With the sunshine and rising temperature burning off the early breeze on Loch Fyne, racing was at its most frustrating at the Bell Lawrie Scottish Series yesterday where Keith MILLER's Swan 45 eased into the overall lead of Class 1.
Both races were marred by big wind shifts, but the first was the better contest. Raced in a steady south-easterly which faded at times the Olympic course became processional down the two reaches. Miller made a less than perfect start to the first race, but the Crackerjack crew worked their way into the lead and were able to keep the boat moving well to hold off the chartered Ker 11.3 Kerisma which took second place.
"Staying consistent was the key today, keeping the boat moving at all times and we managed to do that. It was not easy so we are pretty happy with our day."
Erstwhile Class leader Jonathan ANDERSON on the First 47.7 Playing FTSE failed to rally in the light going in the bigger boat and they now lie third overall, and must be praying for a little more breeze. It was the pair of Swans - Crackerjack and Fever - which managed to escape completely on the second leg of the second race, while the chasing pack were marooned for too long, swallowed by a calm at the leeward mark. Fever managed to just get their bow ahead on the finish line, getting suspiciously close to the finish buoy, but they narrowly won on handicap from Crackerjack in second.
In Class 2 John CORSON'S new Bavaria Match 38 has not looked the most competitive boat in the fleet in the light but the combination of Corson's experience and the tactical nous of Hamish Mackay as tactician has been enough to keep them moving in the right strands of breeze throughout the day. Corson's Salamander XVIII scored a fifth and a first for the day to lead Class 2, by two points from the J109 No Naked Flames from the Quoile YC owned by Niall and Andrew ALLAN. Their pair of fourth places today keep them as serious contenders, while Chris Bonar's Bateleur 97 which is usually good in the light conditions won the first race but had a bogey score in the second with a fifteenth.
In IRC Class 3 it is becoming something of a Forth benefit as the well sailed IOR design Davidson 36 Hops of Ian MCLEAN leads by four points ahead of the Elan 333 Bite the Bullet (ex Salamnder XVII).
Racing was equally tricky on the Sportboat and 1720 course, where the wind shifts were just as prolific and pronounced. Andy and Stephanie Lightbown still lead the Sportboat class with their Beneteau 25 Warthog after scoring a fifth and a seventh while the Laser SB3 of Helensburgh's Neil Rosie lies second with two second places yesterday. In the 1720 fleet, which has 11 entries, the local favourites and defending Scottish Series Trophy champions Ruairidh and Graeme SCOTT are still the top boat overall in King Quick with an eight point lead over Charlie FRIZE'S The Big L.
"It does not get any easier here."
Grinned Ruairidh, "In fact with slightly fewer boats it is harder because you can lose four boats like that and that is 40% of the fleet. We're just going to be keeping plugging away and we should get there in the end."
Full results are available on the event website at the address below.