Successful day against the odds
The 113th Sandwick Regatta began on Friday evening with the lightest of airs from the north-east.
The first Shetland Model race for the Tait Trophy was sailed on a triangular course starting at the “week” buoy, beating to Cunningsburgh, then a run back to the Muckle Taing, followed by a short reach to the “week” again, all repeated.
After two marathon beats with wind changes every few minutes and from all directions, first was Douglas Bray in Streaker, second Adrian Wishart in Skalva, third Ian Bray in Skudra and fourth Brian Jamieson in Amethyst.
Local Mirror dinghies also persevered with the light winds with Daniel Jamieson in Seamew winning the Mirror Shield with John Roberts in Nautilus second.
Saturday turned out to be a stunning day for everthing but sailing. The Sandsayre beach looked splendiferous in the sunshine with bunting, music playing, barbecue aromas, the chinks of beer bottles here and there, but very little wind.
There was just enough wind, however, to get the second Shetland Model race for the Eric Stove Trophy under way.
Six of the seven-strong local maid fleet were competing on the same course as on Friday evening, except rounding Mousa buoy instead of the Muckle Taing buoy, thereby risking the stronger tide and fickle wind further offshore.
This time Skalva was favoured by a wind all of her own to finish well ahead of the others. The rest of the fleet were increasingly hindered by the falling wind and were becalmed at the Cunningsburgh buoy, creating a logjam as the dinghies also brought-up at the same point. Streaker came through in second place with Karl Tait in Sulair taking third. Skudra, Zig Zag (Andrew Farquhar) and Amethyst followed soon after.
The first dinghy race for the Whilfigarth Cup followed the Shetland Model course. On corrected time, Darren Forrest in the Fireball Harum Scarum was first with David Hopwood in the Tasar Don’t Panic second and Brian Wishart in the Flying Fifteen All or Nothing third. Kirsten Napier in the 420 Clueless and Bruce Smith in the Fireball Cannibal also competed but retired due to no wind.
Four mirror dinghies competed on a smaller Olympic course for the Dipper Trophy. This was also a long race due to lack of wind, with Seamew first, Leraness second, Nautilus third and Knab fourth.
Due to the length of the morning race and the slim chance of getting in another, everything stopped for a welcome lunch, which was ably prepared and served by local helpers.
In good regatta tradition, the land sports kicked off after lunch and in the picturesque grounds of Sandlodge was as popular as ever.
There was time for the sailors to loosen off the tight rubber clothes and bask in the sun until the committee decided there may be enough wind to attemp a second race for all classes. It proved to be similar race conditions to the morning. However, the racing was eventually completed, with the Braeburn Cup for Maids being won by Skudra, with John Mouat in Skalva only seconds behind and Streaker third.
The Club Cup for dinghies finished soon after with Harum Scarum first, Don’t Panic second and All or Nothing third.
The final event of the day was something a bit different, and brought the Sandwick rowing yoal Tara into the limelight with six eager teams ready to pit their best time against the clock over a short and sharp race. To make for a more interesting spectacle, a course with corners was introduced.
The teams of four rowers started at the pier, made for the “week” bouy, where a handbreak-like turn was required through 90 degrees to make for another buoy off the Muckle Taing. After another 180 hairpin turn, they made for the finish between the “week” buoy and the pier.
Team “Tweenies” was first in 2:44, the “Degenerates” second in 2:49 and “SBSC Veterans” third in 2:53. The “Pund Performers”, “Pick & Mix” and “The Young Ones” just missed out with very competitive times also. This event may appear at next year’s regatta as no oars or limbs were broken, and only a very little pride.
The day was rounded off with an enjoyable night in the evening sun with a barbecue, bar and music in the boat shed.
Sandwick Boating & Sailing Club commodore Adrian Wishart said the committee would like to thank everyone who came to compete and support the regatta, in particular: the volunteers who helped with race time-keeping, providing dinners, running landsports and barbecue; the Bells for kindly accomodating the landsports on the green at Sandlodge; and local and visiting guard boats, all of which make a regatta possible.
Considering the pull of other events in Lerwick on the same day and the lack of wind, the 113th regatta appeared to be an enjoyable day for all those attending.