The seventh round of the Laser 2000 Crewsaver-sponsored Millennium series took place at Loch Venachar SC on 29-30 September

Seven Laser 2000 crews braved the conditions at Loch Venachar at the club’s asymmetric weekend for the penultimate round of the Crewsaver-sponsored Millennium series on 29-30 September.

Three visiting boats, one from as far away as Portsmouth joined the locals for what turned out to be an interesting weekend. Saturday dawned wet and windless and, although it brightened up in the afternoon, the wind steadfastly refused to turn up and at 1600 the race officer, Geoff Storer, cancelled proceedings for the day.

Sunday’s racing started with a promising Force 2 from the north-east. Jim and Margaret Galloway, although not in the first tranche across the start, tacked away to sail up the shore side of the first beat, reaching the windward mark several boat lengths ahead of the fleet – a position from which they were never threatened. In hot pursuit, were Robert McCulloch and Clare McArthur but they never quite matched the Galloways’ mastery of the conditions.

Race two saw Ayres and Hughes off to a great start. However, they and the other front runners sailed off into a hole while Jenny and John Fletcher, who had sailed round the mark in seventh place, kept to the middle of the loch and sailed over the fleet to reach the leeward mark first followed closely by Ayres and Hughes. Several hundred yards in to the beat and the wind changed 180 degrees catching out every one except Ayre and Hughes who went on to win quite comprehensively.

The remainder of the fleet fought round the course in winds that bordered on the impossible. Indeed at one point there were six boats within several boat lengths of one another pointing in the same direction but on different tacks! The final beat saw the Galloways pull away from McCulloch and McArthur to take second and third place. The closest finish, however, was between the Bramleys and the Youngs who came from behind to take line honours by about a metre on the line.

Race three saw the wind freshening from the west and everyone looked forward to a last blast. The majority arrived at the windward mark together, and went downwind along the shore. Meanwhile at the back the Bramleys and the Youngs decided to sail away on the opposite gybe thinking that there might be more wind. This proved to be the turning point of the race as the rest of the fleet sailed in to a hole from which they never recovered and the Youngs and Bramleys fought the rest of the race with only Ayre and Hughes any threat. It was only at the final rounding of the leeward mark that the Bramleys obtained the overlap and had the advantage of clean air all the way to the finish.

Three races and three winners but the consistency of Ayres and Hughes gave them the event win.

Overall Results

1st 2099, Jonathan Ayre and Hugo Hughes (Berwick on Tweed SC)

2nd 2087, Jim and Margaret Galloway (LVSC)

3rd 2108, Pete and Ann Bramley (LVSC)

4th 2086, Robert McCulloch and Clare McArthur (LVSC)

5th 2258, Ian and Margaret Young (LVSC)

6th 2472, Roy McClain and S Fleming (Strathclyde Park SC)

7th 2166, Jenny and John Fletcher (Langstone SC)