Share this article

Sunday saw Loch Ryan Sailing Club’s Spring Regatta.

Andy Train in Puffin was committee boat for race officer woodliff to set an Olympic course with a three race format.

The seven local dinghies taking part were split into fast and slow handicaps.

As the five minute warning signal sounded the wind started to build causing chaos among some of the less experienced competitors and after capsizes and near misses the racing got under way.

Race 1 - Unfortunately the slow fleet diminished as each lap went by, Rosie Fortnum (Laser Radial) was an early casualty retiring before the start. Morag Rowley (Byte) lasted to the half way point before conditions sapped her strength and she headed for shore. Calum Brown (Pico) almost made it to the end but one capsize too many saw him retire meaning there were no finishers in the slow handicap fleet.

Things were altogether different in the fast handicap fleet. Harry Drysdale (Dart 18) had light weight specialist crew Owen Griffiths and although they were often overpowered they were having a good tussle with Baird/Fuller (Laser 2) early on both reaching one of the marks together with the Laser 2 throwing in a slick tack to take the lead but the offwind speed of the Dart soon changed that. Dylan Griffiths (Dart 15) was now in a cat and mouse game with the Laser 2 and both would be in each others company for most of the afternoon. Alastair Murray and Ben Fortnum (Laser Bahia) were doing well and hanging on to the coat tails of the faster dinghies until a spinnaker gybe caused a capsize and lost time meant lost places.

Race 2 - After a very quick course reset by Ryder/Tyerman race two got under way. The wind continued to build to give some exciting sailing. Again the Darts revelled in the flat conditions with D Griffiths having some blistering reaching legs but still finding the Laser 2 attached by elastic. Again the Bahia was on course for a decent result but again spinnaker capsizes blew their chances.

Race 3 - With the Bahia ashore with technical problems and the committee boat having wined and dined the remaining three dinghies afloat it was a straight three way fight for overall regatta victory. Close sailing again put the Dart 18 and the Laser 2 fighting for the lead but a slip by the Laser 2 saw them hit the windward mark and a helm blonde moment saw them do two penalty turns instead of one. With the Laser 2 in a spin again the Darts took wings and flew off but the Laser 2 was not to be outdone and some slick spinnaker handling and pure hard graft got them back on track. Owen Griffiths had amazed more than his helm for staying aboard the Dart 18 if not always on the right side of the boat, and got a big cheer from the rest of the fleet for managing to complete all three 40 minute races. The day finished with the fastest legs of the whole regatta before the wind died as the competitors headed ashore.

Angela McDowall did the calculations over homemade soup, rolls and fresh pancakes provided by galley girls Jane and Julie. Commodore Morag Rowley presented the prizes.


1, Baird/Fuller (Laser 2) 3 points; 2, D Griffiths (Dart 15) 7 points; 3, Drysdale/O.Griffiths (Dart 18) 8 points.