I can’t remember the last time Glasgow had been this well-prepared for a league weekend. We had facepaint, we had glitter, we had chalk, scissors, hairspray, and tin foil. Sure, most of us hadn’t sailed since mid-November due to snowstorms, lack of wind, and the fact that water freezes at the inconveniently high temperature of zero degrees, but we weren’t going to let minor details like that put us off from having a fantastic time in Edinburgh.
After some fairly intense light-weather racing at League 1 at Bardowie back in October, our Green and Purple teams were both riding high in Super Gold, while Pink were sweeping all before them in the Gold Fleet.
Friday night passed by in a blur of dance-offs, Strictly Come Doros and Swiss girls in the wrong bathroom, as the weather forecast for Saturday was for 40+ angry northerly knots of breeze, and nobody thought we would be going out sailing.
Nobody wants this to happen to them, ©Leanne Fischler
However, the view of the Forth from the road bridge on the drive north seeded some doubts in our clouded minds, and by the time we arrived at the loch, it was very obvious that with the conditions as they were, races could be sailed. Soon, the first group of boats were out on the water in a building breeze. One terminally bent mast and countless spectacular capsizes later, it was decided to bring the sailors ashore without starting a race, and send out only the Gold and Super Gold fleets. Special mention to Steven and Uli, who were among the few boats to keep their masts pointing towards the sky during the carnage.
Purple Team in action against Edinburgh Blue, ©Leanne Fischler
In the end, only the Purple team managed to complete a race before the day was canned due to the ferocity of the gusts, losing 1-5-6 to Edinburgh Blue after blowing what had seemed a relatively comfortable 1-3-5 going into the final beat.
Emily pulls off a spin in 20+ knots of breeze, ©Leanne Fischler
Saturday night was a true Glasgow effort, our full stockpile of hairspray, facepaint and glitter was used to great effect, much of it actually ending up on Glasgow sailors instead of on walls, doors and bedsheets, and this was the end result:
Not even the fact that an Edinburgh team had made a poor effort at copying us could hide how much we rocked in Hive that night (at least, not until I was thrown out into the Baltic night with nothing but face paint and a beer jacket to keep m warm).
The next morning, the forecast was good, and in spite of a slight delay to proceedings (partly due to underestimating the scale of the clean-up needed from the night before, partly because of detour Wee Scott took us on on the trip to the loch), racing was soon under way, with Purple making amends for our loss the previous day by winning both remaining races, and keeping our place in Super Gold. Green weren’t so lucky, and in spite of a superb 1-3-6 win against Edinburgh Green, lost out in a three-way tie break for bottom of the group, and were defeated in a playoff against our pink team, who had a perfect record in Gold.
Iain knows the camera is on him, ©Leanne Fischler
The conditions were becoming steadily more shifty and patchy, and many races in the next round hinged on what the wind was doing. The biting cold, enough to freeze Ali Mo’s umpire flags solid over the course of the morning, didn’t help. Pink were especially unlucky, bad shifts, inconvenient holes, and capsizes leaving them dropping back down to Gold without winning a race, losing to Strath Blue in the playoff. Green won two from four in the Gold league, missing out on their chance to go back up, but consolidating their position in the BUSA playoffs places, just as Purple won their second two races in Super Gold, recovering after a start that saw them lose another 1-3-5 against Edinburgh, and then proceed to be defeated by Edinburgh Green as well.
Doros and Greg in full flight, ©Leanne Fischler
The provisional league results going into what is forecast to be a very light last weekend have Glasgow Purple in 2nd overall, three points behind Edinburgh Blue, and just a point ahead of Edinburgh Green. Glasgow Green are sitting 5th, and will race in Gold Fleet, as will Glasgow Pink, who are in 7th, a significant improvement on last season, when Glasgow teams finished 7th, 8th and 12th.
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