Sailing: Eight firsts give Bradshaw an emphatic win on the Clyde

Dropping only two races from a total of ten starts, Mark Bradshaw in Pamina yesterday claimed an emphatic overall win at the 75th Anniversary Loch Long Week regatta on the Clyde.

It has been a difficult weather bag for the assembled fleet of 24 yachts this week, with fickle airs and significant wind shifts repeatedly dogging proceedings, but Bradshaw showed tenacious and remarkable consistency throughout to notch a total of eight firsts at the Cove Sailing Club hosted event.

Either leading from the start or within the leading group in almost every race, Bradshaw, racing under the pennant of the host club, and crew member Robin Jarvis were always able to take an early advantage or ready to rapidly capitalise on any mistakes or misfortune of others.

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He finished off the week’s regatta by posting three firsts from three starts yesterday. The overall win gives him his fourth Loch Long Week title since 2007.

“Really pleased to win, it was great too see such a good size of fleet,” said Bradshaw. “I was quite surprised that we got that number of firsts as there was some tough competition. I guess that in some of them, we got through more as a result of a lapse from others rather than genius by us.

“I couldn’t get leave from work, so I had to swap a lot of shifts with colleagues, which I’ll be paying back for some time.

“Robin and I hadn’t sailed the boat together at all this year, so we had to work hard, but we got more confident as the week went on. There was definitely some luck, but that’s part of the game, too. It was tricky with very shifty conditions. But there was always a threat from other boats. There was no time to sit back.”

He was pushed hard by a number of other Cove boats, but none succeeded in capturing his elusive consistency, though Duncan Farquhar in Sula came closest, netting second overall for his efforts. Alan Harper’s Capricorn finished third.

Of the nine visiting boats – seven from Aldeburgh, one from Mull and one from Dunoon – it was Bruce Johnson’s Hussar from Suffolk which posted the best performance, finishing in ninth overall, a single point ahead of fellow Aldeburgh Yacht Club member Jonathon Evans with Tantrum.