Sunshine and Blue Skies for Dalgety Bay Brass Monkey

Report by Keith Bedborough, and photos credit Jane Campbell-Morrison: Results here – Brass Monkey:

Dalgety Bay Sailing Club kick-started the 2017 season with the annual Brass Monkey competition held over the weekend 1 / 2 April. With 25 boats on the water over the weekend (including a high number of younger competitors) the level of enthusiasm bodes well for the forthcoming season. In the 3 race Brass Monkey on Saturday it was club veteran Ian Baillie who sailed his Laser to a convincing victory ahead of the RS400s of Keith Bedborough / Kirsty Higgins and John McKenzie / Andy Box. Competition was very close throughout, with noteable performances from Norman Burns in his brand new laser giving Ian a very close run for his money – and great competition in the Feva Fleet  with Emma / Sophie Brisley challenging rising stars Ben #1/ Ben #2. Special mentions also to Chloe Brisley and Ben Homer who had their own private battle on the Opi mini-course. Mr and Mrs Taylor held the launch party for their new RS400 bringing the total number at the club to 14 , and this hugely experienced team will add further depth to the class. RYA coach Calum Reid ran on the water coaching and held a video debrief afterwards which all agreed added value to the event – and we all had fun with the post-match “who was furthest over the line” analysis. Big shout out to PRO Richard Haydock and his 2 RIB crews who did a great job varying the courses to suit the increasing wind strength throughout the day. 

Sunday saw the first Sunday points races – and (amazingly) again wall to wall sunshine. Gavin Homer took two bullets in his Laser- hotly pursued by Richard Haydock and Stewart Moss – showing just how close the Laser racing is at the club. Special mention to Duncan Gillanders sailing 72328 – sporting what we suspect is the original sail – who had an epic battle with John Hilton. Current scoreboard sitting at 1-all we will see how this rivalry develops.

Whilst this weekend marked the formal start to the season the club is active all year round. Over winter we have hosted 4 RYA class academies which were attended by 66 boats in total, with a healthy mix of beginners through to national squad sailors. There are several club sailors in the youth squads with many hundreds of miles driven by various dad’s taxis to southern clubs including Weymouth, Hayling Island, Datchet and Notts County. These trips are a testament to the commitment of these family teams and this effort is being rewarded with a steady climb up the rankings for the Scottish youth sailors. We’ll be keeping a close eye on the results as the season progresses. At the other end of the age spectrum Keith Bedborough took his RS400 to the Tiger Trophy on 2/3 February and enjoyed an impromptu guest spot crewing for Ian Walker MBE to sail to victory for Dalgety Bay sailing Club.  We hope to be able to welcome Ian to the club one day.

The club also featured strongly at the RYA Scotland Annual Awards ceremony in January. The Elizabeth Mackay Award for female endeavours in the sport was awarded to worthy winner Bess Homer. Bess somehow manages to combine a full-time job with her duties as parent / taxi driver to all 3 of her kids who compete nationally in Opi, Topper and Laser classes. She is also a key figure in the club training team running the the racing programme, and in her remaining “spare time” sails her Europe – so well that she won the Europe national championships. Well done Bess ! The entire Training Team from the club were also nominated for the Instructor of the Year category, and whilst not ultimately successful gained worthy recognition for the huge number of volunteer hours that sit behind the training programme which sees 40 kids every Tuesday evening learning to sail.

As with all clubs spring is a very busy period . The training team have been getting the clubs 30-boat fleet ready for the start of the youth training evenings, whilst the world-famous“Tuesday Club” (a motley crue of retired jack of all trades volunteers) continue to do an amazing job with club and grounds maintenance, moorings maintenance and the 101 other jobs required to keep the place running. The management team continue on their quest to reduce the number of shorebound craft and encourage more people out sailing – with a particular focus this year on “try a keelboat” and non-competitive dinghy sailing for these who just want to get on the water for a bit of fun. So this year there truly should be “something for everyone” at the club this year.

Anyone who is interested in joining in the fun on the River Forth please contact


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