IRC Scottish Championship 2012, organised by Mudhook Yacht Club, was held at Largs over the weekend of 16th and 17th June. Racing to the head of a closely matched 10-strong IRC Class 2 fleet, Clyde regular Sloop John T has lifted the Old Pulteney IRC Scottish Championship trophy.
Sloop John - IRC Scottish Championship 2012
Helmed by Iain Thomson from Lamlash on Arran, the 16-year-old Swan 40 was pushed hard, but strength and depth within Sloop’s crew gave them two first places and two seconds, leaving them clear of the competition with just six points.
'A great day, very pleased,' said Iain. 'We’ve won our class before but not the overall – we’ve come close, but to win feels great.
'The crew is the best bunch of guys – we’ve been together since the boat was new and it’s really down to them.'
Over the course of the four races, the winner and runner up in IRC2 was never decided by any more than 21 seconds on corrected time.
But, despite the real nip and tuck nature of the field, Sloop’s crew proved that experience and determination pays dividends, as they held off strong challenges from variously the Scutt/Jeffrey owned Carmen II, Neill Sandford’s Now or Never 3 and More Misjif, owned by the Angus/Tear partnership, themselves the defending champions.
'Carmen is always tough, but we were also always keeping our eyes open elsewhere in the fleet,' continued Iain, who co-owns Sloop with his brother Graham. 'In the end, the courses and conditions suited us and we were able to make the most of it.'
Now or Never - IRC Scottish Championship 2012
Playing runner up to Sloop, Helensburgh yacht Carmen’s campaign peaked with a win in the final race, but it was not enough to make up their shortfall in points, leaving them on 10, with Now or Never 3 of Fairlie Yacht Club concluding their regatta on 15.
After a truly cobweb-busting day on Saturday, which saw a 25 knot easterly breeze, sometimes gusting to 40 knots, force racing to be abandoned at the Clyde regatta, day two’s weather offered welcome respite for sailors and race committee alike.
EOS - IRC Scottish Championship 2012
A moderate 12-14 knot westerly filled in on Sunday and stayed true, and was roundly welcomed by many, including the IRC Class 1 victors on board Eos.
The Elan 410, owned by Rod and Mhairi Stuart from Glasgow also recorded a scoresheet of two firsts and two seconds in their fleet of six yachts.
Trimmer and co-owner Mhairi said: 'It was a long hard day, but it was a great decision not to sail on Saturday – it was pretty wild.
Prime Suspect - IRC Scottish Championship 2012
'Nobody was making any mistakes on any of the boats today and it was really close on the water. We were always keeping an eye on all of the boats, in particular Prime Suspect, which has exactly the same handicap as us.
'There’s never a chance to relax and make mistakes in a fleet like that.
'This is our first overall class win at a regatta, so we’re really chuffed – delighted. We’ve had the boat for two years and have won a few individual races, but it went well for us and a long hard day’s racing has paid off.
'It was good short, sharp courses and our crew did really well – conditions were just right, any less wind and we might have been in trouble.'
The Black Prince, Bateleur 97 and Prime Suspect - IRC Scottish Championship 2012
Second place was, indeed taken by Charles Frize and his crew on board the Mills 36 on 10 points, with Chris Bonar’s Bateleur 97 from Dundee taking third on 15.
Results Old Pulteney IRC Scottish Championship – overall:
1 Eos (R and M Stuart – Clyde Cruising Club) 6 points
2 Prime Suspect (C Frize – Mudhook YC) 10
3 Bateleur 97 (C Bonar – Royal Tay YC) 15
1 Sloop John T (I and G Thomson – CCC) 6
2 Carmen II (Jeffrey/Scutt – CCC) 10
3 Now or Never 3 (N Sandford – Fairlie YC) 15
Salamander - IRC Scottish Championship 2012
The Black Prince - IRC Scottish Championship 2012
Mudhook Yacht Club website