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National Yacht Club J109 'Something Else' Leads IRC 3 of Scottish Series

27th May 2023
Racing at the 2023 Scottish Series on the Clyde, Scotland
Racing at the 2023 Scottish Series on the Clyde, Scotland

The Scottish Series 2023 on Saturday was dominated by changeable conditions. Although the wind was always present, it could be classed as extremely variable, which made the race officers' jobs very difficult when it came to setting a course. A couple of races had to be abandoned due to unstable wind conditions, which the experienced race officers were forced to call. When the rain showers cleared, it left a nice north-westerly wind at around 12 knots and steady.

In the IRC1 Class it’s still Jonathan Anderson at the top in El Grande Senor. After two days of racing the seasoned campaigner remains at the top of the table on eight points after another successful day of two firsts and a third. He is just one ahead of Shaun Douglas sailing Gamechanger and on 11 points Bruce Douglas and Spirit of Jacana. It’s still probably too early to call the class winner but it could be one of these three.

Jonathan Anderson at the topof IRC 1 in El Grande Senor at the 2023 Scottish Series on the Clyde Jonathan Anderson is at the top of IRC 1 in El Grande Senor at the 2023 Scottish Series on the Clyde

IRC Class 2 and it saw another successful day for Charles Frize who remains at the top of the table on 10.5 points just ahead of Robin Young’s J109 Jings, who is close enough to strike on 12 points. They are followed by John Stamp’s Corby 33 Jacob on 15 points. This is also their Scottish Championship.

IRC Class 3 and Dun Laoghaire's Brian Hall in the J109 Something Else from the National Yacht Club, having straight firsts yesterday, had to settle for a third, a fourth and fifth today. After discard this leaves him with nine points for the Series, ahead of Phoenix, the quarter-tonner owned by Stephen Black, who remained consistent over the six races and trails by just one point. He is ahead of Iain Chapman in Attica.

Ally Paton's Jammin at the  2023 Scottish Series on the ClydeAlly Paton's Jammin at the  2023 Scottish Series on the Clyde

IRC Class 4 CYCA remains in the ownership of Euan Morrison sailing Sapphire who didn’t get it all his own way today after scoring three firsts on Friday. He came away with a sixth, a fourth and an eighth and after discard is on 13 points. He is three points ahead of Ally Paton sailing his yacht Jammin with a young and enthusiastic team. They remained consistent and trail by only three points on 16. Veteran campaigner Howard Morrison, sailing his yacht Enigma is two points adrift on 18 but still showing the magic of previous class wins. Point to note, he probably doesn’t mind being beaten by his son Euan who is currently winning. It will be interesting to see the outcome at the end of the week.

IRC Class 5 CYCA looks like being in full ownership of young Fin Aiken and his newly rebuilt and refurbished Arcade (Impala 28) and having delivered three firsts yesterday, continued the run today with a first, a second and a third. Discarding the third leaves him with just six points after six races and a buffer over James Jamieson’s yacht Clancy who has sailed very consistently and sits on 11 points. They are followed are Alan Dunnett in Valhalla of Ashton, previous multiple class winner on 14 points. We would have said it’s too early to call but it might not be.

In the CYCA Restricted Sail Class Ken Andrews’ yacht Argento remains top of the leaderboard after three races, with six points. He is just two points ahead of St Bridget sailed by Ian Nicholson on eight points, and he is just one point ahead of Cygnet sailed by Kevin Byers. Again, quite a tight class which will probably be decided in the next few days.

Class 10 Two Handed CYCA There’s nothing much in this one apart from all the hard work as there’s only two people on the boat. After three races only 1.5 points separate the first three boats. Our current leader on five points is Mike Forbes sailing Mickey Finn with a 1.5 point lead over both Alastair Torbet in Spirit of May and Clive Reeves in Lyrebird who are both on 6.5. It’s anyone’s call who could win this class right all.

In the Etchells class Geoff Howison sailing Hero continues his success. Having now sailed six races he discarded a sixth position leaving him on five points. He is closely followed by Extravaganza and Jake Miller on ten points, who also got a first and a third today. Add into the mix Ian Marshall sailing Mayhem who is just one point behind Jake and it’s all to play for, though it promises to be a tough competition – but my goodness they looked good out on the water today.

Moving to the 707 class, has now sailed six races, after one discard Mr Consistency, James Urquhart in first place, with a third and a second, giving him a bit of a buffer from Dara O’Malley’s Seaward who after the discard is on 11 points. They are closely followed by Griogair Macfarlane in TATA, just one point behind. We watched the 707 class today and it’s just going to be as tight as ever, it’s just too close to call at the moment.

The Sigma 33 Class is currently being dominated by Helensburgh based sailor James Miller sailing Mayrise. Having now sailed six races they can discard a fifth and count three firsts, fourth and a third for ten points. Mayrise and her crew are experienced and have won many class events. He’s going to be hard to catch, however in second place Griogair Whyte sailing Close Encounters with his crew are very capable of just doing that and they sit with 14 points. They are closely followed by Donald MacLaren’s Sigmatic and also worth noting, Harper / Robertson in Leaky Roof are both on 15 points. It’s still too close to call in this class.

In the RS 21 Class Mr Consistency Liam Wills continues to lead the class with a third, a second and a first. He discards the third, for seven points overall. Having scored an incredible three firsts he gives himself a four point lead over Calum Bell’s A-Plan on 11. These are closely followed by Duncan Hepplewhite and Sailingfast on 13 points. These boats look very exciting to sail. We followed them around the course today, they are definitely for the more athletic sailors!

Race Results

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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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