Jul 27 2012 By John Woods
LACK of wind was the big problem when Irvine Sailing & Cruising Club held the Kyles of Bute Race last weekend.
With almost no wind at the start of the Kyles race, the six competing boats crept round the starting buoy more or less together and, miraculously, without colliding and at the first mark a mile from Irvine harbour entrance, Dundora had edged into the lead, with Mari-Anne following and the rest of the fleet strung out behind.
By this time, a light breeze had set in, everyone was making good progress and, as the wind steadily increased, Dundora had been overtaken by the faster Mari-Anne by the time they were off Ardrossan.
Mari-Anne led at Portencross and through the Hunterston Channel only to run into a completely calm patch along with Dundora, giving the rest of the fleet the opportunity to catch up with the leaders, who had got precisely nowhere for the last half an hour or more.
When the new wind eventually filled in, Dundora was in a position to take immediate advantage of the fresh breeze and was first round the south cardinal buoy off Millport, aiming for Rothesay and the East Kyle.
Next round the mark was Mari-Anne followed by Serini and Annachmor.
It turned out eventually that this would be the finishing line as the leading boat at the time could not reach the intended Colintraive line in the specified nine hours.
Because of the very strong headwinds off the south end of Cumbrae the two smallest boats – Plover and Itchen Feat – failed to cross the line.
The eventual winner on handicap was Annachmor, who sailed the course without meeting the calm patches that the leaders had fallen into.
Positions were. 1. Annachmor (Denny Martin), 350.95min; 2. Dundora (Keith Gibson), 381.04min; 3. Serini (Andy McLelland), 420.83min; 4. Mari-Anne (Harvie Morris), 430.34min. Plover (Brian Milne) and Itchen Feat (Stewart Wilkinson) did not finish.
The next races are round the buoys off Irvine at 7pm on Thursday, July 26 and the Cumbraes Race on Saturday, August 11 starting off Irvine at 9.30am.
Further information from Keith Gibson on 01294 272541 or email firstname.lastname@example.org