The first sailing of the season at Brae got under way on Sunday.
Jim Tait and his Movin On crew matched the blustery conditions and outsailed their competitors to win the first two yacht races of the season.
The late start to the season had been caused by unsailable conditions on the previous two Saturday evenings.
On Sunday the conditions were still very challenging with a south-south-west force five wind, gusting six. Most of the six competitors reduced sail and spinnakers remained firmly below decks.
In the first race for the Commodore’s Cup Cynara, helmed by Joe Irvine, took an early advantage on the first windward and was ahead at the weather mark.
The next three yachts were sailing in very close order. Some fast tacking at close quarters meant that Movin On came to the mark second, followed very closely by Rebellion (Peter Robertson) and Roundabout (Drew Sutherland).
Cynara could not build on her lead and her three main rivals closed continually on the downwind part of the course. Movin On’s decision to favour the more sheltered west side of Busta Voe appeared to be the best windward tactic.
It was also clear that Milspinda (Frank Ratter) was making good progress further down the fleet against Valkyria (Ian Devonald). While the racing was very close, Movin On always looked the favourite to win.
After three beats and two downwind legs Cynara crossed the finish line ahead, followed by Movin On, Rebellion, Roundabout, Milspinda and Valkyria. On corrected time, Movin On (58.52) was first followed by Milspinda (60.09), Cynara (61.13), Rebellion (62.59), Valkyria (64.06) and Roundabout (66.77).
The second race was the beginning of the points series with Cynara hoping to defend the hard-earned victory of last season.
Rebellion started well and for a time looked to be drawing away from the fleet. However, heavy wind specialists Movin On and Cynara kept up strong early pressure with Roundabout putting up a good performance as well. Cynara came to the windward mark first and in the end Rebellion did well to remain in contention at this point.
Valkyria seemed to be struggling more in the second race and fell off the pace early on. Halfway through the Movin On crew had the bit between their teeth and went on to take the lead on the water.
At the finish the first four yachts crossed inside a minute. Once more Movin On (57.9) won on corrected time with Cynara (61.08) second, Rebellion (61.27) third, Roundabout (64.21) fourth and Valkyria (65.23) in fifth place.
Skippers of yachts who would like to compete at the Brae sailing should contact (01806) 522476. Races start usually at 7pm on Saturday evenings.