Open Race Training and North Squad Training Success at Lochcarron Nov 2010 

Thirty Junior Sailors from throughout the Highlands travelled to Lochcarron to take part in training from a mix of professional and volunteer Coaches. The North squad sailors, three of whom are from Lochcarron Sailing Club, were taught by lead coach Paul Bartlett, supported by Robin Paris and Richard  Evans. The squad trainees were sailing Optimists, Toppers and Fevas.

Fifteen of the sailors formed the Open Race Training Group which held their inaugural day's Training in very light winds on the Saturday only. This group sailed in Toppers, Picos, and Lasers.



Who needs wind? (Oppies rule!)


(The sailors observed two minutes silence to commemorate Remembrance Sunday by capsizing their boats and sitting in silence on a still but beautiful loch.)




The clubhouse was packed to bursting point (particularly on Saturday), but club members pulled together well to create a warm welcome and tons of hot food for the chilled sailors when they came off the water.


 Guess who fell out....



It looks like everyone enjoyed themselves and all the sailors were encouraged to attend the next event which will be held at Chanonry sailing Club on the weekend of December 4th and 5th. 

 Final Fling










Another light wind evening brings us close to the end of our Sailing Season.


 (Alexander was trying out his laser for the first time.)

 (Stephen and Martin on a Topper)

 (Paddy and Liam)





(The dolphins joined us for a wee while)


Robin was awarded the Wednesday Trophy by Cathy for his helpfulness and generosity to others. As usual he helped others to get their boats rigged and off the beach before setting off himself. Thanks Robin!

Zones Championships 

Helensburgh Sailing Club hosted the 2010 Zones Championships, where Fin, Fraser and Angus had their first taste of sailing in a national event.  The wind was lighter than our Force 8 Warriors would have preferred, but the guys had a great weekend and came home shattered, but infintely more experienced in light-wind, extreme tide conditions!

After a presentation and talk about the expectations of being a Zone Squad-member, the 34-strong Topper fleet took to the water with another 69 boats to prepare for the days racing.  The fleet sailed two miles off-shore to the race-course, where the force 2 wind decreased to a 1 just in time for the 5 minute gun!  Four races had been planned, but after nearly 7 hours on the water, the fourth race was cancelled due to total lack of puff.  The boys used all their skills to get around the course, and did very well in the light airs and extremely strong tidal conditions. All performed well, with Fin and Angus drawing on 48 and Fraser coming up just behind with 56.  Unfortunately, sailing on the Sunday was cancelled at lunchtime , again due to complete lack of wind, so the boys de-rigged the boats, packed up and headed for lunch! The boys have a wee wait now before they find out whether their bid to join the Squads was successful, but all have everything crossed.  When asked what the lessons learned over the weekend were, they replied, 'find out who is the best and stick to him or her like glue from the start ' and 'take more food with us in the boats!'  That's our boys!  Well done guys!

A big thanks goes to Helensburgh Sailing Club for hosting an excellent weekend


Gunn Trophy: Exciting, Competitive and Friendly!

 (Seventeen Toppers participated in dreich weather)

Despite the rain we had an ideal breeze which allowed all the sailors to compete on a level playing field -- no reefs were required, but a reasonable breeze blew throughout the afternoon. Four races were held with some really close racing as the afternoon wore on. All observers commented on how much the sailing improved as the less experienced youngsters quickly gained confidence. Some of the competitors had only previously sailed on inland waters, so tides were bound to be new to them!

Cumulative points per team of three were awarded in each race and the results were:  

1st Lochcarron A

2nd Lochcarron B

3rd Plockton A

4th Plockton B

5th Lairg

6th Kinlochbervie.

After derigging the sailors and camp followers were treated to an indoor barbeque. Many thanks to all those who travelled to make the day such a success and to our own team at the club -- Galley Slaves, Rescue boats, Race officers, Meridian, etc. etc. 

 (Plockton fielded 5 sailors)

 (The Lairg Team)

(The furthest travelled team from Kinlochbervie) 


 (Lochcarron B )


 (Lochcarron A  are presented with the Gunn Trophy by Race officer John Ireland.)


As this photo shows, the starts were competitive but, particularly in races 2 and 3, the tide played a big part --particularly catching the fresh water sailors unawares. 

Sink the Fleet Fundraiser

Well done to all the junior members who took part in the Sink the Fleet fundraising event last night. Over 30 capsize drills were performed much to the delight of the crowd on the shore. Our thanks to those who turned out to support the children in their efforts. Special thanks to the following businesses for each sponsoring a capsize:

  Carron Restaurant, Carron Pottery, Strathcarron Hotel, Lochcarron Hotel, Rockvilla Hotel, Roddy and Christine MacLennan Butchers, Julienne The Bistro, Lochcarron Food Centre, Hilary at the post office, Waterside Cafe and Lochcarron Holiday Properties.

 Lachlan and Chris, who had to go before the presentation, were chosen as Wednesday night winners for their newly acquired dry capsizing skills. 

Seven Boats Sail to Toscaig from Lochcarron

The "lazy Sunday" turned out to be anything but as we reefed down and had a brisk sail in a steady Northly breeze of 18-20knots which surprised us with gusts of over 30 knots from time to time.

As we rounded the point of Applecross Peninsula the sea became a bit choppy so we opted for a sheltered anchorage in Toscaig. Once there a pleasant hour or two was spent comparing one-another's boats before heading for home in quieter conditions.

The seven boats were Eydis, Island Girl, Sonas, The Rebel, Playtime, Mhojo and Meridian.

Ten minutes after setting off for the return trip Mhojo and crew managed to faff about after letting slip their tender and then letting slip their boathook in double quick time. When they regained composure and the lost articles the rest of the fleet had disappeared over the horizon!!

Findhorn Sailing Club Scoop the Trophies at Lochcarron Regatta on 21st and 22nd August!


(Some of the Sailors and helpers picured after the Prize-giving. Photo from Alex Ingram www.lochcarron.tv )
We were pleased to have 23 dinghies competing, 12 from our own club and 11 visitors form all over the Highlands. Racing was due to commence at 1.00p.m. on Saturday. Meridian (our committee boat) was in position and was registering winds of 20, gusting up to 30knots. After some deliberation the wind seemed to have subsided a little and the fleet tentatively took to the water. However it soon became obvious that the conditions were too much for proper racing. The rescue boats were occupied retrieving dinghies after the younger crews had been ferried ashore. Our postponment flag was flown and we waited for the wind to drop.  By 3.30p.m. the gusts had subdued but conditions were still pretty rough. Two races were held and the crews on the Laser 2000 and Vision dinghies from Findhorn Club made their presence known by taking first and second places in each. That evening we spent a sociable night dining at the clubhouse, nursing our bruises and watching the wind subside to a good sailing breeze. Conditions on Sunday were excellent with a steady 15 knots of wind. The race officers arranged three further races in quick succession to complete the regatta. 
Our local councillor, Biz Campbell kindly came to present the prizes.

Results:First was Ian Ellis and Garry Laing (Findhorn) in their Vision dinghy; second, Joe Galloway and William McTurk (Findhorn) in their Laser 2000, and third was Callum Ashcroft (Findhorn) in his Laser Radial. The Junior Winners were all from Lochcarron: First, Cameron Kitson-Jones in his Laser Radial (Cammalt Trophy); second Fraser Kitson-Jones in his Pico, and third Fin MacAuley-Smith in his Topper (Forrester Trophy).Finally Ian Ellis thanked Lochcarron Sailing Club for their hospitality and commented that not many clubs would have made them race in Saturday's conditions -- but he was glad that we did!

Lachlan wins "LC" on his first night racing!

This was our first Wednesday night sailing session after the school holidays. Eight dinghies took to the water and enjoyed light winds which gradually increased to produce some fine sailing in ideal conditions.

Andy searched for that pot of gold -- but found it must have sunk!

Dylan, Nick and Fraser enjoyed the Omega.

 Robin and Paddy on the grey Pico.


  Kenny and Andrew on the Yellow Pico.

 Stephen and Christopher Toppering.

 The Rain Cloud that didn't!

Our training week was held on the first week of the school holidays. We were faced with very challenging weather which registered winds in excess of 40 knots with horizontal rain on Wednesday and Thursday. Despite this we ran several RYA courses; 44 juniors and 10 adults participated. In some cases we were able to complete the courses and award certificates, in others large parts of the courses were covered with some work on the water required to finish. As usual we ended the week by sailing 24 dinghies across to Attadale beach for a picnic. No sooner had we arrived than a prolonged Northerly squall hit the beach with freezing rain!! Sandwiches were quckl;y consumed and a few quick "warm up" games were played before a mass evacuation was performed. Thanks are due to Nigel and Hilary MacLeod who came to the rescue with their motor cruiser "Idis". They transported nearly twenty chittering children back to the safety of the club whilst another ten sought refuge on "Mhojo". The more experienced sailors then sailed back to the club to find the wind dropping and the sun coming out for the end of week ceremonies!  The club was pleased to have the help of Robin Paris, the Scottish National Topper Squad Coach. He passed on lots of useful racing tips to our more advanced juniors during the week, but we were disappointed that we were unable to take full advantage of his expertise as the weather prevented any effective coaching on the water during his stay.

see training week 2010

 Spinnakers Flying in Loch Carron.

(Asterix and Planet Express in a close tussle off Ardnaff)

Loch watchers may have been surprised to see a fleet of thirteen yachts racing down through Strome narrows last weekend. We decided to begin our yacht race on the 20th of June in Plockton and we invited the Plockton sailors to join us, followed by a social gathering at the clubhouse. We were delighted that so many yachts took part and we hope that we can continue to encourage visiting yachts to participate in our informal races. We all enjoyed the company of the dolphins who visited most of the yachts during their passage. (We hope to have more photos to add as soon as they become available)

Unfortunately the Commodores cup was unavailable for the award ceremony so the winners, Graham Smith and crew on Asterix had to be content with the "Commodores Teapot" instead.

Some of the visiting crews enjoying a light refreshment before making the trip home.

Fifteen minutes in: Amatory, Fizz, Asterix, Planet Express, Mhojo, Rebel, Hatalinqua (?sp), and Playtime. (From L to Right)

Nearing the finish: Asterix, Fizz, Rebel, Planet Express,and Amatory.

 Planet Express, Rebel and Fizz.

Photo finish after over three hours racing! Planet Express and Rebel.

Many thanks to all the photographers -- you know who you are.

Ocean Youth Trust Trip 

Twelve junior members from the Club sailed on the Alba Endeavour from Kerrera to Tobermory, Loch Boisdale, Gairloch, Portree, Mallaig (via Canna) and back to Oban again last week. This was a week long trip on a former round the world racing yacht. During the week there were several sightings of Basking Sharks, and at least one Minke Whale was spotted. For many the highlights were sailing to Canna and back in a force six, and rounding Ardnamurchan point, close hauled, in a force eight!

(Fin, Robbie, Lucy, Izzy, Annie, Heather, Freya, Scott, Catriona,  Niall, Beth, and Daniel pictured on deck in sunny Portree. They were accompanied by Joanna and Dave from the club and supervised by Staff of the OYTS Nick, Craig, Derek, and Dougie -- the skipper.)

All juniors acheived an RYA "Competant Crew" qualification and a good time was had by all.

Dylan and Liam give a home to "LC" the New Ted!

"Tesco" declared that he wanted to go back to his day job on Mhojo and the Club has a new member in the form of "LC" who sports a custom made jumper.

The winds had sprung up on Wednesday but this did not deter Dylan and Liam who worked well as a team to take the honour of playing host to LC for the first time.

(Congratulations boys... how many times is it that Liam has appeared in these pages now?)

 Second Yacht Race

John Murphy and crew with the Commodore's Cup after winning the second yacht race.

Try Sailing Day 

The recent Family/Try a Boat Day was a huge success, with sun and a moderate breeze all day, giving us perfect sailing conditions.

The day was greatly supported by both locals and visitors wishing to try sailing for the first time, and in some cases overcoming a fear of sailing itself.

We had two Cruisers offering a taste of sailing on bigger boats, and our thanks go to Graham and Kevin for making this available.

Other boats out on the water included the Wayfarer World, Omega, GP14, Iso, Picos and Toppers. Thanks to all the Instructors, Shore Organisers and Safety Boat Crew for making this such an enjoyable and safe experience.

Thanks must also go to all the 'chefs' for providing such a great BBQ, and to all those who kindly donated a wonderful assortment of baking goodies.

There was a lot of preparation beforehand, both in the clubhouse and in the dinghy park, and many thanks to all involved.



                                    Kishorn Cup

A "Pursuit Race" with a staggered start gave the slower handicapped boats a head start on the faster ones. John Murphy's Contessa 26 "Ella" started first, followed by Steve Patch's UFO 31 "Planet Express", then Graham Smith's Beneteau 285, "Asterix" and finally then the two Fulmars of Kevin Kitson-Jones and Dave Murray, "Playtime" and "Mhojo".

Most yachts were heavily reefed to cope with the Force 5/6 Westerly winds which produced particularly steep seas on the North shore of the loch. We recorded gusts of up to 32 knots (apparent) and most crews were severely tested by the conditions. All the yachts completed the race and a very close finish saw John Murphy in Ella (just) retain his pole postion to take the Kishorn cup. Graham Smith and crew ran a very close 2nd and were justly pleased with that result as their first ever race in Asterix. Dave Murray (Mhojo) came third , Steve Patch (Planet Express) fourth and Kevin Kitson-Jones (Playtime) fifth.

(John Murphy is presented with the Cup by Commodore Cathy Kitson-Jones.)

 Afterwards we rafted together with David Johnson on Meridian and had a splendid barbeque hosted by Lillian with her assistants Sheila and John MacPherson.

 The evening ran on into the twilight hours with some of the boats opting to remain rafted up for the night. A good time was had by all.




As this picture shows, Scott was the first winner of our new Fun Race Series. The winner is allowed to look after "Tesco Ted" for a whole week. Already a strong bond has been formed and it may be difficult to prise these two apart next week. The challenge is there ... who will win Tesco next?

 The Toppers and Picos had an enjoyable time in the light winds, but Scotts laser won the day. He may have to be handicapped next week. 





The three man crew made it look easy to sail the Buzz -- until they capsized! 

The rescue crews could only sit back and watch...... 


But the big question was -- how did Crisdean manage to avoid having his photo taken???



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