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Open Itchenor SC

    RS300 racing at 57 degrees North
    The RS300’s most northerly traveller event was held at Chanonry Sailing Club as part of the Caley Marina sponsored regatta. Unfortunately Saturday was blown-off with gusts reaching 35 knots, leaving participants to sample the local Black Isle ale and tasty food laid on by the club - before going paragliding with their tents!

    Sunday brought variable conditions with the first race kicking-off in a fresh Force 3. The competitive band of RS300 sailors joined in with the fast handicap fleet. In Race 1, Ian Baillie (Dalgety) shot out of the starting blocks, beating all the fastest trapeze boats to the windward mark while Mark Henman (Sunderland) and RS300 newcomer Ronald Beaton (Chanonry) gave chase. Ben Yeats (Chanonry) recovered from penalty turns on the start line to move into second place only for the Henman to bounce back on the reach with excellent surfing skills. Baillie extended his lead to the finish line, while Yeats overhauled Henman for 2nd.

    Gavin Marshall (St Mary’s Loch) controlled Race 2 from a fine pin-end start and demonstrated good speed throughout to lead Yeats and Baillie all the way to the finish line. In race 3, Yeats and Baillie battled for first place only for Henman to make significant inroads and snatch the lead via good light wind technique and guile. A shortened course led to a close finish with Henman taking the win from Yeats.

    In the final race any one of four sailors could win the event by taking the last race. Baillie and Yeats pulled off a risky port tack flier and arrived at the windward mark together. Yeats pulled out a lead on the first reach which he maintained to finish to take the event overall. A close battle ensued for second place overall with Marshall overtaking Baillie just before the finish line.

    The event highlighted the competitive nature of the RS300 fleet with a different winner in every race. A special word of thanks goes to the race officer Shane Rankin and his team who managed to pull off all four races just before the wind totally evaporated!

    Ben Yeats 2,2,2,1 5 points
    Gavin Marshall 4,1,4,2 7 points
    Ian Baillie 1,3,3,3 7 points
    Mark Henmanc 3,4,1,4 8 points
    Ron Beaton 5,5,5,5 15 points
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