Sailing: Irish land wild Rover series

A rose by any other name smelled as sweet to the Irish yesterday as the 41ft Surfin' Shoes, in the hands of Johnnie McWilliam, weathered atrocious conditions and took the big boat prize in the Rover series at Tarbert, Loch Fyne, writes Stuart Alexander.

The same boat won its class last year, then sailing as Geoff Howison's Local Hero, and derivatives of it promise to dominate the Commodores' Cup contest in the Solent in July.

On a day when the Scots were being made to fight for their honour, the only man threatening to spoil the Irish victory, Chris Bonar, was one of four to have his yacht dismasted by winds blowing steadily at 30 knots plus and gusting to nearly 40. That made him third overall as another Irish boat, Roy Dickson's Cracklin' Rosie, took second.

The home team at least won class one, with Keith Lawrence's Playback putting in a powerful performance.

ROVER SERIES (Tarbert, Loch Fyne) Overall results: Class 0: 1 J McWilliam (Surfin' Shoes); 2 R Dickson (Cracklin' Rosie); 3 C Bonar (Bateleur '93). Class 1: 1 K Lawrence (Playback); 2 J Anderson (Duckwall Pooley); 3 P Fairley (Pinnochio). Class 2: 1 I and G Thomson (Sloop John T); 2 S Moorhouse (Jumpin' Jack Flash); 3 J Corson (Salamander XII). Class 3: 1 J Nesbit (JHN); 2 D McLeman (Highwayman II); 3 G Hughes (Wing and a Prayer). Class 4: 1 A Dunnet (Valhalla); 2 P Watson (Pathfinder); 3 J Morgan (Flying Fish). Class 5: 1 D Lyons (Supertramp); 2 G Aikman (Scanne); 3 A Harvey (Vigil). Class 6: 1 R Perry (Revolver); 2 D Sharp (Soma); 3 C Porteous (Cynara). Class 7: 1 W Russell (Noble Dosser); 2 A Jones (Sundancer O Lleyn); 3 B Bocker (Southern Comfort). Melges 24: 1 M Lennon; 2 R Peacock; 3 K Slater. Sonata: 1 S Goacher (Eric the Boat); 2 D Clarke (Saraband); 3 W Forsyth (Braveheart).

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