Fairlie Yacht Club and Clyde Marina kick started the Clyde racing calendar with the Icebreaker Regatta. Run as a short course, sprint format the Icebreaker is Scotland's only keelboat training regatta and supported by RYA Scotland with the Scottish Sailing Institute championship mark laying team and on water coaching from international coach Barry Dunning and sailmakers from the North and Saturn lofts.
Held in crisp, clear sunshine the open waters off Ardrossan with Arrans mountains as a backdrop give a stunning racetrack. With wind speeds rising from 4 – 12kts the Icebreaker fleet completed 8 races, including 2 slightly over enthusiastic starts and general recalls for Class 1.
Saturday's easterlies of 6–9kts perfectly demonstrated the lifts and pressure gradient of a convergent shore and the left hand side paid steady dividends for the observant. At the end of day 1 Rod Stuart's Aurora showed consistent pace and the boat handling skills of his Commodores Cup campaign were still in place, smoothly negotiating the corners of the short courses and closing the day with a 2, 1, 4, 1 score line to head Class 1. But eyes were often on Andrew McVey's beautiful quarter tonner Phoenix, regularly nosing out of the front of the starts and in the lighter airs showing her modern and larger cousins that the old IOR boats can still show a shapely set of legs around a race course. In Class 2 Garth Wilson's Zebedee laid his mark down counting 2,1,1,1 for the first day.
Sunday dawned with a forecast of 9 to 12 kts ENE, but this took its time to settle. Race officer Pete Wright and the marks team rapidly swung the course for the second race of the day as the forecast delivered and races 2, 3 &4 ran in steadily building breeze finishing with 12 to 14kts. Saturdays leaders maintained their grip with Aurora and Zebedee finishing as class winners and Aurora taking the overall trophy.
The post-race video de briefings from Barry Dunning left little room to hide any indiscretions and closed out another successful Icebreaker to start the Clyde's racing season. A great event to get up to pace quickly at the start of the season, hone your starts and boat handling with the fleet heading home hungry for the season's racing ahead.