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Kinsale Yacht Club's 'At Home' Regatta, sponsored by Victoria's Antiques, was held on Sunday, 17th September, and saw a great turnout despite the damp weather.

The event was a big success, with many sailors from the sailability, dinghy, and keelboat classes coming together to celebrate the Club's active year.

The Daunt Trophy was won by Albert O'Neill, skipper of the Sallybelle, while Patrick Beckett, skipper of 'Miss Charlie', was the White Sail Winner and Perpetual "At Home Trophy" winner.

The clubhouse and covered balcony were buzzing with excitement. The covered balcony connected the outside to the bar dining room and worked wonders in bringing people together. It was particularly impressive to see the sailability members, led by hard-working member Donal Hickey, come together with the dinghy and keelboat classes to celebrate.

The Club has had a very active year, with the Sovereign's Cup and Dragon National Championships under its go-ahead Commodore Matthias Hellstern, and it looks forward to the prestigious international Dragon Gold Cup, which promises to be a highlight of the 2024 Irish sailing season next September.

Patrick Beckett, the skipper of 'Miss Charlie', the White Sail Winner and Perpetual “At Home Trophy” winner at Kinsale Yacht Club's 2023 'At Home' Regatta, is pictured with KYC Commodore Matthias Hellstern (left) and regatta sponsor Frances Lynch of Victoria AntiquesPatrick Beckett, the skipper of 'Miss Charlie', the White Sail Winner and Perpetual “At Home Trophy” winner at Kinsale Yacht Club's 2023 'At Home' Regatta, is pictured with KYC Commodore Matthias Hellstern (left) and regatta sponsor Frances Lynch of Victoria Antiques Photo: Bob Bateman

Mark Leonard, sailing Corrib Two, was a prizewinner at Kinsale Yacht Club's 2023 'At Home' Regatta and is pictured with KYC Commodore Matthias Hellstern (left) and regatta sponsor Frances Lynch of Victoria AntiquesMark Leonard, sailing Corrib Two, was a prizewinner at Kinsale Yacht Club's 2023 'At Home' Regatta and is pictured with KYC Commodore Matthias Hellstern (left) and regatta sponsor Frances Lynch of Victoria Antiques Photo: Bob Bateman

The 'At Home' Regatta Race Officer Donal Hayes was on the Charles Fort Line, while Race Officer Tim Cronin looked after Kinsale Yacht Club's Junior Fleets.

Padraig O’Donovan sailing 'Chameleon' was a prizewinner at Kinsale Yacht Club's 2023 'At Home' Regatta and is pictured with KYC Commodore Matthias Hellstern (left) and regatta sponsor Frances Lynch of Victoria AntiquesPadraig O’Donovan sailing 'Chameleon' was a prizewinner at Kinsale Yacht Club's 2023 'At Home' Regatta and is pictured with KYC Commodore Matthias Hellstern (left) and regatta sponsor Frances Lynch of Victoria Antiques Photo: Bob Bateman

The All-In Cruisers division began racing at 13.55hrs, followed by All-In White Sail, Dragon, and Squib one-design keelboats. Sailability sailors sailed in the waters between the Pier and Spit buoy.

Finbarr O’Regan's Artful Dodjer was the winner of the all-in Cruisers division at Kinsale Yacht Club's 2023 'At Home' Regatta and is pictured with KYC Commodore Matthias Hellstern (left) and regatta sponsor Frances Lynch of Victoria AntiquesFinbarr O’Regan's Artful Dodjer was the winner of the all-in Cruisers division at Kinsale Yacht Club's 2023 'At Home' Regatta and is pictured with KYC Commodore Matthias Hellstern (left) and regatta sponsor Frances Lynch of Victoria Antiques Photo: Bob Bateman

Brian Carroll, sailing Chancer, was second in the all-in Cruisers division at Kinsale Yacht Club's 2023 'At Home' Regatta and is pictured with KYC Commodore Matthias Hellstern (left) and regatta sponsor Frances Lynch of Victoria AntiquesBrian Carroll, sailing Chancer, was second in the all-in Cruisers division at Kinsale Yacht Club's 2023 'At Home' Regatta and is pictured with KYC Commodore Matthias Hellstern (left) and regatta sponsor Frances Lynch of Victoria Antiques Photo: Bob Bateman

 Richard Hanley, sailing Saoirse, was third in the all-in Cruisers division at Kinsale Yacht Club's 2023 'At Home' Regatta and is pictured with KYC Commodore Matthias Hellstern (left) and regatta sponsor Frances Lynch of Victoria Antiques Richard Hanley, sailing Saoirse, was third in the all-in Cruisers division at Kinsale Yacht Club's 2023 'At Home' Regatta and is pictured with KYC Commodore Matthias Hellstern (left) and regatta sponsor Frances Lynch of Victoria Antiques Photo: Bob Bateman

Despite the weather, everyone enjoyed the Kinsale Yacht Club's 2023 'At Home' Regatta and prizegiving.

Kinsale Yacht Club's 'At Home' Regatta Photo Gallery by Bob Bateman

Published in Kinsale
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The J109 Artful Dodjer, skippered by Finbarr O'Regan, secured the victory in the final race of the Eden Capital Mid-Week Series for cruisers at Kinsale Yacht Club, winning by a narrow margin of 9 seconds over the Sunfast 3300 Cinnamon Girl, helmed by Cian McCarthy and Sam Hunt.

Artful Dodjer was formidable throughout the series, winning all six races. Stephen Lysaght's Reavra Too finished second overall in IRC, while Artful Dodjer and Cinnamon Girl claimed first and second place respectively in Echo.

In Class 2, Mathilde Dingemans and Gerard Campbell's Cirrus dominated in IRC, winning three races and placing second in two others. They also secured first place in Echo. Sammy Cohen's Gunsmoke 11 placed second in both IRC and Echo.

In IRC3, Apache, helmed by Alan Mulcahy, claimed first place with an impressive five race wins. Richard Hanley's Saoirse finished second overall. Meanwhile, Padraig O'Donovan's Chameleon took first place in Class 3 Echo, closely followed by Martin Hargrove's Deboah, which secured second place overall by just one point.

 

Published in Kinsale
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Tom Dolan, the Irish solo sailor who won the first leg of the 54th La Solitaire du Figaro Paprec, has made a solid start in the second stage of the competition. The leg, which covers over 500 miles from Kinsale in Ireland to Roscoff on the Bay of Morlaix, promises to be a light winds affair with plenty of opportunities for the fleet to expand and contract in the strong tidal currents.

Despite not having a boat-on-boat dinghy racing background, Dolan has been proving himself on the longer courses. He made a good start in the second stage, finishing tenth out of the bay in good company just behind some of his closest rivals. However, after 30 miles of racing, he had dropped into 20th place and was two miles behind the early leader Romen Richard of France.

Before leaving the dock in Kinsale, Dolan said, "The leg looks tricky. I feel good now. The start looks quite clear, we will be sailing downwind along the coast in the sea-breeze. Tonight there could be a big split. Some of the weather models are sending us offshore, others are telling us to hug the coast, there are two extremes."

The course will take the solo sailors up to a mark in the Irish Sea, most likely to be offshore of Dun Laoghaire, and Spanish sailor Pep Costa, who is weather adviser to some of the international sailors, has described it as "a very tricky leg." Costa added, "It is going to be mostly a light winds leg with thermal winds today transitioning into a very very light winds zone before coming into a light north to north east wind for later tonight. So they will be very close to the coast under spinnakers. Downwind it is very close to VMG and then tonight into a NE to E wind. They will go offshore and tack in the NE’ly maybe a few tacks to Tuskar rock. The breeze will fill in around 10-15 knots but the current is quite strong so they need to be close to the shore when the current is against them and offshore when it is with them."

Gaston Morvan of Région Bretagne CMB won the Paprec Trophy for the first around the short, departure circuit, just as he also led away from Caen a week ago.

Standings after Stage 1

  • 1 Tom Dolan, IRL, (Smurfit Kappa-KIngspan) 3d 19h 16m 46 s
  • 2 Nils Palmieri, SUI, (Teamwork) 3d 19h 23m 13s + 6 min 27 sec
  • 3 Robin Marais, FRA, (Moi Chance Moi Aussi) 3d 19h 23m 13s + 8 min 17 sec
  • 4 Benoit Tuduri, FRA, (Capso en Cavale) 3d 19h00m 25s (+30 mins penalty) +13 mins 39 sec
  • 5 Basile Bourgnon, FRA, (Edenred) 3d 19h 31m 05 s +14 min 18 secs
  • 6 Romain Le Gall, FRA, (Centre Excellence Voile Secours Populaire) 3d 19h 32m 52s + 16m 06s
  • 7 Alexis Loison, FRA, (Groupe REEL) 3d 19h 32m 55 s + 16 m 09s
  • 8 Elodie Bonafous, FRA (Queguiner La Vie en Rose) 3d 19h 33m 07s +16m 21s
  • 9 Lois Berrehar, FRA, (Skipper MACIF 2022) 3d19h 33m 16m +16m 30s
  • 10 Guillaume Pirouelle, FRA, (Region Normandie) 3d 19h 33m 32s +16m 46 sec
Published in Figaro

The Commodore of Kinsale Yacht Club, Matthias Hellestern, has congratulated the club's Under 25 team on another success. 

As Afloat reported, the Under-25 Kinsale team competed at the J Cup Ireland in the J24 division and managed to stay in the top spot, scoring a total of 10 points across the two days of competition.

In his message, the Commodore said: 'Kinsailor U25 team won the J Cup and East Coast Champions. Congratulations to the team on once again a fantastic achievement."

KYC members support the team's campaigns in their J24 'Kinsailor', which club members bought for the young sailors and arrange to transport the boat to and from championships around the country.

Published in J24
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The 54th La Solitaire du Figaro Paprec, a renowned solo sailing race, kicked off its first stage today at Ouistreham beach off Caen on France's Normandy coast. The 32 solo skippers were given a purposeful but relatively straightforward start on a 610 nautical miles leg, which passes down the English Channel. The racers will giant slalom across the Channel three times before turning northwest to the popular, pretty haven of Kinsale on Ireland's south coast.

Gaston Morvan, a young sailor from Région Bretagne CMB, broke the start line first and built a decent lead around a short upwind-downwind inshore course. He earned the Trophée Windchaser by Bollé for his start and the Paprec Trophy for leading round the first circuit. The moderate to fresh breeze was both shifty and puffy, keeping the solo racers on their toes from the gun. The racers were blown away by the built-up nerves and stress of a week of countdown, waiting in Caen city, with an immediate surge of adrenaline.

A sharp rain shower hit the racers, which was heralded by a sudden drop in the wind. However, as soon as the little front blew over, the fleet headed out into the Channel, heeled sharply. The first cross-channel section on Sunday afternoon and evening should be a speed race to Nab Tower in a heading, fading breeze. The leaders will likely stay south, outside of the Isle of Wight, unless there is enough north in the breeze to make it through the Solent on one tack with the new, favourable tide. 

The course crosses back to Les Jument des Haux off Paimpol on the north Brittany coast, where the long climb through the Scillies to the Fastnet begins, passing the tip of Lands End. The leaders should be into Kinsale first thing Thursday morning. Early on the stage out of the bay this afternoon, a collision occurred between Loison and Hugo Dahlenne from YC de Saint Lunaire, a top Bizuth prospect. However, neither skipper was injured, and the damage is described as "not performance affecting."

Overall, the start of the race was purposeful, with Morvan leading the charge and the fleet experiencing a mixture of shifting and puffy breezes. The racers will now continue on their journey, with the leaders expected to reach Kinsale by Thursday morning.

A true Figaro ‘full fat, no holds barred’ edition

This 54th edition of the pinnacle French annual solo offshore race – the first of five editions to be sponsored by giant French recycling and alternative energy group Paprec – comprises three long stages, all over 600 miles (usually four days and four nights) – totalling 1850 nautical miles. After the Kinsale opener, which starts with tiring tidal, coastal, channel sections moving into a more open offshore stage up the Celtic Sea, the 630 miles second leg goes to Roscoff via a passage up the Irish Sea to the Isle of Man and down into the mouth of Bristol Channel round Land’s End to the Bay of Morlaix.

And before the finish in Piriac sur Mer there is a big, ‘standard issue’ open, offshore across the Bay of Biscay and back. Race Director Yann Chateau, an accomplished offshore racer in his own right, has drawn a course that maximises time on the water, minimises recovery periods to a sensible level and should fully test all of the different key attributes required by a deserved winner.

Who’s who?

Of the young guns, on paper one of the outstanding talents is Le Havre’s 28-year-old Guillaume Pirouelle (Région Normandie). The former 470 Olympic campaigner, a youth European champion in the class, was second overall last year and won the second stage and has just won the Solo Concarneau Guy Cotten. Gaston Morvan shows great promise and is consistently in the top group, fifth overall in 2022, but is still looking for his first stage win but could make it onto the overall podium this edition.

Corentin Horeau, 34, returns for his seventh La Solitaire du Figaro. After a six-year break, Horeau came back in 2021 and has finished eighth and 13th but is very much on form this year. He races now in the colours of Banque Populaire, who are back in La Solitaire du Figaro Paprec and won the early season Solo Maire CoQ. And Alexis Loison is back for his 17th La Solitaire at the age of 38 with a new sponsor Groupe REEL. He is the veritable Jedi master in the Channel tides and currents and has been sailing fast. Has has finished fourth twice and many times in the top ten.

And Ireland’s Tom Dolan (Smurfit Kappa-Kingspan) has worked hard to become a regular fixture near the front of the peloton. He was seventh last year and fifth in 2020 and has the potential to finish on the podium. Briton Alan Roberts is, of course, engaged in an IMOCA programme and misses the race for the first time in ten years. There are five women racing this year, including Élodie Bonafous (Queguiner La Vie en Rose), who finished eighth last year and was third on the last leg last year, the first female to do so since Clare Francis. Bonafous already has a 2028 Vendée Globe programme under way with her sponsors Queguiner which supported Yann Eliès on the 2016-17 race.

Overseas, non French

As well as Dolan and Swiss skipper Nils Palmieri (Teamwork), there are four other international racers. Susann Beucke (This Race is Female), Germany’s 49er FX Olympic silver medallist in Tokyo, returns for her second challenge, more experienced – not least after time with the Holcim-PRB team winning Leg 2 of The Ocean Race – she has hopes of a solid, competitive race.

Celtic adventurer 61-year-old Piers Copham has designs on the 2028 Vendée Globe with the Voiles des Anges charity, which supports bereaved parents and families who lose infant children. Brit David Paul (Just A Drop) is into his third race, aiming to finish every leg with a decent performance to build a platform for the future. And Kiwi Ben Beasley (Ocean Attitude), 23 is one of the ten rookies competing this year for the Beneteau Trophée.

They said:

Corentin Horeau (Banque Populaire): “ I don't care if people say I'm one of the favourites. I try to do my race without looking too much at others as I have been doing since the start of the season. I will try to stick to my course, favorite or not favorite. Last year, I think I was in the favorites and I was 13th. We'll see at the end. The first stage will be a real Figaro stage. You have to get into the top group. There will be twists everywhere. We will try to take pleasure in seeing the others come back individually or come back in the groups. I think there will be a lot of lead changes. We do not really know what it will be like when we arrive in Ireland. We are really in a pure and hard stage of Solitaire”.

Tom Dolan (IRL) Smurfit Kappa-Kingspan: “ The big question is between The Needles and the mark at Jument des Heaux no one really knows what will be going on there, if there might be a sea breeze coming in from England. The thing is of there is sea breeze we might end up getting stuck for six hours (as the sea breeze would kill the gradient) with no wind. I feel grand.”

Alexis Loison (Groupe REEL): “Most of all you have to have a clear weather picture in your head it's important. It's not going to be simple, just like every start of La Solitaire. You can break it down, there is a coastal part where the land influences the wind, and a lot of current all the same. Even if for the moment we have small tidal coefficients, they will increase quickly. And then the strong current can lead to many possible stop-starts. And in terms of weather, there are quite a few small phenomena that pass with very dynamic fronts which are often poorly detailed by the models. There is a real element of uncertainty, you might see a boat be 500 meters next to you which flies away in a puff, a gust that you don’t get will have to have your eyes open. And above all, believe in your options. I am aiming for a podium, at the minimum”

Elodie Bonafous (Queguiner La Vie en Rose): “I am ready. Everything is on board the boat, I have plenty of good things to eat, I have the weather forecast and clear ideas. I can't wait to leave. We are always afraid of having forgotten something, but the stress I had was more positive stress that boosts me. I feel fit. It ended well last year, started well this year. I've worked a lot mentally so I want to be pushing even more, to be at sea every night and give my all. The Solo Guy Cotten, after my recovery from injury, was quite positive so I remain on target for my objectives for the start of the season. The general objective is to finish ideally in the Top 5 to do better than last year. I hope to repeat and be back on the podium, and most of all not to make big mistake, not to take too long, not to take too many risks risky or burn myself out at the start of the race. The first stage is like a series of little coastal courses where there are currents and local effects. I like that. There will be a lot happening in terms of the weather, which will be very uncertain. I'm starting with more experience so I think it can be an advantage to be able to remain lucid and be able to make good decisions towards the end of the legs We will see ".

Published in Kinsale

Racing in westerly winds gusting to 30 knots, local crews hold the top three places overall after the first two races of the Squib South Coast Championship at Kinsale Yacht Club.

National champions Ian Travers and Keith O'Riordan won both races that were held outside Kinsale Harbour.

The 21-boat fleet assembled for the Squib South Coast Championships at Kinsale Yacht Club Photo: Bob BatemanThe 21-boat fleet assembled for the Squib South Coast Championships at Kinsale Yacht Club Photo: Bob Bateman

Second in the 21-boat fleet is James and Harvey Matthews who took a 2,3 to be on five points and one ahead of club commodore Matthias Hellstern and Colm Daly. 

Second overall James and Harvey Matthews lead around a weather mark at the Squib Southern Championships at Kinsale Photo: Bob BatemanSecond overall James and Harvey Matthews lead around a weather mark at the Squib Southern Championships at Kinsale Photo: Bob Bateman

With the forecast looking slightly lighter for Sunday, the hope is to run three races in the Frank Clark Ltd Sponsored event.

Squib Southern Championships 2023 Photo Gallery by Bob Bateman

Published in Squib
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The Squib South Coast Championships are scheduled for this weekend at Kinsale Yacht Club, where the class has strong support.

Racing is planned for Saturday and Sunday, with the rules requiring that boats be kept afloat during the event, no hauling-out and no cleaning below the waterline by any means allowed during the championships. Pretty strict regulations to keep the boats in equal conditions!

As Afloat previously reported, the National Squib Championships were raced at Weymouth Bay in Dorset, hosted by the local sailing club last week on the south coast of England. In strong conditions, with winds up to 25 knots, they did not thrive. Kinsale YC’s 'Outlaw' (Ian Travers and Keith O'Riordan) was best Irish-placed, in 26th.

Squibs are two-person keelboats measuring seven metres long, originally designed in 1967 as a racing and teaching boat. There are 800 of what is a one-design class around Britain and Ireland.

Published in Squib
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The Department of Transport has been advised by the School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences at University College Cork that on on Tuesday 12 June it deployed 12 benthic sensors between the Seven Heads and the Old Head of Kinsale in West Cork.

These sensors are being used in scientific research which aims to track skate using acoustic tracking equipment.

The benthic sensors will be deployed for 12 months. Each sensor consists of a mooring weight and an acoustic sensor for tracking tagged skate in the area. None have surface markers.

A map and coordinates of the sensor positions as well as contact details can be found in Marine Notice No 39 of 2023, attached below.

Published in West Cork
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Kinsale Yacht Club will host the “O’Leary Life South Coast Dragon Championships” from the 26th – 28th of May. The event, which is the first regional event on the Irish Dragon class calendar, will mark the start of an exciting 16 months for Kinsale Yacht Club, which host the Nationals in August this year and then the Gold Cup in September 2024.

Commodore Matthias Hellstern, who is sailing with long-time Dragon sailor, Anthony O’Neill for the South Coasts, commented, “Firstly, thank you to Brian Goggin and all at O’Leary Life for sponsoring the event; we simply can’t run the event without sponsors. Kinsale Yacht Club has such a fantastic history with this wonderful class, and we are really looking forward to showcasing to all Dragon sailors what Kinsale has to offer over the months ahead”

Brian Goggin of O’Leary Life commented, “This month, O’Leary Life celebrates being 50 years in business. As part of our 50th-year celebrations, for the next 12 months, we will support various community organisations and give back to those who have supported us throughout the years. For the month of May, we are thrilled to sponsor Kinsale Yacht Club for the South Coast Dragon Championships”

Kinsale Yacht Club Commodore Matthias Hellstern (left) with Brian Goggin of O’Leary Life at the South Coast Dragon Championships for the West Cork port later this monthKinsale Yacht Club Commodore Matthias Hellstern (left) with Brian Goggin of O’Leary Life at the South Coast Dragon Championships for the West Cork port later this month

Although the sponsor may be celebrating 50 years in business, they are still some years behind the Dragon Design, who will turn 94 this year, having been conceived in 1929!

The class continues to reinvent itself, with Glandore now home to the largest fleet in Ireland, with many of their youth sailors looking like future dragon champions. Of course, the legendary dragon sailor Don Street has been one of the major backers of youth dragon sailing in Glandore, sharing his knowledge for decades in the West Cork harbour

The event will be an early season indicator of who has “wintered” the best, with stalwarts like Peter Bowring and his team on Phantom and Cameron Good with Little Fella among the early entries. James Matthews, fresh from winning the recent Keelboat regatta in Kinsale, are the early favourites but other local boats such as Whisper and Ghost will also be battling at the sharp end in what is shaping up to be a seriously competitive fleet.

Published in Dragon
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The first Wednesday night of La Bougie Early Summer Cruiser Racing at Kinsale Yacht Club in Cork had to be cancelled due to high winds, but it is hoped to get going this Wednesday night, May 10 with First Gun (FG) at 18.55.

One Design Racing for Squibs and Dragons will be on Thursday at FG 18.55. McCarthy Insurances Early Summer TGIF on Friday will have FG 18.55.

The past weekend saw the Keelboat Regatta sponsored by Kinsale Boatyard. Six Dragons raced with James Matthews, TBD, being the winner on 5 points overall, from three first placings and two seconds in the five-race series. Second was Whisper (Brian Goggin) on 9 points and third Little Fella (Cameron Good) on 10,

The Squibs Class also sailed five races in the Kingstons Kinsale Boatyard series, which was won by Outlaw (IanTravers/Keith O’Riordan), having been first in all five races. Second was Fuggles (Sean and Paul Murphy) and third Flora (Bobby Nash/Frances Corkery).

The O’Leary Life Dragon South Coast will begin on Friday May 26.

Sea Sunday will be held next Sunday, May.14.

Final preparations are underway for the Simply Blue Sovereigns Cup which begins on June 21.

Published in Kinsale
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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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