Lack of wind can’t stop sailors Nabbing a place in race

The half-dozen Scottish entrants get thee St Wilfrid's Yacht Challenge under way, but lack of wind meant the race finished at the Nab Tower   Picture by Chris Hatton
The half-dozen Scottish entrants get thee St Wilfrid's Yacht Challenge under way, but lack of wind meant the race finished at the Nab Tower Picture by Chris Hatton

The 2014 St Wilfrids Hospice Coastal Yacht Challenge got off to a slow start this year, with light to no wind to sail, but with 26 out of the 36 entries starting.

Dogged by light winds, a drifting match ensued as yachts eeked every ounce of speed from the almost undetectable wind.

Gradually making ground towards the Nab Tower, crews entertained themselves with the odd water fight, guitar music and singing, slap up feasts were served and washed down with lashings of cooling lemonade and ginger beer.

For hour after hour the crews sought every 10th of a knot to be extracted from their vessel. Eventually and inevitably slowly to begin with one retirement followed another, as yachts radioed in to the committee boat “The Star Of Killarney.” All together 13 yachts retired. Each sighting their own reasons for throwing the towel in. Baby sitters to relieve, dogs to walk, knitting to finish etc!

This left 13 yachts and their hard nosed skippers to battle on, with little to fight with.

As time ticked audibly by the conditions remained the same, until, a distant yacht was sighted sailing with all sails set, in what looked to be a good force three breeze, blowing from the northwest.

Excitement flooded through the crews as the breeze could be seen coming closer and agonisingly closer to the remaining flotilla.

Alas all this anticipation was to be dashed, as the race officers took matters into their own hands, and motored down the fleet, finishing bewildered skippers where they bobbed.

Undaunted several crews waited the last few hour long minutes, for the wind to reach their position. Then sailed on in good style, wind and flat water to round the elusive “Nab Tower” and back to Harbour.

In their own way every crew had enjoyed the day. Above all their hearts glowed in the knowledge that they were helping their fellow man, by raising funds for St Wilfrids Hospice.

This year the S.W.H.C.Y.C. has raised in excess of £12500.

Class winners: S Class Skipper “Brian Haugh” Yacht “Cherete” 2250 points;I Class Skipper “Mark Taylor” Yacht “Maresta” 28800 points. F Class Skipper “Derek Pope” Yacht Valkyrie 3600 points. E Class Skipper “Gayle Palmer” Yacht “Little Lady” 10755 points. Overall winner “Mark Taylor” with “Maresta”