The following report was kindly submitted by Skipper Iain Birrell on Jenny Rose’s participation at the Sonata Nationals…
Jenny Rose had a busy week end from Friday 24th to Tuesday 28th July as the PCV for the Sonata Class National Championship hosted by Helensburgh Sailing Club – PCV meaning Principal Committee Vessel – where the Race Committee organise & manage the race programme – 10 windward – leeward races (1 hour ) plus a 12.5 mile (3 hour )Middle Distance Race was completed over what was a foul weather weekend with fickle easterly winds .The Sonata is a 24′ easily trailed keel boat with 4 of a crew & boats travelled from as far apart as Dorset & Northern Ireland.
Able2Sail has a long relationship with Helensburgh Sailing Club both on shore – joint fund raising and on the water where HSC has an active fleet of Challenger trimarans that provide disabled sailors with an exciting small boat sailing experience. A number of these sailors have been introduced to “big boat” sailing on our 46′ Bavaria over the years.
The Jenny Rose was in tip top condition following a thorough maintenance session on Thursday 23rd July supervised by Malcolm “crutches” Cummings & completed by the excellent team of Russell Gordon,Neil Smith & Pete Laws – she was skippered over the week end , out of Rhu Marina by the most competent of professionals in A2S’s answer to “Para Handy” ex CalMac skipper Neil Smith.
Each morning the Race Committee assembled early at Rhu Marina & were out in the East Patch by 0900 hours along with a team of mark laying ribs to set the courses for a 1030 first race start. The Jenny Rose proved to be a superb committee vessel as the 6 person Race Management Team were masters of all the surveyed – while coping with the vagaries of a Scottish Summer – on the “fly bridge ” with race flags displayed from the mast & sound signals operated on time from an excellent vantage point. The 4 person admin/timekeepers were snugly accommodated in the saloon even if there visibility was compromised from time to time by the driving rain & mist. A bedraggled team returning to Rhu Marina around 1600hours each day to complete the results and organise the daily prize-giving in the marquee at HSC.
No racing took place on the Tuesday as the wind had disappeared completely but the Prize-giving took place early with the Champion – Steve Goacher of Royal Windermere YC retaining his title in the 25 boat fleet and second place going to Joe Cross of Poole YC. The next two places were from home clubs with Murray Caldwell of Cove YC & Ross McNish of Royal Gourock YC taking the honours.
A vote of thanks was proposed at the Prize-giving for Able2Sail’s generosity in providing what must be the “most comfortable & most effective committee boat to grace an HSC event”