Argie Bargie ahead
Veteran John Corson, whose first experiences of this popular annual regatta date back 30 years when he raced a 35 foot Swedish built cruiser racer, has yet to win the overall top trophy, but he and his well drilled crew of the Clyde-based Salamander XX today delivered the best performance overall of the IRC Classes on the Luddon Construction Fleet area to the south of Loch Fyne.
Corson, supported by tactician John Highcock, won both races in the IRC Class 3 - the regatta's most competitive IRC division which has 15 boats competing.
"It's better to be lucky than good!" quipped Corson, "In truth I think we were somewhere between the two. Our crew sailed well and when there was scope to make mistakes they didn't. The boat seemed to be going well and it was a nice way to start the regatta."
The first of the two races for the IRC Classes was affected by a big shift in wind direction which skewed the windward-leeward course to render it a simple follow-my-leader procession with no further passing opportunities other than by the merit of boat speed.
The breeze then fell away and a delay of more than 90 minutes was amply rewarded with a great second race in a classic SW'ly wind of 14-17 knots. And while there was a whole collection of likely contenders who made mistakes in the first race, they generally made amends in the second race.
Jonathan Anderson, the only skipper to have won the overall Scottish Series Trophy three times - the first time 30 years ago this year - was able to thrive in the increased breeze in the second race to win with his crew on the First 47.7 Playing FTSE, but they were no match for the consistency across the two races of Allan Hogg's King 40 Argie Bargie.
Argie Bargie's first and a second leaves them at the top of IRC Class 1 after the first day of racing: "We just tried to keep it simple. No stunt sailing, nothing complicated and let the boat do the work."
Commented Argie Bargie's tactician David Kelly, "We have a few more options downwind using a symmetrical spinnaker against the asymmetrics on some of the other boats, and that helped us out a bit on the first race."
Although there are just five boats in IRC Class 1 they have had excellent close racing, with just over 30 seconds between the top three boats as they crossed the finish line of the first race.
Nearly 160 boats were competing across the 14 classes on Loch Fyne today, a total which compares very favourably to last year.
In the RS Elite class, the newest One Design fleet at the regatta, it is the Lymington, Hampshire visitor Steve Powell on E'Tu who leads with a first and a second place today.
See results here