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Five Castles Regatta - e: info@fivecastlesregatta.org.uk

Racing at the Five Castles Regatta

There is a range of experience in the teams put forward by schools. No hard, fast prerequisites are enforced for the fun taster fleet but if you intend racing it is useful if you have had some time in a sailing dinghy and have the ability to sail a triangle race course. It is not unusual to have one excellent sailor and two inexperienced. In team racing the winners are invariably that, the best 'team'. In fact in their second appearance Austin Friars St Monicas School won the Castle Loch Shield with a quite inexperienced team, so it can be done!

The racing can be competitive, of course it can, but the fundamental ethos of the entire event is not lost even here. That ethos, an absolute requirement by the regattas originator local sailor Willie Paterson, that is to have fun. Getting kids on the water in whatever form is the simple goal.

preparing the race teams

In team racing it’s the overall score of the team, rather than the individual, which counts. e.g. here 2 teams of 3 boats sail against each other. So, the total number of points on offer is the sum of all the positions i.e 6th+5th+4th+3rd+2nd+ 1st= 21 points. The team with the lowest overall score wins so, if your team’s score adds up to 10 or less you’ve won the race. But say during a race your team was lying 1st, 5th & 6th ? Clearly your score adds up to 12 and you are going to lose; your first place is not doing you any real good. To win, your top placed sailor must sail down the fleet and try to improve the position of his team mates.

Many hundreds of young people have benefitted from the organising teams dedication, initially from the east of Dumfries & Galloway now from every corner of the district and Carlisle. Given the number of teams now taking part in the racing there is quite a complex matrix of racing run throughout the whole day with a finals series at the end.

The team running it has their hands full maintaining the flow of racers out to the their respective boats and ensuring they get to the start line on time. At the end of the day every competitor is provided with an achievement certificate. There is a medal for the top three teams and a perpetual shield for the winning teams school trophy cupboard.

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