Strong winds take their toll

Andi Robertson reports from Tarbert at the Bell Lawrie Scottish Series

Sunday June 2nd 2002, Author: Andi Robertson, Location: United Kingdom

There was no shortage of breeze as the full 195 boat Bell Lawrie Scottish Series fleet mustered off Tarbert for the first time as the Cork 1720 and Sportsboats joined the fray for their first races.

With the southerly wind building through the day to peak at nearly 40 knots damage to boats and crews was inevitable. Among the casualties was last year's Class 1 winner Gloves Off, Dubliner Colm Barrington's Corby 38, which broke its mast during the second race, after having taken second in the first race.

Other masts down included a Jeanneau Sun Fast 32 ironically named Just Fyne and the veteran Half Tonner Troy. The crew of Gloves Off were working late into the evening yesterday aiming to get the mast sleeved and a replacement mast was believed to be en route.

A crew member off the Class 1 First 47.7 Little Princess had to be taken to Lochgilphead hospital with a crushed hand after being pulled into a winch. Among the leading classes three boats remained unbeaten over their day.

In Class 1 Richard Loftus' Swan 65 Desperado, the annual regatta's biggest boat, added to their win in the opening Offshore race with two conclusive wins today around their traditional Olympic style courses. Solent-based Desperado leads Class 1 comfortably from Bob and Bairbre Stewart's Dubois 40 Azure which scored a third and a second today.

"It was really about keeping the boat in the breeze today and we did that well. You had to be slick with your crew work and we managed that well. It was not always in the bag but we sailed well." explained Desperado's tactician Titch Blachford.

The Cork 1720 class, with 22 boats on the water today, was all about not making mistakes and Cork's Anthony O'Leary on Ford Racing were the day's most consistent performers, despite this being their first ever visit to Loch Fyne, landing a first and a second. They led from the first mark in the first heat and were ahead in the second until what proved the final turn.

Local Tarbert helm Ruairaidh Scott on King Quick gained an extra boost when they gybed into one bigger gust to pass Ford Racing and win, with the course prudently shortened as the breeze gusted to over 35 knots.

King Quick, runner up in the English National Championships last month, lies second after a fourth and a win today.

Kevin Aitken's The White Tub was another to stay well clear of trouble and has now notched up three wins from three starts. A slight edge in boat speed in the brisker winds, astute tactics and well drilled crew work were the keys to The White Tub's clean sheet.

"We have always been quick when the breeze is up and that allowed us to get back into the lead a couple of times today after having been back to fifth and sixth at different stages," said helm Aitken.

Plymouth-based Scot Hamish Oliphant guided his Corby designed 35 footer Highland Spirit, which has benefited from a new keel and rudder fitted over the winter, took two wins in Class 2 and was voted Boat of the Day. They snapped a headsail halyard in the second race but still managed to win.

For the defending Scottish Series Trophy holders, Hamish Mackay and the crew of the Elan 333 Elanor, consistency was the order of the day. Two second places in IRC Class 3 keeps them on top of the Class after Jimmy Houston's Jeanneau Sun Fast 37 won the first race and Donald Sharp's Elan 333 Tundra won the second.

Winds are expected to be lighter tomorrow.


Race 1:

IRC Class 1
1 Desperado (R Loftus) 02hrs 40mins 31secs
2 Gloves Off (C Barrington) 02:42:17
3 Azure (B & B Stewart) 02:46:09.

IRC Class 2
1 Highland Spirit (H Oliphant) 02:41:48
2 Crewsaver Dickies (N Biggs) 02:42:52
3 Jacana (B Douglas) 02:45:41.

IRC Class 3
1 2 Sassy (Murray/Houston) 02:09:24
2 Elanor (A Mitchell) 02:10:32
3 Salamander XVI (J Corson) 02:15:15.

IRC Class 4
1 Rapparee II (Hyde/Boulter/Woods) 02:13:58
2 Enigma (H Morrison) 02:16:25,
3 Ga Bui (K Fitzsimmons) 02:19:09.

Sigma 33 Class
1 The White Tub (D Aitken) 01:19:59
2 Skimbleshanks (D Tunnicliffe) 01:24:36
3 Showtime (S Chalmers) 01:25:12.

Sonata Class:
1 Jammie Dodger (H Gairns) 03:35:50,
2 Tragedy (M Caldwell) 03:37:56
3 Pied Piper (A Harper) 03:38:27.

Cork 1720 Class:
1 Ford Racing (A O'Leary) 01:15:00
2 Corwynt (S Evans) 01:17:03
3 Yonka (T & M Evans) 01:17:04.

Sportsboat Class
1 Hoot (G Purves) 00:56:47
2 Lord of the Isles (Hull/Hathaway) 00:57:00
3 Doh! (T Davidson) 00:57:28.

Hunter 707 Class
1 Doh! (T Davidson) 01:08:30
2 Pond Life (C Holden) 01:09:13
3 Eh! (A Wright) 01:13:56.

CYCA Class 5
1 Scanne (G Aikman) 03:01:02
2 Thornoxon (A MacIntyre) 03:03:02
3 Guilty (D Clow) 03:05:30.

CYCA Class 6
1 Vaila (P Watt) 02:24:24
2 Lindisfarne II (J Pearson) 02:25:30
3 Ailish II (W Malone) 02:27:37.

CYCA Class 7
1 Sula (Davidson/Hubbard) 02:26:57
2 Obsession (E & N Sim) 02:27:00
3 Upstart (E Thomas) 02:31:10.

CYCA Restricted Sail Class
1 Celidh Mara (P Dixon) 02:41:48
2 Smarty Pants (H Kerr) 02:42:46
3 Blue Squirrel (Taylor/Furney) 02:43:23.

Race 2:
IRC Class 1
1 Desperado (R Loftus) 1:42:42
2 Azure (B & B Stewart) 01:47:14
3 Cracklin' Rosie (R Dickson) 01:47:34.

IRC Class 2:
1 Highland Spirit (H Oliphant) 01:42:57
2 Jacana (B Douglas) 01:43:30
3 Thomas O'Malley (N Spurr) 01:46:18.

IRC Class 3
1 Tundra (D Sharp) 01:43:18
2 Elanor (A Mitchell) 01:43:25,
3 2 Sassy (Murray/Houston) 01:43:45.

IRC Class 4:
1 Rapparee II (Hyde/Boulter/Woods) 01:21:21,
2 Thirty Something (J Hall) 01:23:08,
3 Valhalla of Ashton (F Dunnet) 01:24:19.

Sigma 33 Class:
1 The White Tub (D Aitken) 01:16:58
2 Carmen (P Scutt) 01:17:04
3 Rajah (R Summers) 01:17:33.

Cork 1720 Class:
1 King Quick (G Scott) 01:13:34
2 Ford Racing (A O'Leary) 01:13:43
3 Gul (Budd/Woosey) 01:13:59.

Sportsboat Class:
1 Lord of the Isles (Hull/Hathaway) 01:12:24
2 Pond Life (C Holden) 01:13:53
3 Hoot (G Purves) 01:16:06.

Hunter 707 Class
1 Pond Life (C Holden) 01:28:04
2 Doh! (T Davidson) 01:32:40
3 Blue Funk (Stuart/Ram) 01:39:37.

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