My earliest sailing memories are from the age of 10. The very first experience was on a clinker yacht called ‘Kate’ which belonged to Ian Graham, a member of the club in 1970.
In 1972 my Great Uncle Trum Hutton (pictured) invited me to crew for him in his Flying Fifteen ‘Mermaid’. So started my membership of Burntisland Sailing Club. From my parents’ house I could see Uncle Trum’s house. This allowed a red and green board signal to develop. Green board in the window, we were going sailing! Red board in the window….no sailing today. I also kept a keen eye on the Kinghorn Bottle works chimney to see what the wind was doing to the issuing smoke.
At 18, I purchased ‘Mermaid’ from Uncle Trum and, not long after, acquired a second Flying Fifteen from Stuart Nisbet, who was a member for a number of years. So I ran with the family boat, a classic wood build and a “plastic” which required limited maintenance.
Having raced Flying Fifteens, I got invited to race the “big stuff” both on the west coast of Scotland and down in the Solent and English Channel. With racing both north and south, my networks grew. Eventually I was part of a small group that worked with a disabled charity shifting yachts about on the Med.
Preparing and Sailing ‘Sonas’ a Moody 29 over to Norway and back was certainly a magic moment. I have been blessed with so many other opportunities including racing on ex America Cup yacht ‘Stars and Stripes’. 2021 is my 49th year at the club, I’m looking forward to many more years on the water.
What’s your BEST sailing experience?
What’s your WORST sailing experience?