Valhalla on perfect form in blustery winds - Brewin Dolphin Scottish Series Day 2
Brewin Dolphin Scottish Series. Maintaining control was the key in Loch Fyne on the second day of racing with gusts of over 35 knots and gale force nine winds forcasted.
The most frequent result of the bulging squalls which whistled off the Tarbert shore on to all three course areas during day two were extraordinary broaches, huge wipe-outs, and broken sails along with some bruised egos.
For the IRC and CYCA Classes there was just one race, with the race officers electing to bring the fleet in for the afternoon.
'It was officially very breezy. To be fair the top crews seem to get around without too many problems but we have to consider the whole fleet and in the lower halves of the classes there were enough issues to realise it could get very difficult had we stayed out.' Commented David Frame, principal race officer on the IRC Course.
Anthony O’Leary’s highly experienced Cork crew on Antix proved the virtues of fault-free handling and good communication as they took first gun in IRC Class 1 which converted on handicap to their second victory in a row, ahead of the Mark Mills designed King 40 Tokoloshe which corrected out nearly one minute behind. Three times Scottish Series winner Jonathan Anderson and his crew on the big First 47.7 Playing FTSE were compromised by a broken spinnaker pole.
In IRC Class 3 an uncharacteristic big first run broach by the Scottish Series Trophy holders Salamander XX left the Clyde crew on the back foot from the leeward turn.
Once again they had to battle back up the fleet but they could not catch the First 40.7 Grand Cru II which won by one min thirty-five seconds. But with a first, fifth and today’s second place John Corson’s Salamander XX leads the 18 boat class, the regatta’s biggest, by four points.
Hamish MacKay steered Jim and Steve Dick’s J97 to a big win in the IRC Class 3, proving equally slick around the course. Downwind they were slick and upwind were consistently able to use the favoured right side of the beats to gain a winning margin of over two minutes.
But the only boat so far to win all their races in their Class remains the Dunnet family on the Swan 36 Valhalla of Ashton. Racing in CYCA Class 7 down on the southernmost race course towards Arran, skipper-helm Alan Dunnet reported nearly 40 knots at times, ideal for their classic S and S design which was a London Boat Show exhibit in 1969 and which has competed at all the Scottish Series regattas since 1973 except for one edition.
'It was great racing, as long as we don’t overpower the boat she really goes very well. We had a bit much sail up to start with but once we had sorted that it went really well.' Commented Dunnet.
For the Brewin Dolphin Scottish Series fleet an afternoon tied to the dock in Tarbert has been something of a welcome bonus as the rain has stayed away, giving the crews a perfect opportunity to enjoy Tarbert to the full.
Brewin Dolphin Scottish Series Event website