Even the sunshine made an unscheduled appearance on the first full day of inshore Olympic and Windward-Leeward racing on Loch Fyne at the 173 boat Bell Lawrie Scottish Series.
With a series of small weather fronts passing over the race arena, the breeze did not stay settled for the entire duration of either of the two windward-leeward races. Staying in step with these changes in wind strength and direction was essential, as was keeping a weather eye on course changes signalled by the race officers.
Controversy surrounded the second race for Classes 1 and 2. Several of the leading contenders, including Jonathan ANDERSON'S Playing FTSE, the Beneteau First 47.7 which was leading her class with a perfect scoreline of two wins, failed to recognise that the Olympic course had been changed to a windward leeward and headed off in the wrong direction. White Tiger, the new, smaller First 47.7 skippered by Oliver SHEEHY from the Royal St George club in Dublin was one of the first to identify the correct weather mark and retained their advantage well into the race, crossing the line third behind the Swan 45's Crackerjack (Keith MILLER) and Fever (Diederichs/Gordon) to win. Playing FTSE's dropped to record an eighth in the 10 boat class and slid to fourth overall. The consistency of Dark Angel, the Ed Dubois designed 37 footer skippered by Eamon CONEELY has been impressive and they lead the class now with a third and two second places.
In Class 2 the honours were shared between Ian and Graham THOMSON'S Swan 40 Sloop John T which won the first race and Chris BONAR'S BH 36 Bateleur 97, but the class leader remains the Forth syndicate on the Mumm 36 Absolutely 2 which scored a sixth and a third for the day to share a 10points aggregate with second placed Salamander XVIII, the Bavaria Match 38.Salamander took a fourth and a third today while Sloop John T lies third on 11 points. After a grey and drizzly start to the day the breeze shifted to the west of south during the first race and then returned to the south east for the second race.
There may be only 11 1720 Cork One Designs racing, a significant drop on last year, but the competition is still close at the front of the fleet. Defending Scottish Series Trophy winner Ruairidh SCOTT retained an unblemished record, working into the lead on both races to lead the class on King Quick.
Full results are available on the event website at the address below.