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Northern Ireland Yachts Post 'Pleasing Results' at 2023 Scottish Series

31st May 2023
Three men in a boat Kevin Byers (left), Michael Russell (centre) and Terry Fair on Signet back in Bangor Marina on Belfast Lough after competing at the 2023 Scottish Series
Three men in a boat Kevin Byers (left), Michael Russell (centre) and Terry Fair on Signet back in Bangor Marina on Belfast Lough after competing at the 2023 Scottish Series

For some of the Northern Ireland boats which competed in the Scottish Series at Tarbert, the results were very pleasing.

Of the nine who made the trip north, the best results were from Ballyholme-based Kevin Byers and Michael Russell’s Sigma 33 Signet in the eight-strong Class 7, who had the tie with Ken Andrew’s Jeanneau S Argento broken in his favour. Signet posted three wins out of four races.

The Sigma 33 Signet in home watersThe Sigma 33 Signet in home waters

Other Belfast Lough competitors who had excellent results were Shaun Douglas’s Beneteau 40.7 Game Changer from Royal Ulster, Ballyholme and Cockle Island, who was runner-up in IRC 1 to Jonathan Anderson’s J122E El Gran Senor (Royal Irish YC) whose crew included Gavin Watson and Robbie Milhench from Royal Ulster.

Gavin Watson (left) and Robbie Milhench (RUYC) on El Senor Photo: RUYC FacebookGavin Watson (left) and Robbie Milhench (RUYC) on El Senor Photo: RUYC Facebook

Shaun Douglas's Game Changer racing in Belfast LoughShaun Douglas's Game Changer racing in Belfast Lough

Shaun Douglas (3rd left back row) and the crew of Game Changer Photo: courtesy RUYCShaun Douglas (3rd left back row) and the crew of Game Changer Photo: courtesy RUYC

Shaun and his crew reflected on the event, "We had the usual Lough Fyne weather – very light and fluky most of the time. We had a great first day and were pleased to have been leading after day one. The second and third days were a bit different, but we managed to keep in the hunt. The new sails have helped, but we are still learning about them, so hopefully, we can keep improving”.

Bruce Douglas’s J133 Spirit of Jacana from Carrickfergus Sailing Club, like Game Changer, counted six races in the top three to come third. In Class 3 Iain Chapman’s Attica (RUYC) was third, and the Strangford Lough-based Nicholson 43 Magdaleyne (Michael Petticrew) came fifth.

Emma and Paul Prentice from Belfast Lough racing Squawk began well with a first in a highly competitive Sigma 33 class dominated by James Miller’s Mayrise but unfortunately lagged behind in the other races though did count two seconds and a third. Mark Mackey’s Mithril, also from Belfast Lough was sixth, posting two thirds and second. Emma and Paul enjoyed the event; “Blue water sailing in idyllic surroundings. Our thanks to Jamie McGarrity and his team, and the hospitality shown by the people of Tarbert”.

The Sigma 33 Squawk Emma and Paul Prentice competing at an earlier event The Sigma 33 Squawk Emma and Paul Prentice competing at an earlier event

Richard Doig‘s Hydrology had a disappointing event racing in Class 5.

The next meeting for several of these boats may be the IRC/RC35 two-day event at Royal Ulster Yacht Club on 24th and 25th June.

Race Results

You may need to scroll vertically and horizontally within the box to view the full results

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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