Displaying items by tag: scottish series
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Afloat.ie, 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”.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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…..
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.
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.
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.
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
Crawford McInnes Trophy (Hempel Youth winners)
Alfred Mylne Trophy
Valhalla of Ashton Salver volunteer award
The Tech (or as we know them, Raynet) Team
La Rochelle Trophy
The McIver Salver (Mudhook YC)
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.
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.
In the RC35 class, Irish J109s are in total control. Royal Irish's Andrew Craig on the J109 Chimaera leads a 14-boat class by six points with Dublin boats in second and third place too. Howth Yacht Club's defending Scottish Series champions Storm, Pat Kelly is on 16 points in second. Something Else (Brian and John Hall of the National Yacht Club) are third on 17 points.
In class three, Howth Half Tonner Harmony, (Jonny Swan) continues to lead and has extended her lead to three points from Scotland's Satisfaction, Nicholas Marshall.
As Afloat previously reported, the 2019 Scottish Series has attracted a significant Irish entry. It maintains the positive upswing which the regatta has been experiencing over recent years with overall entries up on target for Scotland's biggest sailing event.
Read Afloat's predictions for the overall series wins here. Racing continues today and concludes on Monday.
Results are here
After two races sailed, Royal Irish's Andrew Craig on the J109 Chimaera leads a 14-boat RC35 class by two points with fellow Dublin crews also holding second and third place. J109 sisterships Something Else (Brian and John Hall of the National Yacht Club) are second on nine points with Howth Yacht Club's defending Scottish Series champions Storm, Pat Kelly on 11 points.
In class three, Howth Half Tonner Harmony, (Jonny Swan) that came so close to overall victory on the Clyde last year leads by two points from Scotland's Satisfaction, Nicholas Marshall.
As Afloat previously reported, the 2019 Scottish Series has attracted a significant Irish entry. It maintains the positive upswing which the regatta has been experiencing over recent years with overall entries up on target.
Read Afloat's predictions for the overall series wins here. Racing continues today and concludes on Monday.
Results are here
A potent fleet of Irish IRC Cruiser Racers is heading north to Tarbert this month in search of Scottish silver at the annual Scottish Series on the Clyde. There are a few Irish campaigns in each of the IRC classes this May and some likely Irish winners too.
This year she is joined in 14-boat class two by two Dublin sisterships, Chimaera (Andrew Craig) of the Royal Irish YC and Tarbert regulars Something Else (Brian & John Hall) of the National Yacht Club. The Strangford Lough Elan 37 Adelante is also entered as is the RC35 Hijacker (S Cranston&J Buchanan) of Down Cruising Club.
In class one, two Northern Ireland boats make up a third of the fleet with Jay Colville's First 40 Forty Licks and A, B, & J Douglas's Spirit of Jacana both making a return trip.
In IRC class three, two Howth Yacht Club half–tonners Mata (D & M Wright) and Jonny Swan's Harmony are entered. Royal Ulster Yacht Club Beneteau 31.7 Final Call (John Minnis) is also in this class. Back on the scene after an eventful Cork Week in 2018 is Rory Fekkes in the successfully modified First 'F'nGr8'.
M Lowry/C Kevelighan have from Ballyholme Yacht Club on Belfast Lough have entered the Quarter Tonner Manzanita and East Antrim's Richard Doig of East Antrim Boat Club has entered the Westerly GK24 Sirius in the 14-boat fleet.
And in the Sigma 33 class, Paul & Emma Prentice's Squawk from Royal Ulster Yacht Club is also travelling to Scotland.
Entries are here
David Kelly and the crew of yacht Storm from Howth Yacht Club and Rush Sailing Club have won the coveted overall Clyde Cruising Club's Scottish Series Trophy. Having won their class the previous year to come back and do so again is an outstanding achievement by the Irish J109 National Champions.
As well as the overall trophy David Kelly walked away with the Rose Bowl for best boat in the Luddon IRC fleet and The McIver Salver. In a very competitive Makars Mash RC35 Class, Kelly was pushed by fellow Dubliner's Brian and John Hall sailing 'Something Else' of the National Yacht Club finishing only four points behind in their J109. More on this win here.
As Afloat.ie reported earlier, as Irish boats were closing in on a successful Scottish tour, in a haul of trophies for Irish racers at the Scottish Series, there were also victories in class one and class four when Carrickfergus yachts from Belfast Lough lifted the silverware after three days of competitive sailing on the Gourock.
Spirit of Jacana (Alan Bruce/James Douglas) came from behind to win class one on the last day to earn them The Causeway Cup, awarded to the boat normally based out with Scotland which in the opinion of the Race Committee has given the best performance of all boats.
Also In IRC 1, Conor & Denise Phelan's Ker 37 'Jump Juice' from Royal Cork YC, with North Sails finished third overall.
In IRC four, cruiser debutante Rory Fekkes was the overall winner in his First, 'F'nGr8'.
In IRC three, Johnny Swan's classic half-tonner "Harmony" from Howth YC, finished a close second in her class, losing out on overall victory only by a single point.
'Team Storm' had one simple quote, to sum up their Scottish Series victory, "we're not here to win, we're here to take over."
But the toast of the night has been for Kelly who was absolutely delighted with the crews' performance at this year's Scottish Series with the class and the overall win. "This is probably some of the best racing around. I've been coming here for the last 12 years and will be back again next year; we have been targeting this event for a while and are really chuffed to win it overall; this crew has done an amazing job."
'Team Storm' had one simple quote to sum up their Scottish Series victory, " we're not here to win, we're here to take over."
Scottish Series Event Chairman, David Denholm, commented "The Clyde Cruising Club Scottish Series enjoyed some brilliant sailing in stunning Loch Fyne off Tarbert with superb Bank holiday weather. David Kelly's 'Storm' crew are without doubt worthy winners of CCC Scottish Series 2018 and the IRC Scottish Championship; the crew looked particularly pleased to have won a gallon of Bruichladdich whisky. He also commented that the event is extremely grateful to the companies that provide sponsorship to support the event; The Botanist was certainly well-received as part of the prizes for the overall class winners."
The VALHALLA OF ASHTON SALVER for a volunteer who makes a particular contribution to the event was awarded to Alan Cassels who, for the last 20 years, has acted as the Race Officer for the One Design Fleet.
The CRINAN CUP was awarded to the boat which, in the opinion of the Race Committee has given the most meritorious performance of all competitors in the Passage Race from Largs; this year that boat was Brian Robertson's 'Celtic Spirit' from CYCA class 7 also taking home the Clyde Bowl for the best combined times for the Passage Race from Largs and the Tunnock's Inch' Race.
The TUNNOCK'S CUP for the boat with the lowest corrected time in the CYCA classes in the Tunnock's Inch' Race this year was awarded to John Corson's 'Salamander XXII'.
The CRAWFORD McINNES TROPHY supported by Hempel Paints for best under 25 helm or crew, who in the opinion of the Race Committee has given the best performance of all eligible competitors in the Series, was presented to Rory Fekkes of 'F'NGr8' and Hempel product prizes to the youth crew of 'Jump Juice'.
The SINBAD TROPHY was awarded to the family boat, regardless of class or results, as judged by representatives of the organising committee; this year was presented to the Morrison family sailing 'Synergie' in CYCA 7.
The LEMARAC TANKARD was awarded to the boat which, in the opinion of the Race Committee achieved the best performance of all competitors in the White Sail classes in the Series this year, 'St Bridget' owned by Ian Nicolson.
The ALFRED MYLNE CUP TROPHY which goes to the best performance of all competitors in the EventScotland One Design classes in the Series, and was awarded to the winner of the Scottish National Championship of the class, Brian Wiseman sailing National Sonata One Design 'Virtuoso'.
The JOE DEANE CUP, for the best performance in the Tunnock's CYCA handicap Classes in the Series this year goes to Howard Morrison of 'Enigma'.
The ROSE BOWL for the best performance in the Luddon Fleet IRC Classes in the Series this year goes to David Kelly of 'Storm'.
The CAUSEWAY CUP awarded to the boat normally based out with Scotland which in the opinion of the Race Committee has given the best performance of all boats in the Series went to Alan, Bruce and James Douglas in their Irish based boat 'Spirit of Jacana'.
The McIVER SALVER (owned by the Mudhook Yacht Club) was awarded to the winner of the IRC SCOTTISH CHAMPIONSHIP, David Kelly of the yacht 'Storm'.
The overall award, the Clyde Cruising Club SCOTTISH SERIES TROPHY, also went to David Kelly's 'Storm'.
Overall results are here
Irish boats are winning overall in two divisions and second in another as the final day of the Scottish Series sets sail today in Tarbert that incorporates the Scottish IRC Championships.
In the tough RC35 class, Dublin family-based J109s are first and second with Howth Yacht Club's Storm (The Kelly family) ahead of the National Yacht Club's (The Hall family). As regular Afloat.ie readers will know, this is no flash-in-the-pan for Storm, who are the defending class champions at Tarbert. The Kelly's, who are Irish J109 National Champions, have also tasted victory this season already with a comprehensive win a fortnight ago, at Scotland's Kip Regatta.
In Class four, Carrickfergus Sailing Club's Frist, 'F'nGr8' skippered by Rory Fekkes is the overall leader.
In Class one, Conor Phelan's Royal Cork Yacht Club Ker Custom Ker 37, Jump Juice trails France's Gery Trentesaux for the overall lead by only 3.5 points.
The Luddon Fleet saw yet more champagne sailing conditions with a warm Southerly 15 – 20mph building throughout the day. With one windward-leeward race planned, followed by the round Inchmarnock Race the IRC fleet enjoyed a busy day navigating around the waters of Loch Fyne.
No one enjoyed the day more than Trentesaux's Courrier Recommande in IRC 1 displaying an impressive set of results with two firsts changing the leader-board leaving him 3.5 points ahead of Cork Harbour's Jump Juice and Carrickgergus's Spirit of Jacana both on 17.5 closely followed by Aurora on 20 points meaning this class is still wide open heading into tomorrow (Monday).
Yesterday, in The Makars Mash RC35 Class, Dave Kelly, Storm, retains his position on 13 points after stretching his lead to a 3 point difference over Brian and John Hall sailing their J109, Something Else, with both boats showing great crew work and downwind speed. They are followed by Charlie Frize of team Banshee on 21.5 points who had a difficult first race today leaving them 3rd in class.
In Luddon IRC Class 3 things are tighter than ever for the class, with Samurai J owned by Alan Macleod/Andrew Knowles and Jonny Swan's half-tonner Harmony only separated by 1 point. This means that tomorrow these two boats are going to go down to the wire. Vixen, sailed by Neal Piper from Tynemouth SC, is sitting on 17 points and could upset the pecking order.
In IRC Class 4 things have changed around at the top with F'nGr8, owned by Rory Fekkes from Carrickfergus YC, dragging themselves into first place with two bullets today showing great control and pace. This has pushed Jon Fitzgerald of Ayesha into second place, with only half a point separating these two titans, closely followed by Ben Shelley's Lady Ex in third place on 16 points. The last two races scheduled for Monday mean it is still anyone's Series.
Today in the Tunnock's CYCA class 5 Howard Morrison, Enigma, has had his 8 point lead slashed to 3 by Alan Dunnet's Valhalla of Ashton sitting on 15 points, displaying an impressive show of downwind sailing in the passage race with controlled composure. They are followed by Ian Hard's Hardslog on 22 points.
In CYCA Class 6 Alistair Gay's Orwell Lass compounds their lead within the class with a 3rd and 2nd in today's racing giving them a comfortable lead over Richard Doig's Sirius on 19 points. However, the competition for second place is still very open with Oliver Epsom's Radioactivity on 22 points.
CYCA Class 7 Slippi Gin owned by Dave & Karen Parker and Brian Roberston's Celtic Spirit are still fighting it out for first place, with only 1 point separating the two. They are followed by more close racing in the challenge for second with Argento and Encore separated by 1 point.
CYCA Class 8 has again had changes at the top with Clive Reeves' Lyrebird now taking the lead, however followed closely by George Reid and Alistair Wilkie of Vitale and Ian Nicolson's St Bridget both on 10 points, only 1 point behind the class leader meaning things are all still open heading into tomorrow (Monday).
The Event Scotland Fleet finally enjoyed some stable winds from the south giving them 3 races in excellent conditions in upper Loch Fyne with some closely fought One Design racing in all classes.
In the Sigma fleet the leaderboard has changed overnight with James Miller of Mayrise posting a 2nd and two 1st places, moving ahead of overnight leader Griogair Whyte of Close Encounters. In third place is Alan Harper and Eric Robertson sailing Leaky Roof II, leaving the top three separated by only 4 points going into the last day and likely to be settled in the last race.
Big changes in the Hunter 707 fleet today as Andy Hughes, Sharky, moves from 2nd to 1st after posting a 1st, 4th and 2nd demonstrating that great starting can deliver in such a tight fleet. Boat control was the name of the game today and this was well demonstrated by his crew, pushing them into first place ahead of More T Vicar by 4 points. Seaword dropped to 3rd after a challenging day with an 8th, 2nd and 5th.
There were changes in the Sonata fleet, but Brian Wiseman of Virtuoso continues to lead after cementing his place with two 1sts and a 2nd.. MacNish/Galbraith and Chassels' Old School breaking Virtuoso's string of firsts in the second race put them on 18 points and Mark Taylor's Saraband is now on 23 points.
Anyone who has ever raced against the J/109 Storm, campaigned by Pat Kelly and his close-knit family from Rush Sailing Club, quickly realises that they are up against something special in sailing. This is evident both with the Storm team themselves, and with the rising spirit of the small-sized but big-hearted club they call home, a club which has already logged formidable success at junior and senior levels, inshore and offshore, during the first weeks of the 2017 season.
Mooring facilities at the Rush club’s tide-riven anchorage on Rogerstown Estuary in the heart of Fingal are so confined that Storm is actually based at Howth Marina. But while she’s very welcome and popular there, no-one has any doubt that she’s the boat from Rush. It is a pleasure to watch her being raced by the Kelly’s remarkable family unit, augmented by their relatives and friends. We saw the essence of their approach on Monday in the final and vital two races of the Silvers Scottish Series 2017 at Tarbert. Storm handled both of these contests with clinical precision to take the overall class lead in convincing style from seven other possible winners. The Kelly Family of Rush are worthy Afloat.ie “Sailors of the Month” for May 2017.