Photos: Neill Ross

Misjif claims title

A report from the Old Pulteney Scottish IRC Championship

Sunday June 12th 2011, Author: Fiona Holland, Location: United Kingdom

With a hat trick of first places and one fourth, Fairlie Yacht Club boat Misjif revelled in the conditions to claim the Old Pulteney Scottish IRC Championship crown at Largs today.

Leading going into the second day of the event, there was some pressure for the team on board the Hustler SJ30, and a fifth in the first race on Sunday (which they later discarded) would not necessarily have left them feeling optimistic. However, they needn’t have worried. A bullet in the last race of the five-race series, combined with excellent consistency on day one, gave them the edge over rivals Rogue Trader, James Cumming’s Elan 340.

“This was very good weather for us,” explained Misjif’s co-owner Alastair Tear. “Perfect conditions. We don’t want too light and we don’t want to heavy. Moderate suits us. There’s a team of seven on the boat and we’ve sailed together for years. We all know one another and what our jobs are on the boat, which means the team really works.”

And, while moderate was certainly good for Misjif, it wasn’t the best news for some in the other fleets.

The forecast, however, had been for very light airs all weekend, so any respite from what had looked like it could be a two-day drifting match at the Mudhook Yacht Club-organised event, was roundly welcomed by all.

Last year’s winner Playing FTSE, the First 47.7 belonging to Kilmacolm man Jonathan Anderson, got over a less than consistent first day to post two firsts on day two in IRC1. And that was enough to give him the class win on seven by a single point ahead of Gourock man Steven Cowie’s First 40 Zephyr, helmed by Ian Marshall, which tied on eight with fellow First 40 rivals Elf Too, owned by Robin and Christine Murray.

“Considering the conditions, this is a good result for us,” said FTSE helm Murray Findlay. “It was variable out there, so we’re delighted that there was a bit more wind than forecast on both days. The race committee did really well to get in five good races over the two days considering the changeable weather.”

And, heading home the IRC2 fleet, East Kilbride man John Corson’s Corby 33 Salamander XX was glad to have been pushed hard by strong competition. Although the smallest boat in the IRC2 line-up she boasts the least advantageous handicap, the team maintained pace throughout and flourished under pressure from the bigger yachts.

“We went in to Sunday’s racing quietly confident,” said helm John Highcock. “You have to be. But the teamwork was good, we didn’t make any major mistakes and consistency helps. “But Carmen pushed us hard, as did Sloop John T. That’s good for us though. Knowing that
we’re being really pushed by the other yachts keeps us focused.”

And Carmen II, the First 36.7 owned by Helensburgh’s Paul Scutt and Alan Jeffrey, couldn’t have pushed much harder. But despite all their concerted efforts, they had to settle for second overall by the tiniest half point margin.

Final results Old Pulteney Scottish IRC Championship, Largs. after five races (one discard):

1 Playing FTSE (J Anderson – Clyde Cruising Club) 7 points
2 Zephyr (S Cowie – Fairlie YC) 8
3 Elf Too (C&R Murray – FYC) 8

1 Salamander XX (J&S Corson – CCC) 8
2 Carmen II (Scutt/Jeffrey – Helensburgh SC) 8.5
3 Sloop John T (G&I Thomson – CCC) 10.5

1 Misjif (Angus/Tear – FYC) 7
2 Rogue Trader (J Cumming – Largs SC) 8
3 Hops (Bolton/Robertson – East Lothian YC) 11.


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