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Close Encounters wins 2023 Sigma 33 OOD Class Championships

Griogair Whyte and his crew on Close Encounters won the Sigma 33 Class Championships on Sunday after a difficult last day which saw the majority of the fleet have at least one bad result after being on the wrong side of a shift.


Only Donald McLaren managed to keep all his results under 4 on the final day, moving up the ranks in the penultimate race to be above Squawk in 3rd place . A second place in the final race (see Race 9) for Paul Prentice with a 2 point swing meant that Squawk took 3rd by one point from Sigmatic.


Close Encounters certainly showed the most consistent form over the series with 4 bullets and only one irregular 8th though even that was well fought back from being last at one stage on the fickle right hand side in the second race of the day (see Race 10) which was stopped at the second windward mark by the mark boat - hence the late entry into the results system.


Previous winners Alan Harper and the Leaky Roof crew came second overall although at one stage on the final day, they also found themselves last in one race and at risk to Squawk but had 2 great down-winds to sneak back to 3rd which gave them enough of a breathing space to control the two boats behind them.


Jon Fitzgerald and White Lightning showed the speed on Sunday that saw them win the warm-up Kip Regatta - with 2 bullets and a 4th. It has been great to see the return of this crew to the Sigma Class Championships as well as the debut of Ruairidh Campbell and his crew on Sonic (previously Meka II). We hope to see much more of them and the rest of the Sigma fleet in 2024.


It was a great final day with the first bit of steadyish (in strength if not direction) wind that allowed the Race Committee to squeeze in 4 races and give the series 9 races all overall (note Race 5 was abandoned on Friday. Many thanks must go to Howard Morrison, the committee boat and results team as well all the mark layers for their persistence and determination and skill to fit in the number of races in the conditions presented. One mark boat included some well known Sigma sailors (and the previous Helensburgh Class Champion) who hopefully will be in Falmouth for the 2024 Class Championships.


Many thanks must also go to Donald McLaren and his daughter Katie, James Miller and the rest of the Helensburgh members and volunteers for such a warm welcome and great entertainment as always - including a colourful Class dinner on Saturday night.


All of the winners


Overall race results - note Race 5 abandoned, Race 10 was actually second race on final day.


Close Encounters - 2023 Sigma 33 OOD Class Champions


Leaky Roof 2 - second


Squawk - third


Sigmatic


Insider and Sigmatic


Howard Morrison and his race event crew on Enigma


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