Saturday 21 July was the date set by the body responsible for sailing throughout the UK, the Royal Yachting Association (RYA) to celebrate our Olympic year and try to get as many boats out onto the water as possible.
All sailing and yacht clubs were tasked with putting something on that would get this to happen. So at Scarborough we put on a pursuit race with a bottle of gin as the prize for the first over the line after starting in relation to each boat’s handicap. Basically those with the lightest handicap start first going up to the faster boats which have the greatest time set against them.
We had also run a competition through the Scarborough News for 2 people to come sailing with the Commodore.
Penny and Malcolm McDonald won the prize and took part in the race in Chansa, owned by Andrew Boyes, the sponsor of the annual North Sea Yacht Race. The Commodore of the club, Nick Taylor, was on the helm with Mick Mullane taking charge of the foredeck and Andrew and Nick Boyes doing the rest of the crewing.
Fourteen boats took part and the thought of winning a bottle of gin was very much in their minds. With a pursuit race the start times are staggered, so catching up boats and overtaking is all part of the excitement. With a good breeze from the south west it was also one of the first days of the season where full waterproofs were not needed.
2 laps from the start line off the harbour wall and out to the yellow Wheatcroft Buoy, 2 miles to the south east and then back toward the Castle Headland and back through the starting line. Some excellent spinnaker work from many in the fleet failed to catch up the lovely new Folkboat called Fifi, owned by Johnny Barker who took first place and the bottle of gin.
A good day out for many – around 70 people participating – with Scarborough looking its very best in lovely sunshine.
1st – Fifi, Johnny Barker
2nd – Little Jeannie, Kelvin Robinson
3rd – Whistler, John Livesey