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Old Pulteney Mudhook Regatta and Scottish IRC Championship - Day 1

by Fiona Holland 11 Jun 2016 20:55 BST 11-12 June 2016
Sloop John on day 1 of the Old Pulteney Mudhook Regatta © Neill Ross

In some very tight racing on the Clyde, the Thomson brothers' Swan 40 Sloop John T has done enough to lead the fleet after day one of the Old Pulteney Scottish IRC Championship.

And, in some of the races, the margins couldn't have been finer.

A rock steady 10-12 knot easterly at Helensburgh remained true for the duration of the three starts and the race committee did not have to make any course adjustments.

Pushing hard in race one of the Mudhook Yacht Club event, part of the club's annual regatta, Jacob VII, John Stamp's Corby 33, came agonisingly close to securing a win – the fastest of the fleet, she took line honours with a 37 second advantage over the water. But with the handicap applied, Sloop, which was second across the water, had done just enough to reverse the corrected time placings – a single second was all that separated the two.

For race two, Sloop stepped up the pace and actually crossed the line first just ahead of Jacob – but this time, both were thwarted by the Jeffrey/Scutt partnership with their First 36.7 Carmen II. Although crossing the line in third, Carmen's crew had inched an 11 second advantage on handicap.

Game on – and race three dished up more of the same close quarters action, but this time Team Sloop had made doubly sure – an assured cross-the-water sail gave them the line honours and the all-important corrected time win.

By close of play, Sloop's two firsts and a second had given them a clear margin of two points over chasers Carmen with a first, second and third.

Meanwhile, elsewhere in the fleet, Ian Marshall at the helm of Diablo and Geoff Howison's Hero were locked in a an absolute ding-dong scrap for supremacy at the head of the seven-strong Etchells fleet.

But, no matter how hard Hero pushed, Diablo had the answer, posting three bullets from three races, with Hero settling for second each time.

And there was similarly tight competition in the CYCA handicap fleet. Not particularly surprisingly, Howard and Margaret Morrison's Sigma 38 Enigma took a full set of line honours in a fleet composed primarily of Sigma 33s.

But the 33s showed determination and the race within a race turned out to be between Donald McLaren's Sigmatic and the Bradshaw/Gallacher owned Busy Beaver. Each picked up a corrected time win and each also slotted in a second and third, too – tying them on six points apiece at the end of day one, with Mclaren squeezing it by a whisker for the top spot on countback. For her troubles, Enigma did pick up a first place in the last race and was lying third.

Results after Day 1:

1 Sloop John T (I&G Thomson, Clyde Cruising Club) 1,2,1 4pts
2 Carmen II (Jeffrey/Scutt, Helensburgh Sailing Club) 3,1,2 6pts
3 Jacob VII (J Stamp, Port Edgar Yacht Club) 2,3,4 9pts

1 Diablo (I Marshall, Royal Gourock Yacht Club) 1,1,1 3pts
2 Hero (G Howison, RGYC) 2,2,2 6pts
3 Defiance (T,S&R Lang, RGYC) 6,3,3 12pts

1 Sigmatic (D McLaren, HSC) 1,3,2 6pts
2 Busy Beaver (Bradshaw/Gallacher) 2,1,3 6pts
3 Enigma (M&H Morrison, Mudhook YC) 4,2,1 7pts

1 Siglette (C Macdonald, Royal Northern and Clyde YC) 1,1,2 4pts
2 Carpe Diem (M Macdonald, RNCYC) 2,2,1 5pts

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