Rarely in the last few years of the Bell Lawrie Scottish Series has predicting who will win the overall Scottish Series Trophy has been so hard to call.
Usually by the penultimate day there is at least one stand out performer, but after yesterday's set of races contested yet again in gentle southerly breezes and bright summer sunshine on Loch Fyne, there are still at least four boats in different classes which may yet win the top award.
In Class 2, the 2002 overall winner Hamish MACKAY, tactician for John CORSON on the Bavaria Match 38 suffered in a traffic build up at the gybe mark on the second race - a short, one lap Olympic triangle - and slumped to their worst result of the series with a ninth place. Added to a fifth place in the first race Salamander dropped to second overall. By way of contrast the Corby 35 Antix (ex Highland Spirit) was on fire in both races scoring two wins to lead the class by a single point. Now owned by Crosshaven's Anthony O'LEARY, this Corby design finished runner-up in 2002 to Nigel BIGGS' First 36.7 Crewsaver Dickies when it was owned by Plymouth based Hamish OLIPHANT.
Another win could well set up O'Leary and his crew as the overall trophy winners as the depth and quality of competition in Class 2 is unmatched among the 13 classes. Keith MILLER and the Crackerjack team on the Swan 45 remained impeccably consistent in Class 1 with a first and third place to extend their lead to five points. With a sixth as their discard at the moment Crackerjack should need only a final safe result to win the class. Eamon CONEELY'S Dark Angel (ex Victric) won the first race, but they were too far off the pace on the second race and saw their challenge slip.
In the pursuit of the overall trophy Andy and Steph LIGHTBOWN gave themselves a fighting chance with three consecutive wins today in the Sportboat class. They have got to grips with their new Beneteau 25 quickly and enjoy a 10-point lead in the 16 boat fleet, ahead of two Laser SB3's.
Aboard the Beneteau 25 Warthog as well as the Lightbowns are Largs based Finn campaigner Mark ANDREWS, Mark SIMPSON who was mainsheet trimmer for Hamish MACKAY when they won the overall trophy in 2002 and Jo DIXON from Tarbert who runs the Scottish Sailing Institute at Largs. Defending Scottish Series Trophy winner Graeme and Ruairidh Scott on King Quick matched the Lighbown's three wins. Both crews sail under the flag of the Tarbert Loch Fyne Yacht Club.
In Class 3 a first and second for the SJ320 Miss Tuttles of Gerald Firth gives them a two points lead over the vintage IOR design Hops.
Full results are available on the event website at the address below.