YACHTS, Picos and rowing boats all featured in the Brae Regatta last weekend.
A spectacular turnout of 17 yachts was the largest ever, boosted by the keen competition at the local points series and the safe berthing in the new marina. It was good to see three competitors from Lerwick as well as the visiting West Side yachts.
On Wednesday evening the round Linga race preceded the main events. Fifteen yachts started from the west side of Busta Voe to race round Linga, taking the isle to port and on to a weather mark off Grobsness before finishing back at the boating club.
Cynara (Joe Irvine) took line honours and won on corrected time to take the Delting Community Council salver, with Mistral (Scott Johnson) and Elysian (Tommy Allan) second and third respectively.
The race was also notable for the presence of the Voe yacht Tern, ably helmed by James Adie. James was secretary of the Delting Boating Club in 1950 and, while he has been a keen yacht sailor all his life, he had not sailed competitively for over 50 years, a remarkable feat.
The Thursday evening programme was aimed at the junior sailors racing in Picos. Although the conditions were miserable the enthusiastic youngters were not deterred by the foul weather and seven Picos took to the water. The Junior Shield was presented to experienced sailor Duncan Stove with previous holder Ryan Stevenson and the promising Scott Sandison second and third.
The Novices Shield was held simultaneously for the newer sailors and, following keen competition from Joe Tait (second) and Callum McColl (third), Barry Crainie took the trophy. With the competitors eager for more two fun races were held with the placing remaining the same for the junior sailors and the novices being led home by Joe from Callum and Drew Manson.
As the excitement built for the final in Wimbledon so it did likewise in Brae. The weather was beautiful on Friday but there were fears for lack of wind after teatime for the P&O Trophy for yachts.
The yachts were joined by more visitors but others were saving themselves for Saturday. A course was set in light airs, round the cans, and there were no surprises when Kalyma (Charlie Tait) took line honours and first place. Elysian (Tommy Allan) showed improving performance by taking second after his third place on Wednesday. Tammy Norie (Ewan Stirling) had been transported to Brae for the regatta and was not leaving empty handed with a third place.
Meanwhile, between Busta and the boating club the yoals were having some short fun races for men and women. The Vidlin women’s team held off an enthusiastic Delting team by only eight seconds to take first place. The Delting women’s team are leading a renewed interest in rowing in the district and are enjoying a promising season so far.
The men’s race was also very close and the shore support was fuelled by refreshments and the barbecue as they cheered the Reawick men who won first place from Nesting and Vidlin’s mixed crews.
Friday night was rounded off with music from local musicians and special mention must be made of superb music from Ryan Cooper and Adam Johnson accompanied by Peter Johnson who rounded off the evening.
The fleet had swelled to 17 yachts for the first race on Saturday morning for the Delting Challenge Cup. The race was an Olympic course set, after a number of delaying wind shifts, with a beat to a windward mark off the new breakwater and a wing mark at Saltness.
Cynara again took line honours but on corrected time were in third place. Shian (John David Henry), the well known and popular visitor to the regatta, took first place on corrected time and the young local crew in Lupin (John Duncan) gained second.
In a change to the programme an excellent lunch was held after the first race due to the delayed start.
Teams were drawn for the best two boats from the second and third races and the yachts were crewed up for the second race for the Scott Challenge Cup.
In perfect sailing conditions and following a good start Movin On (Jim Tait) was always going to be a leading contender. It was no surprise when he won on corrected time by almost a minute from Rebellion (Peter Robertson) and Valkyria (Ian Devonald). Rebellion also gained the SWRI Cup for the best performance by a local boat in the second race.
The final race of the day for the FW Tait Cup is normally raced on a long-distance course. There were, however, no complaints from Movin On when the race committee opted for a longer Olympic course due to the time constraints.
Movin On and Rebellion again held first and second places on corrected time. Moody Snoopy (Robert Anderson) had continually improved during the day and gained third place. They had also been teamed with Mistral (Hamish Johnson) and left the prize giving with the Alistair Irvine Memorial Cup.
In recognition of their support and for having the furthest travelled crew the Tern (Peter Elliston and Sarah Adie) was presented with a club pennant at the prize giving.
An excellent day’s sailing was rounded off with jigging to the local phenomenon known as Scaldin Bragg until the small hours.
Unfortunately the sailing on Sunday was cancelled due to the high winds but it is hoped to reschedule the dinghy, Mirror and dipping lug sailing for later in the year. This was a real pity because there were known to be 12 dinghies taking part.
A club spokesman thanked everyone who had helped with the regatta, particularly the caterers who managed to put on a splendid lunch for 120 people on Saturday. He also made special mention of Brian Hay, the hard-pressed skipper of the committee boat, for his enduring calm nature in the face of the committee’s insistence on constantly resetting the yacht course for the shifting winds on Saturday.
Seventy-two people took part in the yacht sailing and it was very encouraging to see such close competition over the five races. Of the 17 yachts taking part, 11 achieved at least one of the first three places. This appears to demonstrate that the new Shetland handicap system is working well.
Finally, if anyone finds Ewen Balfour’s shoe, lost overboard from Cynara in a complicated gybing manoeuvre, there is a reward of a half bottle of the finder’s choice.