Race Reports

15th December 2019 RYTC winter series - report by James Curley

posted 23 Dec 2019, 14:16 by Perth Sailing Club   [ updated 23 Dec 2019, 14:18 ]

So here we are, the final Sunday of the series!  Last week was cancelled due to the strong winds forecast but this Sunday was sunny albeit quite icy with a fairly strong Westerly wind at around 12 mph gusting to 20 odd. It was a really nice winter's day. There was a bit of South in the wind direction so we had to launch head to wind and the tide was out so it was a long slipway. There were around 15 boats in my class for both races. The course was set to three buoys all to port.  My start was pretty good probably a boat length behind the rest of the Solos. I managed to stay pretty close rounding the top mark and probably rounded it about 6 or 7th place I guess. I was racing very closely with two Wayfarers downwind and the positions changed constantly depending on who caught the waves best. I managed to just ease in front of both and rounded the 2nd mark first with a reasonable gybe.There was a strong current so manoeuvring the waves and fighting the current was tricky but I was still not too far away from the front runners. I rounded the mark and tacked back out to try and take advantage of the incoming current. The Wayfarers chose to head in to shore and it did look like they were streaking ahead but by the time I got to the bottom mark I was ahead again. The second lap was a repeat of the first. Two laps were completed.

The last race of the series was very similar to the first but I was racing very closely with a laser Bahia. Our positions changed a few times but he seemed to have the edge downwind probably because he was flying his spinnaker and the wind was quite strong. I was trying hard but just couldn't quite get in front of him again and as the wind began to die out at the end of the 3rd lap he managed to finish ahead of me. It was a really brilliant day's racing to finish the series. A bit cold but once you get moving you soon warm up. My legs were aching the next day so must have been hiking harder than some of the other races. There is a bonus Boxing Day regatta / prize giving which I am planning to go to although it has been a little tricky organising it with the family commitments this time of year, but my plan is to bring the family along. The position for the day was 7th and 8th and a overall series finishing position of 6th. There were a total of 31 competitors in the dinghy 2 group.  Overall taking part in the winter series has been a really good experience, I've thoroughly enjoyed it and I have learnt a lot.  It's extremely well organised and an excellent club with a very friendly and welcoming atmosphere.  I'd recommend it to anybody who is thinking of giving it a go next year.

Dec 2nd 2019 RTYC winter series races 11 and 12 - Race Report by James Curley

posted 7 Dec 2019, 04:11 by Perth Sailing Club

The weather was very cold indeed, sounds of breaking and smashing ice echoed around the boat park from all the covers being removed from the boats. My cover had some amazing ice crystals growing on it and I had to remove some chunks of ice from the floor of the boat. Temperatures struggled to get much above freezing the whole day but the sun was out in full so that helped take the edge off. Wind was a fairly stiff easterly blowing at around 9-15 mph.

The course was set at a 3 bouy triangular one all to port. Before the start my hands were starting to freeze and were becoming a little numb but thankfully once the racing started I warmed up and they were ok after that. I got caught out at the start of the 1st race and was a bit too far back from the line but I was in the middle of the pack of 15 boats. The tide was coming in so most boats headed out away from the shore including myself. The solos and the laser radials seem to have the best start and and were first around the mark. I was quite close to one of the radials. The swell was quite large and the gusts were quite strong so you had to be careful not to get caught out. It was a fast run downwind but the lasers seem to just have the edge while surfing the waves. There was a very daunting gybe at the bottom waiting for me which thankfully went well, this turned in to a fast broad reach to port. The incoming tide was strong and navigating around the waves was a little tricky. The lasers had a lead on me and headed to shore but I tacked out to try and take advantage of the incoming tide. It looked like I had made the wrong choice because they were making good progress towards the line but when we both got to the bottom mark I was slightly ahead.  However they managed to get some good surf downwind and managed to get away again. One of the lasers managed to rip her main sheet block from the deck and had to retire but she managed to do a makeshift fix for the 2nd race. The tide was out and I got a little too close to shore at one point and hit a rock or something with my centreboard. I quickly raised it so hopefully there is not a big chunk out of it. 3 laps completed in this race.

The start of the 2nd race I found myself right next to the solos at the start. The leaders had had more space and cleaner air and shot off but I got hemmed in and stuck in some dirty air so was a little slow to get going which was quite frustrating. It was all quite tight finding enough space to sail and had to duck a few who were on starboard tack but I think they had to do the same when it reversed. I was racing closely with a waverley and a laser bahia.  I managed to get a really good run up to the top mark and rounded it well, the laser had to put another small tack in and as a result I made a massive amount of ground on him. The waverley was still ahead but after a bit of work I managed to get past them on the up wind run. Unfortunately on one of the gybes the boom just caught my hat and as a result I had to watch it float away in to the distance, luckily I had a balaclava on so my ears didn't freeze to death. I think I sailed fairly well but the competition is very strong and the stronger winds seem to suit the lasers so my results turned out to not be the best at 10th and 11th out of 15 which puts be in 6th position over all.  My tracker ran out of battery and didn't save which was annoying so no info on that this time.

Races 9-10 of the 2019 Royal Tay winter series - Race Report by James Curley

posted 7 Dec 2019, 04:09 by Perth Sailing Club

The weather was overcast but a mild 10deg c with a fairly light easterly breeze.  The course was a 3 buoy triangular course, all to starboard, there were 15 boats in my group this time but the start seemed less crowded compared to last week. I managed to get my watch timed properly this week and I tried to stay much closer to the other solos on the start line. Most started on a port tack off the line very close to shore so I did the same and as a result I had quite a good start and was right with the other solos for a change. It was good to be close enough to be able to compare what I was doing to the faster solos. They all made it around the top mark before me but not by much. On the down wind leg I seemed to be in a large gap on my own between the front runners and the rest of the fleet. The wind was quite light but there were a few waves which do give a good boost now and then if you surf them.The tide was still coming in so it payed to keep closer to shore on the tack back up where the current wasn't as strong as the middle. Two laps were completed and my tracker tells me the distance was just over 2 miles with an average speed of around 3.5mph and a max speed of 7.8mph or 6.8kn.

The tide had turned for the second race so tactics were slightly different it paid to be further out from shore to gain from the current heading up wind. I had another fairly good start and again was close to the other solos.The race went similar to the first but on the second leg I was racing very closely with one of the laser radials and a Europe. The wind was slowly diminishing and on the 3rd lap it was becoming very light. The laser was slightly behind me and the Europe was slightly ahead. The Europe must have lost his balance or was caught out by a wave because he capsized but it didn't take long for him to right it and get going again but in that short time me and the laser had pulled away from him slightly. I gained a good lead over both of them and headed to the finishing line. There is a 15 min time limit to finish the race and due to the very light winds I was a few seconds over that so unfortunately the last lap didn't count in the end so my time and anyone behind me our positions were taken from the average time of the previous two laps. I also managed to recuse a drowning sponge on my way around which luckily for him I easily reached out and plucked it from the sea without having to alter my course!

The overall results were 7th for both races out of 15 and because I have attended most of the races this means I am currently 4th overall in the series.

Royal Tay Winter Series - Race Report by James Curley

posted 25 Nov 2019, 14:18 by Perth Sailing Club

Hello all, For anyone who may be interested here is an update for races 7 and 8  which marks the half way point already of the 2019 RTYC winter series.

The weather was a beautiful but slightly frosty day with plenty of sun and a light easterly breeze.The course layout was the same as last weekend which was a 3 marks all to port. The conditions were good and as a result it was the best turn out of boats yet with 17 in the dinghy 2 race. There was some very interesting moments on the start line  All 17 boats tried to get in to position so keeping good concentration and a sharp eye was essential, The start line looked like a swarming mass of boats all going in different directions but somehow all avoiding a collision with each other. My first start seemed to be going to plan but then I got hemmed in by a  wayfarer who seemed to not want to go close hauled and was forcing me sideways which gave me no choice to bear away. I don't think we actually hit but it must have been very close. By the time I managed to get away and get some clear air I had lost a fair amount of ground. Once I was around the first mark and on to the downwind leg half of the fleet went close to shore to avoid the incoming tidal flow and half went for a straight line to the mark, I went for the straight line option. The boats who went close to shore had to travel a slightly further distance and we probably had slightly better wind so in the end I think it was very marginal if anything I think we might have gained slightly on the leaders. On the sedate downwind leg I had a friendly chat with the wayfarer crew who I had a run in with at the start who were a very friendly couple.  They complimented me on my boat but did ask if I spent all winter varnishing it!  So far this winter I'm a little bit tied up sailing it.... although there is time after Christmas for plenty of sanding down and varnishing!  I seemed to be doing a reasonable job at rounding the bottom mark and is where I gained quite a lot of ground on nearby boats. Two laps were completed by all in around 30 mins. I set up a tracker on my phone which I took along with me and it tells me the course distance was around 2.5 miles long with an average speed of 3.6kn and max speed of 5.2kn.

The second race of the day was similar as before, I had a better start but I found it was tricky to tack when I wanted due to the number of boats in the way, I was positioned around mid fleet at the first mark. I had some good racing during the whole two laps between me and a Laser Radial. We were really closely matched with our positions changing a few times over the 2 laps. I managed to get ahead around the final mark by a few boat lengths but she tacked out in to the tidal flow sooner than I did and managed to make it over the line a few seconds before me so that was a good lesson learnt by me for next time.worse results yet with 10th out of 17 for both races which means I am currently ranked at 6th over all so far in the series.

Royal Tay Winter Series - Race Report by James Curley

posted 12 Nov 2019, 13:33 by Perth Sailing Club

Here is a quick update on race 3, 4 and 5 of the winter series in Dundee, 2019.

The second Sunday was again quite windy blowing 13 and gusting 25.  This time the wind came from north-east so there was talk from some sailors that conditions might be tricky due to the amount of north in the wind which usually means quite variable wind directions but it seemed quite stable to me.  The wind felt strong but much more manageable than the first races.  Again they set a simple two buoy course all to starboard.  My start was better than last week but still lots of room for improvement.  There are a lot of boats to watch out for on the start but I did make sure I was on starboard tack which helped.  The swell grew in size the further downwind we went and by the bottom mark you had to make sure you were going with the surf and not across it but if you caught it just right, the speed increased quite a lot and I managed to pull away from a couple of the double handers.  I was keeping a watch out for other boats but I did get caught out by a catamaran at one point near the top mark; he appeared from nowhere going near the speed of light making his presence heard by a loud “Starboard!” call.  I was on port tack so did a quick tack and all was well again.  The catamarans are extremely quick on the the straight but really slow to turn so I got around the mark before he did.  The second race was very similar to the first.  I came 8th and drew with a laser to get 8.5 out of 15.

The 5th race on the 3rd Sunday saw the weather conditions turn colder with very light winds which was quite a contrast from the previous two Sundays.  The race was postponed 30 minutes to see if it improved and eventually they decided to go ahead.  The course was changed twice during the time I arrived because the wind was changing from east to west and back again so eventually the race started going towards the bridge with a 3 buoy course all to port.  There was a slight wind at the start.  My start was ok but still could be improved.  One of the solos managed to get away and had a decent lead, I was quite close to the other and a laser.  I rounded the 1st mark 3rd or 4th with the tack back upwind being tricky with the light wind.  I managed to pass a laser going around the top mark and we had a little battle trying to edge very slowly closer to the line.  He managed to just get me on the line as the wind died and I was struggling to get the last few feet to cross the line.  The race was just over one lap and the 2nd race was cancelled.  I managed a podium finish, 3rd out of 11.

There are a couple of good webcams on the Royal Tay website which if anyone is interested have a look at around 12pm on any Sunday leading up to Christmas you can see the action live!

Royal Tay Winter Sailing - Race Report by James Curley

posted 6 Nov 2019, 14:23 by Perth Sailing Club

I have been asked to write some updates on how I am getting on with my first Royal Tay winter sailing series which might help anyone who wants to do it next year but also it is not too late to come on down and have a go at the remaining races.

I had a little mishap on one of the last races at Perth where I broke my mast, so it was a bit of a rush to get my solo back up and running in time for the first race. The day arrived and I towed the boat over to Dundee.  Due to the mainline running between the dinghy park and the car park you have to take the boat further  down the shore where there is a bridge over the train track and you can either pull the boat down the pronominal or if you are lucky the sailing club will tow it down with their quad which is what they did for me.

The wind was really strong gusting around 30 knots which was a bit daunting for my first time in the sea but it was quite warm for this time of year and the sun was out though.  There are lots of friendly helpful sailors around to show you how it all works and a brilliant beach cafe.  You will need to fill out the registration form and hand it in to the race box team along with the entry fee which is £40 for the whole series or £4 per race or £6 for the day (two races).

As soon as the boat was launched the wind gusted up and everyone was holding on to their boats for dear life. The wind dropped slightly so I jumped in fixed the rudder down and shot off.  It was a real handful right from the start so I went for a sail about trying to get a feel for it.  The wind was still blowing about 17 knots but gusting around 30.  I did start to wonder what I had let myself in for a this point!  There are three separate races run at the same time but with a 3 min count down between them.  The three classes are Cats, Dinghy 1 and dinghy 2.  I am in dinghy 2 race with all the smaller boats. My race started 3 mins after the start of the dinghy 1 race.    Because I was concentrating more on not capsizing than the race I struggled to set my watch up properly so was a bit late to the start line.  They set a simple two buoy course going all to port and the start heading towards the Tay bridge.  I am not used to sailing in waves so that took a bit of getting the hang of.  I managed to get around twice without going for a swim but on the final downwind run a huge gust came in and things got very exciting; I have never felt such a strong force push the boat before and that combined with surfing down the waves it must have been the fastest I have ever gone in a dinghy.  All was going reasonably well but the bow of the boat did want to turn in to a submarine a few times and fill the boat with water but I still didn't go over at this point.  The transom flaps must have been working because the water seemed to disappear quite quickly.  I passed quite a few capsized boats along the way including a catamaran which had blown over and I remember thinking  lets hope I can avoid that...... I don't think I was going quite with the swell and the boat got caught up in a wave and twisted sideways and finally all was lost, I could not save it and so got my first dunking in the Tay estuary.  The safety boat was on hand very quickly to watch me get sorted.  It took a couple of tries but I got it back upright and sailed on.  The wind had dropped slightly now and I managed to cross the finish line in before the cut off time to complete the 3 laps.  I decided to go in to recoup and get my breath back and decided 1 race was enough in those conditions for one day.   All but the most hardy sailors had the same idea and the second race went off with just under half the amount the first race had.  My final position after handicap was 8th out of 13.  I’m hoping for a little less wind next time! Ill let you know how it goes.

Points Series - last races of the 2019 season

posted 15 Oct 2019, 12:15 by Perth Sailing Club

The last races of the 2019 season were held at Perth Sailing Club at the weekend.  Sailors faced  strong ,gusty conditions and strong tides. Seven boats took to the water for the first race of the weekend - Saturday 10th October. Officer of the Day, Bill Inches, set a triangular course with all marks to port.  James Curley in his Solo took an early lead on the first lap followed by Euan Macdonald in his RS Aero 7, with Sandy Rodger and Audrey Robertson a close third in the Albacore Hyskier. During the second lap the pace quickened with the two boats capsizing in the gusts. James broke his mast in the shallow water of the south bank and Ivan retired after performing a dry capsize. Cadet Joe Gauld sailing Spring Feva and Vicky Wright in her Europa also retired during the second lap. Euan continued to hold on to his lead followed by Sandy and Audrey’s Albacore. Munro Gauld sailing with his daughter Molly in the RS Quest had moved up to third place at lap two but retired during the last lap. It was Sandy and Audrey in Hyskier over the line with Euan coming in second place.

Due to the conditions and the stronger outgoing tide only three boats took part in the second race of the day. The wind had eased and all three boats were struggling. Sandy and Audrey in Hyskier were well out in front on the first lap followed by Euan in his RS Aero 7, with Vicky in her Europe a fair way behind. The race was shortened and it was Sandy and Audrey over the line first followed by Euan and Vicky.

The last race of the year was held on Sunday 13th October, unfortunately with little wind and a large amount of water flowing down the Tay, only three boats ventured out. Bob Watson in his Enterprise was the only boat to start the race as both Andrew Porteous in his Solo and James Curley in the Club Laser were unable to make progress. John Ferguson who was Race Officer decided to abandon the race after a quarter of an hour. Jim Davison with a fully crewed rescue boat of Munro Gauld and Gillie Amatt towed all the competitors home.  Members are reminded that the last two General Sailing days will be held on the weekend of the 25th & 26th October during which there will be more sea trials of the Rowing Skiff. 


Results after Handicap:

Sat 12/10/19

Race 1 – 1st RS Aero (E.MacDonald) 2nd Hyskier (S.Rodger/A.Robertson)

Race 2 – 1st Hyskier (S.Rodger/A.Robertson) 2nd RS Aero (E.MacDonald) 3rd Europa (V.Wright)


General Sailing and Points Series

posted 24 Sept 2019, 00:34 by Perth Sailing Club

Perth Sailing Club General Sailing

               On Saturday there was brisk force 5 on the water and rather unusually for the club, no sailing boats were out on the water.  Instead, many members turned out assisting in the commissioning of the Rowing Skiff “The Silvery Pearl” The skiff, built as a community project by students at Perth High School had never been launched on the river before. David Gilbertson and Robin Illsley who have taken a keen interest in the project ensured that the craft was launched safely at the Willowgate cafe. There was no shortage of volunteer crews as Lady Club members along with their families and many members all took turns in rowing the boat tutored by David and Robin.  The skiff performed admirably in the lively conditions even when rowed by the novice crews. Crews were swapped over at the sailing club. Everybody in attendance thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Jim Davidson provided safety cover keeping a watchful eye from the Club’s Safety Boat. It was a superb and different experience on the water for many and provided a good photo opportunity for those motoring past in the tourist boat Badger.


Perth Sailing Club – Points Series

               The Points series continued on Sunday the 15th with seven boats taking to the water for the first race of the evening in sunny conditions with a stiff westerly breeze.  It was a clean start with Bob Watson (Laser) leading on port tack followed by James Curley (Streaker) then Andrew Porteous (Firefly).  By D mark Andrew had taken the lead but again was quickly overtaken by Bob and James and by the end of the 1st round it was Bob followed by James, then Peter Bevan (Solo), Andrew, the two Albacores of Robin MacArthur crewed by Jamie  and John Ferguson, helmed by Anne Bryson and Bill Inches (Firefly).  By the 2nd round Bob was a good way ahead with the rest of the fleet, Peter half a minute behind with the rest of the boats more spaced out with Bill retiring at the end of the first round.  Positions remained the same for the 3rd and final round with Bob crossing the line ahead of Peter with James in 3rd position.

               Six boats entered the second race of the evening with Leonie Poor joining the race in her Mirror.  Tourist Boat Badger hove too near the south bank allowing the fleet to sail past. Bob was first round the B mark closely followed by remaining fleet with Leonie to the rear. By the end of the first round Peter had managed to just get ahead of Bob followed by Andrew while Leonie retired after the round.  Peter (Solo) retained the lead ahead of Bob (Laser) followed by James (Laser), then Andrew (Firefly) with Anne and John (Albacore) to the rear.  First over the line was Peter followed by Bob with James in 3rd position. 

Results after Handicap:

Sun 15/9/19

Race 1 – 1st Marsh Daisy (P.Bevan) 2nd Blue Meanie (B.Watson) 3rd Bear (J.Curley)

Race 2 – 1st Marsh Daisy (P.Bevan) 2nd Bear (J.Curley) 3rd Blue Meanie (B.Watson)


Pursuit Race (Ferguson Trophy)

posted 4 Sept 2019, 12:15 by Perth Sailing Club

The first meeting in September was our annual pursuit race. This is where the slow boats start first and all race till a set time with the leading boat then being declared the winner.

This year we have had plenty variable light winds and Sunday was no different for the eight boats from six classes. Doug Ogilvie in his Miracle led the fleet away for forty minutes sailing time followed by Bill Inches in a Firefly a minute later and a group of three Solos a minute after that. Then there was a slight gap till the group of faster boats started to try to catch up. The Albacore, Aero and Phantom were also spaced one minute apart but were already a full round behind the Firefly when they started as a shorter course had been set due the light wind and strong river flow.

By the closing stages, it looked like the faster boats were not catching quickly enough while Bill was still keeping a little bit ahead of the three Solos.

As the seconds ticked away, Jim Galloway took the lead but sailed into a sticky patch allowing the Firefly to surge ahead to win by about ten lengths


Pursuit Race (Ferguson Trophy)

1- Firefly (W Inches)

2- Solo (J Galloway)

3- Solo (J Curley)

Commodore’s fun race

posted 1 Sept 2019, 14:56 by Perth Sailing Club

Saturday saw the annual  Commodore’s fun race. Despite the horrible weather in the morning, by sailing time it was sunny and dry with a stiff breeze to play in. Our Commodore was noticeable mainly by his absence, being on holiday in Norfolk. Breaking boats as usual from the reports we have heard. So this year’s challenge was simple. Normal start sequence and then catch the apples the safety boat released. Prize for the winning team. From the race box, it looked like chaos. From the grins and chatter when they came ashore, it would seem that 18 apples were the cause of a great deal if amusement. Photo shows who the winners were. Artwork by Katie. No women or children were harmed. As for the apples, of the 18 released, 3 did not return to shore..........We would have held a moments silence for them but couldn’t be bothered.  

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