Sailing Log of Whippersnapper
Latest Log Entry
This is the log of Whippersnapper for
the 2004 sailing season.
Sunday 4th April - A busy day to get the winter cover off and the mast up and generally ready
Whippersnapper for launching
at Dalgety Bay. Dropped a trolley wheel off the edge of the slipway as we launched (mental
note line trolley up pointing to the right it naturally turns to the left). Robert, Jess and
self sailed up to Port Edgar in a gusty F4 westerly. Got hit by a vicious hail shower just before
going under the bridges. The rain had stopped by the time we were back on our berth. New instruments worked
fine, and 6.5nMiles logged plugging the ebbing tide and tacking from Dalgety Bay.
Sunday 19th April - Easter Series 5. This may be the fifth race of the
series, but it was Whippersnapper's
first. The forecast was for strong winds but there was almost no wind before the start. A tack just
before the start to avoid Jezebel gave us a good position starting close to the breakwater and
keeping out of the tide. Half way up the beat Blue Funk was well ahead but by the mark we had
swapped positions as our fortunes differed in the patchy wind. Our spinnaker handling was a bit
rusty (also a new crew member had never raced before) but held off Blue Funk. They finally got
passed us on the next lap as we bore off to keep clear of Eurobo coming the other way. A close
race on the water and even closer in the results (2nd to 8th less than 2 minutes apart). A good
opener for the season.
[Course E2 Wind NE2]
Wednesday 21st - Easter Series 6. The forecast was for strong southerlies, never a good wind direction
an PEYC. The race started with a south shore fetch where the wind varied from F4-F1. On the close
spinnaker reach across the river the wind gusted off the bridges and caught everyone by surprise at
some point. We held the spinnaker most of the way across, dropping to tighten for the mark. The racing
was close with the other boats. Completed the second, smaller lap and find the shorten course flag
flying but no horn as we cross the finish line. Along with other boats continued for the last lap
by which time the OOD had gone home. Apparently we (along with most of the fast fleet) were out of
time on the second lap, and the windback rule was being applied. It was a good evening for a sail
so no one was complaining.
[Course E23 Wind F2-F5 S]
Sunday 25th April - Bosun's Lockyer Trophy. Very little wind to start. Ten minutes before the
start we sailed throught the line no problem, five minutes later and we could not stem the tide.
It took a further 10 minutes fighting the tide to get the correct side of the start line. Drifted
down the river on the tide chasing little puffs of wind. Retired after a couple of hours and
motored back to Port Edgar where there was 7-8knts of breeze. Had a sail around in the sunshine
practiced a few tacks, gybes and spinnaker hoists before going ashore.
[Course E53 Wind Var 0-1]
Wednesday 28th - Wednesday A Series 1. The first of the Wednesday series and five of the
707s (plus one doing OOD) turned out for the class start. The OOD set an ambitious course
but with the steady wind we all got round the first lap within the time limit. Code Z got
the better of everyone on the first beat and led at the windward mark.
Whippersnapper and Blue Funk
side by side on the run and Jetstream close behind. Jetstream did a better gybe and got ahead
on the second part of the run, but we caught and passed Blue Funk into the leeward mark. Nip
and tuck on the beat back down the river. Crossed tacks with Jetstream and just managed to
keep ahead at the finish. Good close one-design racing.
[Course E11, Wind NE->SE 3]
Sunday 2nd May - Jubliee Trophy Series. No wind and no crew did not bode well for a good days
sailing. Friend Gavin and a couple of mates turned up looking for a sail, one problem solved.
First race started in bright sunshine and light westerly wind. By the second mark the wind had
filled in behind and all the boats (fast and slow fleets) were together at the mark. Novice
crew gave some interesting moments with the spinnaker. The wind was still freshening for the
second race. The new crew members were learning the 'ropes' and we had some close racing with some of
the bigger boats (who tended to pull away on the beats). Got a slightly better result in the
second race confirming the new crew were learning something. Crew were out of time for the third
race but we all enjoyed a good days sailing.
[Course W10, W5, Wind W1->4]
Wednesday 5th May - Wednesday A Series 2. There was nasty chop created by a strong ebb tide against the
wind through the bridges, but the obvious place to be was out in the tide.
Whippersnapper got a good start and
crossed tacked with the others on the first beat. Staying in the tide helped and we just led all
the 707s around the first mark. Initially too close for the spinnaker on the reach across the
river so took the short route across the tide before hoisting. Without the regular crew the spinnaker
handling was slow, Blue Funk soon got ahead but we held off Jetstream for a while. Still close
racing for the next lap, but having to avoid other boats let Breaking Wind through at one mark.
Managed to return the manoveure on them at the last leeward mark and beat them over the water.
A course with two tricky close reaches and most of the crew new to the boat it was no surprise that
the sail handling was slower than the others. We all had fun.
[Course E8, Wind NE4]
Monday 10th May - Social Sail. Gavin, Lee and Alex are part of the team heading for the University's
MBA Sailing Regatta and were looking for some practice. In the steady wind we practiced some tacks
and sail trim on a beat up towards Dalgety Bay SC. A run back up the river to practice some gybes
varying the tasks each was performing. I hope it will prove a useful exercise as they prepare for
Wednesday 19th May - Wednesday A Series 4. With a decent wind the OOD set a large course taking us up and
down the river. A strong ebb tide dicated that we will be tacking up the shore and running down the middle
of the river. A good close start and by the second leg the normal pecking order had been established. Code
Z and Blue Funk out front, Breaking Wind and Hale Bopp bringing up the rear.
Whippersnapper in close battle with Jetstream
in the middle of the fleet. It all changed on the beat when Blue Funk caught a racing mark (not one of our
course) and stopped. Then Jetsream ran aground. So the order changed. Blue Funk soon go going but we passed
Jetstream. We briefly touched the bottom soon after. Unusually the fleet were spread out at the end but
we managed to keep ahead of Jetstream.
[Course E11, Wind W4]
Wednesday 2nd June - Wednesday A Series 6. A lovely sunny day but no wind when we arrived. As we went out
into the river a breeze picked up. Code Z were on OOD duties and set a windward/leeward course for the 707s.
A tricky start in the still ebbing tide saw at least one boat on the bottom just after the start. All in close
company up the first beat. A run with a gybe out in the tide saw the boats spread out. We were plagued with
weed around the rudder 3 or 4 times during the race. On the final run Breaking Wind had better downwind
speed (weed again on our rudder). But once the weed was cleared we had better speed upwind and held our
position to the finish. In the end a very enjoyable sailing.
[Course W4, Wind SW-2]
Wednesday 9th June - Ladies Race. I was exiled to the foredeck as Gillian took the helm for the ladies race. For
this race all the fast yachts were racing together. We got a clean start just ahead of EuRoBo and were
well up with the bigger boats at the first windward mark. On the close reach we did not bother with the
spinnaker but held position with the 707's that did. The run was close with many people changing position,
Jezebel and Alouette managed to squeeze past although we get past Jezebel by the next mark. Another reach
across the river to the Longcraig mark started well but there was no wind at the mark. EuRoBo got a flyer and
was through before the wind completely died. For the rest of us it was a waiting game. The following boats
had the advantage to go around the stationary boats. As one of the last to find any wind our earlier promising
position was lost. Finally the wind filled in and we were able to finish. All very frustrating.
[Course W11, Wind W2->0->2]
Saturday 12th June - DBSC Gavin Adamson Trophy. Racing at
Dalgety Bay meant a short sail down the river before the start. The forecast NW4 helped us down the
to the start early, and showed promise for the race; little did we know. The wind died a little before
the start and veered north, so it was spinnakers to the first mark. The fast boats quickly broke away
from the pack and we were close to Jezebel, Kermit and Suspicion. Passed Rosyth and PEYC (wind now W2).
At Hound point the wind died completely, but then filled in from the SE, the run now became a beat. Better
wind outside the oil terminal allowed us passed Kermit. After very different courses, EuRoBo, Suspicision,
Jezebel, Kermit and Whippersnapper rounded the
East Gunnet mark as the leading (spaced out) group and had all cleared the next mark before the anyother boat
was around the Gunnet mark. On the run up to M3 everybody fell into wind holes, and there was much changing
of position. Staying away from the shore in the adverse tide offered better wind and seem to pay off.
Eventually we made it around M3 behind Suspicion and Kermit (Jezebel and EuRoBo being the loosers in the fluky
conditions). As we looked back we could see all the slower boats coming in on the filling breeze, Flint
leading the pack and rounding M3 with the faster boats. We finished third across the line close behind
Suspicion and right on Kermit's tail. The filling breeze befitted the slower boats, and the final results
are almost in handicap order with the slowest boat first. Well done to Brief 'n' Counter who beat us on
handicap for the DBSC Gavin Adamson Trophy (but we had the satisfaction of being ashore and in the
bar before they crossed the line). Good weather made it an enjoyable day if a little frustrating, Gavin would
have been similing at us.
[Course 1 - Start/finish West bound, Wind Mainly SE1->2]
Wednesday 16th June - Wednesday A Series 7. A dying wind and spots of
rain greeted us as we rigged the boat but fortunately the wind picked up
a little just as the race started. An ebb tide and a westerly dictated
the course inshore on the beat and out in the river for the run. We
started out in the river with better wind than the others who all
crowded into the bay. As we tacked to clear the breakwater everyone was
behind us with Code Z leading the chasing pack. Tack back in behind the
breakwater and keep a close eye on the echo sounder. As we tacked in
the shallow water Code Z ran aground leaving us with a healthy lead at
the windward mark. A good spinnaker hoist and gybe on the run extended
our lead. Blue Funk emerged from the chasing pack and kept trying to
close the gap on us. A change in wind direction made it a close
reach/broad reach with little choice of course and as we played follow
my leader we kept our lead. Good fun and all the sweeter when you win.
[Course W41, Wind W2->SW2]
Wednesday 23rd June - Club Trophy. On the day that a record low pressure crossed
Northern England, it had been raining all day with strong winds in Scotland. So it
was a surprise to find it dry and light breeze at the start. With a northerly wind
the OOD had few options for a course. We had a good start but were soon passed by
the bigger boats with their overlapping genoas on a close reach through the bridges.
Lack of wind and a lumpy sea made for slow progress. We had better luck in the wind
hole than Blue Funk (the only other 707 out) and got ahead of them. After the big
lap the were close reaches up and down the river. Blue Funk proved that is was
faster going to windward with the spinnaker up and sqeezed past before we got ours
up. A course with no tacks or gybes (except at marks) gave very few options. Definitely
an advantage with a big genoa and a reaching spinnaker.
[Course E18, Wind N2->3]
Wednesday 30th June - Wednesday B Series. The earlier rain had cleared but left a brisk
westerly. The usual regulars turned out. Basically a windward-leeward course. All
close after the first beat, but most went too far out into the river (mark K was missing
and H was the substitute). The direct route was quicker and we were with Code Z at the mark,
only Blue Funk ahead. As the other boats realised their mistake they started to make up lost
ground. We had a good battle with Scooter for the rest of the race. Caught up and passed
them by hitching a ride on Absolutly's stern wave on the last run. Had them beat until we
were forced to tack to avoid another yacht, it cost us a few boat lengths which let them
through to beat us by 1 second. Good close racing as it should be.
[Course W46, Wind W4]
Saturday 3rd July - Practice Session. Tony and the crew of Eh! had a weekend off work and
wanted someone to come and sail with for a bit of practice. We set off up the river beating
and adjusting things to see who was faster. Then down wind and plenty of spinnaker gybes.
With the wind changing direction we then ran back up the river still with the spinnaker up!
With the wind dying on the way back and the rain starting we headed back in. Thanks to Tony
for all his advice. Much appreciated by the all the crew of
Whippersnapper. It is only a
same that none of the other 707s came to join us. Now to put all of this into practice.
[Wind W3->Var 1].
Wednesday 7th July - RNLI Pennent Race. A stiff easterly greeted us for this race. The
707's sailed in the fast handicap for this race. The first leg was a long beat down past
the oil terminal. The larger keelboats could punch through the waves but for the 707's it
was a bumpy ride. The fleet spread as we went through the bridges but it did not seem to
make much difference as we all closed in on the mark. A brisk spinnaker run up the river saw
over 10 knots at one point. Passed Kermit and Naiad on the run (and extended that for the rest
of the race). A few short laps off the club to finish. Some of the 707's found the going a
bit too much and retired but we enjoyed the sail.
[Course E13, Wind E4]
Wednesday 14th July - Wednesday B Series. It looked to be a good
sailing evening as we rigged the boat, and so it turned out. There was a
strong port bias on the start line but the early starting 707s had run
down the line and shut the door on us. Having tacked to keep clear we
had lost the advantage. By the first mark we were in the leading group
with Jetstream and Code Z. Code Z led Jetstream off in the wrong
direction and after a quick check of the course we bore off for the gybe
mark first. This quick thinking closed the gap on Jetstream and put
both of us well ahead of Code Z. We paced Jetstream for most of the
race losing time at spinnaker hoists. Mean time Code Z was
playing catch up and passed us when we broached on a spinnaker hoist.
We had good boat speed when sailing, need to be more efficient on going
around the corners. Close at the finish with the three of us finishing
within a minute.
[Course W45, Wind W4]
Thursday 29th July - Practice Sail. Following the helpful practice
session with Eh! a few weeks ago we felt it worth going out and
practicing the spinnaker launch/recovery. Unfortunately the weather was
not on our side, apart from the lack of wind it was also raining. Still
we went out and did a couple of exercises, drifted around and then came
in. Not much more to say!
[Wind Var 0->1, Max speed (under sail) 1.2kts]
Sunday 1st Augist - Chattan Sternchase. The early harr lifted by the
start time and the easterly had picked up. Out start was 13.27 just
behind Shoki. With a strong flood tide we quickly tacked into Queensferry
Bay to avoid the tide. Shoki stayed out in the tide and had more wind and
still had a narrow lead at the first mark. Across the river to the gybe
mark saw us close the gap on Bluestream and the H boat, passing both before
mark 's'. Passed a couple of Blazes on the run down to Tankcred. Shoki
still had a narrow lead on us. On the beat back from Tankcred Alouette
powered past and we did the same on Flint. Forth at the finish with only
Alouette passing us but failing to catch Shoki and a catamaran. Blue skies
and fair wind makes for a very pleasant sail.
[Course, W,K,G,s,tancred,blackness, Wind E3]
Wednesday 4th August - Wednesday B Series 4. The start was delayed for
30 minutes to give the harr (fog) a chance to clear. There was only light
winds, so a good chance to try the new mainsail. We started well and were
up with Code Z and Jetstream. Managed to find the K mark in the mist.
Having the spinnaker rigged on the wrong side, and a crew member not
familar with windward hoists slowed us, then managed to wrap it around
the forestay on a couple of gybes all of which lost us time. Luckly found
mark T in the thickening mist and back to the start finish where the
OOD had sensibily shortened course and the harr rolled in. The conditions
showed how easy it was to become disorientated in the harr, listening for
the traffic and trains on the bridges became a new way of navigating.
[Course E46, Wind E2]
Sunday 8th August - HP Bowl 3 race series. A low in the North Atlantic
was bringing easterlies for the Forth and these were forecast to increase.
Fortunately this did not bring the harr (fog) in and so we had
reasonable visibility if very little sun. (3 miles north was bright sun
all day!). First race took us down through the bridges, where the wind
was definitely stronger and the waves (against tide) bigger. We were making
up for a being blocked out at the start but had passed Suspicion and
Bluestreak before the first mark. A quick spinnaker run back down (with
a broach on the gybe) and back into calmer waters. Held our position for
the rest of the race. A quick sandwich and straight into race 2. Much
better start, and ahead of Allouette at the first mark. Race three another
good start and this time has Allouette and Jezebel at the first mark. Kept
them behind until we all ran into a patch of no wind. The following boats
saw this and sailed around, Bluestreak and particularly Notorious taking an
advantage. Just as soon as the wind died it picked up again. We were nearly
home we failed to spot another boat (and they did not see us) until the last
moment, so had to crash tack to avoid contact (successfully) but Duncan
slipped off the foredeck but managed to hold on to the boat. We quickly had
him back on board and his first words were to get sailing again! Since we
were in the wrong did our turns before finishing. Well done to the OOD for
setting interesting courses of exactly the right length and having very little
time between the back to back races. Apart from the last incident a very
[Course E17, E6, E9 - check these. Wind E4 (mostly!)].
Wednesday 11th August - Wednesday B Series. The torrential rain of the
last few days had stopped. The usual 707 suspects turned out for the start of
the race. An even start for all the 707s just as the harr (for) rolled in and
we had to rely on instinct to find the windward mark. After a few tacks we
heard a train on the rail bridge and that guided us into mark K (almost under
the bridge). After loosing sight of some of the 707s we came together to round
the mark, Code Z, Blue Funk, Scooter and ourselves, 64 and Breaking Wind brining
up the rear. On the run just headed due west on a compass bearing as no landmarks
were visible, some of the others gybed inshore - did they know where they were
heading? Visibility improved near the road bridge and we could see the
leeward mark, rounding ahead of Scooter. Short beat up to the line where the
OOD stopped the race due to the poor visibility. All over in 30 minutes but
the sensible decision.
[Course E46, Wind E2]
Wednesday 18th August - Wednesday B Series. Seven 707s turned came to the start
line. A simple windward-leeward course but there was a string ebb tide to contend
with. From the start it was out to the middle of the river for maximum tide. All
very close at the first mark with everybody togather. Gybed inshore on the run
which seemed to pay off (wind was lighter, but less tide). Neck and neck with
Scooter and Jetstream. It remained close for the next circuit with Scooter making
her way up the fleet. On the next beat Jetstream suddenly pulled ahead and it
took a while to notice the weed on the rudder. Still close at the leeward mark,
but the wind was dying, it was taking longer and longer to get up the course
against the tide. Eventually we were timed out, so the results were wound back to
the last complete lap. Three and half minutes seperated first to last at the end;
one of the closest races this year.
[Course E46, Wind E3 and later dying]
Wednesday 25th August - Night Series. Start of the night series reminds us that the
summer is nearly over, but the weather was still warm and sunny. The light and patchy
wind dicated that the race was happening in slow motion. We drifted across the start
line on the tail of Breaking Wind and Sixty Four at less than 1 knot. Scooter was the
big looser on the first leg and rounded last of the 707's but made ammends by immediately
gybing when the rest headed into the tide. On the second leg Blue Funk were the loosers
going from first to almost last, although they clawed some back before the leeward mark.
along and were 4th 707s around the leeward mark, Breaking Wind just ahead and Blue Funk
behind. Every body took a different route across the river. Blue Funk made the quickest route
but we picked up some places (Braking Wind and JetStream) as we picked out the better breeze
and a very helpful tidal back eddy. Satisfying to play the tactics better and pick up a
couple of places. Maximum speed 2.1knots, I did say it was slow motion!
[Course E31, Wind SE1]
Wednesday 1st September - Night Series. Light winds and a strong tide. All the regular crew
found other excuses so two freshmen on board and occasional crew (Alice). Slightly boxed in
at the start as we tried to keep close to the IDM. Sixty Four and Breaking Wind seemed to have
found some speed and we couldn't catch them. Had a battle with Jetstream and managed one tactical
advantage to get ahead of them, but they returned the compliment on the next lap and held
their advantage until the finish. All very frustrating.
[Course E45, Wind S1->2]
Fri-Sun 3rd-5th September - Edinburgh Regatta. This weekend starts with a feeder race
down to Granton. Only 2 fast boats came to the start. With a westerly blowing it was
going to be a quick run down the river. At the start the wind was F5 but once clear or
the bridges dropped a couple of points. Although we pulled out a lead on Blue Ark
it was not enough to beat them on handicap. By the finish we had caught some of the slow boats (starting
20 minutes before us). Three races planned for Saturday, and the day produced some of the
best sailing of the year. Sunny, steady F5 Westerly the race officers set two olympic and
one windward leeward races. Whippersnapper
was the smallest and slowest handicaped boat in the fast handcap class. The first race turned
out to be our best result with a 3rd, Absolutly 2 (eventual class winners) and Jezebel ahead.
The second race followed and there was a slight increase in the wind. The memory of the weekend
was the reach in to the leeward mark, where we surfed passed Jezebel with the log readin 10.5knts.
A mistake on the beat cost us the advantage we had with Jezebel. Sunday dawned with no wind.
There was over an hour delay before the breeze filled in. We all started, and then got across
the river where there was no wind. We drifted back across the river to the finish but the result
was decided by weather you had wind or not. The race committee started a third race but finished
it at the first mark as the wind died to nothing. A great weekend, the Saturday weather made for
great racing. Thanks to Royal Forth and Royal Corinthian Yacht Clubs for organising it; shame not
more boats made the trip. The wind never filled in so we motored all the way back to Port Edgar.
[Course Various, off Granton, Wind Fri W3->4, Sat W5, Sun W0->1]
Wedensday 8th September - Night Series. With bright sunshine and a light easterly the OOD set an
ambitious course through the bridges, over to Rosyth and back. An even start with the boats spread
along the line looking for clear air. Fairly even progress until the rail bridge when the wind when
very light. Scooter had a good lead on Blue Funk and Jetsream who were in their own private battle.
We sneaked around the mark inside Sixty Four with Breaking Wind some way back. With the light patchy
wind the run was difficult, we finally dropped Sixty Four and caught to within 50 metres of the rest
of the fleet who were parked at the mark. Drifted around the next mark on the tide. The wind filled
in for the leaders first which stretched the fleet out again. Managed 1-2 knts in the new breeze to
finish just within the time limit.
[Course E33, Wind E0->1]
Wednesday 15th September - Night Series. With Code Z was back from her success (2nd overall) at the nationals
there were 7 Hunter 707's out tonight. Strong ebb tide and a south westerly breeze forced every one to start
near the break water. After crossing the line we kept out of the tide and just cleared the west breakwater
close hauled and making mark T. Boats further out were held back by the tide, so we followed Jetstream around
the first mark. Places maintained on the close spinnaker reach across the river and back again. Code Z
closed on us but we held them off. The next leg decided the race as it depended how far up the river you went
before bearing off, setting the spinnaker and close reaching across the tide. Blue Funk and Code Z went low and
it paid off, and they rounded just ahead of us. The wind had backed and it was now a beat across the river.
Still all fairly close at the finish, top 4 finishing within 90 seconds.
[Course E32, Wind SW2->S2]
Sat/Sun 18th/19th September - One Design Weekend. After plenty of cajoling of the 707 fleet it looked like
3 or 4 boats were going to go to Granton for the Henderson Boyd Jackson One Design Weekend. One by one they
found excuses and Whippersnapper found herself the only boat going. The forecast was not good but since the
crew were assembled we decided to sail down to Granton and show the Hunter 707 flag. A fast sleigh ride down
the river where we saw over 10knots at times, and just over an hour later we were at Granton. A few boats
were out racing, but more were heading back to harbour. Called in at the clubhouse before heading back.
Racing had been abandoned for the afternoon (wind over 30kts). We put 2 reefs in and headed up the river;
still managing 4-5 knots and a favourable tide. We survived a few vicious gusts and 2 hours later were
safely back in our berth at Port Edgar. All enjoyed their sail.
[Port Edgar to Granton and back, Wind W5->7]
Wednesday 29th September - Night Series. Last of the night races, but still too warm to think that winter
is around the corner. A strong ebb tide and more wind in the middle of the river made the tactics for the
first leg easy. We had planned to start near the breakwater but noticed the boats there nearly stopped. A
quick change of plan and started at the middle of the line. Breaking Wind made a good start near the
breakwater but going slowly. Jetstream to leeward, and unusually Blue Funk made a poor start. A couple of
tacks to keep in the strongest tide, and we rounded the windward mark just ahead of Jetstream and Breaking
Wind. A slow run up the river against the tide. Whippersnapper
and Jetstream pulled out from the other two. Then we suddenly pulled out from Jetstream. From then on we
extended our lead although we could hardly see the other boats in the darkness. We finished with line honours
and enough of a lead to win on rolling handicap. Nice to finish the season's Wednesday sailing with a win.
[Course E32 Wind SE3]
2nd/3rd October - Carl Dyson Regatta, incorporating the Hunter 707 Scottish Championships. This Port Edgar
Yacht Club's major regatta. High winds were forecast for both days, and with two local regattas
abandoned for high winds in the last month the omens did not look good. Six of the club boats plus Eh! came
down from Findhorn, no English boats this year. Saturday afternoon saw two windward-leeward races. The
course was set across the river well to the west of PEYC. Both with winds well over 20knts some of the other
boats reported gusts to 40kts. This was a case of getting around the course, all the 707s had at least one
reef in, some had two. Results were decided more by how many mistakes you made (or did not make!). The
policy on Whippersnapper was to get around
safely. In both races we flew the spinnaker but took it down before the gybe. These races set the pattern
with Code Z, Joe Blob and Eh! in the leading group, Jetstream, Scooter,
Whippersnapper in the next group.
Breaking Wind blew out the jib and retired. On Sunday the winds were forecast to be stronger, but when we
started there was patchy sunshine and 10-12kts of wind. Fortunately the stronger winds did not materialise
and we had an excellent days racing. We had some close racing with Jetstream and Scooter in the three races
and in one race found ourselves up with Eh!. There were some good downwind legs surfing down the waves in the
gusts and with some good team work managed to successfully gybe keeping the spinnaker full each time. Code Z
stamped their authority on the event, and after the discard were counting 4 firsts, being crowned Scottish
Champions (following up their second in the National Championships). A great weekend.
A longer report is here and also the race by race
[Course Windward-leeward (5 races), Wind SSW4-7]
10th October - Autumn Series (pm). Disapointing to find that Whippersnapper
was the only 707 to turn up, so the OOD decided we should race with the fast handicap boats. As a chance to change things about
Duncan helmed and I moved to the pit area. We got a good start and headed out into the river, perhaps a bit too far
as those who tacked early got an advantage. Passed Bluestreak on the run and then gybed inside Jezebel to pass them
too. Later Jezebel managed to squeeze by, but by then we both had passed Shoki. Unlike class racing we had no idea of the result
until it was published. As it turned out, this was a very close race, with the first 10 places covered by less than
2 minutes, for Whippersnapper we were sixth, one second behind
Jezebel and one second ahead of EuRoBo, just 45 seconds behind the leader.
[Course E4, Wind E2]
17th October - Autumn Series (am & pm). A northerly wind made it difficult for the OOD to set a reasonable course.
He chose a west start course in the morning and an easterly one for the afternoon. Both had reaching starts and no
real runs or beats. Fortunately northerly winds are rare at Port Edgar. For both races we joined the fast handicap
fleet, as there were no other 707s around Ė where have you all gone! In the first race we started reasonably well
but lost out at mark F where a lack of wind, and adverse tide forced us to beat to the mark. By the afternoon the
tide was on the maximum flood. This made slow progress to the first mark, then a dying wind didnít help. At least
we finished before it died completely (many of the slow yachts didnít finish). Some poor tactical decisions didnít
help our day, but it was good to be on the water.
[Course W21, E2, Wind N3-4]
25th October - Autumn Series (pm). At last another 707 has ventured out for the Autumn series, Joe Blob joined us
in the fast handicap fleet. The forecast was for light winds, but it had been windy in the morning so the OOD set
an ambitious course which took us down past the oil terminal. As soon as we started the wind began to ease, and
it was the ebb tide that helped us down to mark J. Exchanged places with Joe Blob a few times and led them around
the windward mark. The spinnaker run back but against the tide it was very slow progress. Joe Blob chose a longer
but more inshore course which initially looked wrong but paid off later when the wind died and the tide had more
influence. With the wind dying as we approached mark N and the tide ebb increasing we were not closing on the mark.
A quick check of the time limit for the race and we decided that it was not worth continuing so retired and motored
home. A strange day as the dinghy racing in the morning had been cancelled because of too much wind!
[Course E15, Wind E2->1]
31st October - Autumn Series (pm). Fortunately the forecast for very light winds and fog were wrong and a perfect
westerly was set for the afternoon. Three 707s ventured out and joined the fast handicap fleet. Clive joined the
crew (owner of Starry Night which some of the Whippersnapper
crew sailed at Bell Lawrie Scottish Series earlier in the year.
We had clear air at the start but were soon blanketed by 3 or 4 of the bigger boats, a couple of tack later and we were
again being forced to the south and out of the tide. An uneventful run across the river, followed by a close spinnaker
reach down to the rail bridge, saw us surfing down some of the waves at 10kts. By now Joe Blob was leading the 707s
with ourselves just ahead of Scooter. We extended our lead over Scooter on the next beat, but on the run the
end fitting for the spinnaker pole disintegrated. Luckily this was almost a dead run an we could fly it without
the pole, but Scooter gybed inside us at the mark as we took the spinnaker down. They tried to hold it on the
next leg but it was too close and we re took them 2 sail reaching. We extended that lead on the beat enough to
hold them off on the final run (without our spinnaker), and crossing the line just ahead of them. Excellent racing.
[Course W10, Wind W4]
7th November - Autumn Series (pm). With the skipper away, notching up a few brownie points, it was Duncans turn to do a
bit of shouting from the back end of the boat. Four 707s made the race today with Scooter joining in with Code Z, Joe
Blob and ourselves. A poor start was quickly recovered by a tack into clear air before heading back in shore as
we headed up towards mark X. Getting inshore gave us 6th or 7th at the mark and a two sail reach across to B. We closed
on the leading boats, rounding just behind Jezebel. The beat up to S involved trying to stay out of the tide and judging
the right moment to strike across the river. We tacked a little too early allowing Joe Blob to sneak through. On the
downwind leg, Maddog broached right in front of Joe Blob who was forced to take avoiding action. However, this allowed
us to close on Maddog and eventually annoy her by sitting a couple feet off her transom and in so doing, got a nice tow
down to K. The beat back to Y was a case of getting inshore and out of the tide. The following loops became a bit
processional and we finished 3rd 707 with Code Z well ahead of Joe Blob and
Whippersnapper next followed by Scooter. Overall, we
managed 3rd on handicap behind Allouette and Jezebel. All in all a good days sail.
[Course W17, wind WSW 3-4]
14th November - Winter Series (pm). A strong wind greeted us as we rigged the boat. With the wind against the tide
there was a nasty chop for the first beat. Started further out in the river that Scooter and Code Z. The favourable
tide helped us as we tacked ahead of both the other boats, extending our lead as we rounded the windward mark. Too
close (and too windy) for the spinnaker but a quick look up at the main showed a problem. One of the batton pockets
had come loose and trying to tear the leach of the sail. A quick decision to drop the main and unfortunately retire
from the race. At least we were better off than Salmon who lost the mast just after we passed them. No one hurt.
A dissapointing day.
[Course W9, Wind SW6-7]
21st November - Winter Series (pm). The morning race turned into a drifer with no wind, and the OOD delayed the
start of the afternoon until the wind filled in. Although 2 707's were entered only
Whippersnapper made it to the start. With the very
light wind against the tide the fast yachts were struggling to clear the line 5 minutes after their start. In
keeping clear of Bluestreak we strayed over the line at the start and had to turn back. By the first mark we had
passed 2 of the fast yachts. Bluestreak passed us on the close reach across the river but after the gybe and under
spinnaker we passed them. During a couple of windward leeward legs on the south shore we were catching the other
fast yachts. Right on the tail of Pacesetter when she ran aground a we momentarily got caught in her wind
shadow. After sailing with the same group over the year some crisp sail handling ensured we made the most of the
conditions. A satisfying sail.
[Course W1, Wind SW1-2]
28th November - Winter Series (pm). A cold but sunny autumn day.
Whippersnapper was the only 707 to make it to the
start so we were racing with the fast handicap yachts. There are no good courses when there is a northly wind,
so it was a close reaching start. We started well and were with the leading bunch at the first mark. A beat
across the river saw some of the bigger boats pull ahead. The next leg started as a close spinnaker reach but
ended as a beat when we passed under the bridges. We were locked in a race with Bluestreak (Impala) who pulled
away when the wind dropped and we closed the gap when there was a little more breeze. In the end the fading breeze
worked in their favour. All enjoyed being out on the water.
[Course W11, Wind NW-N2]
5th December - Winter Series (pm). Altough now racing in the fast handicap fleet, we were joined by Joe Blob so
at least we had another 707 to race against. Duncan took the helm for this race. A lot of traffic around after the
start and our couse was set to avoid the other boats. Ahead of Job Blob at the first mark. Rounded on the tail of
Kermit and chased them across the river before hoisting the spinnaker. On the long spinnaker run we passed Kermit
and Bluestreak. The slow boats were also using mark N and it was busy when we arrived. A late drop of the
spinnaker and a quick rounding allowed us to close on the boats ahead. For the rest of the race we had a close
battle with Joe Blob and Bluestreak. The three of us changing places many times. Bluestreak again pulling ahead
when the breeze eased off and just beating us across the line. A good final run and some quick spinnaker work
kept us ahead of Joe Blob.
[COurse W13, Wind SW3]
12th December - Winter Series (pm). Three 707s turned out for this race. Got a good start at the outer end of
the line, tacking clear of Kermit. Got bad wind of a few of the bigger boats which cost us time, and Bluestreak
nipped through at the mark. But we still had a lead on the other two 707s. Retook Bluestreak and eased passed
Eurobo. During the first of the spinnaker reaches but the second it was the bigger boats that caused us problems
pinching what little wind there was. In the fading wind on the beat Joe Blob got ahead and then
the final run the wind died. The three 707s when different directions. When the wind picked up all three arrived
at the mark together. A drag race to the finish didn't change the order and it was Breaking Wind that came through
to be the first 707 home. Good close racing.
[Course W4, Wind SW2]
19th December - Winter Series (pm). The last sail of the season, Whippersnapper
and Breaking Wind joined a good turnout of fast yachts for this race. A typical winter's day, cold but sunny and
typical high pressure very little wind. As the race started what little wind there was died, and we drifted
over the line and were promptly blanked by the bigger boats. Breaking Wind tacked off and disappeared into the
distance. We were hardly clear of the line when the slow boats started five minutes later. We persevered and had
a good spinnaker run across the river and down to mark F. Slowly catching Kermit and Breaking Wind. Concentrated
hard on the beat and managed to claw back the deficit on Breaking Wind by finding some better wind. A few well timed
tacks and we passed with inches of their stern. After the next tack we were clear ahead. Again the wind
died at the start/finish line as we fought the tide. Breaking Wind and Blue Art, the only boats behind us retired
but the wind held and we made it around the next lap to finish. Not a good result but a nice day's sailing to
round off the season.
[Course W7, Wind SW1-2]
In summary, we took Whippersnapper out 43 times
during the season. The log (fitted new last winter) shows we sailed 460 nautical miles, in conditions from
flat calm to 40kts. Thanks to the regular crew members who made it possible, Duncan, Fiona, Mary, Rachel, Robert
In this log, unless otherwise stated we are competing in the
Port Edgar Yacht Club club races. For some club series
the Hunter 707's race within the fast handicap yacht class using
rolling handicaps other times they have their own class start. But on the water we consider
ourselves to be are racing against the other Hunter 707's.
The most recent race results are
published on the PEYC web site as are the extracted