Close racing at the Largs Open meeting. Photo Credit Largs SC

21st and 22nd of May saw a total of seven Devoti D-Zeros assemble at Largs Sailing Club to sail in the inaugural Scottish D-Zero open meeting and the second event of the Northern Travellers.

Boats came from various Northern Clubs and were joined by one boat from Isle of Man and three from Largs. The event also saw the Vortex fleet share the event for their Scottish TT.

Saturday kicked off with a daunting 25kts and a threatening black sky, but by the time racing started this had moderated to 8 to 10kts from the south and a relatively flat sea. The 1/2mile beat which fed into a quadrilateral course looked daunting to some of the pond sailors, but this didn’t stop some incredibly close racing with Mike Pridham (IOM SC) taking a first and two second places, with Ben Ratcliffe (the Northern D-Zero Dealer) – 2,4 and Martin Latimer from Largs SC 1,3 snapping at Mike’s heels.

Racing at the Largs SC Open Meeting. Photo Credit Largs SC

Race three was a mixed affair Martin went right and Mike, Ben and the fleet went left, when they came back together Martin had a good lead. The weather played a cruel game and threw a torrential downpour, zero visibility, 17kt squall and a violent shift which had the boats planing into the windward mark. The rest of the race turned light and ultimately Martin’s lead was whittled away when Ben, Mike and Mick Green sailed straight past him in a different band of wind to take a 1,2,3. Mike held the overnight lead.

On Sunday the crews awoke to a fantastic sunny day, 16 degrees and no wind! However after a short postponement the racing got underway in champagne conditions. Race 4 saw Ben Ratcliffe taking a clear lead and by the first run no one could catch him. Billy McCarlie from Largs took a 2nd, in the boat he bought from Ben on Saturday with 3rd going to Mike. Race two and it was right that paid on the first beat and left on the 2nd – Ben took another resounding win and this time Martin Latimer snuck in ahead of Mile Pridham.

The third race was to be the last of the day as wind turned light and fluky but the local boats found their way around the course well with Martin Faulkener taking the win followed by Martin Latimer and Billy McCarlie. On reflection the prize for the furthest travelled should have gone to Martin Faulkener, who in race three sailed the Great Circle route around the Largs Channel, seemed to cover twice as much ground as the rest and still crossed the line with a big lead

Fighting it out upwind. Photos Credit Largs SC

Thanks go to Largs Sailing Club and the Scottish Sailing Institute for organizing a small, but fantastic travelers event. Thanks in particular to Dave Kent and his team of volunteers for great courses and superb racing with some very bold race management. We hope to see many more D-Zeros at the Largs event next year… maybe even a Scottish Championship?

The weekend was a resounding success and the Bottles of Glengoyne 12yr Old Single Malt went to Ben Ratcliffe 1st Overall and Mike Pridham (2nd) for furthest travelled.


Pos Sail No Helm Club R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 Pts
1st 113 Ben Ratcliffe Scammonden water sailing club 2 4 1 1 1 ‑5 9
2nd 143 Mike Pridham Isle of Mann Yacht Club 1 2 2 3 3 ‑6 11
3rd 57 Martin Latimer Largs SC 3 1 ‑4 4 2 2 12
4th 202 Jeremy Cooper Shotwich Lake 5 3 5 ‑6 5 4 22
5th 128 Billy McCarlie Largs Saiiling Club (DNC) DNC DNC 2 4 3 25
6th 182 Mick Green Rossendale Valley SC 4 5 3 ‑7 7 7 26
7th 150 Martin Faulkner Largs Saiiling Club (DNC) DNC DNC 5 6 1 28