Tarbert Race & Muster 2018

 Seen here is the glassy calm off Kip Marina at 10am on 19th May and also the tail of our new Flag AP. Tom Hutchison on committee boat Aquaholic having chosen Course 1 around Garroch Head wisely made the choice to postpone and shepherd the 9 strong fleet to the north end of of the Cumbrae where a start was called at 11.20 using a couple of the HUN can buoys as the start line  As can be seen in the next photo sails were filled for an enjoyable beat in around 10kts of breeze and welcome bright sunshine.

 Close hauled on port tack the best that could be done was head for the Bute shore around Kilchattan where some short tacking through calm patches eventually allowed a rounding of Garroch Head where we were treated to the magnificent spectacle of the Arran ridges.

 Troikka having pulled away somewhat lost sight of the following fleet and continued broad reaching towards Skipness.  The benign conditions seen below eventually livened considerably as the wind veered substantially to the west with gusts up to 25kts or so giving a fast passage onwards.

The Commodore accompanied by Marge on Black Pepper was on hand in Tarbert to welcome arrivals and in the wind whistling through the pontoons there were several less than tidy coming alongsides.  All however were in good spirits having enjoyed a splendid sail and it was good to have Robert and Audrey Yule back afloat and out for the first time on their new Moody 36 'Sulaire' . Once they have figured it all out they should be real contenders in Class 3. There was plenty of time for some conviviality and drinks on board before the gathering in the Scottish Series marquee which conveniently had been erected in time.  We were pleased to welcome Geoff and Jackie Orr on their Hallberg Rassy, 'Jackanory' and hope that we will see them again as members at subsequent events. 

After that it was on to the Starfish as per usual where the meal, some thought, exceeded previous efforts and also as usual the reading out of the results.  The corrected times in some instances are startlingly close.


Boatyard blue

Early bird that catches the wotsit



When you start thinking about it, avoiding plastic altogether seems almost impossible. Shampoo, cleaning stuff etc.. However small water bottles and other drinks bottles are easily avoided or re-used. We all need to take this seriously and I think especially those of us who go out on the sea should have it in mind. I often end a sailing weekend with a huge mass of crushed single use water bottles for disposal. Next season I am going to ban them from our boat. What about you?

BBC article on plastic waste


Frostbite Race

Jack Frost was definitely not in contention for this the last race of the season for the Serpents.
A fine mixture of conditions was to prevail throughout the race with the only condition not experienced being snow.

Seven yachts lined up for an exciting start with Katya as the committee boat.

Camus Bosta considering tactics
Pondskater whipping the crew into performance mode

There was the odd shout of 'starboard' as Solus approached the line on port, but no other incidents reported.
Solus making life more interesting

Whilst gusting 24 knots in the main channel, the shelter of the Largs Channel gave a false sense of calm and any reefs were shaken out as the fleet headed through the Tan to complete a figure of eight course leaving Little Cumbrae to port.
Full steam ahead

All was comfortable until the full force of the wind hit the fleet as they progressed down the west side of Little Cumbrae. At this point, I believe, questions were being asked on a few yachts as to who's idea was it to shake out the reefs. A few classic broaches ensued providing classic entertainment for others.

Tom in Aquaholic took an early lead and whilst claiming he was sailing with a badly ripped main this did not prevent him from leading the fleet to the finish line. Thanks goes to Tom for then acting as finish boat and taking times. Results to follow.
Stewart Toy


Autumn Muster 2017

It wasn't a good day to be race officer.  With zero wind off Kip a postponement ensued followed by the abandonement of the start line and a search for another one with Warden Bank the chosen unlikely spot. There wasn't any wind there either but adopting a probably ill-advised Show Must Go On mindset,  a race (on Course 3 substituted for the original over-optimistic course 1)was started as competitors drifted slowly backwards from the line.

The wash from passing motor vessels was an annoyance. No comments about the weight on the bow please!
Eventually it became a a slow drift forwards with various patchy zephyrs being picked up from the SW, the forecast NW backing northerly having made a total non-appearance across the upper Clyde.  Progress being so pitifully slow there were various course shortenings and course changes with eventually, the the Ashton safe water buoy chosen in complete desperation as the finish mark.

We wouldn't normally be so irresponsible as to break the rules and choose a buoy in the middle of a shipping channel and with the Clyde having been so relatively deserted we weren't to know that a huge tanker and a container ship were to appear just as we were finishing. Anyway we survived without impeding the commercial traffic in any way and hopefully Clydeport will not be writing to the Commodore.

After that it was a brisk motor up the Holy Loch without getting in the way of the Pipers, Flying Fifteens and dinghies in the Polaris Regatta which were finishing an excellent race in ideal sailing conditions.
We had thought that space had been reserved for the club on the inside of the breakwater but Aquaholic, having arrived first was the only one to finsd a space and the rest of us  found that actually the pontoons opposite had been reserved and Exody was already there having cruised in earlier.  With congestion and the brisk northerly breeze berthing took some of us more than one attempt but eventually all were in and bottles were opened in the early evening sunshine.  Peter Jennett operated a dinghy ferry across to Aquaholic where a gin-fest was proceeding.  Some of us withthe appropriate bonus cards took the bus into Dunoon (the driver was a comedian of the first order and deserves a mention) while the remainder followed in Martin's taxi service to the La Cantina restaurant where the meal had been organised and was served efficiently. 
Much much later, partying from the Polaris regatta yachts carried on past the wee small hours but most of us slept right through it.

Yes it really was that grey as Katya prepares to depart
Next morning with the forecast F7 from the SW  beginning to make an appearance any thought of racing back was abandoned and those who lingered over their breakfasts faced a very wet and bumpy passage back to Kip

The results of Saturday's so-called 'race' are actually slightly different from those announced in the restaurant - as a result of an arithmetical error in the calculation of Aquaholic's time for which the compiler blames variously sunstroke, gin and a party going on in the cockpit.  Troikka recorded the fastest corrected time but the Race Officer is of the opinion that in the circumstances of Saturday the 10 minute allowance routinely accorded to the start boat should not really apply and so Aquaholic remains the winner of Class 2 albeit by a whisker. In the overall rankings the mighty Pondskater actually comes second and of course is the winner of Class 3 followed by Silverjack and Spirit.   


Coastguard VHF changes


Ormidale Muster

This was always an informal gathering of those in the area at the time and at this year’s event four Club boats attended, Katya, Pondskater, Troikka, and Emma Louise.

The two non Loch  Riddon boats, Troikka and Emma Louise both found available moorings and a prize should go to Seamus on Emma Louise who single handedly  travelled from Ardrossan to the loch for the BBQ.- 5 Hours into a head wind.

We were joined by Freda and Mike on Mickyfin IV, guests of Charles and Anne who hopefully enjoyed the company and will consider joining the Club.

Also on the shore were Martin Lacey and his children, the son of a neighbour from my early married days who has a mooring next to mine in Loch Riddon but normally keeps his boat on the west coast.

The weather was kinder than last year as a small ridge of high weather passed over the UK.  BBQs were lit, some working better than others but no reports of food poisoning have been received.

The marked breeze died as the evening progressed, to allow the midges a late nibble by the time we retired to sample the commodore’s hospitality onboard Katya.

My thanks to Robert and Audrey Yule and Ian MacLeod for the use of their moorings.

Having come straight from five days of having my granddaughters on board my car was full of toys, games and crab fishing gear so thanks to Stewart and Catherine for tidying the beach on Sunday morning, removing all the old spent BBQ’s and placing the all important Citronella candles by my car so that I would not forget them.

An enjoyable, relaxed get together for those able to come.  

Martin Yuill.

The Happy Campers on the beach 'smoking' well

Commodore's 'Party' boat

Peaceful Loch Riddon the morning after

Emma Louise trying to find a route home.
Is it this way or that way??--mmmmm