The Sigma 33's had their Class Championships last weekend on the Clyde, and they sent us this report. Fantastic pics courtesy and copyright Neill Ross Photography and you can see many more on his Facebook page here (if you want to purchase a nice wee keepsake of the regatta in high res then get in touch with him directly as the pics aren't on his website yet). We'll be doing a feature on the Sigma 33 at some point too so keep an eye out for that – it's still THE iconic OD cruiser racer:
Sigma 33 Offshore One Design – 2013 Class Championship
Helensburgh 21st – 23rd June
The Sigma 33 Class were hosted by Helensburgh Sailing Club during the weekend of 21st to 23rd of June, with spectacular sailing and the convivial socialising for which the class is renowned enjoyed by all.
Designed in 1979, the Sigma 33 is a 4-ton one-design yacht which is well-suited for both cruising and racing. There are still over 300 of these sturdy yachts around, in all areas of the UK, Ireland and the Netherlands in particular. The annual championship event rotates around the main centres of activity and was in Bangor (Belfast Lough) in 2011 and Dun Laoghaire (Dublin Bay) last year, where local Helensburgh/Cove based boats “Sigmatic” and “Leaky Roof 2” took the top two spots.
It was Scotland’s turn this year, and there was enthusiastic support for the event coming to Helensburgh. After 6 months of planning, and with the support of many businesses including Harken UK, Babcock International, New World Yacht Care, Rhu Marina, and CN Management Group, the event finally attracted 19 entrants. Two had to withdraw, but the final 17 were from Shetland, Bangor, Dublin, Isle of Man, North Wales and the Solent – as well as a 5-strong local representation.
Ten races were held over the three days, with the final two on Sunday taking place in a blustery north-westerly which tested boats and crews to the limit. The top three going into the final day were “Close Encounters” (Griogair Whyte, Royal Northern & Clyde Yacht Club), “Squawk” (Paul Prentice, Ballyholme Yacht Club) and “Sigmatic” (Donald McLaren, Helensburgh Sailing Club). Five points covered the aggregate scores for these three, and there was everything to play for.
As it turned out, Race 9 proved pivotal. “Sigmatic” had led for most of the race, but made a minor tactical error which blew away a two boatlength lead coming into the penultimate mark. All three leaders were tightly bunched approaching the mark, but it was a “close encounter too far” for the Rhu boat who ended up disqualified for a rule infringement at the mark, giving the race victory to “Sigmatic”. The final race was less eventful. “Sigmatic” finished a comfortable second behind “White Mischief” from Dun Laoghaire, with “Close Encounters” and “Squawk” astern and with their overnight advantage gone.
This was the second Eleventh Hour victory for “Sigmatic” this season, having won the Sigma 33 class at Scottish Series in Tarbert in May based on a most-firsts countback, again having clawed back the overnight lead held then by “Mayrise” (James Miller, Helensburgh Sailing Club).
The prizegiving was held in HSC and Class Chairman Donald McLaren expressed absolute delight with both the result and also the spectacularly successful staging of the event. “This was truly memorable,” he said, “and all the competitors were just blown away by the onshore and on-the-water arrangements. Special thanks are due to many, but in particular Race Officer Howard Morrison and his team did a fantastic job in getting all 10 races completed.”
Next year sees the event at Abersoch in North Wales.
|Place||Points||Sail No||Flags||Name||Helm||Race 1||Race 2||Race 3||Race 4||Race 5||Race 6||Race 7||Race 8||Race 9||Race 10|
|21 Jun||21 Jun||21 Jun||21 Jun||22 Jun||22 Jun||22 Jun||22 Jun||23 Jun||23 Jun|
|2||29||Close Encounters||Whyte, Griogair||2||3||4||1||5||1||2||6||(19/DSQ)||5|
|4||36||White Mischief||Goodbody, Timothy||1||4||(8)||8||7||7||1||3||4||1|
|5||44||Leaky Roof II||Harper, Alan||6||6||3||2||(10)||4||9||5||5||4|
|14||128||Polished Manx||Szymanski, Kuba||(16)||16||16||14||14||15||15||14||12||12|