2002 Sailing Log of Whippersnapper
This page gives a summary of the sailing we did during the 2002 sailing
season. I hope the comments on the racing (particularly the PEYC club
racing) will give you a flavour of the fun we had.
6th April - Launched for the first time. Discovered the Port Edgar slipway is not steep enough
for the boat to run down under its own weight. Needed to get wet and push. Baltika, another Hunter
707 turned up and launched just after us, gave them a hand.
7th April - Went for our first sail. Initially no wind (which was not bad thing for hoisting the
sails for the first time). Headed East to find the sea breeze, which arrived about an hour later.
Headed down to St. David's Bay and Dalgety Bay. Did a couple of spinnaker hoists and gybes. See
pictures. [Var0, sea breeze E3]
14th April - Tried our first race but were late for the start as we fought the tide in the dying wind.
Mental note tide runs faster at Port Edgar than Dalgety Bay. Wind very light and died almost
completely. Checked sailing instructions for race time limit - found we were still in time so
continued. Eventually the wind picked up and we finished. Some others had retired, so it was worth
persevering. See footnote for details of the racing. [W2 and died, later SW3]
17th April - First Wednesday evening race - Six 707's out. Close racing in easterly force 2-3, diced
with Suzie-Q, Sixty Four and Blue Funk, changing positions many times. The four boats finished within
18 seconds. This is why we go class racing! [SW 3]
24th April - Low tides and a southerly wind. Tide was so low that had difficulty
getting the boat out
of the berth. Started with one reef in the main, but shook it out on the first beat as the wind
started to die. Again six 707's out racing, at least 4 different boats led at one point. We were
well pleased to come home second to 'Blue Funk'. [S4-5 gusty, dropping to S2]
28th April - One of the biggest ever turnouts for a PEYC Easter race - 22 boats. Again 6 707's in the
fleet (not always the same 6). An April showers day - short sharp but heavy showers with some extra
wind. Good speed for most of the race but a couple of bad tactical moves cost us a place to Blue Funk.
Geoff Bowerman in Suzie Q was first 707's and first overall - Geoff's first overall wind and he was
justifiably pleased. [WSW4, 5 in rain]
1st May - A race on contrasts. Went out early to practice some spinnaker hosts and gybes in an ideal force
3 but by the time of the race it was up to a 5+ with hailstones and rain. First beat and reach were wild,
seeing over 10knots on a 2 sail reach. Got to the leeward mark in a good position, improved to 2nd 707
on the beat and then lost it all as the wind died to nothing and we drifted back on the tide. Others went
inshore to avoid the tide but with less wind, but admitted afterwards that they thought that was wrong
as we moved ahead. A disappointing result from a promising start. A full house of 8 Hunter 707ís out,
3 retired so our 5th is at least a result. The race will be remembered for a start line
incident where the RS K6 was lifted clean out of the water by Alouette. [SW2 -> WSW5 (hail) -> Var 0 ->
5th May - Bosun's Locker Trophy. Bright sunny day with very light westerly. Four 707's on the water, two
with guest helm's. Started inshore to cheat the tide but went chasing the patchy wind and headed up the middle
of the river. The sea breeze filled in from the west so the beat became a spinnaker run. After being scattered
all across the river the four 707's came together to rounded Tancred mark within a few minutes of each other. A
long beat to Inchcolm followed and we slowly worked our way passed Baltika (keeping clear of the shipping on the
way) but Suzie Q got ahead and led the 707's round the mark, now even closer together. A spinnaker problem on
Suzie cost them a few places, we now lead the 707's as we all headed for the finish. My crew executed a
faultless gybe under the Forth Rail Bridge and we held our lead until the line.
Whippersnapper leading the 707's home for the
first time and a 4th place on handicap - well done team. [Course W53 Wind WSW1 -> E3]
8th May - Club Trophy. A full house of the 8 club 707's took part in the average lap race. We were a bit too
early for the start and had to duck back over the crowded (25 boats) start line. Found ourselves 5th
or 6th 707 at the end of the first beat, but as usual all the 707's were close together. Spent the
rest of the race catching up the others. Good speed on the final beat allowed us to overhaul Suzie Q and
finish a very creditable second Hunter 707.
[Course E46 Wind E3]
12th May - Jubilee Trophy. Six Hunter 707's turned out for the three race series. Light winds for the first
race, didn't work to our advantage. For reasons unknown we were below the pace on the beats, but on the run
managed to read the tide/wind better and make up some places, only to loose them again on the beat. Second lap
we found ourselves coming into the leeward mark behind a gaggle of boats. As the boats got to the mark they covered
each other and stopped. So just when we were catching them up were left with nowhere to go, had to tack and immediately
gybe to get around the mark. Plenty of changing of places between the 707's in the close racing. Second race wasn't
any better - the sea breeze cancelled the wind and left us drifting. The less said about our result the better. Third
race was in a steady sea breeze and we were mixing it with the other 707's, eventually loosing out to Tomboy, but keeping
ahead of Suzie Q. Not the best of race days for us but good to be on the river enjoying the sunshine!
[Course W46, W42 & E5 Wind NW2 -> Var 0 -> E3]
15th May - Wednesday Series. Twenty knots of wind greeted us when we arrived so went out with one
reef in the main. All 8 Hunter 707's were out (about half decided to reef). We reasoned the port
end of the line was favoured but got crowded out by the starboard starters being pushed down on the
tide. Fought back on the beat, shaking the reef out as the wind eased. Close reach to the next
mark so we played it safe and didn't fly the spinnaker. We held position as others fought to keep
under control with the spinnaker. Now Tomboy and Scooter where ahead. Worked our way passed Scooter
on the run (now with spinnaker). Kept out of the tide on the beats and in the tide on the runs. By
the end we were pulling away from Suzie Q (now third Hunter 707) but Tomboy was still pulling away
from us. Finished 2nd Hunter 707, 4th overall. [Course W11 Wind SW5 -> SW3]
22nd May - Ladies Race. Fiona took the helm for this race. The forecast was for strong winds but
it turned to be a light by steady SE. Initially surprised by the OOD's decision to set a westerly
course, it all became clear when the third leg became a tactical beat across the tide. Only 4 707's
racing plus Baltika out for a cruise. Start was a close reach and we soon had the spinnaker up.
Just behind Blue Funk at the first mark and Tomboy close on our heals. The order did not change
much but we had some close tacking with Blue Funk and a few attempts to pass them. In the end they
got away on the second beat, and we could not get passed Alouette on the last run to try and catch
them. Third overall (2nd Hunter 707) was a good result, and well done to Fiona who claims it was
only her second race helming in many years (not polite to put how many!).
[Course W45 Wind SE2]
Friday 24th May - Out for a Cruise. Since we were not planning to race
this weekend a cruise was planned for the Friday evening. Robert's wife
Gillian and friend Sue joined us. The weather was against us, heavy rain
and strong winds. Initially headed up river and saw 9.5 knots under a 2 sail
reach after putting a reef in. Headed down through the bridges towards
Dalgety Bay, Gillian and Robert having turns on the helm and then back
home. Wind died towards the end and shook the reef out. Low water when
we returned and had to winch the boat back to the berth. Smiles all round
despite the heavy rain and the complaints about oilskins not being
waterproof! Good way to start the weekend.
[Wind SW5 -> SW3]
Wednesday 5th June - Wednesday A Series. Very little wind and an overcast sky. Motored out to the
start and tried to sail the boat around to check the wind direction. OOD had set a very small course
but still took over an hour to get to the first mark by which time the rain had come on! Had the
spinnaker up and down at least twice on this leg. Wind filled in a little and got us around the mark
and halfway down the spinnaker run. Close with Baltika and Suzie Q on the final leg but lost out to
both of them.
[Course E42 Wind SE 0 -> SE1]
Wednesday 12th June - Wednesday A Series. A light wind against tide start made it very crowded close
in to the breakwater. No chance of clear air on the first leg as the bigger boats came through,
forth placed 707 at first mark and picked up one place on the next leg as 64 misjudged the tide at
the next mark. A quick down wind, down tide leg to 'K' and then a beat against the tide in a dying
breeze. Caught and briefly passed the first two 707's. No wind under the road bridge and it was a
lottery. At one point 5 707's were line abreast, but since the OOD had not shortened course, the
rain had started and there was no chance of finishing in the time most retired.
[Course W16 Wind S 2 -> 0]
Wednesday 19th June - Wednesday A Series. A decent breeze and dry for a change. Crowded start line
and tight up the first beat. A short close reach across the river saw 5 Hunter 707s bow to stern with
less than a boat length between each. Got badly covered on the next beat and then again on the
run. Wherever we seemed go there seemed to be another boat in the way or taking the wind. Ended up
sailing back down the fleet a finished close to Sixty Four. Then to cap it all we were deemed (along
with Tomboy) to be over at the start. The battery was flat so we had no instruments. It was that
sort of a day. [Course W17 Wind S-SW 2-3]
Sunday 23rd June - Kincardine Trophy (timegate). Discussed our start time as we watched some of the
early starters cross the start line. Tried with one reef in but still over powered, so decided on
two reefs. A bumpy beat up the river, tacking to keep in the tide heading up the river. Passed some
of the slower boats on the beat. Wind eased slightly towards the mark, shook out No 2 reef. Tide had
just turned as we rounded the mark and did a careful spinnaker hoist. After a broach shot off down
river regularly seeing over 12 knots, with long periods over 10 knots. Shook out the remaining reef
when 8 knows seemed a bit slow! After 2 hours of beating, and 48 minutes of running saw us cross the
finish line, gaining a 3rd place overall. Great sail!
[Course W59 Wind W 5-6]
Wednesday 26th June - Wednesday A Series. Good sailing breeze and yet again a full turnout of the
Hunter 707 fleet. Strong ebb tide for the start so everybody wanted to get out of the tide. Made
it very crowded around the west breakwater. Soon Fung got a clean start and led the 707's around the
course. Some good close racing on the beats and we were cross tacking with Baltika, Tomboy and Suzie Q
at various times. Managed to keep ahead of Baltika but the others get the better of us.
[Course W9 Wind W4]
Wednesday 3rd July - Wednesday B Series. Reasonable start and found a better breeze in the middle of
the river. Very crowded at the first mark, but catching the other 707s on the run.
Got badly blanketed by Kermit at the leeward mark at found ourselves last 707. Tacked off to do
something different and got back 3 places. Lost two places and gained one on the next beat, then the
wind died completely. Drifted on the tide for a bit (fortunately in the right direction). As the wind
picked up and we managed to finish within the time limit but the fleet were well split by now, and the
boats behind us were out of time. Strange race where it did not always pay to keep out of the tide.
[Course E6 Wind SE 0-2]
Friday 5th July - Social Sail. A rare sunny day and a nice sailing breeze, too good an opportunity to
miss for a sail. A few phone calls arranged a couple of crew. Sailed from Port Edgar down through
the bridges towards Dalgety Bay. The new ferry service to Zeebrugger passed us with a contingent from
DBSC onboard heading for the Laser 4000 championships on Lake Garda. Tacked our way up to No 17 buoy
and then turned for home with a gentle spinnaker run. Wind dying as we got back making the sail into
the berth that bit easier.
Wednesday 10th July - Wednesday B Series. Got a reasonable start which suddenly got better when
Scooter turned back after being the wrong side of the line. The wind was dying, a progress was slow
against the tide. After rounding the first mark we went faster sideways in the tide than forwards.
Eventually got around Beamer but never made it to the next mark. Retired before the controversial
[Course W11 Wind SW1->0]
Wednesday 17th July - Wednesday B Series. Now in the holiday season, so only 5 Hunter 707's out. A
light but steady wind from the East that, thankfully did not die. Got a clean start and headed up the
middle of the first beat. The tactics were a case of balancing the best wind against the adverse tide.
Blue Funk headed the 707's round the first mark followed by ourselves. Scooter managed super move
on the second lap and crossed well ahead of ourselves, but then threw it away trying to fight the tide.
Next Baltika went on a search for the wind which nearly paid off and we worked hard to keep ahead of them.
We finished as second Hunter 707 and third overall, beating Jezebel (First 30ES) by 0.25 second on corrected
time - who says the racing is not close! Very satisfying.
[Course E42 Wind E1]
Saturday 20th July - Gavin Adamson Memorial Trophy Race. Having sailed with Gavin in the early 1980's
it seemed only fitting now that I had a keelboat to go an support his memorial race, hosted by Dalgety
Bay Sailing Club where he did so much to promote keelboat sailing and supporting other clubs' regattas.
The course is designed to go around racing buoys used by a the yacht clubs around
Dalgety Bay. This is a FYCA FIG event at there is more information about the race on their
web site. Disappointing to only have 5 entrants for the race.
Four of us had very close handicaps, and had a close race with many changes of position. Unfortunately
for the slow boat he sailed the race alone. We led the boats from the start and on the close fetch
around the first 2 marks, loosing out to the 3 bigger boats on the dog leg beat back into Aberdour.
Stayed with them on the close fetch to the windward mark. Quickly set the kite to get passed Silver Dollar
before the East Gunnet mark, then passed Jezebel and Suspicion on the run down to Inchmickery. We knew we
needed a lead over these boats as they would have the edge on the beat back. Wind died a little under
the bridges, but we still lead round Port Edgar's 'Y' mark. Suspicion did manage to get passed on the
beat back to Dalgety Bay in the freshening wind (and rain), but we successfully held off the others, to
finish second over the line, and we were
second on handicap. The four boats finishing
within minutes after over 3 hours of close racing. On the run back to Port Edgar we passed the slow boat
coming under the bridges. Later we were to find that we had been awarded the Gavin Adamson Trophy as first
Dalgety Bay boat. Click here for a picture.
[Course '3' (longer easterly start), Wind NE 3-4]
Wednesday 24th July - Wednesday B Series. The holiday season is still keeping the 707 numbers down,
this week only 4. A good breeze at the start but how long will it last? Started a bit too far out
in the tide, but at least we had clear air. Blue Funk and Soon Fung got better starts and after
trying to keep clear of the bigger boats, were 3rd 707 around the first mark. Managed to pass Soon
Fung on the fetch across to mark M and pulled away from them on the next leg. Spinnaker run down to
F with some good gybes by the crew to keep us in the (advantageous) tide. Two further small laps
didn't see any changes to the 707 positions, but we were mixing it with Jezebel, Suspicion and
Notorious. The wind eased a little but we finished as second 707 and 5th on handicap.
[Course W20, Wind SW 4 -> 3]
Wednesday 31st July - RNLI Pennant. Some of the 707 owners are returning from holiday, so 5 out this
week. For once there was not a strong tide, so at least we had some choices as to where to go, not
that it helped us on the first beat! Forth of the 707's at the first mark, but it was close.
Shadowed the leaders down the run with some extra gybes to keep clear air. Made up one place by the
leeward mark. Close racing with Soon Fung for the next lap. Eventually passed them to be second 707
on the final lap but on the run the spinnaker managed to come unclipped from the halyard when hoisting. It
took some minutes to sort this out during which Soon Fung got back ahead but we managed to hold off
Scooter to be the third 707 home.
[Course E46 average lap, Wind E3]
Wednesday 7th August - Wednesday B Series.
The return from holiday is nearly complete, only one 707 missing this week and a
in the weather, warm wind and no rain! Didn't get a good start and had to tack off to get clear air
but the stronger wind away from the shore was offset by the adverse tide. Kept our position for the
close reach across the river but lost out on at the beginning of the next beat with a couple of poor tacks.
Arrived at the next mark to find Scooter firmly attached to the mark's mooring warp. They could only
sit there and watch the whole fleet pass them. Made up a few places over the following legs. Passed
Blue Funk on the second lap, but a problematic spinnaker hoist let then through and we had it all to
do again. Caught them on the last beat but lost out on the last tack. Finished as 4th 707, 8th
Overall. [Course W17, Wind W3]
Wednesday 14th August - Wednesday B Series. Six 707s on the water, and Sixty Four on duty as OOD. For
once the start was at almost slack water so the fleet spread out across the start line.
Managed a good
start with clear air for the short fetch up to the first mark. Rounded with Jezebel and Alouette and
just behind Soon Fung (leading 707). A spinnaker run across the river where we diced with Soon Fung,
but she still held the lead into the next mark. A few well time tacks on the next beat and we passed
them to lead the 707s. Shadowed by Alouette on the run down the river, but it was nice to look back
to see the blue and pink spinnakers of the other 707's. Extended our lead over the 707's on the other
two laps, but watched as they changed places in the patchy conditions during the middle of the race.
First 707 and second overall - well chuffed, getting clear air at the start makes a difference!
[Course W20, Wind S2 -> 3]
Friday-Sunday 16th-18th August - Isle of Skye Edinburgh Regatta. A weekend regatta held in Granton,
organised jointly by the clubs based at Granton. Five boats entered the fast handicap Port Edgar
feeder, and we had force 2-3 easterly to beat against the tide to Granton in very warm conditions.
With all the boats keeping out of the tide, the course was obviously as close to the shore as the
race course permits. We must have played the shifts better than others, as we took line honours for
the fast handicap fleet, Naiad beating us on handicap. Two races on Saturday, but the southerly was
variable and the start postponed while the committee reset the course. During the race the wind shifted
so the beat was a close reach, and the wind was full of holes. We finished well down. The second race
was a little better but the conditions much the same. A buffet and Jazz band provided by Royal Forth
Yacht Club for the evening's entertainment.
Sunday dawned with no wind at all. We went to the start area with the expectation of a postponement, but
the wind filled right on time and the passage race was started. But the wind was up and down, the fast boats
first got away and then stopped and the rest of the fleet (including the slower boats which started 5
minutes behind) caught up. We were well up with the bigger boats on the run and had not lost much by
the end of the first lap. We hoped the race officer would finish early as the breeze was dying. No
such luck, and we set off on the next lap. The wind died completely as we fought against the tide to the
windward mark when round it we drifted down the river on the tide - at least it was going in the right
direction! The rain came and then eventually the wind filled in and we made it to the finish before the
The feeder race did not count to the series, so our good result there did not help. Race results of
6th, 5th, 5th gave us 5th overall of the amalgamated fast and sportboat classes (unofficially the
first sportboat). As a footnote, the wind had freshened by mid-afternoon so we decided to head back to
Port Edgar before it died (Big Lix and Baltika were in close company).
Wednesday 21st August - Wednesday B Series - Last race of the series. Eight 707's out for the race,
no longer a full house as a new boat (Code Z) has joined the fleet at PEYC. No wind during the day
but it filled in enough to hold the race. Crossed the start line in clear air and immediately found
an adverse back eddy. 18 boats had started in the fast handicap fleet and we were now last! Nothing
is lost until the 'fat lady sings' we set off to catch the others. Watching the progress of others in
the patchy wind we managed to pick of a couple (including one 707) before the first mark, and
some more including another 707 on the reach down to 'G'. Gybed on the transom of Soon Fung at the
mark, and passed her on the reach back across the river. Spent the rest of the race trying to close
the gap on the leading 707's but didn't catch them. Finished 9th overall (4th 707), low enough to
drop us a couple of places in the series, just showing how close it was in the series.
[Course E1 Wind ENE 2]
Sunday 25th August - Training Group - A social sail to introduce some of the youngsters from the
training group to keelboat sailing. Three 707s plus Jezebel cruised down towards Inchcolm and back
again. We started a bit late as we found that this was timed to start just at low water. While
Whippersnapper floats on the berth
at all states of the tide, there is a ridge in the mud about 6 feet behind the boat which we have to
get over. A line taken to the pontoons on the far side and the help of the rescue boat got us going.
Apart from that the sail was uneventful. The kids said they enjoyed it!
Wednesday 28th August - Wednesday Night Series - For some reason
most of the fleet decided to start out in the river and on starboard. We sneaked
a port start near the breakwater and were clear away. Alouette
pulled ahead at the first mark but we sat on her tail across the river. The
view back showed the pleasant sight of 7 other blue and pink spinnakers of
the Hunter 707s. The course turned out to be a procession with tight
spinnaker reaches and close fetches, no options for tactics. We kept the
other 707's behind us for the first lap but on the very close spinnaker
reaches we couldn't point as high as the chasing pack and were slowly
caught. Suzie Q with a guest helm got clean away to be the first 707 to
finish but the next three places were covered by less then 30 seconds.
Nice to have John back on board after an enforced break due to injury.
[Course W33, Wind S3]
Saturday 31st August - Social Sail. Took my friends who were visiting from Florida out for a sail. Many
years ago I used to sail on their boat, 'Discretion'. Now was a chance to repay the offer and take them
out on the Forth. A windy and sunny day - but not as hot as Florida. Had a quick run down the river to
Inchcolm, only 3 up so some 'Discretion' and decided against using the spinnaker. Still doing 7 knots
plus even with a reef in. Put a second reef in on the beat back up the river. Sailed past the OYC boat
'Alba Adventurer' as she anchored for lunch in the lee of the North Queensferry headland. Ironically
it was through an OYC skipper that my friends and I came to sail on 'Crusade' back in 1980. All had
a chance to helm, smiles all round when we got back home.
Wednesday 4th September - Wednesday Night Series. No wind and not really much
more to say. We motored out to the start along with 20 other boats. The
OOD postponed the start for lack of wind and then abandoned when no wind
appeared - a good decision.
[Wind - Var 0 Course - ?]
Wednesday 11th September - Wednesday Night Series. Eight 707's joined
the fleet for tonight's race. We were in the middle of the pack at the start and then
got badly covered in succession by two of the bigger boats each time having
to tack off to find some wind. About forth (I was to busy picking my way through the
crowd of boats arriving at the mark to count) 707 by the first mark and had a
close battle with Soon Fung, and the rapidly catching Baltika on the
spinnaker run but managed to keep Sixty Four behind us. Kept close with
Baltika for the rest of the race but could not find a way past. Finished in
the dark, as 4th 707 on the water, 3rd after Baltika was deemed OCS, but well down on handicap.
[Course E31 Wind NE2]
Weekend 14/15th September - Henderson, Boyd, Jackson WS One Design Weekend hosted by Royal Forth Yacht
Club at Granton. An opportunity to go and do some class racing could not be missed. Classes for Cork
1720, Dragons, Solings and Hunter 707s turned up for the event. Three races were planned for each day.
Four Hunter 707's had made the journey from Port Edgar to compete. In race one we got a good start and
led the Hunter 707's round the first lap but from then on our tactics went rapidly downhill and lacking
boat speed to Scooter could not fend off their challenge. Ended the race with the spinnaker halyard up
the mast and last so cruised to get a finish. The other races did not got much better although we were
closer to the other boats. Finished Saturday with three 4th places. Arrived at the club on Sunday
to find no wind. Motored out to the committee boat towing a couple of Dragons. Bad sign when
the committee boats raft up and start drinking coffee, we were in for a long wait! Code Z, a fifth
Hunter 707 had come down from Port Edgar to join in today. Hung around for over an hour when some
wind filled in from the west. The race was started - we got a bad start but soon the fleet split enough
to find clear air. Gently worked out way up the first beat, just working ahead of Soon Fung
and Suzie Q. The tide pushed us on to the windward mark, we did our turns accompanied by much cheering
from Soon Fung who were still tacking up against the strengthening tide. Held our position on the run, and
managed to extend the lead on the next beat, finished third behind Code Z - that's more like it. Next
race was started and then abandoned as a massive wind shift came in. The wind then died and the
committee abandoned any further racing. The Hunter 707 winner was Scooter who stole the show with a
perfect 4 first places. Well done to Robert and his crew.
[Course - Windward-Leeward, Wind Sat E2, Sun SW1-2]
Wednesday 18th September - Wednesday Night Series. All the regular Hunter 707's out (8). Biased start
line but starting on Starboard took one out into the last of the ebb tide. Getting clear air dictated
the tacks up the first beat. Didn't play the shifts well and it showed by the first mark.
Suzie-Q on the run and then Blue Funk who had run aground. The battery gave up, so with no navigation
light we had to retire (along with a few other 707's who were in the same position).
[Course E33, Wind NE2]
Wednesday 25th September - Wednesday Night Series. Normal complement of Hunter 707's. Engineered a
good start on port. Code Z had great speed and eased through followed by Alouette (40' Sun Fizz) who
completely took the wind! A short hitch across the river followed by a longer beat up the river. A
few tacks on the beat to keep clear air and a close surfing spinnaker run back down the river. Then
some short beats and close reaches off the club. Battling with Soon Fung through the latter part of
the race but could not find a way past. In the dark could not see how the other 707's were doing, but
Blue Funk was not far behind. A warm wind and a great evening/night sail. At the finish we were
third 707 but the bigger boats had the edge on handicap. [Course W38, Wind W4]
Sat/Sun 28th/29th September - Carl Dyson Regatta. This year Port Edgar's Open Regatta for yachts
attracted a total of 76 yachts. All the Port Edgar 707's attended plus 2 visitors giving a total
of 12 boats, more than justifying our own start. Five races were held over two days. The racing
in the 707 fleet was close with no boat winning more than one race. Conditions we fairly similar
throughout the event, stronger winds near the start/leeward end of the course, lighter at the
windward mark near the south shore of the river. The tides ran across the race course which made
for some interesting starts as everybody gets pushed to the end of the line. All through the fleet
it was so close that a poor tack, missing a wind shift or getting the wrong side of the passing ships
was costing places. We did get the shifts right in one race and managed a second,
easily our best result. Full results can be found on the
PEYC web site, and my
little graph of the performance of the 707's
here. A more detailed report of the event is also
Steady winds and well managed racing made it a great weekend.
[Courses, R1&R2 Trapezoidal, R3&R4 Windward-leeward, R5
Olympic. Wind SW-S 2->4]
Wednesday 2nd October - Night Series.
Last of the evening races and 8 Hunter 707s turned out (representing over half of 15 in the
fast handicap fleet). The light and variable winds turned the start into a down wind run.
We fought for clear air but still arrived at the first mark in a gaggle of boats. Pulled back some
places on the next leg. In the fading light it was difficult to see but probably third 707
round the next mark. The fleet spread across the river and when the fleet closed at the next
mark we were close to Code Z. We then had a close battle with them for the rest of the race,
beating them by a length. Plenty of spinnaker work and some big wind shifts made interesting
sailing in the dark. Placed as third 707 and forth on handicap.
[Course W33 Wind S-SW 2]
Sunday 6th October - Autumn Series (PM). Eight of the now 11 Port Edgar based Hunter 707's plus
one visitor were out for the first of the Autumn Series (PM) races. For this series the sportboats
have been given their own start and course. This kept us away from the larger boats for most of
the race. We started on port at the middle of the line. This took us into Queensferry bay and
out of the tide. Code Z got a good start and led us around the first mark. A spinnaker run down
to mark B saw the fleet close up as a slightly strong wind filled in from the back. Eh! and the
new, as yet un-named boat got passed us. After the leeward mark we were going slower than the
other boats and Scooter and For Sale were closing fast. After cross tacking with For Sale we found
a large lump of weed around the rudder. On removing this weed normal speed was resumed and we started
to pull away from Scooter, and then got ahead of For Sale. Code Z also suffered the same problem and
were nearly caught by Eh!. However they played a trick on Eh! by hoisting their jib and looking to
pass mark X, Eh! took the bait and rounded the mark, but we were heading for T, Code Z sailed on with
their lead in tact before Eh! realized their mistake. With the new boat retiring we were back
up to third and that is how it stayed until the finish.
[Course E9 Wind NE 2]
Sunday 13th October - Autumn Series (PM).
Seven 707's ventured out into what was a very foggy afternoon. The race officer postponed
for 25 minutes
until the fog lifted and a whisper of wind filled in. A poor start and then sailing into a hole put us
well down the fleet with little chance of recovering in the very light conditions. The beat up to K
was mostly a case of trying to find and stay in the patches of breeze and we ended up 6th around the
first mark. A good kite hoist allowed us to pass Scooter and For Sale quickly and for the first third
of the downwind leg, we enjoyed a good tussle with For Sale. A poor tactical move allowed both Code Z
and For Sale to break through but we found ourselves still lying in 6th at T. The wind had filled to a
heady 6 or 7 knots for the beat back to the finish and we were gaining ground on the other 707's but it
was all too late. With the wind dying, we were only a few boat lengths behind Code Z as she crossed
the line, yet it took another couple of minutes for us to drift across. 6th 707, 8th on handicap, all
in all a disappointing day. Crew - Duncan, John, Gillian & James.
[Course E46 Wind E1]
Sunday 20th October - Autumn Series (AM).
To satisfy a long held promise of a sail to some friends from Dalgety Bay Sailing Club we arranged to
enter the morning race. A bright but cold autumn morning (we had to wash the frost off the decks)
with very little wind. A small course was set and we set off with the tide. A mark X we all turned
into the tide and although sailing forwards through the water, were still heading up the river. Why
did nobody put the kedge anchor down? With the time limit approaching and having drifted to mark T
we retired. Crew - Phil, Duncan, Mike and Cheryl.
[Course W42 Wind W1]
Sunday 20th October - Autumn Series (PM). Seven Hunter 707's came out for the afternoon race. By now
a light easterly had filled in and the forecast was for more wind (a lot more wind later). Dilemma at
the start as more wind in the channel, but less tide inshore. Started in the middle but had to tack
twice to get clear air and headed out to the channel. Cross tacked behind Scooter and Blue Funk on
the beat, but going out paid off and we rounded ahead of them at the first mark. Closed the gap on
Tomboy and Code Z on the run, and managed to get along side Tomboy after the gybe. Code Z broke away
on the next beat, and we went the wrong way and lost out to Tomboy. There was a close battle between
Eh! and For Sale at the front but by this time the result was set.
[Course E4 Wind E2]
Sunday 27th October - Autumn Series (PM). The Autumn/Winter series was living up to its reputation
of high winds (apparently the morning race was even stronger). I expect a few people had looked at the
forecast and stayed away as we only had 5 707s out. Started with one reef for the beat.
Sneaked around the transom of 'Joe Blob Jnr' (the new boat has now been named) to get ahead of them at the
windward mark. Close reach and then a run. Wind had eased a little so shook the reef out. The 4
leading 707s very close at the leeward mark but 'Joe Blob Jnr' had the inside line and got passed us.
No positional changes on the next beat followed by a surfing spinnaker run down the river saw over 12
knots on the log. Debated weather to gybe or drop the spinnaker, in the end dropped (it would have been
too close to lay the mark with the spinnaker). Joe Blob Jnr decided to gybe and lost a lot of time.
Put the reef back in for the final beat. Finishing as 3rd 707, 4th overall.
[Course W11 Wind W5]
Sunday 3rd November - Autumn Series (PM). The forecast was for high winds and rain but it turned out
to be anything but. Seven of the Hunter 707's ventured out for the afternoon race. We got a good start
and were second 707 to the first mark. Passed 'Code Z' on the spinnaker reach across the river to lead the
707s around the mark. Still very close for the leading positions. A long beat up the river against the
tide saw the positions changed and we found ourselves 5th at the next mark. The positions were unchanged
over the next few legs but a better choice on a beat saw use pick off 'Code Z' and 'Joe Blob Jnr'. The
latter got passed us by being better positioned in less tide. Managed to just hold off 'Code Z' on the last
beat to the line. Finished as 4th 707. An unexpectedly pleasant sail.
[Course W22 Wind S-SW2]
Sunday 10th November - Winter Series (AM). Walking down the pier we thought it would be another
drifter but as we sailed out to the start, a steady breeze filled in. Four 707's ventured out which
was a little disappointing. We got a good start, almost too good as the recall gun sounded. We ducked
back only to discover that in fact, we had not been over. Started to chase the pack and in an effort
to beat the tide, ducked inshore. However, a gentle slowing down of the boat indicated that we had run
out of water (see what happens when the owner is not on-board) and it was fully 2 minutes before we
were able to extricate ourselves. Once again, we started the chase and after a shaky
started to reel in the fleet. By the time we started the second circuit, we had passed Lambada and
Kermit and were targeting Spacehopper. The OOD shortened course at the end of that circuit and we
sailed past Jezebel just before the finish line (she had been involved in a port/starboard and did
a 720 penalty). 9th on handicap and 4th 707. Not bad considering the early problems.
[Course W44, Wind WSW3]
Sunday 10th November - Winter Series (PM). 'Suzie Q' joined in for the afternoon race taking the
707 fleet up to 5. The wind had died during lunch and we drifted around while the OOD put up a short
postponement. We eventually got away and got an excellent start. We were third at the first mark
just a couple of boat lengths behind 'Code Z', 'For Sale' and one of the Corks. A good hoist got us
past 'For Sale' and alongside 'Code Z' very quickly. It was fairly even down to mark Q with four
707's rounding the mark together (4 boats squeezed into a two boat length circle, great stuff!). Poor
upwind speed and a couple of bad tacks put back down to 4th on the way back up to X and the positions
remained unchanged until the finish. 5th overall, 4th 707 on what turned out to be an excellent days
racing. [Course W42, Wind WSW3-]
Sunday 17th November - Winter Series (PM). 7 Hunter 707's ventured out for the afternoon race. There
was very little wind but what there was steady from the NW. Short handed due to the earlier start. Got
a reasonable start and after a couple of tacks arrived at the first mark on starboard and rounded second 707.
Lost some places on the next leg with slow spinnaker hoist but still in a group of 4 boats rounding the mark
together. Wind died completely on the next leg down 'K' and we made more speed on the tide rather than
through the water. Slight breeze filled in from the East and we put the spinnaker up for the 'beat' to
the finish. More wind in the river, but more tide - which way to go? We chose to go with the wind and
got within a few boat lengths of the finishing line when the wind died. Blue Funk catching just enough
breeze to get across the line. We fought for another 30 minutes to get across the line against the
strengthening tide. Our result owes more to perseverance than anything else. But a result is a result!
[Course W4, Wind NW1-Var 0]
Sunday 24th November - Winter Series (PM). Just 5 Hunter 707's headed out for the afternoon race. The
flooding tide and east wind forced a start from near the breakwater. Didn't get a good start and were
forced into a couple tacks to get clear air. All was not lost as we held on to the stronger wind and
were the second 707 at the first mark. We were close behind Code Z for most of the race but could not
close the gap. Joe Blob Jnr, after a poor first leg was slowly clawing their way back. These positions
remained until the leeward mark on the third lap. We arrived at the mark together with a number of
fast handicap boats. Forced to give them water which gave Joe Blob Jnr all they needed to catch up
and pass us. Finished close behind them as 3rd 707 and also 3rd on handicap in the
[Course E44, Wind NE2]
Sunday 1st December - Winter Series (PM). The day after the Prize giving dinner, six 707's came out.
We got a good start and did well on the short fetch to mark 'X'. Decided that a spinnaker set and then
gybe was the way to go, but others gybed first and did much better. By mark 'K' we were last 707,
so had it all to do. Managed to pass Suzie Q and Joe Blob Jnr (and leave them to their battle) by the
end of the first lap. Closed on Scooter, but never got near enough to be in contention. Suzie Q
got the better of Joe Blob Jnr (but were only just behind us), Suzie Q sneaked through us to windward in
the dying breeze on the last leg. 5th 707, but we did beat the Cork 1720's on handicap.
[Course W44, Wind SSW2]
Sunday 8th December - Winter Series (PM). Still strong interest in the 707 fleet, 7 boats turned out
for the afternoon race, even with a cold east wind. Started with one reef in as did the rest. With
the pack at the first mark, initially held back from using the spinnaker on the close reach. When we
did hoist pulled away from Scooter. Had an untidy spinnaker drop and managed to loose a sheet in the
process. Tomboy caught us while we struggled, and then had their own problems getting the spinnaker
down. Battled with Tomboy for the rest of the race, swapping places a few times. Wind was fickle on
the south shore where we needed to be to keep out of the tide. Disappointed to finish so far
back - 6th 707.
[Course E9, Wind E5]
Sunday 15th December - Winter Series (PM). The final race of the season. Around 50 boats on the water
including 6 Hunter 707's. An unusual wind direction, and the OOD set a up and back course. In the pack
at the first mark, but got the spinnaker twisted on the hoist. After sorting that we set about chasing
the others. Closed on 'Suzie-Q' and 'For Sale' (now Sold!) and managed to pass these two during the
second lap. Would have caught 'Scooter' if they had let us go another lap and 'Blue Funk' were only
just ahead. A good sail with some close racing even if the course was not ideal for the wind direction.
[Course E46, Wind NE3-4]
In this log, unless otherwise stated we are competing in the
Port Edgar Yacht Club club races. The Hunter 707's
currently race within the fast handicap yacht class using
rolling handicaps. Typically there will be
20+ boats in the fast yacht class, but on the water we are racing against the other Hunter 707's.
The most recent race results are
published on the PEYC web site as are the extracted Hunter