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Just a Few Northern Ireland Boats Heading for West Highland Week and the Scottish Series

16th February 2023
Squawk, Paul and Emma Prentice's Belfast Lough Sigma 33 will travel to the Scottish Series 2023
Squawk, Paul and Emma Prentice's Belfast Lough Sigma 33 will travel to the Scottish Series 2023

For many years, Northern Ireland has had several entries in West Highland Week, and hopefully, that will be the case this year. But so far (though the event isn’t till the end of July), of the fifteen listed entries, there is only one from N Ireland, Temptress of Down owned by Kevin and Susie Harris from Royal Ulster, Ballyholme YC and Donaghadee Sailing Club on Belfast Lough

For their Sun Odyssey 47, the trip to Gigha for the Feeder Race will be a short affair in contrast to the worldwide cruising Temptress has already done. Kevin and Susie say that “WHYW is unfinished business from 2013, and we even have the same crew as 2013”.

Scottish Series 2023

John Minnis's Archambault A35 Final Call II Photo: AfloatJohn Minnis's Archambault A35 Final Call II Photo: Afloat

Likewise, the Scottish Series running from 26th – 29th May, usually attracts several entries from N Ireland, and so far, the word is that at least two will make the trip to Tarbert at the end of May. But only one Sigma 33 will take on the Scottish fleet as it seems that only Paul (Sigma 33 Northern class Captain) and Emma Prentice will compete in Squawk. He initially thought that about five Sigma 33s from Belfast Lough would enter. And after he gets Kip Regatta under his belt, John Minnis in the Archambault A35 Final Call II will include the Scottish Series as part of his 2023 campaign.

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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