Loch Fyne returned to its best for the first Olympic and Windward-Leeward races yesterday with 6-12kn of breeze and cascading sunshine producing a memorable day’s racing
After a chaotic first race, during which the wind swung through 180°, inverting the courses, the breeze settled down and some excellent racing followed.
After winning the overnight feeder race from Bangor, Bob Stewart’s new Dubois 40 Azure still holds the edge in Class 1 after posting a second and a third yesterday, but the most consistent performer of the class today was Colm Barrington’s prize-winning Corby 38 Gloves Off.
Gloves won the first race as they pulled through Azure by making better use of the shifting breeze at the top end of the second beat and generally looking sharper than the week-old Azure. The Corby design took line honours in the first race a boat length of the slippery looking navy blue and white Dubois boat – a corrected time of four and a half minutes ahead.
Keith Lawrence’s BH36 Playback took a well earned victory in the second, sailing steadily and making some excellent decisions. Her faster-rated sistership, Chris Bonar’s Bateleur was hard on the heels of both Gloves and the class’ scratch boat Azure on the first circuit of the second race. Then she faded slightly on the final downwind leg when the breeze dropped on their side of the track. Playback pulled up in the best of the breeze on the last leg to win by just 28 seconds from Gloves Off.
Joe English steered Ian Paterson’s Buddy 11 to a handsome win in the first race of the 30 strong 1720 class, going left early and flicking over on the first big windshift to give them a lead on which they capitalised while the chasing pack concentrated on each other. Steve Goacher took the second race in Goacher Sails but a fifth in the second race ensures Buddy is the overnight leader.
IRC Class 3 is lead by Donald Sharp’s X332 Tundra which sailed consistently to record a fourth and second. In the first start of the day their attempt to duck back across the start line with twenty seconds to go drew three boats over the line, and all had to return to restart. Tundra came off lightly with a fourth but the Elan 362 of Richard MacKenzie, Silver Darling, was forced to fight from the front of Class 4 and pulled back to sixth. Added to their win in the second race, Silver Darling, steered by Hamish Mackay, is second in class.
Most dramatic moment of the day was when the Beneteau 40.7 Toucan wrapped a stray halyard round the rig of the Toledo Moonlighter and dragged her sideways for some distance.