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Scotland's Class of Champions

29th May 2012
Scotland's Class of Champions

#Scottishseries – Tarbert's local sailing hero Ruairidh Scott, who in 2003 won the prestigious Scottish Series Trophy overall returns to his native waters later this week when he competes again in the Brewin Dolphin Scottish Series Regatta.

Now based near Southampton, sail-maker and pro sailor Scott will race in IRC Class 3 as tactician on Grant Gordon's successful south of England based J97 Fever Glenfiddich. While Scott may have aspirations of lifting the premier event's top award for the second time, he and the Fever crew will find themselves up against a tough cross section of past Scottish Series champions, not least the 2011 winning boat, the J97 Jackaroo of Jim and Steve Dick.

In fact there are three J97's competing in the class, top Clyde helm Iain Laidlaw, assisted by sail-maker Chris Owen, finished a close second to the Fever crew at the Savills Kip Regatta, the warm up event a couple of weeks ago.

Though the J97's took 1,2,3 at Kip they might not have it their own way on Loch Fyne – where racing starts Friday and finishes Monday afternoon – as Cork's Anthony O'Leary, the skipper who won the Trophy in 2004 and 2006, will renew a friendly rivalry with Scott which goes back more a dozen years. O'Leary races his modified 1720 Sportsboat under IRC handicap with a crack Cork crew.

Also in the mix in this virtual champion-of-champions class is Howard Morrison, past commodore of Clyde Cruising Club, organisers of the Scottish Series. It will be 21 years ago this year since Morrison won the Scottish Series Trophy on Ufor, his UFO31, but he has been a regular podium finisher ever since.

Grant Gordon is a passionate Scottish owner who has had and raced a number of yachts called Fever which he has campaigned from their Solent base. He chooses key regattas each year out with English waters and this year he returns to Tarbert, to one of his personal favourites.

"We have won the national championships and were second at Cowes with the boat and we feel we are pretty competitive, though we know the other J97's have been well sailed. It is always a pleasure to be back at Tarbert and one place I look forwards to each year." Comments Scott.

If there is something of a homecoming theme for the Fever owner and the tactician, that extends through the crew which, despite being mainly English bases, is 75% born and bred Scots.

Current champion Jim Dick will unfortunately not be able to compete on board his 2011 trophy winning boat due to an arm injury, and his winning skipper-helm Hamish Mackay has commitments elsewhere. But J/Boats' Peter Cameron and Dave Kelly who won with Dick and crew, will form the backbone of the Jackaroo team this year.

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