Sun shines on Lerwick Regatta as sailors do battle

Sailors participating in Lerwick Regatta have been blessed with perfect conditions so far this weekend.

Best in their respective categories on Friday and Saturday were James Phillips, Joe Fraser, Tommy Allan, and Solus – which claimed the top prize in the Shetland Models.

Youngsters competed for the Geordie Leith Memorial Trophy on Friday night and on Saturday the Mirror dinghies did battle in three other events.

In further action, a very tight – if playful – yacht race was contested around Bressay and the harbour played host to six boats competing in the Shetland Models races.

Skippers under the age of 15 went head to head for the honour of lifting the Geordie Leith Memorial Trophy on Friday night.

After three races, the overall winner was 14-year-old James Phillips, who captured the first and third race.

In the first race, Phillips was followed by second-placed Jonathan Goudie, aged 12, and third-placed Joe Fraser, aged 14.

Fraser performed two places better in the second race to cross the line as winner, followed by Goudie in second. Fraser’s 13-year-old brother Ross came third.

In the third race, the elder Fraser came second and William Leask, aged 11, came third.

Four trophies were up for grabs in the Mirror races for skippers under the age of 18 – and Joe Fraser won three of them (the fourth was for the best female).

In second and third place behind Fraser in the Bournelea Shield were Ben Hamer and Sophie Morris.

The Lerwick Boating Club Mirror Trophy saw James Phillips come second and Ben Hamer third, again behind Fraser in first.

And it was three in a row for Fraser when he clinched the Alistair Jackson Trophy ahead of Morris in second and Bobby Laurenson in third.

The Bressay Trophy for best female skipper was won by 17-year-old Morris – the only female involved in proceedings, but whose two top-three finishes would stand out in any field.

As for the yachts, three boats were in contention – Tommy Allan’s Roundabout, Alistair Tulloch’s Islay Mist, and Leslie Irvine’s Blue Fin.

An informal race around Bressay was the order of the day and it was the Roundabout which took line honours having been ably guided by Allan, who was Shetland’s representative in the Bergen Race in June.

The other prizes – which cynics would argue to be novelty in nature – were Most Fish Caught and Biggest Boat. They were won by Islay Mist and Blue Fin respectively.

The Shetland Models category featured a total of six entries – three from Lerwick and three from Whalsay.

They competed for the Young Cup, the Gifford Cup and the LBC Challenge Cup, with the LBC Performance Shield reserved for the highest achiever.

The five-mile course consisted of three laps of the pier to Gardie to Leiraness.

In the Young Cup, it was Solus, skippered by Brydon Leask, which reigned triumphant. Scott Nicolson in Vela came second and Mark Arthur in Tek-Sing came third.

Later, there was high excitement at the start of the Gifford Race as two strokes of misfortune resulted in two retirements. Vela’s main halyard snapped while Tek-Sing broke her kicking strap.

Ultimately Solus finished first, followed by Chicane (skippered by commodore John Manson) and James Shearer’s Carpe Diem came third.

Lunch then took place in the clubhouse, where all enjoyed the food prepared by the parents of the Mirror sailors.

And finally it was the LBC Challenge Cup.

For this, there was a curious change in skippers. Leask, who had enjoyed a success rate of 100% in Solus, moved to the helm of Chicane as Manson took up control of Solus.

The switch paid dividends for Manson, who sailed Solus to her third win of the day. Leask came second in Chicane and Nicolson finished third in Vela.

As the winner of every race, Solus was declared the recipient of the LBC Performance Shield.

The commodore hailed an enjoyable two days of sailing aided by very favourable conditions.


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