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30 May 2001, 10:37 am
Fresh Conditions On Final Day
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© Ronald Cowan

Bell Lawrie Scottish Series

The top overall trophy was awarded to the Elan 362 Silver Darling which convincingly won IRC Class 3.
Owned by retired West Lothian builder Richard MacKenzie who only took up at Port Edgar on the Forth seven years ago, Silver Darling notched up five firsts a second and a third under in the competitive IRC class 3.

The boat was only launched last week but benefitted from the combined talents of a core crew which last year won Cruiser Class 2 in an identical 362 Be Traist. It was steered by former 470, Dragon and Etchells crew Hamish Mackay - a past Dragon Gold Cup winning crew - along with his regular partners George Purves, Mark Simpson, former Laser Scottish champion Dave Kelly and Kip Marina boat sales' Peter Cameron. Although the boat was today beaten around the course until the last beat by the smaller Elan 332 of John Corson, Salamander XV, their third place today kept their counting tally of results all within the top three.

Breezes were very much stronger on the final day on Loch Fyne, with some malevolent gusts spreading off the Kintyre shore. In the first 1720 race of the day all three of the leading boats were almost knocked flat by one squall.

Overall winner of the 24 boat 1720 class was Yachtsandyachting.com owned by Stewart Hawthorn, a Scottish trained orthodontist. After being overnight leaders they scraped home to win the class by only one point after they fouled a boat near the finish line of the first race, when they would have had the class in the bag. Their penalty turns meant they lost several places within sight of the line and a discarded 13th resulted. With all to play for they pulled a third out the bag when the pressure was well and truly on to win the class by only one point from David Maguire's Howth based team on Martin Reilly Motors. They finished with a flourish today, taking a first and second.

Racing two windward leeward contests today the one design track was where most drama occurred. No fewer than three Sigma 33s were damaged in collisions with other Sigma 33s or T-boning incidents with 1720's: " I don't know what some of these 1720 drivers thought they were doing today. They were piling into spaces that just did not exist at turning marks. The door was already well and truly closed but they just kept coming." Remarked Jon Fitzgerald of the winning overall Sigma 33 Pepsi. In IRC Class 2 victory today for the Carrickfergus based J35 Jacana and a poor fifth place for the erstwhile class leader Wing and a Prayer, the Pwlheli based Jeanneau SunFast 40 of Graham Hughes, ensured the honours went across the North Channel to Belfast Lough.

" We messed it up on the final day, as we have done before with a different boat and now, again. We're gutted and I'm off home pronto." Commented Wing and a Prayer's Angus Scott wryly
Andi Robertson / News Editor
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