Model Yacht Racing



Emberton Park Sailing Club was the venue for this month’s Wee Nip medal race. Alan Smedley made a sterling attempt to set a suitable buoy layout that would cater for the very gusty offshore, or to be more precise off bank, SW wind that veered and backed more often than a party manifesto before a general election.

Heron Water became peppered with dark patches as gusts of wind wove their way through the park and landed their knockdown blows on the courageous little yachts, their skippers using every ounce of skill to keep their craft under control. A practice race revealed that among the gusts were areas of the course where wind shadows would test the competitor’s patience, swinging a boom from port to starboard and back again with little warning. This tempered the usual cut throat calls of rule infringement as everyone knew they were in the same boat; so to speak.

The first three races gave 1st place to three different skippers as Keith Coxon (55), Mike Ewart (36) and John Simmons (17) showed their transoms to the rest of the fleet. One may be forgiven for thinking that the number in brackets represents the skippers age though I am told that Peter Jackson (30) who had two successive wins in races 10 and 11, is a little older than this would reflect. To avoid any further misunderstanding, Colin Davies ‘Blackadder’, Peter Wood ‘Mortlach’ and Tim Lees ‘Arran’ did a terrific job of coping with the conditions with 130, 140, and 151 points respectively giving them over all positions of 12th 13th and 14th.

The Japanese God of wind, Fujin (rough translation, flatulence) showed his anger with cases of bank floundering, gear failure and radio fades; worse still the holing of two blue hulled yachts both to their port sides … hmmm. Fortunately neither seemed to have taken on too much water, and will hopefully soon be back racing given a generous dollop of TLC.

Tom Steel made his usual epic journey to get to the venue on time and was hopefully rewarded with the comfortable surroundings and facilities of the clubhouse during the break. Thanks must go to Peters, Jackson and Shepherd who gave their usual encouragement and support, and to Serena Stewartson from Emberton S.C. who masterfully recorded and calculated the results. Commodore Luke Fisher was also on hand with the club rowing dinghy to rescue wayward Nips such as Rex Hills 44 which frequently seemed to stray off course.

Geoff Raygada ‘Black Prince’ and , Richard Doleman ‘Drambuie’ were always in the running and whilst Peter Jackson, Paul Risdale and Trevor Thomas made tenacious attempts to outsmart the front runners, It was John Simmons with ‘Pinch’ who shone through to win the days medal, with second and third places respectively going to Keith Coxon and Mike Ewart.

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