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T Clewring - Cruising

Brewin Dolphin Scottish Series – John Corson aims for a repeat

by Brewin Dolphin Scottish Series on 21 May 2011
Brewin Scottish Series Clyde Cruising Club http://www.scottishseries.com/
Brewin Dolphin Scottish Series has John Corson and the Salamander crew’s expectations of winning the overall Brewin Dolphin Scottish Series at a rising but, not too high pace.

The top award is presented to the best performance across the different divisions based on an independent jury choice. In previous years Clyde based Corson and his Salamander crew have come very close, deserving even, but denied at the final decision.

Last year, at the age of 80, Corson finally lifted the top award, the ‘Brewin Dolphin Scottish Series Trophy’, in his own right for the first time. Having had the trophy for a year Corson and his crew once again head to Loch Fyne with even more modest hopes.

He personally considers their chances of a repeat win, even with the same boat and the same crew, slim. Only Simon Pender in 1988 and 1989 and Hamish Mackay in 2001 and 2002 have skippered or steered yachts to win the Scottish Series Trophy in consecutive years.

'In many respects it is no different to other years, which we learnt over the many times we have attended. You go there, you do your very best and it if happens - as it did last year – then you enjoy it and be thankful, but we know not to go to the Series with anything other than wanting to do well and sail our best,' commented John Corson who will in fact have two boats racing at the regatta.

As well as the Trophy winning Corby 33 Salamander XX, he has a new First 35 which will sail as Salamander Team Sunbird, racing in the same class and be skippered by Chris Dodshon, who works for Beneteau agents Sunbird.

Salamander XX is very much Corson’s racing machine, which is for sale, but he has supplemented it with a new 35 foot First racer-cruiser for domestic Clyde circuit events.

'The Corby is undoubtedly very quick and really worked well for us last year but in the stronger breezes it is tough against the bigger boats in our class. The other thing which will make it more difficult for us is that our handicap has been lowered several points meaning we will be sailing with one less crew. In the stronger winds this will mean we have less weight and power to work the boat.' Corson surmises.

The skipper will be steering his boat more in this edition of the regatta, while Sailmaker John Highcock of Saturn Sails returns as tactician and relief helm. Highcock also won the Scottish Series Trophy with the Corsons’ Moody 336 Crusader in 1996.

'It is not going to be easy this year for a number of different reasons and we have not sailed the boat at all this season so far. We have a good crew and John is as enthusiastic as ever. He is absolutely a one-off, unique in Scottish sailing and it is great to see he is lending his other boat to support the regatta and help boost the numbers,' comments John Highcock.

The 2011 Brewin Dolphin Scottish Series takes place during the bank holiday weekend from Friday 27 to Monday 30 May in Tarbert on Scotland's stunning West Event website
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