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Scottish Traveller Circuit

    With a healthy 17 RS200s entered, the RS200 Scottish Traveller Circuit came to a close for 2013 on Saturday the 21st of September at Fisherrow sailing club in Edinburgh. 

    Fisherrow treated us to some great hospitality and a big thanks must be paid to Tim & Carol for a huge amount of effort put in the weeks leading up to the event cooking and preparing the club for the arrival of 34 sailors from the far North, West, Middle and East of Scotland. It was great to return to a small club where the members were actively enthused and involved in running a great event. Volunteers also enjoyed witnessing some of the 'enthusiastic' verbal exchanges made during the close racing!

    Thanks also to the Two Vicki's aka The Two Ronnie's for their efforts organising fun prizes and RS Scotland branded Diplomas for the event. We are all looking forward to our branded hoodies for 2014!

    Special thanks must go to our Class rep Vicki Tait for all her efforts in organising the class for the event and the season, her constant efforts promoting events on Facebook chasing us all for money whilst looking after baby Charlie. She has encouraged a great way of staying in touch with our RS200 Scotland Facebook page with sailors posting photos, event info and fleet chat. It was also encouraging this weekend to welcome 3 more new boats to the circuit and new crews trying out 200 racing.

    The class held their AGM in the morning while the tide was out. The meeting was chaired by our rep Vicki with Baby Charlie offering some top advice for younger sailors in the fleet. It was great to have full attendance and the sing song style introductions were enough to make our newcomers wonder if maybe they had chosen the wrong fleet. Training rep Lennox complied a report of the seasons training and discussed a training wk end at Largs for next season with training at Loch Tummel also early season. Thanks to Lennox for all his help with planning the training.


    Once it was confirmed that it was ok for us to "touch buoys" during racing we ate lunch, tucked into Carole's brownies, socialised and then remembered that we had hikers to squeeze into. A friendly, chilled out and fun way to start off the regatta. The 200 fleet like social time!

    Oh yes onto the racing bit now!


    3 races were held in 8-12 knots of breeze persistently shifting from the S/W to S by S/W direction in race 1 and 2. 

    With the breeze having a element of conversion from the left hand shore line in race 1 and an oscillating breeze, calling the strategy was challenging. Father and son team Mac Kinnon were hot out of the blocks thanks to some exceptional downwind speed and kite trimming from Finlay, they pulled out a 200 metre lead on the first round. The chasing pack hunted them down with Veterans Simpson/Burns, Red shed funky hair team Faulkner/Martin, Talented Tait brothers, and Smoothroller Robertson/Rycroft jostling to be amongst the top boats finishing and in that order.

    Race 2, the course was quickly reset for the swinging breeze. The start proved to be a busy affair again at the port end, and with multiple disputes occurring in boats and crews discussing the finer points of the rules at both the windward and leeward marks, Veterans Simpson/Burns managed to escape the into the lead. With the breeze now regularly oscillating of the shore spotting the gusts and staying in phase was key. Talented Tait Bros managed this aspect well to pull away from Fiona Rigg/Tobi Watson on the second beat. Mother and Son combination Bess and Andrew Homer sailed well to take 4th. With port being the long tack upwind and starboard downwind it was important to avoid the lay lines in order to sail through the fleet. Brothers Paton were seen having a battle on leg 2 downwind, and did an exceptional job of taking each other out.

    For race 3 again the course was reset quickly and was set up beautifully square to the wind until 4 minutes before the start when a bank of clouds came in from the right giving a huge amount of starboard bias. 10 seconds after the start the clouds recessed back and a big lefty came in. Those starting in the middle benefited well to lead at the leeward mark. Thereafter it was a case of being aware of the movement of this black cloud to head right when it came back in to play and utilise the right shift and more pressure.

    Veterans Simpson/Burns were hunted down by Smoothroller Robertson/Rycroft throughout the race. Notable performance from fleet newcomers Doug Paton and only her 4th time in a boat Lorna Dalgleish finishing well in this race.

    After a good day of close racing, the fleet gathered in the bar for the end of season prize giving. Veterans Burns/Simpson showed the newbies how it's done by winning the Overall Title for 2013, with 3 event wins. Chris Perry and Kirsty Lytton took 2nd overall (despite a last minute no-show at Fisherrow due to a major thumb injury!) with father and son pairing, Gavin and Finlay McKinnon 3rd.  Special certificates were also handed out to the fleet which reflected the more memorable moments of the 2013 tour; among them being Award for the most Disobedient Crew, Award for the best Mummy Tummy Return to Sailing, the Beat the 400's to the Windward Mark Award and the award for Best on the Water Style! 


    The long awaited prize draw for the new jib and campervan weekend (provided by our tour sponsor, JP Watersports) was then made.  The more events completed = more entries into the prize draw. Finlay did a great job of pulling his own name out of the pint glass, with the 2 boats who attended the most events winning the prizes - Stuart and Ruairidh Moss winning the jib and Gavin and Finlay McKinnon winning the campervan weekend. 


    Prize giving over the fleet then got tucked into a delicious 3 course meal prepared by our fleet masterchefs, Tim & Carol. With some good food and even better banter, it was a great way to end the 2013 season. A hardcore few (including baby Charlie!) then hit the bar to continue the excellent banter that the 200 fleet is famous for!


    Thanks must go to all the sailors for making 2013 such a great year for the 200's in Scotland. Huge thanks also to our sponsor, JP Watersports for providing us with such fantastic prizes. With lots of new boats and the return of a few missing boats (the fleets 4 new RS babies are all now nearly here, with just 1 more to pop in a couple of weeks!) 2014 looks like it will be another fantastic year for the ever growing RS200 class. We have a great thing going with the Scottish 200s - 14 years on and still growing!

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