SANDWICK Boating Club hosted its annual sailing regatta last weekend, where sailors, spectators and land sport athletes could bask in the glorious conditions.
The regatta kicked off on the Friday night with Johnny Cash entertaining the expectant, growing crowd as the sailors donned their sunglasses and sun-screen to take to the water and battle it out for the honours of taking home the first silverware of the weekend.
The Shetland models were first out, sailing for the Tait Trophy. A very light south westerly wind meant a start at the back of the muckle taing, a beat to the week, and then a one triangle lap consisting of Mousa, Cunningsburgh and home to Sandsayre, taking the buoys to port.
Streaker, sailed by Ian Bray, was the eventual winner, with Skalva, helmed by Adrian Wishart, a close second and Skudra, under the direction of Ian Adamson, third. Brian Jamieson in the Amethyst came in fourth, with Karl Tait in Sulair hot on his heels in fifth.
Two local mirror dinghies sailed for the Club Shield in what was a very exciting and unpredictable race, with the lead changing hands on numerous occasions. It was Daniel Jamieson and Kerry MacGregor in Noness who held their nerve and negotiated the buckie pots to take first place, and John Roberts and Michaela Peterson in Nautilus the runners-up this time around.
Saturday morning was a beautiful sailing day and 16 boats gathered at the head of the pier at the back of nine ready for launch.
The five Shetland models had three cups to compete for: the Eric Stove Trophy, the Braeburn Cup and the Malcolm Smith Cup.
The Streaker proved a slippery customer, evading her competitors all afternoon to take a clean sweep of all the trophies. The Amethyst had a gem of a race in the morning to take second spot, and would have got to grips with the Streaker had there been another lap.
The Sulair was feeling the heat at the Cunningsburgh mark, and so a quick dip cooled the crew, and unfortunately any aspirations of a podium finish in race two.
The Skudra and the Skalva enjoyed a great battle throughout the day, often at closer quarters than expected.
A very strong dinghy fleet of nine competed for the Whilfigarth Cup, the Club Cup and the Dinghy Shield. The great travelling support from Lerwick was a very welcome addition to the regatta, and the Sandwick contingent hope to repay the favour come August.
Brian and Matthew Wishart in Air Apparent dominated proceedings, taking all three races in what was favourable conditions for the Flying Fifteen. Angus McNeill in Skavenger had an excellent regatta in his Albacore to take second in all three races, including race one where he was pipped to the finish by the Wisharts.
John Manson in Black Magic sailed well in conditions where he could not utilise the speed of the Fireball, to take third in the opening two races, before departing to drink Pimms at Scalloway Boating Club in honour of a well know sailor who was enjoying his stag party. Ewan Stirling took Varying Depths across the line in third place in the final race of the day.
The mirrors competed for the Dipper Trophy and the Mirror Shield in the morning races. The relatively new skippers of Daniel and John sailed exceptionally well in conditions that can be frustrating for even the more experienced crews, and they showed what great potential they have as helmsmen if they can continue in the same fashion. The honours were split with both skippers taking a race each, a fitting end to a great day of sailing.
The regatta was yet again a great success, and although we can look to the stars for the great weather, there is also the tremendous work of the committee to prepare for the weekend.
A special mention must to go Yvonne, Duncan and Denise for running the very successful and well-established land sports, Gordon and Marilyn for their sterling effort on the barbecue, Tony Dobson and Graeme Napier for providing guard boat cover and Tom Jamieson, Douglas Bray, Jeemie Smith and Davie Johnson for carrying out race duties.
The weekend was concluded in the Sandwick Social Club with a buffet, prizegiving and slide show to commemorate 20 years since the building of the Maids in Sandwick. Thanks again to Hilda Flaws for the delicious spread, and to Adrian and Brian for a very interesting talk and slide show, detailing the building of the Maids.