After two days of light airs trials and tribulations, the third race of the Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust Edinburgh Cup was finally completed in Largs on the penultimate day of the regatta. A lack of breeze continued to dog the event meaning only one race was possible, but that one race has ensured that the championship is now valid and a Dragon Open British Champion will be declared.
The day kicked off with a light but fairly steady south-south-westerly and after just a short postponement to tweak the course the fleet was ready to go for the long awaited race three. At the first attempt their eagerness results in a general recall, but the boats were quickly turned around and got away cleanly at the second time of asking, with the aid of the black flag.
So far…. so good. That was until the security flotilla surrounding a nuclear submarine outbound from Faslane hove into view and instructed the race committee to abandon the race and the boats to clear the area. To add insult to injury the wind began to die and it then took until late afternoon before enough wind returned to allow a re-start.
Once underway the fleet finally got to enjoy a full race in a 9-10 knot southerly. Martin Payne sailing GBR789 Bear made the best of the first beat by going right and even managed to cope with a minor drama when the weather mark went adrift just as the fleet approached and a mark boat had to recover and stand in for it. He extended his lead on the next five legs, but allowed the fleet to creep back up on him when he chose to go left on the final beat. Julia Bailey, sailing GBR720 Aimee went the other way to pull up from third to second, although she was unable to break through Bear’s cover Tom Vernon sailing GBR795 Excite followed Aimee across the line with Mike Budd in GBR793 Harry fourth and Gavia Wilkinson-Cox in GBR720 Jerboa fifth.
As the Dragons finished the wind died in that area so, keen to get another race in if at all possible, the committee upped sticks and took the boats in to the channel between Largs and Great Cumbrae where a building 10-15 knot southerly was blowing. The committee attempted to set up for the fourth race but it was not to be and they sent the fleet home after another very long day on the water.
As the boats came ashore it was in the expectation that Aimee now led the regatta by three points from Jerboa with Bear one point behind in third and Bocci Aoyama sailing JAP50 Yevis II fourth. But the day’s drama was far from over and back ashore Cathy Sedgeworth’s GBR509 Kismet lodged a port/starboard protest against Jerboa which Kismet won. As a result Aimee continues to lead the regatta on 7 points with Bear now second on 11 points, Yeavis II third on 17 points, Patrick Gifford’s GBR515 Basilisk fourth overall and leading Corinthian on 22, Excite fifth and Jerboa now sixth.
The start time for tomorrow’s final day of racing has been brought forward to 10.00 and the committee will attempt to sail the remaining three races before the 15.00 final start cut off. Once a fourth race has been sailed the single discard will come into play, something both Jerboa and Excite, who was OCS in race two, will be particularly looking forward to. With so much racing still to come Aimee’s four point lead is far from unassailable so tomorrow’s finale promises to be a thrilling one.