly anticipated cartoon competition was next up with the entries creating many chuckles and mirth from all “virtually” present. Decided by online voting the winner was declared to be Club Secretary, John Sproat for his “Sailing through the Brexit minefield” complete with mines apparently in the waters of Rough Firth, Kippford! Another popular entry was the animated cartoon “Better Late than Never” by Nicola McColm, one of the young members, showing her and her Dad Scott’s catamaran overtake the entire fleet after being last over the start line. Very clever!

Before closing, the Club was pleased to announce it will be “exhibiting” at the RYA virtual Dinghy Show over the weekend of 27th and 28th February. Normally held at Alexandra Palace in London, this year it will be an online event, making it far more accessible to everyone in Dumfries and Galloway. The Club “stand” is being “built” shortly and the links to the show will be shared high and wide around the region. While it is still intended to hold the Club’s Open Day in the Spring, the reality is that this may not be possible. The virtual RYA Show may yet be the next best thing so look out for more nearer the time.

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