Light to moderate north westerly breezes which rose and fell through the both races today again ensured that it was hard to score consistently good results at The Bell Lawrie Scottish Series on Loch Fyne.
Class 1, the big boat division, still looks like one of the toughest divisions to win but Roy Dickson's Cracklin' Rosie, the red hulled Corby 40 from Howth, Ireland retained their overall lead by posting a second a fourth today and now leads by three points from Keith Miller's new Swan 45, Crackerjack. Crackerjack showed clear signs that she is hitting the numbers now after her initial work up period for the boat and crew. They scarcely put a foot wrong this afternoon and their resulting win edged them two points clear of four boats which are tussling over third place.
Three times Scottish Series winner Jonathan Anderson has assembled a crack Scottish crew on his new First 47.7 Playing FTSE and they head the race for third along with Hamish MacKay's team on Blue Belle, the chartered Race 1/Ker 11.3, Bob & Bairbre Stewart's Azure - the Dubois 40 which won Class 1 last year and is being steered this year by Kenny McCullough - and Gloves Off, Colm Barrington's Corby 38. Otherwise it is a crop of regular winners which are steadily emerging in the IRC Classes. Chris Bonar's BH36 Bateleur has their full, regular crew aboard - some of whom who have been together for over 15 years on a number of Bateleurs. A first and a fourth in the 6-10 knots of breeze today ensured Bateleur overtook Duncan Grant's Australian built Titan 36 Animula. Both of these leading boats are steered by past overall winners of the Scottish Series Trophy. Bateleur's Tich Summers won twice in different three-quarter tonners , while sailmaker John Highcock steered a Moody 336 to win the main trophy.
Alan Milton's Pepsi still leads the Sigma 33 class but suffered twice let Kevin Aitken's The White Tub off the hook on the last beat of both races to drop from first to second. As ever the key question was whether to downspeed to mark the opposition tightly or try and hold their distance and speed but risk missing a key shift in the breeze, and twice The White Tub gained additional wind pressure and wind shift to leave Pepsi in second. In the 1720 class all eyes, again, are on the local prodigy Ruaridh Scott who steers King Quick on the Loch overlooked by his home and where he learnt to sail.
Recently qualified naval architect Scott has completed the gruelling Tour Voile, the Commodore's Cup and several Cowes Weeks as helms and scored international success in Student World Yachting, has won the 1720 English and Welsh titles and placed in the top 5 at Cork and the 1720 Europeans but has yet to win the class on his home patch. Indeed King Quick has lead the highly competitive class into the final day before but has yet to complete the class win at Tarbert. Three wins in succession this weekend sees King Quick sitting six clear points ahead of Mike Budd and his crew on Gul, with the Belfast Lough crew on Red/Green in third. Clearly if Scott and his team could continue on the same form through until the end of the regatta they would stand a chance of completing the fairytale if they won the main trophy as well. Certainly there is the depth of talent in the 20 boat fleet to merit it.
But the big question is whether an unbeaten string of wins for the pretty, classic Borresen designed BB10, Vaila, owned by Glencoe builder Peter Watt, will be enough to overshadow the high quality race fleets and secure the Scottish Series Trophy come Tuesday. Vaila is clearly on target with five wins from five starts.
Full Results are available from the event website at the address below