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With less than four weeks to go to the first race of Scotland's top sailing event, the revamped Scottish Series on the Clyde has received only 13 IRC entries received so far.

Entry is due to close on May 14th for the May 28th event and the organisers have deferred the application of the late booking fee until Tuesday, 4th May.

As regular Afloat readers will know, in order to protect the series from another year of cancellation, the Clyde Cruising Club announced in January that it was stripping back its May regatta to a racing event-based over multiple locations on the Clyde.

In the face of ongoing COVID-19 restrictions, the Scottish Series organiser 'overwhelmingly' decided to do 'whatever it can to have a Scottish Series in 2021'. 

In January, CCC reported that 100 boats had reserved a spot for the regatta, with CCC saying they would to operate in a restricted manner so entrants will be invited strictly by their reservation date.

According to the Scottish Series website, (last updated on May 1), there is now a total entry of 57 boats for the event across 14 classes, the biggest division being the Hunter 707s with 12 boats entered.

Three Sigma 33s are entered including former Irish open champion Leaky Roof II and there is also a fleet of Etchell 22 one-designs.

Entry is open here.

Top Banding

The organisers have removed the top banding in the IRC divisions. Chair of the organising committee, Glenn Porter said: "With many yachts facing the prospect of racing with reduced crew numbers to ensure compliance with Covid bubble size restrictions it is hoped this measure will ensure larger yachts are not unfairly penalised whilst running with reduced crew numbers".

Shortening of 2021 event

Porter has also shortened the event, dropping the last day.  Announcing the change he said: “Organising any event in 2021 is a big challenge. We have already made some significant changes that would have been unthinkable a year ago by cancelling all shoreside events and not hosting any food or race office facilities ashore this year. This has allowed us to concentrate on a purely “on-the-water” racing event which reduces contact possibilities to a very low level. It is also important that we reduce the movement of crew as much as possible. By moving the event to the Clyde we have taken a massive step towards achieving this goal, however, it is clear that we need to take measures a bit further. As such we will be shortening the event, dropping the last day, Monday". 

Published in Scottish Series
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After Clyde Cruising Club decided to move the Scottish Series to the Clyde for 2021, the CCC team is working on the race programme.

And in a recent communication to those boat owners having registered interest, a 'location survey' asks two questions: "Where is your vessel normally berthed" and "How far would you be willing to travel from your vessel's home base to participate in Scottish Series? The second gives a choice of four answers from up to 10 nautical miles to over 50 nautical miles.

Reaction from three Northern Ireland owners varies.

Located in Belfast Lough, John Minnis, Royal Ulster Yacht Club member and owner of the Beneteau 31.7 Final Call said, "We are based in Bangor Marina and content to travel up to 50 nautical miles".

The Royal Ulster Beneteau 31.7 Final CallThe Royal Ulster Beneteau 31.7 Final Call Photo: Afloat

His clubmate, IMX 38 owner John Harrington, also berthed in Bangor qualifies his answer; "Excession will complete the survey while we wait for news on how the event will be run and when we see that detail, we will be able to make an informed decision".

Gareth Martel, owner of the First 40.7 Pippa V1 also from RUYC says "It's all pretty easily accessible from Bangor so for me, the distance probably isn't a big factor" but in a previous statement to Afloat on 31st January, shows caution "If it looks viable nearer the time we will definitely be keen to take part".

At present, there are 106 prospective entries.

Published in Scottish Series
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In order to protect the Scottish Series from another year of cancellation, the Clyde Cruising Club has stripped its May regatta right back to a racing event-based over multiple locations on the Clyde.

In the face of ongoing COVID-19 restrictions, the Scottish Series organiser has 'overwhelmingly' decided to do 'whatever it can to have a Scottish Series in 2021'.

In an update to competitors, the club said "It is fair to say that trying to move in excess of 800 people (including racers, support teams, volunteers and contractors) to a single area is unlikely to happen anywhere in Scotland any time soon. So, for the organising committee, the risk of being unable to host any kind of event is very real"

Andrew Craig's Dublin Bay J109 champion Chimaera is a 2019 Scottish Series championAndrew Craig's Dublin Bay J109 Chimaera is a 2019 Scottish Series champion Photo: Afloat

The series will move from it’s 'spiritual' home of Loch Fyne and the village of Tarbert to the east side of the Firth of Clyde.

The normal physical race office, a hub of regatta proceedings has also been scrubbed in favour of a virtual one.

The club says that moving the event allows the club to take advantage of multiple, relatively close locations to continue to run on the water racing, reducing the movement of people.

In effect the Scottish Series 2021 will be reduced to a racing event-based over multiple locations on the Clyde all on the same weekend as originally planned, 28-31 May 2021.

100 boats have already reserved a spot for the regatta, but CCC say they will have to operate in a restricted manner so entrants will be invited strictly by their reservation date.

Reaction from Northern Ireland Sailing Teams

Early reaction to the changes sees different opinions emerging in Northern Ireland.

Belfast's John Minnis, skipper of the Beneteau 31.7 Final Call told Afloat  "It shows great courage on the part of the Clyde Cruising Club to make these changes. The competitors and families can take comfort in the fact that safety measures are in place. We are looking forward to racing in a different part of the Clyde where we have never raced before. Although the social aspect has been curtailed I feel the spin-off is a chance to gel with our own crews and create our own fun".

It's a sentiment echoed by Gareth Martel, skipper of the First 41.7, Pippa V1  from Royal Ulster and Ballyholme

"I think it's fantastic that the CCC have pulled something together in the current climate. If it looks viable nearer the time we will definitely be keen to take part".

But Royal Ulster and East Down YC sailor Jay Colville, who skippers the First 40, Forty Licks says  "We have decided not to enter. We have raced in the Scottish Series since 2014 and are current Class champions. It doesn't sound like a valid competition when it is moving from place to place. We can't live on the boat and it would be difficult to organise accommodation in that situation".

Published in Scottish Series
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Following the earliest ever opening of registration for the Clyde Cruising Club's Scottish Series 2021, ninety-five boats had entered by Monday last for the event scheduled for 28th till 31st May at Tarbert on Loch Fyne in South West Argyll,

In March last year, CCC was forced to cancel Scotland's biggest sailing event for the first time in its history due to the Covid 19 pandemic. But with restrictions still in place, the future of this year's event will be discussed at a meeting Thursday (28th Jan), and an announcement made early next week.

The event traditionally attracts large fleets ranging over Class Association Championships, One Design, Cruising classes, short course racing, accompanied by social and shoreside activities.

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The wholesale cancellation of early 2020 regatta fixtures, is impacting the 2021 season with some conflicting dates appearing for May and June 2021.

So far, four key fixtures of Irish interest appear to be affected next season.

Firstly, Scotland's biggest sailing event, The Scottish Series at Troon, cancelled amid Covid-19 concerns last week, has published its usual UK Bank Holiday date of May 28-31 for 2021's edition. The Loch Fyne event is a traditional season opener in which Irish boats have dominated in recent years but 2021 may now lack Irish competition because this is also the date of the 2021 ICRA National Championships at the National Yacht Club at Dun Laoghaire on Dublin Bay.

A month later, Bangor Town Regatta on Belfast Lough, also cancelled last week, has been rescheduled for June 24-27, but this is the same long-standing date occupied by Kinsale Yacht Club's biennial Sovereign's Cup on the south coast.

So far, the rest of the 2021 season appears to be non-conflicting with the Dun Laoghaire Dingle 2021 Race on June 9 and Dun Laoghaire Regatta on July 8-11.

Attempts are usually made to avoid regatta date clashes because organisers typically like to attract visiting boats from outside a local catchment area for major events but when dates overlap this becomes impossible.

Published in News Update

The Scottish Series, Scotland's biggest sailing event scheduled for the Clyde on May 22 is the latest yachting regatta to become a casualty of Coronavirus restrictions.

In a letter to competitors issued this morning, the 2020 cancellation stated that the decision has been reached in line with government guidelines and the expectations that disruptive impacts are likely to be in place into June 2020.

The event is the first of the Irish Sea's 2020 calendar but with Howth Yacht Club's June Bank Holiday Wave Regatta already postponed til September, there was an inevitability about this morning's Scottish cancellation.

Irtish boats have been very successful in recent voyages North including an overall win in 2019 by Andrew Craig's J109, Chimaera.

The Troon cancellation means that with Scottish Series and Wave Regatta now gone the first of the major sailing fixtures is the Round Ireland Race that is still some 13 weeks away. 

The statement also says 'We have also considered the logistics of being able to complete preparations for what is the second-largest regatta in the UK during a time when many suppliers and sponsors are struggling to continue with business as usual activities. We are also conscious that many of you will have your plans to launch and prep for the event disrupted and indeed, may not be able to make it".

The statement concludes with dates for 2021 Scottish Series as 28 - 31 May.

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Cork Harbour Olympic helmsman and Sailing Professional Mark Mansfield competed in May's Scottish Series and gives his views on the fleet at Tarbert.

I raced as tactician on Stuart Cranston's new acquisition, The Ker 32, Hijacker from Strangford Lough. This boat was previously Checkmate which raced for Ireland in the 2006 Commodore's Cup. She is a sister ship of the Ker 32 Voodoo Chile. This was her first race event in the new ownership and all were interested to see how she would go in the RC 35 Class, but more on that later.

The Scottish Series this year consisted of four days of sailing on Loch Fyne, with the regatta based in Tarbert. Some details of the event are:


  • Day one  Three races sailed in Moderate conditions. One W/L race, One Olympic triangle race and one trapezoidal type race
  • Day two  Light airs, never getting above eight knots, but mostly around six. Only one race concluded. The second race started but was abandoned up the first beat.
  • Day three  Strong winds, 17—30 Knots. Full on conditions. One W/L race plus around the Loch race—Some beating, some reaching, some running.
  • Day four  No wind and no racing


Fleets were generally small in the IRC classes, except the RC35 class. Fleets have been dwindling recently. Only six boats in classes one and three, seven in class four, and 14 in the RC 35 Class. The RC35 class was made up of 10 local Scottish RC 35 boats and four from Ireland.

Interesting Issues

In one race on Friday, the first fleet to go into sequence was class one. Just before the start sequence started, the Race Officer relaid the pin end mark. As very many boats now use start line GPS computers, like Racegeek or Velocitek, there were other class three, four and RC35 boats wanting to 'ping the pin'. As this was happening, two Class One boats had a collision, close to the Pin and in trying to avoid the collision, one of these Class One boats hit a Class Three boat, it was claimed.

Approx 15 minutes later, that Class Three boat started and went on to win her race. Once ashore they protested the Class One boat as damage was reported to have occurred. In the protest room, however, the International Jury decided to disqualify the Class Three boat because the sailing instruction said boats SHALL not be in the starting area, while another class is starting. The official protest noticeboard decision is here.

It is an interesting situation. In later races, boats from other classes were again clearly in the starting area when other classes were starting, mainly pinging the pin, but no action was taken against them.

"Race officers, I believe, need to allow time when moving start lines to allow boats to ping the line"

Nowadays, with increased technology coming into race boats, Race officers, I believe, need to allow time when moving start lines to allow boats to do what they need to do as regards pinging the line. Resetting a pin mark, then going straight into a sequence will inevitably lead to congestion around the line from other class boats. 


As only six of the planned ten races were completed, no discard was allowed, affecting some boats badly.

Class One

Six entries. Four good boats here. Spirit of Jacana, the J133 from Northern Ireland won the class last year and clearly likes a breeze. In the end, Jay Colville's First 40, Forty Licks from Northern Ireland took the class by a narrow margin from Jonathon Anderson's Beautiful J122e, El Gran Senor from Scotland. Forty Licks was involved in that collision referred to earlier and also blew out a spinnaker on a windy day, so did well to take the series in Class One.

Animal Something elseScottish RC35 champion Animal to windward after a start with Dun Laoghaire's blue-hulled Something Else to leeward Photo: Marc Turner

Class RC 35

The RC35 class is interesting as it is the only one holding up its numbers. There is a rating band applicable from 1.010 to 1.040 and it has a good following in Scotland. Pat Kelly's J109 Storm II from Rush and Howth, also competes regularly in this class. Storm was the 2018 Class and overall winner of Scottish Series. Other than that, three further Irish boats made the voyage to the Clyde, two J109s from Dun Laoghaire, Andrew Craig's Chimaera and Brian and John Hall's Something Else. Stuart Cranston from Strangford Lough brought the Ker 32 Hijacker for her first outing under new ownership. This Ker had been sailing previously during the last two years in Scotland.

The Top Scottish boat was reckoned to be the Beneteau 36.7 Animal, which had won the Kip Regatta (with Storm second) a fortnight earlier. However, that was a light series and it became apparent that Animal, is not quite the same Animal, when the breeze freshened. The top Scottish boat turned out to be the Corby 33 Jacob VII in fifth place.

The top four places overall ended up being the four Irish boats. Even on Individual races, only Irish boats won races, with Hijacker taking three wins, Storm taking two and Chimaera taking one.

"The win in this very competitive class also gave Andrew Craig the Overall Scottish Series Trophy"

It's not all about winning races though, and Chimaera’s Consistency, with Prof O'Connell calling the shots, never finished outside the top four in any race and gave her the win overall. Both Hijacker and Storm had at least one average race and so Hijacker finished second overall, with Storm third, and a solidly sailed Something Else took fourth.

The win in this very competitive class also gave Chimaera and Andrew Craig the Overall Scottish Series Trophy and was well deserved.

Half TonnersA class three start with Mata (second from left) and overall winner Harmony (right) Photo: Marc Turner

Class 3

Six entries. It was clear from early on that the two modified and upgraded Half tonners from Howth, Johnny Swan's Harmony, and the newly acquired Mata of D and M Wright were going to be the ones to beat. They had their own personal battle, eventually being won by Swan's Harmony. However, when you look at the results and know the story, you will see that it was – or could have been – a very close affair. Mata was the boat disqualified in race three by the Jury for being in the starting area when a previous class was starting. They then went on to win that race but lost it in the protest room. In a no discard series, they ended second overall, but would have won it, had they not been disqualified.

Class 4

Seven entries. This was a one-sided affair, with Rory Fekkes' highly modified First Class Eight winning every race, bar one, to take the overall win from Lady Ex. The only race she lost was due to being OCS in that race, requiring her to return to the line. In the long, around the Loch race, where she was able to plane easily, she won by eight minutes. We will have to wait and see if the Dublin Bay Quarter Tonners and other top boats in Dublin will give her a closer run in next week's ICRA championships in Dun Laoghaire. If the breeze is up in that event though, she will be the one to beat.

Tarbert PartyAfter race partying at Tarbert. The social side of the Scottish Series makes it a great event Photo: Marc Turner


Socially, It was, as always, a great event. Post-race drinks in the beer tent were always good, followed by a few more in the Corner House and then later in the night the tent got going again with bands and Ceili Scottish dancing every night, for those who wanted it. The RC35 Class had a great dock party on the Sunday afternoon after racing, kindly sponsored by The Kelly family team from Storm.

This regatta is really worth coming to and is a great warm-up event for those wanting to get a head start in the season.

Published in Scottish Series
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The Clyde Cruising Club’s Scottish Series has long been a happy hunting ground for Irish boats and crews writes W M Nixon. We remember with particular fondness the great days of the Royal Cork YC’s Corby 36 Antix, with which the O’Leary family seemed to be in constant motion from one victory to another in successive locations, and the early-season Scottish action in Loch Fyne was always in a key position on their agenda.

More recently we’ve seen Rob McConnell and his team from Dunmore East pull off the top trophy with his A35 Fool’s Gold, and then last year Pat Kelly and his mostly family crew, sailing for Howth and Rush, were Tops of the Top in Scotland with the J/109 Storm.

But this year has seen it all move onto a new plane for Ireland, with a high level of success which is both across the board, and in-depth for good measure. For although it provides racing from the characterful port of Tarbert for 11 classes, the prime selling point of the event is the Scottish IRC Championship, yet just four of those classes come within the prestigious IRC remit.

sunny sunday2Loch Fyne at its best – Sunday provided glorious racing in winds which touched 30 knots – El Gran Senor (Jonathan Anderson) chasing Stuart Ram’s Corby 37 Aurora in Class 1. Photo: Marc Turner

Yet when racing wrapped up on Monday, all four of those elite classes were won by boats from Ireland. Not only that, but in two of those classes, the runners-up were Irish, and in the case of the hottest IRC class of all, the RC35s (aka Class 2) sponsored by gourmet food specialist Makars Mash, Irish boats simply dominated the frame.

As already reported in, the RC35 winner, and overall winner too, was Andrew Craig’s J/109 Chimaera (Royal Irish YC). The fact that they took it by a whopping eight points is why they got the big one as a bonus, and it’s another feather in the cap of the J/109 Class, of which Andrew Craig is Dublin Bay Captain.

Seasoned sailor Brian Mathews was in Chimaera’s crew-of-all-the-talents (including Maurice “The Prof”) for this contest, and he waxes lyrical about how the 2004-conceived J/109 continues to give excellent value, particularly for Dublin Bay sailors.

“She’s a very forgiving boat” he enthuses, “with an excellent all-round performance and no real vices. Unlike some rock star boats, she’s not utterly outstanding on any one particular point of sailing. Yet she’s right there all across the board, and will always turn in a good average speed when compared with boats of similar size. As for her virtues when she’s raced in a One-Design situation, they’re all accentuated – we’ll be getting value out of the J/109s on Dublin Bay for a long time, they’re the Dublin Bay 24s of our time”.

chimaera crew prize giving3Job well done. Andrew Craig (third left) with his jubilant crew in Tarbert on Monday, they are (front row left to right) Andrew Abbott, John White, Andrew Craig, Nevan Powell, Eddie O’Rahilly and Maurice “The Prof” O’Connell, back row Brian Mathews and Dave Cotter, missing is Andrew’s son Nick who’d had to catch a plane to London. Photo: Marc Turner

chimaera crew prize giving3aIt’s not quite Monaco Grand Prix weather, but Chimaera’s crew still give it a lash with the champagne-cracking in Tarbert

One of the earliest advocates of the J/109 in Dublin Bay was John Hall of the National Yacht Club, whose dark blue Something Else is one of the class’s most senior members. Her skipper has the zest for sport to match – John Hall is 82 this year, and for something like forty of those years he has been a strong supporter of the Scottish Series.

So when Something Else went north yet again in May 2019, it was with three generations of the Hall family on board – John, his son and co-owner Brian, and grandson Jack – together with a totally Corinthian crew, and on Monday evening they were acclaimed as fourth overall in this very hot RC35 Class, with a healthy scoreline of 4, 3, 2, 8, 5 and 3, and as popular regulars they got the Boat of the Day award too.

john jack brian hall4The three generations of the Hall family about to depart the National YC for Scotland with their J/109 Something Else to continue 40 years of involvement with the Scottish Series are (left to right) John Hall, his grandson Jack, and son Brian. Photo: Rebecca Johnson
Something else 2682The Hall family’s Something Else is one of the Dublin Bay J/109 fleet’s most senior members

animal somethingelse6RC35 Class 2018 Champion Animal (First 36.7, Debby Aitken) neck and neck with the Hall family’s J/109 Something Else (NYC) at the 2019 Scottish Series. Photo: Marc Turner

The winner Chimaera showed the sort of steady series consistency advocated by yacht racing coaches, with a score lineup of 2, 1, 4, 3, 2 and 2. But in second place the Ker 32 Hijacker – a sister-ship of Eamonn Crosbie’s Round Ireland winning Voodoo Chile – had a lineup of highs and lows which may have had something to do with her being at the lowest size limit of the RC35 class, yet despite her smaller size she had a punitive rating well above the J/109s.

Everything about Hijacker is interesting, as her owners Stuart Cranston and J Buchanan list Down Cruising Club as their home base. DCC is that wonderful former lightship club HQ hidden away in the heart of Strangford Lough - perfect for total cruising folk perhaps, but not generally associated with high end IRC racing.

hijacker spinnaker7Will she, won’t she…..? The Ker 32 Hijacker from Down Cruising Club in Strangford Lough always had to find some extra performance as she is one of the highest-rated boats in the RC35 Class. Photo: Marc Turner
To add to the mix, they had the formidable Mark Mansfield of Cork on board, and it started brilliantly with a win on the Friday morning, but then a 9th and a 7th in Friday’s two other races were a wake-up call.

So they went out and won in Saturday’s only race, and got a third and first in Sunday’s two races. But as racing simply petered out in calm on Monday in that Loch Fyne style we all love so well, Hijacker had to be content with a scoreline of 1,9,7,1,3,1 which looked spectacular, but simply couldn’t match Chimaera’s Steady Eddy showing.

That said, very few boats came away from Tarbert with three good race wins, and that for the smallest boat in the class. As it was, it was good enough to keep them ahead of defending champion Pat Kelly in Storm by 2 points, the final RC35 scorecard being 1st: Chimaera (Andrew Craig RIYC) 14 points, 2nd: Hijacker (S. Cranston & J Buchanan DCC) 22pts; 3rd Storm (P Kelly, HYC/RSC) 24pts; 4th Something Else (J & B Hall, NYC) 25pts.

fireworks over tarbert8The pace in Tarbert is as hectic ashore as afloat – Fireworks Night was just one of the entertainments, Photo: Marc Turner

The 2018 RC35 champion, Debbie Aitken’s First 36.7 Animal from the Clyde, may already have won the Kip Regatta RC35 contest earlier in May ahead of Storm, but in Tarbert the Animal had to be content with 7th overall. Up at the front of the class meanwhile, with a clear lead margin of eight points, Chimaera’s crew knew they were heading back into Tarbert for the final time in 2019 on Monday with every likelihood of being the Top of the Tops, so they’d Luke Kelly blasting out “Take Her Up to Monto” on the cockpit speakers at the upper limit of the dial as they came into port, and the trophies collected, they then zapped back over the 154 miles from Tarbert home to Dublin in businesslike style.

Inevitably we focus on the RC35 Class at the Scottish Series, as it’s a good idea whose time has definitely come, with a clearly-visioned Class Association that maximises sporting return for time afloat. The J/109s do the same in Dublin Bay, and with eight classic Half Tonners now in action in Ireland, they’re also working the same way. But as the hyper-successful Irish GP 14 Class Association shows year after year, it doesn’t happen by magic – you’ll only get as much out of it as you put into it in the first place.

Harmony lambay9Harmony at home – Jonny Swann’s successful classic Half Tonner Harmony shares the sea with some vintage Howth 17s during the annual Lambay Race. In Scotland this week, she won Class 3 in convincing style. Photo: O’Brien

Thus there were just two Irish Half Tonners in Scotland, both from Howth in the form of Jonny Swann’s Harmony (runner-up to Dave Cullen’s Half Ton Classic World Champion Checkmate XV in Belgium last year) and Darren & Michael Wright’s new mount Mata (formerly Trastada).

Admittedly they did get first and second overall in Class 3 with Harmony on a scoreline of 1,4,2,1,1,2 to put her 6 points ahead of Mata on 2,1, Dsq, 3,2,1, but a few more of these attractive boats would have livened it up no end. However, there’s an expectation of eight Half Tonners in the three day Frank Keane BMW & Mini ICRA Nats at the Royal St George YC in Dun Laoghaire starting next Friday, so for the moment we’ll leave it that although only two Half Tonners went to Scotland, they simply couldn’t have done better…..

Mata formerly Trastada10Darren & Michael Wright’s classic Andrieu-designed Half Tonner Mata (formerly Trastada) made it a double for the Howth Half Tonners in Class 3 in Scotland. Photo: O’Brien
An extra cherry on top of the cream-covered Irish IRC success cake in Scotland came among the biggies in Class 1, where Jay Colville’s First 40 Forty Licks from East Down YC in Strangford Lough pulled of quite a coup by winning overall from the home favourite, Jonathan Anderson’s J122E El Gran Senor. There were just two points in it at the end, but the win was well earned by an owner-skipper who is not only one of the keenest in Ireland – there are very few major regattas where Forty Licks hasn’t been in the thick of it towards the front of the fleet – and her skipper gives as he takes, as he serves as Deputy Chair of Sport NI.

forty licks11Jay Colville’s Forty Licks, a First 40 from East Down YC in Strangford Lough, is one of Ireland’s most regular contenders, and won Class 1 in Scotland Photo: VDLR
Way down the size scale, Class 4 in Scotland was the smallest boats using IRC, and once again the winning trophy came back southwest across the North Channel, this time aboard Rory Fekkes’ impressively all-black super-tuned vintage Beneteau Quarter Tonner F’n Gr8 from Carrickfergus SC. They’d a bit of a sneeze in the first race to take third, but after that it was straight bullets all the way.

Yet all the Irish IRC successes were definitely not a flash in the pan, but were solidly based on proven performance to give 2019’s Irish IRC season a rocket-propelled start. Which is just as well, as the fulfilling of the programme for the next six weeks is going to require some people being in at least three places at the same time, and doing it all at the speed of light in order to emerge intact at the end of Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta on July 14th.

fekkes boat12Black, black, black……Rory Fekkes souped-up vintage Beneteau Quarter Tonner F’n Gr8 from Carrickfergus is as distinctive as they come, but she’s mighty fast and well-sailed with it, and added the Class 4 win in Scotland to her many previous successes
It’s Cresta Run logistics, and in order to accommodate it, in the ISORA scene they’re taking a programme break to allow their boats time to do both the Frank Keane BMW & Mini ICRA Nats next weekend, and the Dun Laoghaire to Dingle race on Wednesday, June 12th. But here too the first set of ISORA results just add to the J/109 mystique, as the Pwllheli flyer Mojito (Peter Dunlop & Vicky Cox) currently leads the points table, and now their hat is in the ring for the dash to Dingle as well.

So although we’re into a new set of parameters with the upcoming ICRA Nats and the D2D, at the heart of both fleets the J/109s will still be the boats to beat.

Published in W M Nixon
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Dublin Bay J109 Class Captain Andrew Craig of the Royal Irish Yacht Club emerged the overall winner of the 2019 Scottish Series in Tarbert yesterday in a clean sweep of IRC prizes by Irish cruiser racers after the series was cut short on Loch Fyne.

Down Cruising Club's Forty Licks was the IRC1 winner, Chimaera took the RC35s in a start to finish victory, Jonny Swan's Harmony of Howth Yacht Club went one better than 2018 and was the IRC3 victor and Carrickfergus yacht F'n Gr8 was the IRC4 winner.

The other Class Winners for the 2019 Clyde Cruising Club Scottish Series are; CYCA5 First by Farr, CYCA6; Salamander XXII and CYCA8; Celtic Spirit, Sigma 33 OOD; Leaky Roof 2, Sonata OD; Fiddlesticks, Hunter 707 OD; Seaword and Etchells OD: Hero

Overall results are here

The trophy winners for the Clyde Cruising Club Scottish Series 2019 are;

Overall Series winners

Joe Deane Cup and Knox Anchor
Salamander XXI


Tunnocks' Cup

Crinan Cup
Celtic Spirit

Crawford McInnes Trophy (Hempel Youth winners)

Lemarac Tankard
Celtic Spirit

Causeway Cup
F'n Gr8

Alfred Mylne Trophy

Clyde Bowl
Celtic Spirit

Valhalla of Ashton Salver volunteer award
The Tech (or as we know them, Raynet) Team

La Rochelle Trophy

The McIver Salver (Mudhook YC)
F'n Gr8

Published in Racing
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Andrew Craig's J109 Chimaera from the Royal Irish Yacht Club continues her lead in the Scottish Series but a penultimate day challenge for the RC35 title has emerged from Strangford Lough's Hijacker, a former Irish Commodore's Cupper.

Irish boats hold the overall lead of IRC divisions one, two and three going into today's final rounds on Loch Fyne, a great indication so far of the health of Irish Cruiser Racer interests versus the local RC35 interests on the Clyde. Of particular note is the failure of RC35 Champion Animal to break into the top three overall so far this weekend.

The Northern Ireland Ker 32 skippered by S. Cranston & J. Buchanan is now second overall in the RC35s, leapfrogging the Dublin J109s Storm and Something Else in the overall standings. 

Craig's Chimaera consistent performance since Friday, however, means she has an eight-point cushion going into today's final races of Scotland's biggest sailing regatta but with as many as four races scheduled for today, big changes in the leaderboard are still possible.

As Afloat predicted in its pre-regatta assessment, in class three, it is Howth Yacht Club Half Tonners that hold sway with Jonny Swan's Harmony holding the lead from the Wright brother's Mata.

In Class One, Down Cruising Club's Forty Licks has the overall lead from one time Jonathan Anderson's El Gran Senor. 

Day three of the Clyde Cruising Club Series saw another different day of weather on Loch Fyne. With gusts focusing the concentrations of skippers and crew throughout the day, there was some exhilarating racing.

Full results are here.

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Coastal Notes Coastal Notes covers a broad spectrum of stories, events and developments in which some can be quirky and local in nature, while other stories are of national importance and are on-going, but whatever they are about, they need to be told.

Stories can be diverse and they can be influential, albeit some are more subtle than others in nature, while other events can be immediately felt. No more so felt, is firstly to those living along the coastal rim and rural isolated communities. Here the impact poses is increased to those directly linked with the sea, where daily lives are made from earning an income ashore and within coastal waters.

The topics in Coastal Notes can also be about the rare finding of sea-life creatures, a historic shipwreck lost to the passage of time and which has yet many a secret to tell. A trawler's net caught hauling more than fish but cannon balls dating to the Napoleonic era.

Also focusing the attention of Coastal Notes, are the maritime museums which are of national importance to maintaining access and knowledge of historical exhibits for future generations.

Equally to keep an eye on the present day, with activities of existing and planned projects in the pipeline from the wind and wave renewables sector and those of the energy exploration industry.

In addition Coastal Notes has many more angles to cover, be it the weekend boat leisure user taking a sedate cruise off a long straight beach on the coast beach and making a friend with a feathered companion along the way.

In complete contrast is to those who harvest the sea, using small boats based in harbours where infrastructure and safety poses an issue, before they set off to ply their trade at the foot of our highest sea cliffs along the rugged wild western seaboard.

It's all there, as Coastal Notes tells the stories that are arguably as varied to the environment from which they came from and indeed which shape people's interaction with the surrounding environment that is the natural world and our relationship with the sea.

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