Regatta survives the weather

Jack McClymont and Adrian Collings represented Douglas Ewart High School.
Jack McClymont and Adrian Collings represented Douglas Ewart High School.
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Young sailors from across the region have braved the weather to compete in the 5Castles regatta.

School pupils from Dumfries and Galloway and North Cumbria gathered at Galloway Activity Centre, Loch Ken, for a wet and windy annual regatta last Friday.

The team sailing event, celebrating its tenth anniversary, saw 12 teams of three compete in a series of short races in identical Laser Pico single-handed sailing dinghies.

Lockerbie Academy’s trio – Joanna Barrie, Jamie Baulcombe and Finlay Brown – took the overall title, the fifth for the school, after a tough round of heats and a tense series of knockout races which culminated in a “best of three” final against Austin Friars.

Keeping their cool throughout, the Lockerbie team notched up wins in the first two finals, snatching a conclusive victory, with Dalbeattie High School finishing third and St Joseph’s, Dumfries, fourth.

Regatta principal and founder Willie Patterson welcomed the pupils, teachers and supporters to the event, sponsored by the Common Thread Group, which began with a visit from Dumfriesshire MP David Mundell and ended with a presentation of prizes by Galloway and Upper Nithsdale MSP Alex Fergusson.

Despite some of the worst conditions in the regatta’s 10-year history, teamwork by Galloway Activity Centre, Annandale Sailing Club and Solway Yacht Club saw the busy race programme run smoothly and safely throughout the day.

Away from the race course, more novice sailors enjoyed “taster sessions” led by activity centre staff, with the winners of the Spirit Trophy for the “top tasters” named as St Joseph’s College.

Participating schools on the day were Austin Friars, Carlisle; Lockerbie Academy; Dumfries High School; Dumfries Academy; St Joseph’s College, Dumfries; Wallace Hall, Thornhill; Dalbeattie High School; Castle Douglas High School; and Douglas Ewart High from Newton Stewart.