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2018 Mudhook Regatta on the Clyde - Day 1

by Fiona Holland 17 Jun 2018 06:52 BST 16-17 June 2018
Banshee on day 1 at the 2018 Mudhook Regatta © Neill Ross

After three close races in the tightly-matched, eight-strong RC35 class, Charlie Frize has helmed Banshee to an overnight lead at the Mudhook Regatta.

Held on the Clyde in light to moderate breeze, 31 yachts spread over five classes, enjoyed some very evenly-matched racing on the East Patch near Helensburgh. Three races were held back-to-back, with the wind starting in the south east and moving round to the west by the end of the day.

In its second year now, the RC35 class essentially brings together a very tightly banded group of traditionally IRC2 yachts and the resulting competition is, at times, nailbiting.

Posting a first in race one, Corby 33 Banshee maintained further consistency with two seconds in races two and three of the day to lead on five points after three races.

But, Neill Sandford's MAT1010 Now or Never 3 has stayed in close contention for the top spot – his second in the first outing of the day, together with a third and first in races two and three respectively gives him a total of six points and leaves both yachts vying for victory in Sunday's final two-race showdown.

While the front-runners kept their proverbial noses clean, elsewhere in the fleet there was drama to be had. Light airs wouldn't normally bring any kind of carnage with them, but a very tight finish in race two saw the Scutt/Jeffrey-owned Carmen II come to blows – quite literally – with the Thomson brothers' Sloop John T, which infringed Carmen by tacking in her water. The resulting disarray saw Carmen's mast become lodged between Sloop's shrouds and mast, shredding the former's mainsail and dislodging masthead wind instruments. The good Scottish word 'fankle' amply describes this unfortunate incident which Carmen took to protest and won redress, while untangling the pair took a fair amount of time.

Elsewhere in the other fleets, however, things stayed close but clean.

Eight Hunter 707s, fresh from competition at Scottish Series in Tarbert, assembled on the startline – seven of these normally make their home on the Forth, but had been persuaded to spend an extra couple of weeks on the Clyde in order to compete. This is a hot and unforgiving class – as one competitor said 'If you make a mistake, you're stuffed'.

And the yacht to make fewest of these race-ending mistakes was Stewart Robertson's Cacciatore with his son Ben at the helm. The Royal Forth team posted a bullet in race one, following it with a second and a final first. This has given them quite a cushion over rivals Partial Pressure, owned by the Smith/Mckeown partnership and Venton/Harris' Jetstream – both on nine points and both with a second, third and fourth counting.

Meanwhile in the resurgent Etchells fleet, which has been making a strong come-back on the Clyde over the last three years or so after decades' absence, there are similarly close-quarter stories to tell.

At this stage, though, Duncan Munro at the helm of James Cochrane's Bullet 7, has done just enough to stave off the advances of Brian Young and team on board Excalibur – with five and six points respectively after three races and all to play for in Sunday's final two bouts.

Returning to the Sigma 33 fleet after many years' absence, Scott Chalmers in Encore dominated the small fleet to post three firsts, while Griogair Whyte at the helm of the Siglette achieved the same feat of three bullets in the Sonar class, leaving the team clear ahead.

Results after Day 1: (three races)

1 Banshee (C Frize – Mudhook YC and Royal Northern and Clyde YC) 5pts
2 Now or Never 3 (N Sandford – Fairlie YC) 6pts
3 Wildebeest (C Latimer – Royal Western YC/Clyde Cruising Club) 10pts

Hunter 707
1 Cacciatore (S Robertson – Royal Forth YC) 4pts
2 Partial Pressure (Smith/Mckeown – Loch Earn SC) 9pts
3 Jetstream (Venton/Hamilton – Port Edgar YC)

1 Bullet 7 (J Cochrane – Mudhook YC/Royal Gourock YC)
2 Excalibur (B Young – Fairlie YC) 6pts
3 Diablo (S Cowie – RGYC/CCC)

Sigma 33
1 Encore (S Chalmers – RNCYC) 3pts
2 Mayrise (J Miller – Helensburgh SC) 6pts

1 Siglette (Siglette Consortium – RNCYC) 3pts
2 Grouse (S&L Pender – RNCYC) 8pts

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