Lord's A35 tops the list
Set up 19 years ago by Kip Marina, who host the regatta, and the Royal Western Yacht Club, the principal objective of the event was to provide intensive, high quality well run racing which would allow crews to test themselves and tune up their craft a matter of weeks before the Scottish Series.
In itself the regatta, which was supported for the first time last year by Savills, has long since grown to become an increasingly significant event on the UK calendar and the top award has become very sought after. Lake District sailmaker Steve Goacher who was Scottish Series champion in 1993 and is many times Flying 15 world champion, proved that he and the crew of Keith Lord's Isle of Man based A35 A-Crewed Interest could be the form boat for the imminent Bell Lawrie Scottish Series after winning the toughest class at the weekend's Savills' Kip Regatta on the Clyde off Inervkip.
A-Crewed Interest were voted the best performers of the fleet as their fleet was deemed to have the greatest depth of competition. Up against four fellow past winners of Scotland's most coveted sailing trophy among the opposition in his 16 strong Class 2, Goacher steered the 35 foot French built A-Crewed Interest to two second places and one victory over the four races sailed.
Launched in time for the Savills Kip Regatta last year, Lord, Goacher and the A-Crewed team have made significant progress over the first competitive year with the boat. They posted a 2nd, 1st, a 4th and 2nd from the four races to hold off the Clyde's Nick and Miles Stratton in an identical A35, a father and son team who have also individually won the Scottish Series in 1977 and 1994 respectively.
In Class 1 Geoffrey Howison and the crew of his BH41, last year's overall winners, prevailed. On Saturday in the gentler breezes they struggled to a fourth and fifth but bounced back to post back to back wins in the perfect sailing breeze on Sunday. The pain of racing in light, unsettled and very unpredictable conditions on Saturday was replaced Sunday by pure Champagne sailing in sunshine and a northerly 10-12knots breeze.
Such contrasting conditions shuffled the fortunes of many through the different classes, but Goacher and crew managed to master the weak and capricious winds and the stronger winds in equal measure. "Sunday was definitely steadier and a more enjoyable day. There was quite a lot of current coming down the river and that placed a premium on getting to the shore to get some relief from it, and it also paid to come back down that same side. And most people seemed to recognise that so it really was pretty tight between the boats in our class, and it was usually only on the last leg that the races were settled." Reported Goacher, "When we look forward to the Scottish Series then we have a very interesting class and a few of our opposition were here, so we know we are in fair shape and the work we have done through the winter has helped. We have reconfigured the boat better for lighter winds and moved to asymmetric spinnakers, and so we feel the boat is more competitive."
"In our class the handicap ratings between the top boats is very close, and, so while it is not quite one design racing, it is very close and exciting, and you can certainly tell your gains and losses."
"Saturday was difficult with such light breezes but across the two days it was a well run event, when there was any wind they got the races done and completed four races over the weekend."
Racing in the Sonata One Design class, one of the classes Goacher cut his teeth in could not have been closer. All three of the top boats finished up with the same total points tally after the four races. On count back it was, ironically, Saraband, the boat in which Goacher won the Scottish Series Trophy, which is now owned and sailed by Port Dinorwic's Mark Taylor which edged it.
Savills Kip Regatta, Clyde, Results:
1 Local Hero (G Howison) 6pts
2 Duckwall Pooley (K & D Aitken) 8pts
3 Tan It (R Harris) 8pts
1 Accrued Interest (K Lord) 5pts
2 Another Djinn (N & M Stratton) 9pts
3 Sloop John T (I & G Thomson) 9pts
1 Saraband (M Taylor) 5pts
2 So (McLure/Stewart) 5pts
3 Pied Piper (A Harper) 5pts
1 Ziggy Stardust (Hull/Hathaway) 3pts
1 Farr E Nuff (J Kent) 5pts
2 Hesperus (A McVey) 6pts
3 Antix (J Allen) 7pts
1 Auf Wiedersehen Pet (P Murray) 3pts
2 Water Tiger (C Macdonald) 7pts