Return of the Scottish District Karachi Cup

Report by Richard Ennos, photos by Ali Law IMG_3576

In 1996 Mike Barr of Paisley MYC established The Karachi Cup Competition to be sailed with R6m yachts between teams from England and Scotland, analogous to the Calcutta Cup in Rugby Union. Following a decline in the popularity of R6m yachts the competition was redefined in 2005 and competed for with IOM yachts. Subsequently the competition lapsed but following discussion initiated by Scottish District Chairman David Smith, who retrieved the cup from south of the border, it was decided to revive it as a competition to be held wholly within Scotland.  IMG_9545 (800x533)

The first running of the revived event took place on Saturday 8th October 2016 hosted by Paisley MYC in Barshaw Park. Robert Rooney had spent much of the previous week preparing Paisley’s pond following cessation of sailing at the club over the summer due to weed and low water levels. His efforts were rewarded with a turnout of 14 IOMs representing three regional teams from the Scottish District – North East, South East, and West – to compete for the cup. To minimise problems on a day when the wind was fickle and the sailing space confined, race officer Richard Ennos ran the event with a two fleet format which worked well despite occasional problems with weed. IMG_3578

This was very much a day for the light weather experts, with concentration required the whole time in order to make the very best use of the numerous shifts in the predominantly easterly wind. Apparently commanding positions could be lost very easily as the wind died in one area while giving a huge lift to competitors in other sections of the course. The event provided a great spectacle for the general public who were out in force in Barshaw Park, and there were many enquiries about, and much interest was expressed in radio sailing.

After the initial seeding races in which the South East team members Chris Nichols and Robert Brown scored a first and second, it soon became clear that this would be a battle between the teams from the North East and the West. Through the day Steve Taylor sailing an immaculate home build Corbie, and Bill Odger with a Britpop accumulated five race wins for the North East, with the remaining races being won by the team from the West, courtesy of Robert Rooney with a Topico and Richard Rowan with a Cheinz. After three races skippers enjoyed a traditional lunch of Scotch pies and beans, and the racing continued until 3:30 at which point eight races had been completed. Scorer David Smith tallied up the positions of the top four skippers in each team and the result was a tie between the North East and the West. This was resolved in favour of the team from the West on the basis that Richard Rowan, from that team, was the top skipper in the whole regatta. IMG_3591

The Karachi cup was presented to the winning team by Irene McDonald of the Friends of Barshaw Park. Irene had been with us throughout the event and was delighted that radio sailing had returned to Paisley in such a conspicuous way, gaining great publicity for her efforts to restore the amenities of Barshaw Park. After this successful revival the Karachi Cup will once more form part of the Scottish District calendar, with the winning team from the West having the honour of hosting the event in 2017.











Steve Taylor


Ali Law


Richard Rowan


Bill Odger


Robert Brown


Robert Rooney


Ian Dundas


Chris Nichols


Pat Johnston


John Owens


Jeremy Nichols


Gordon Allison








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