The Piper One Design Class continued their 50th Anniversary celebrations with their “World Championships “ at Royal Gourock Yacht Club over the weekend of 13/14 th August.
Class Captain Bob Donaldson and his team of wife Rowena and crew Andrew Manwell sailed consistently to take the top title.
The 17 strong fleet enjoyed some healthy competition from within their own ranks but also from previous helms who had borrowed boats for the weekend.
Duncan Munro returned to the fleet after a spell within the Etchells fleet sailing Schwartze Lena one of the RGYC fleet. Guy Neville a former class champion also came to the startline after borrowing Ailsa from Euan Ross the Author of the Piper Class book, “The Piper Plays The Tune.
The weekends 6 race format started off RGYC slightly late as the blustery wind gave the PRO Bill Aitchison and his team some testing conditions to get a course set and laid, however all started well with the Class captain Bob Donaldson winning the first race convincingly from RGYC s Brian Mclean again sailing the club Piper Rosanne . It was not all going to plan though for Pibroch as Donaldson was forced to retire from Race 2 with a broken tiller, however after some running repairs he was available again for race 3. Duncan Munro though took full advantage and was already ahead on the water when Pibroch retired, Munro had seen a change in the breeze coming and headed further out into the firth to get the most benefit and came in to the weather mark well clear and in a position he could defend till the finish.
Race 3 and a very close start with some startline bruises for Douglas Campbell in Tamarind and Ken Grant sailing Hee Hoo, Grant eventually having to retire with a broken forestay. Pibroch meanwhile had kept out of trouble and was lead boat by the first weather mark, closely followed by Ben Neville in Sandpiper and Class Secretary Duncan Chalmers with Talisker.These 3 fought it out to the finish with “ Talisker” getting through to take 2nd place by the finish.
Sunday was a much quieter day though and a change of race track initially with the lighter westerly meaning a start off the Kilcreggan shore. What breeze there was eventually filled in to around 7mph allowing a start to be set, however this died away half way up the first beat and moved to the north.
Schwartze Lena and Sandpiper were again to the fore and pushing for the lead but Pibroch was again keeping its nose in front and eventually took the winning gun.
The breeze died off completely for nearly an hour until a light breeze kicked in and after shifting the race course back to the Gourock shore race 5 commenced , this was to prove to be the last race of the day. Pibroch took an early lead but Ben Neville and Sandpiper were not to be denied a victory this weekend and took the win ahead of Iain Hurrell with Billie Piper and Brian Mclean with Rosanne.
The fleet then headed back to RGYC and were “treated” to a taste of the Piper Class sponsors products !
Tunnocks Teacakes and a “dram” from Old Pulteney rounded off a grand sailing weekend.
A very well attended prizegiving was held at the clubhouse where Class Captain Bob Donaldson again thanked RGYC for their hospitality and the sponsors for their continued support in this very important year .Eveyone was also reminded about the next “Class “ event at the Holy Loch sailimg Clubs “Polaris regatta “ in September.
Overall R Donaldson Pibroch
Saturday 1st Pibroch R Donaldson 2nd Rosanne B McLean 3rd Tamarind D Campbell
Sunday 1st Sandpiper B Neville 2nd R Donaldson Pibroch 3rd Rosanne B McLean