Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

RS21 are Scheduled for May's Scottish Series

22nd January 2024
The RS21 Association has included May's Scottish Series as one of its 'Official Series'
The RS21 Association has included May's Scottish Series as one of its 'Official Series' Credit: Afloat

Another first for the fiftieth Scottish Series this year will include RS21 keelboats racing on Loch Fyne.

The RS21 Association has included the event as one of its 'Official Series', and that will give the class a chance to start in the expected 60-strong one-design fleet, which includes Etchells, Sigma 33s, Hunter 707s, and Hunter Sonatas.

The event is based at Tarbert on Loch Fyne by the Clyde Cruising Association from the 24th to the 27th of May.

The new RS21 is trialed in Belfast Lough with Colin Kevelighan (left) and Jeff HarrisonThe new RS21 is trialed in Belfast Lough with Colin Kevelighan (left) and Jeff Harrison


The deployment of remote-controlled SmartMarks under Principal Race Officer Con Murphy of Dun Laoghaire will ensure that first-class courses are delivered with a minimal turnaround time between races.

For those trailing boats, there will be free launching, and accommodation options are available through the Clyde Cruising Club.

For those RS21 crews also taking part in the July Volvo Cork Week part of the RS21 UK & Ireland Series, the Tarbert event will keep the momentum going in the seven-event class series, which ends with the World Championships in Girona in September. On the other hand, Scottish Series Chairman Roddy Angus says one issue is that the RS21s have a class event the weekend before at Hayling Island on the south coast of England, so hard work to get to Scotland the following weekend”. But being part of an event with a big reputation may serve as a draw.

At the time of writing, the combined RS21 and Sportsboats start together in the One Design fleet, but with hopefully 6 to 8 RS21s, there is the option of a separate start. Roddy Angus commented, “I’m really keen to boost sports boat interest as the numbers are low, and it used to be a big area”.

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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