Yell Albacores secure respectable placings in Largs internationals

Sailing continued at Largs last Tuesday with races eight and nine of the International Albacore Champ­ion­ships.

With the wind strengthening, the Shetland boats, Steven Brown and Frank Guthrie with Blue Mist, David Thomson and Ellis Johnson with Moondancer, Johnny Wilson and Graham Johnson with Flamingo and Angus MacNeil and Jeff Dobson with Skavenger, saw some of their best results for the event.

Race 10 was not sailed due to high winds and race nine saw only 26 out of the 53 entries completing the course. Results for the day were: Blue Mist 20th in race eight and 11th in race nine, finishing 14th overall on day four; Flamingo 38th and 7th (highest placing for a Shetland boat in this event), finish­ing 20th overall; Moondancer 44th and 22nd, finishing 34th; Skavenger 35th in race eight, but after a bad capsize did not finish in race nine. Overall placing for Skavenger after day four, 36th.

With no races scheduled for Wednesday the crews had a well-earned break and a look around the local area. Rested and revived, the racing restarted on Thursday with a further three races run in slightly calmer conditions.

Placings on the day were: Blue Mist 27th, 12th and 21st, finishing day five in 16th place; Flamingo 43rd, 37th and 38th, finishing 25th; Skavenger 39th, 34th and 37th, ending the day in 36th place; Moondancer 50th, 50th and 42nd, dropping back to 38th place at the end of day five.

The final day of the international event saw blue skies and lighter winds. The course was set to the more open course at the north of the isle of Cumbrae for the first time since day one. Only two races were to be run this day and the following results were achieved: Blue Mist 27th and 13th; Flamingo 43rd and 18th; Skavenger 40th and 29th; Moondancer 45th and 36th.

This gave the Shetland crews final positions (after two discards) in the international fleet of 53 boats of Blue Mist 16th; Flamingo 26th; Skavenger 35th; Moondancer 38th.

Although no trophies were taken home to Shetland, all four crews performed very well in a highly competitive and very skilled fleet, and in challenging conditions. One prize was awarded however, a set of jib sheets to Moondancer, as the lowest placed boat completing all 14 races. No easy feat considering that out of a fleet of 53 international competitors, only 21 boats managed to complete all 14 races.

Winners of the Albacore Internationals 2009 were Barney Harris and David Byron of the Potomac River Sailing Club, USA.

The next major event for the Shetland albacores will be the Europeans in 2010.


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