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Forfar Regatta 2005

5 Merlins made the trip to Forfar loch over the weekend of the 24/5 of September 2005. The fleet was met with a flat calm on the Loch on the Saturday morning which filled in from the south about an hour before the first start. The races were run using the Merlin age allowance handicap system, more of this later.

Race one started promptly at One o’clock with no real incident on the line. The course made use of the multitude of marks on the loch and much consultation of the map was required as the boats went up the first beat. Given the shifty conditions and a slight line bias to port there was no real advantage to be hand upwind but 3376 pulled ahead of the fleet followed by 3321 and 3242. The Oldest boat in the fleet 111 looked magnificent on the water as she held up the rear just behind 3076. The tricky conditions were a challenge for all boats and positions changed frequently as the wind came and went.

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The race was one by 3376 followed home by 3242 and 3321 with 3076 forth and 111 in fifth place.
A short pit stop for refuelling was held and then it was straight back into the action.
Race two was beset by the same patchy southerly breeze and with a slight change of course and start line was underway at three pm. 3376 missed the start by a few seconds and allowed 3076 and 3321 to open a small lead up the first beat. With everyone looking for zephyrs of wind to carry them across the loch 3242 pulled a fast one and was mixing it up at the front end of the fleet as they rounded the top mark. The choice to fly the kite proved ineffective for 3321 as they dropped further and further from the front and watched the 3076 sail through the lee with no kite.

As the fleet sailed around the loch things settled down with a three way battle between 3076, 3242 and 3376 for the lead. Again lady luck played a part as the boats searched for wind but 3376 pulled away again to lead to the finish. 3242 was second with 3076 third and 111 fourth. 3321 was disqualified for sailing through a no go area and breaking a rule from the sailing instructions.
This brought to an end of the first days racing.

The third race of the series was underway at 11am on the Sunday morning in bright sunshine but a light northerly breeze. 3076 was off to a flier on the first start in a reduced fleet of three, due to a mishap on launching of 111 which broke the rudder and the helm of 3242 having to go to a training event with Glasgow Uni. The race became a bit processional as it went on, with the lighter crews being able to move quicker than the heavier ones, effectively making the event weight dependant rather handicap. Again the course used a variety of marks around the small confines of Forfar Loch and the boat handling skills were sure to benefit from the close action. Race three finished 3076 1st with 3321 2nd and 3376 3rd.

Race four was started in a slightly stronger breeze and the fleet once again got away first time. 3321 broke clear from 3376 and 3076 to build up a reasonable lead only to lose it by the top mark and let the others through. Again 3076 showed great boat speed in the light conditions and started to pull away from 3376 and 3321 on the downwind legs. Finally 3321 passed 3376 and then passed 3076 on the next leg as weed round the foils slowed 3076 down. 3321 went on to win by a boat length from 3376 2nd after some sterling work to catch up. 3076 finished 3rd.

The last race of the weekend was an all class handicap RNLI pennant event. This race was won by an RS200 but in the MR class 3321 was followed home by 3376 and 3076.

Sadly this was the last event of the MR class in Scotland for this season but all competitors had a great weekend’s action and the class continues to bring admiring glances from the wider Scottish sailing scene.


Report: Hamish Myles


Results
					Race 1	Race 2	Race 3	Race 4	Race 5	Overall
							
 3376	C. Brebner/ J Karren		1	1	3	2	2	1
 3321	H Myles / Ian Robertson		3	6	2	1	1	2
 3076	B Sylvester / K Shorter		4	3	1	3	3	3
 3242	T Watson / Richard Holiday	2	2	DNS	DNS	4	4
  111	G Rucklidge / Ewen		5	5	DNS	DNS	DNS	5
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