Here’s the report sent by Martin Latimer, DZero Sailor and PR Officer for Largs Sailing Club.
The Largs Sailing Club Barton Marine Warm Up Series ran over six weeks and managed to successfully run 10 races over 6 Sundays, from 26 February – 2 April.
Thirty boats, including visitors from Clyde Cruising Club, Prestwick SC and Ullswater SC, enjoyed racing in winds from 28knots down to 2knots and over a mix of courses in the Largs Channel. The growing fleet of Largs based RS200s fielded 7 boats and the growing fleet of DZeros fielded three local boats. The fast fleet was mixed and included an A Class Cat, Cherub, Musto Skiff, one of the latest Ospreys down to a Supernova as the slowest boat. In the slow fleet, it was a mix of Solos, Lasers and Toppers.
The first race of the series was only for the brave with winds up to 28knots or more and big seas. Four boats (2 x RS200s and 2 DZeros) launched and revelled in the pre-start blasts. The DZeros decided to call it a day but the two RS200s were given a short one lapper which Andrew Corlett and Callum Forsyth won convincingly over Martin Faulkener and Bill Forsyth (normally the heavy weather gurus). At the front of the two boats it was son, Callum, who showed dad, Bill, the way to go… back to the gym Bill?
Racing was close in the fast fleet in all the races which varied from ultra-light to boisterous conditions with generally long beats and a mix of triangle or windward leeward courses. Six different winners in RS200s, DZero, A Class Cat, Osprey, Musto Skiff out 10 races. The RS 200s had really close racing throughout, but it was the DZeros of Jon Basset and Martin Latimer who had the closest races with them finishing just 4 seconds apart in race four. The three DZeros were to be seen “joined at the hip” and only seconds apart on many legs of many races.
Going in to the last races of the series it was close between the DZero of Jon Basset, John Connelly in his recently acquired A Class, Martin Latimer (DZero) and Andrew Corlett’s RS200. The last two races were sailed in sunshine, steep waves and a good South-westerly wind which varied from 10knots to 16knots giving fantastic champagne (chilled) sailing. In race 9, John Connelly and Jon Basset made good starts, with Jon on the far left, right inshore. These two guys never looked back with Jon pulling out a big lead in the mono-hulls and John Connelly lapping the DZero, finishing 1 minute ahead on handicap. Andrew Malone and Bill Forsyth (RS200) finished 3rd and Martin Latimer was a lowly 4th!
In the final race (10), it was all to play for and a great port tack start by Jon Bassett, saw Jon cross the fleet and John Connelly blast off towards the horizon. As the race unfolded the A Class cat extended its lead, Andrew Malone drove the RS200 hard in the lively conditions, and Martin Latimer and Jon Bassett continued the DZero battle with cross tacking and close covers on the runs and reaches. Martin won the private battle and crossed the line one second behind the RS200 and one minute ahead of Jon Bassett.
The fast handicap overall result was really close with Jon Basset winning with 16.8 points, Andrew Corlett (who missed races 9 & 10) 2nd (17.5 pts), John Connelly took 3rd from Martin Latimer on count back, both on 18.2 pts.
In the slow handicap, the visiting Solos dominated taking all ten first places, but it was Stuart Gibson who ruled (taking seven race wins out of 10) scoring only 7pts after discards.
Great racing was had by all and big thanks goes to Barton Marine for fantastic sponsorship and brilliant prizes and to the race team and volunteers who set great courses and taxed all who sailed the series.
Barton says thank you very much to Martin Latimer for his brilliant and thorough report – it felt like we were there! We are delighted to support the sailing at Largs!