Friday, 26 November 2010

The 1930 Racing Season

At the start of the season the existing five boats were joined by Thomas Dunlop Junior's Jura, no 6 and William Wardie's Fidra, no 7, both built by Alfred Mylne's own Bute Slip Dock at Ardmaleish. For a description of the years racing I can do no better than to quote from the local paper once again:-

The Glasgow Herald 4 September 1930





The Clyde yacht racing season, which has just come to a close, was favoured with remarkably good sailing weather. There were comparatively few days of prolonged calms and of really hard weather, and what there were of these were the exceptions to eh general rule of racing days with breezes of nice summer strength. Seldom has there been a season in which finishes were so consistently early. The stormiest experience the yachts had was at the Tighnabruaich regatta on July 21, when out of 35 starters 13 boats were forced to give up owing to mishaps. One dismasting took place early in June, but it was due to an extraneous circumstance, Mr J Buchanan's Pallas having her "stick" snapped in the wash of a passing liner. Great popular interest was shown in the appearance of Shamrock V at the Clyde Fortnight, and her successful performances gave immense satisfaction. Nine days hence the challenger will start on her bid for the America's Cup, and there is a widespread feeling of hopelessness as to her chance against the American defender, Enterprise."
Prophetically, for what was to come in the Islands Class in later years, the paper went on to note that:-

"As usual, the contests in the 6-metre class were tremendously keen, and provided excellent sport. Mr J H Thom's Susette headed the A Section and took 24 flags in 39 starts.....Susette took a considerable time to strike her form, but from July 5 onwards she was only twice out of the prize list, and Mr Thom had the satisfaction of winning three races in succession before Fintra and Coral went to America and Finvola was laid up..."

With regard to the Islanders the paper noted

"Mr William Russell's Sanda was the champion in the sporting Scottish Islands Class, which continued to be notable for its remarkably keen racing and close fnishes. The runners-up were Cara and Westra. Sanda also won the cup for the points competition for the class. The official figures show that her margin was only four points ahead of Cara, which were in turn was four points ahead of Westra."
The closing records for the class were:-

                                Starts    1st    2nd    other    Total

Sanda- W Russell          36    14        6          3        23   
Cara- Dr Christie           33      9        5          5        19
Westra- G Jackson        35      6        7          8        21
Jura- T Dunlop Jnr         37      3        8          7        18
Stroma- G Nisbet          35      2        6          7        15
Bernera- R K Sharp      30      3        3           2         8
Fidra- W Wordie          30      2        3           2         7

The official figures in the points competition for the cup presented by Mr J M McEwan are:- Sanda (winner) 100 points, Cara, 96, Westra 92, Stroma 77, Jura 74, Fidra, 63 and Bernera, 56.

One person who no doubt watched the Islanders' racing very closely was J Herbert Thom. He had made his name in the 19/24 Class, which disbanded at the end of 1928, having given keen racing since 1897 and the Islanders had effectively taken their place. Herbert Thom had won 108 prizes, including 67 firsts, in his Sunbeam over the four seasons 1925 to 1928 inclusive. In 1929 he had decided to move to the 6-metre class with the Fife-designed Lucille, which he had bought and renamed Susette. He was the class champion, as noted above, his 24 flags including 8 firsts, but maybe felt that his skills would be better tested in the strict one-design racing offered by the Islanders. He duly placed an order with Bute Slip for what was to be Gigha, yacht no 9.

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