Blustery winds test crews at penultimate day of the Bell Lawrie Scottish Series 29/5/06

With just one day of racing left at The Bell Lawrie Scottish Series on Loch Fyne, past winners of the overall Scottish Series Trophy top four of the 13 classes.

Crews were at full stretch in yesterday’s blustery north westerly winds which buffeted down the loch with dark squalls of over 30 knots causing all kinds of problems.

“It seemed like a bit of a demolition derby at times.” Confirmed three times Scottish Series Trophy winning skipper Jonathan Anderson who sailed to a first and a second with his crew on the First 47.7 Playing FTSE. They blew up their vang, which holds down their mainsail, and had to drop their spinnaker to gybe. “It certainly cost us time.” Said Anderson: “We were just a bit nervous about gybing and so had to be a bit careful. It was pretty windy at times, but the racing in our class has been just great. Probably the best ever.”

While FTSE’s gear failure cost them time, their nearest rivals were not so fortunate. The new J/133 Jaru, which leads the class and is being sailed by a group of mainly English pro sailors, suffered a steering failure while on a fast, hairy reach. They dropped their spinnaker and main smartly and had to return to Tarbert Harbour to make a repair, while FTSE went to on to win.

Jaru was back in action for the second race and helm Jeremy Robinson of North Sails UK steered Jaru to their third win to lead Anderson’s Clyde crew by just a single point, setting up an exciting final showdown tomorrow.

Racing between Jaru, FTSE and the defending champion, Tim Costello’s Mills
40 Tiamat has been very close throughout the regatta. “We have lost one race by one second and one race by six seconds I think. It is that close. It’s great.” Anderson reported. In IRC Class 2 it is the 2005 Scottish Series Trophy champion Anthony O’Leary and his Royal Cork crew on the Irish IRC Championhip winning Antix, a Corby 35, which retains the upper hand over the newer Corby designed 36 footer Rosie which is owned by Howth’s Roy Dickson and is being steered by UK Sails John Brinkers. They had an issue with the steering of the boat downwind when the boat is fully powered up and blew out two spinnakers. “It was pretty frustrating because we had Antix by a couple of minutes in the morning until we lost the kites and the breeze just go up. When we are reaching under kite we have an issue with the rudder gripping.” Said Rosie’s Dave Nixon: “I think that Anthony will be pretty unstoppable at this rate. In IRC Class 3 the Carrickfergus based Bengal Magic has composed a perfect scoreline to place themselves firmly in contention for the overall top trophy.

They have excelled in the strong winds.”The boat goes well when it’s breezy. It’s one of those things that the more successful you are the more you put into, so I guess we are on a bit of roll at the moment. We thought we could do well here because we won a couple of races last year before we had some gear failure problems. But the racing is great.” Explained owner Chris Ferres.

In the 1720 Class it is the local Tarbert hero Graeme and Ruairidh Scott on their King Quick which is dominating. They posted three wins from the three starts in the north of the loch. The Scott crew won the overall Tropy three years ago.

In the Sportsboat class back to back Scottish Series Trophy winner Hamish Mackay and his crew lead with the J80 Jazolo. With a 3,2,4 for the day they should already have the class sewn up thanks to their 20 points margin. A perfect all-firsts scoreline may be expected of the Flying 15 world champion and multiple Sonata title holder Steve Goacher who is the 1993 Scottish Series Trophy winner. With Volvo Youth Keelboat sailors Andy Tunnicliffe and Gregg Pitt, who usually sail with Goacher on his 1720, in his crew Goacher has also won the class to win with a day to spare.

Overall Results after Day 3, Sunday 28 May

IRC Class 1: 1 Jaru (G Hutchinson) 6 points, 2 Playing FTSE (J Anderson) 7, 3 Tiamat (T Costello) 9, IRC Class 2: 1 Antix (A O’Leary) 4, 2 Rosie (R Dickson) 7, 3 Salamander XVIII (J Corson) 14, IRC Class 3: 1 Bengal Magic (Moorehead/Ferres) 4, 2 Cactus Jack (N Spurr) 9, 3 Equinox (E McDonald) 13, IRC Class 4: 1 Thirty Something (Hall/McDonnell) 6, 2 Xebec (T Giles) 9, 3 Shadowfax (B Forteith) 14, CYCA Class 6: 1 Exile (G Ratter) 5, 2 Blyth Spirit (M Blyth) 10, 3 Guilty (D Clow) 10, CYCA Class 7: 1 Shoki (J McDougall) 10, 2 Piecemaker (S Hamilton) 13, 3 Cara of Kip (G Goudie) 13, CYCA Class 8: 1 Meteor (L Jacobsen) 4, 2 Nimrod (C Evans) 9, 3 Hopscotch (R Brownlie) 10, CYCA Restricted Sail Class 9: 1 Zara of Doon (Wilson/Lyall) 6, 2 Hansebacker (P Watson) 7, 3 Kacana (L Johnston) 10, CYCA Restricted Sail Class 10: 1 Mersonary (R Angus) 6, 2 Swedish Lady (B Curran) 10, 3 Scooby Doo (D Crowe) 12, Sigma 33 Class: 1 Carmen 9 (P Scutt) 16, 2 White Mischief (T Goodbody) 19, 3 Sigmatic (D McLaren) 24, Impala 28 OD Class: 1 Hooch (M Caldwell) 13, 2 Bambi (P Doig) 20, 3 Orrkid (A Orr) 23, National Sonata Class: 1 Eric the Boat (S Goacher) 8, 2 Pied Piper (A Harper) 25, 3 So (McLure/Stewart) 31, Cork 1720 Sportsboat: 1 King Quick (G Scott) 9, 2 Buddy White (C Frize) 16, 3 Lemon (C Galavan) 27, Sportsboat: 1 Jazolino (H MacKay) 17, 2 Prelude (Manuel/Bourke) 37, 3 Wombat 2 (E MacKay) 42.