Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Royal Ulster's John Minnis & Crew Take Scottish Series Class Win

31st May 2021
The 2021 Scottish Series had a much reduced IRC fleet and sailed with combined Zero and One fleet
The 2021 Scottish Series had a much reduced IRC fleet and sailed with combined Zero and One fleet Credit: CCC/Facebook

The passage across the North Channel from Belfast Lough to the Clyde for the 2021 Scottish Series was undoubtedly a worthwhile one for John Minnis in the Beneteau First 31.7 Final Call from Royal Ulster Yacht Club.

Racing at Inverkip in frustratingly light conditions and despite having to forgo the last race, two firsts and two seconds were enough by a comfortable four-point margin to take the first slot ahead of the Extrovert 22 Lady Ex.

In the same class, John Harrington's IMX 38 from the same club skippered by Ruan O' Tiarnaigh came fourth on equal points - 13 - with the quarter tonner Phoenix.

In Class 2, Shaun Douglas's First 40 .7 Game Changer, from Ballyholme Yacht Club, also on Belfast Lough, finished 5th in the nine boat Class 2 fleet racing in the Largs sector. His best result was a second place.

In the same fleet, Stuart Cranston's Ker 32 Hijacker tumbled to the bottom with a retiral resulting in three DNCs, in sharp contrast to its 2019 performance when the Strangford Lough entry from Down Cruising Club put in an enviable performance.

Commenting after the event John Minnis said, "It was fabulous that the Clyde Cruising Club was able to run the racing. Despite the trials Covid restrictions presented, it was run amazingly well."

Results are here

Published in Scottish Series
Betty Armstrong

About The Author

Betty Armstrong

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Betty Armstrong is Afloat and Yachting Life's Northern Ireland Correspondent. Betty grew up racing dinghies but now sails a more sedate Dehler 36 around County Down

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Scottish Series Background

Although the format of the Scottish Series varies little from year to year, it is interesting to see some of the changes which the event has seen over the years:

  • CYCA handicap class added to IOR (1976)
  • IOR level rating classes to reflect the popular sizes and World Championships being held in the UK
  • Separate one design class for Sonatas (1980 to date)
  • Campbeltown dropped with offshore races direct to Tarbert (1982)
  • Unique light displacement CYCA class - the forerunner of today's sportboats (1982)
  • Computer results system introduced in 1982 and now recognised as the best in the UK
  • Separate one design class for Sigma 33 (1987 to date)
  • Separate one design classes in certain years for Impalas, Sigma 38, Melges 24 and Cork 1720
  • Inner triangle to shorten courses for smaller classes (1986)
  • Points loading for offshore race reduced from 2 to 1.5 to 1
  • First racing in Scotland under Channel Handicap (1988)
  • Second racecourse for smaller classes (1989)
  • Discard introduced
  • Windward leeward races - two per day (1993)
  • Sportboat classes with no overnight races (1994)
  • Marquee on quayside for main social events (1995-2008)
  • Restricted Sail Class (1998)
  • Third racecourse for sportboats with up to three races per day (1998)
  • Day feeder races (2002)
  • Overnight and day feeder races discontinued (2005)
  • Stand-alone Tarbert Inbound and Outbound passage races introduced (2005/6)

With all these changes, some things have stayed the same:

  • Huge support from Ireland every year since 1975
  • A magnificent effort ashore and afloat from the volunteer helpers of the Clyde Cruising Club, Royal Scottish Motor Yacht Club and Tarbert Loch Fyne Yacht Club
  • Results and communications service at the forefront of technology
  • The best competition and the best social scene in the country
  • An overall Series winner, the roll call including many of the top sailors in Scotland and beyond.

Scottish Series 2022

Following the cancellation of the 2020 event, the dates for the 2021 edition of Scotland's biggest sailing event at Tarbert is: 3 –5 June 2022

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