Saturday, 27 November 2010

The 1933 Racing Season

Herbert Thom in his prime

Cara returned to the racing but Westra and Jura still stayed away, leaving a fleet of seven. Gigha didn't get it all entirely her own way, as Sanda ran her a close second. Again the Glasgow Herald:-

"In the Scottish Islands Class Gigha secured the most firsts, but Sanda has the distinction of winning most flags, not only in the class but in the fleet. Some protests towards the end of the season have yet to be decided, and may make some slight alterations in the records."

The reference to protests, that obviously hadn't been quickly resolved, suggests that Islander racing had not been an entirely pleasurable activity for some. The official records show:-

                                         Starts    1st    2nd    other    total

Gigha- J H Thom                    36    14        7         3    24
Sanda- Wm Russell                36    10       11        7    28
Stroma- Geo Nisbet               35      6         4        8    18
Bernera- R K Sharp               33      3         4        6    13
Iona- Jas Buchanan                25      3         5         3    11
Fidra- A R Keith Thomson     32      0         3         1      4
Cara- Dr Christie                    21      0         2         2     4

Sanda's wins include the Bryce Allan Cup

In general we can see that a finishing order has been established by now, with William Russell's Sanda the only boat seriously challenging Gigha. Discontent within the class was now at a height, with much rumouring about Gigha being simply a faster boat. George Jackson's Westra had now missed two seasons and he put her up for sale. When Herbert Thom heard that she had been sold to someone on the Solway he persuaded the purchaser to accept his Gigha instead. The Field's correspondent reports:-

"On the relative performance of the two boats the exchange may seem somewhat surprising. There is only one explanation I can think of. Allegations were sometimes heard that the success of Gigha was accounted for by her out-size. Remeasurement more than once showed that there was no foundation for these statements, but Mr Thom is a good sportsman and I expect that he has taken this course to remove any unpleasantness, no matter how unjustified."

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