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Aitken's Animal Retains Scotland's RC35 Class Championship Title

15th September 2021
A start of the RC35 class at the 2021 Scottish Series
A start of the RC35 class at the 2021 Scottish Series Credit: Neill Ross

Kevin and Debbie Aitken's First 36.7, Animal, has completed a three-peat as Scotia Handling Services Ltd RC35 Class Champions. The season-long championship was completed at the Clyde Cruising Club's GSS Regatta in partnership with CRhu Rigging on the 11th and 12th of September. It was all to play for between Animal, John Stamp's Corby 33 Jacob and Charlie Frize's Corby 33 Banshee going into the final event. After 5 close races in 5 to 18 knots of breeze, Animal continued a successful season with a regatta win followed by Jacob and Robin Young's J109, Jings.

With a slightly reduced series, the RC35 fleet was happy to be back on the water after the 2020 Championship was cancelled due to the pandemic. The fleet of Scottish and Irish yachts competed over five events spread from May to September on the West Coast of Scotland.

Close competition in the RC35s - Bluejay, Banshee and Animal prepare for a hoist Photo: Neil RossClose competition in the RC35s - Bluejay, Banshee and Animal prepare for a hoist Photo: Neil Ross

It all started at the relocated Clyde Cruising Club's Scottish Series based at Largs instead of its usual home of Tarbert on Loch Fyne. A light wind regatta saw Animal get off to the best start possible with a straight-set of first-place finishes to not only win the RC35 Class, but also pick up the 2021 Scottish Series Trophy. Jacob and Jings completed the podium with a 2nd and 3rd respectfully.

Kevin and Debbie Aitken's First 36.7, AnimalThree-peat - Kevin and Debbie Aitken's First 36.7, Animal Photo: Neil Ross

The class then moved on to the Mudhook Regatta in June. Five races were completed across two days. Saturday saw westerly winds of 8 knots gusting to 17knts. Sunday brought near perfect conditions, blue skies and warm sunshine. The south-westerly began slightly lighter but built to gusts of 20knts for some brisk and exciting racing. The results could barely have been closer, with the top 3 boats finishing on the 8 points each. The win went to Charlie Frize's Corby 33, Banshee by way of a victory in the final race. Banshee was followed by Jings and Animal in 2nd and 3rd.

Next up was the Scotia Tree Services RC35 Championship weekend in the middle of July, sailed in conditions more commonly found in the Mediterranean rather than Scotland. Sun, warmth and wind were in plentiful supply for both days. The fantastic racing was supplemented by a great dock party on Saturday evening, kindly put on by Scotia Tree Services and Makars Gourmet Mash Bar. Jacob got their first event win of the season, followed up by Animal in 2nd and Banshee in 3rd.

Animal, Banshee and JingsAnimal, Banshee and Jings

Getting to the tail end of the season, the fleet moved back to Largs for the Largs Regatta Festival in the last weekend of August. Another light and tricky weekend saw Animal pip Banshee to victory with a win in the Sunday 'Round the Island Race'. Jacob closed out the podium in third place.

The final standings after the five events, with one discard, were 1st Animal, 2nd Jacob, 3rd Banshee.

"Big thanks to everyone in the class for making the season possible and all the Clyde clubs for running the events during a difficult year. Clyde Cruising Club, Royal Northern & Clyde Yacht Club, Helensburgh Sailing Club, Largs Sailing Club and Fairlie Yacht Club", said outgoing Class Chairman and Class Champion Kevin Aitken.

Robin Young's Jings. Young is the new Class Chairman of the RC35 classRobin Young's Jings. Young is the new Class Chairman of the RC35 class

A big thanks as always to the class Sponsors Helly Hansen, North Sails, Harken, Marlow Ropes, Makars Gourmet Mash Bar, Scotia Tree Services and Scotia Handling Services.

"The RC35 Class will be back in 2022 with a full programme of events in Scotland and Ireland. If you would like more info, please get in touch through the RC35 Class Facebook Page", added new Class Chairman Robin Young.

Download full results below as an excel file

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Published in RC35, Scottish Waters
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RC35 Class

The concept of the RC35 Class is to bring together similar boats within a close handicap banding and to work with owners and crews to develop the best racing experience possible on the Clyde and the Irish Sea area. The Class is within a tight rating band (IRC 1.015-1.040) yacht racing will be in Scotland, Ireland and Wales.

Q: What is the RC35 ‘Rule’?
A: Qualifying yachts for the RC35 Class will sit within an IRC Banding of 1.015 to 1.040. In 2017 it is proposed that a tolerance of +/- 0.05pts will be permitted

Q: Are there any other criteria?
A: RC35 takes the most prevalent IRC racing boats on the Clyde and groups them within a fixed rating band. Qualifying boats will have an LOA 32ft—38ft and displacement of between 3,000kg—9,000kg. The rule also requires boats conform to ISAF Cat.4 be anti-fouled and not dry sailed. A limit of sail purchases (2 per year) also applies.

Q: What is the RC35 Championship?
A: The RC35 Championship will cover 8 events (6 to count) and include events such as Scottish Series, Dun Laoghaire/Bangor and an RC35 Championship weekend. Each year the Class will make a commitment to one ‘away’ regatta as part of the Championship.

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