Loch Fyne passage race
It was a distinctly ‘old school’ day on Loch Fyne for competing crews at the Brewin Dolphin Scottish Series where there was a departure from the usual diet of windward-leeward races and even Olympic triangles. Instead days of old were recalled favourably with a 25 miles passage race up to the south of Loch Fyne around the Inchmarnock Island to a spectator-friendly finish line in front of the entrance to Tarbert’s natural harbour.
If it was a step back in time for some, it was a popular one, even if the odd gripe or two were a blast from the past….. ‘a long true beat would have been nice’… ‘too much reaching’. But the positive opinions were certainly enhanced by another great day of good breezes, an easterly which gusted up to 29 knots but averaged 16-20 knots, ensured Loch Fyne was at its sparkling best and the long reach and run home was a Jubilee procession to salute the Queen.
The brisk conditions proved ideal for Jonathan Anderson’s Playing FTSE which was at her best on the stiff upwind, reaching and the powerful downwind. The Beneteau 47.7 was pressed hard on handicap by the Mumm 36 of Kelly and Bramall which finished just 1 minute and 32 seconds behind on corrected time after 3 hours and 7 minutes of racing. Anderson’s team are regular class winners and head IRC Class by two points ahead of the Forth crew on Absolutely 2, but light winds for tomorrow’s two final races could still upset the class standings here.
Salamander XXI consolidated their lead in IRC Class 2 with a win over Sloop John T to lead their fleet now by three points ahead of Arran’s Thomson brothers and their crew on Sloop John T.
For Tarbert’s Ruairidh Scott, tactician on Fever Glenfiddich, the J/97, the last time he – like others in the fleet – recalls racing inside Inchmarnock was on the days when the Scottish Series still had an offshore feeder race. Head to head at the island turn with Jackaroo, the current Scottish Series Trophy champions, Fever cut the corner by around ten boat lengths according to Scott, and managed to escape to a comfortable win. They remain unbeaten over all six races so far and might have already put themselves in pole position to win the overall Scottish Series Trophy.
In CYCA Class 5 it was Ian Cameron’s Lady Rhona which triumphed, winning by a similar margin on handicap as her sistership Playing FTSE did in the corresponding IRC handicap fleet. Douglas Clow scored a good win in Guilty in CYCA 6, leaving Norman Howison’s family crew on Tartan Pimpernel in second.