The Old Pulteney IRC Scottish Championship, staged off Largs and organised by Mudhook Yacht Club, has suffered a drop in numbers, in line with every other regatta on the Clyde but the 16-strong line up includes several of Scotland's leading yachts, with crew pedigrees to match, writes Fiona Holland.
While Playing FTSE, a regular on the west of Scotland racing scene for more than a decade will be missing – the winner in IRC1 at the Brewin Dolphin Scottish Series and a former Scottish IRC Championship overall winner, the boat has been sold and headed down south – but Murray Findlay, her skipper from last year, will still be around, this time at the helm of Chris Bonar's BH36 Bateleur 97 in IRC1. A likely challenger will be Charles Frize in Prime Suspect, the Mills 36 which has performed well at this regatta in the past.
In IRC2, the leading contenders from Scottish Series go head to head. Salamander XXI, the new Beneteau F35 to become the latest in John Corson's formidable and long-running Salamander stable, won the IRC2 prize two weeks ago from the Thomson brothers with Swan 45 Sloop John T.Another contender is the Jeffrey/Scutt duo and their First 36.7 Carmen.
The IRC3 defending champions, the Roderick Angus and Alastair Tear partnership, have traded last year's regatta-winning Hustler SJ30 Misjif, for the Sunfast 37, More Misjif, which acquitted itself well in IRC3 at Scottish.
Great Britain's women defeated South Korea 113-86 in their first game at the Ankara Invitational Tournament in Turkey on Friday, writes Mark Woods. Jo Leedham had a game-high 29 points as Tom Maher's side ignored foul trouble to build on a first quarter surge in their latest Olympic tune-up. Up 56-37 at half-time, GB maintained their push and with Julie Page adding 14 points and nine rebounds on her 50th international appearance, the Koreans had no response. Edinburgh-born guard Rose Anderson had six points and four rebounds off the bench. They face Argentina in their second game of the event today.
David Florence comfortably came through his heats in the canoe slalom at the World Cup in Pau, France, as he builds towards London 2012, writes Roddy Mackenzie. The Beijing Olympic silver medallist was sixth fastest qualifier with a time of 95.52 seconds on his second run, just over 5sec behind fastest qualifier Matej Benus (Slovakia). His fellow-Scot Campbell Walsh also came through his heats in the kayak singles, qualifying in 10th place with 91.41 seconds which was almost four seconds behind fastest Peter Kauzer (Slovenia).
The Scot Lynn McCafferty was voted player of the tournament as Great Britain finished runners-up in the prestigious Copa de les Naciones in Catalonia. GB used the event as part of their build-up to the Olympics and reached the final before losing out by one goal to the Spanish club Galicia.
Gordon Shepherd, head coach of Scotland's senior women, is preparing to be without his four best players for the international season in the latter part of this year, writes Craig Madden. The squad have made huge strides in the last couple of years, having more than held their own in the prestigious FIH Champions Challenge – they finished third in Dublin last year – and climbed the world rankings but the demands of Great Britain and the quest for medals at the London Olympics threaten to be a major source of frustration for Scotland. Of their four leading players, Laura Bartlett and Emily Maguire are in Danny Kerry's squad of 16 for the Games, goalkeeper Abi Walker is nominated as travelling reserve, while VWS Dundee Wanderers midfielder Vikki Bunce is not picked but remains in the Team GB set-up.
Without them, but featuring seven new caps, Shepherd's squad lost a five-match Test series against South Africa 4-0 but were always competitive and drew praise from Giles Bonnet, head coach of a South Africa side bound for the Olympic Games. "They can be a world to 12 team," he said. "Against us, they were missing four phenomenal players in their Great Britain squad members. They would have competed well against Belgium [who qualified], India and Ireland in the Olympic Qualifier Tournaments. I have enormous respect for them. Gordon has a very well-prepared team, but they don't play enough Test matches. They are strong competitors: physically strong, good players."
Even after the Olympics, their GB players will still be unavailable for the of the World League first round, a qualifier for the 2014 World Cup, while the next World League event will be a qualifier for the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games, so Scotland will not be allowed to compete.
Allan McNish will start Le Mans today from fourth place on the grid, knowing that Toyota could yet dampen his dream for a third 24 Hour victory, writes Kenneth Stephen. Audi closed out the leading positions in qualifying but Toyota's main car will start ahead of McNish in third place.
The Dumfries-born driver piloted a Toyota in F1 and has also worked with the team before at Le Mans. He knows they will be strong and, with his R18 e-tron quattro still finding its race pace, McNish expects another draining 24 Hours as he aims for win No.3 at La Sarthe. "Toyota has 15 litres more fuel and that is a huge help, strategy-wise," he said. "I don't know how reliable their car will be but we know the Toyotas will go two laps longer."
Another major factor for McNish and team-mates Dindo Capello and Tom Kristensen will be the pace and reliability of Audi's other cars. The sister R18 e-tron quattro of Andre Lotterer, Benoit Treluyer and Marcel Fassler will start from pole position, 12 months after winning the event.
Berwick Bandits officials have brought in track covers in a bid to ensure that their Grand Prix qualifier tonight beats the weather, writes Nigel Duncan. The meeting, the biggest event staged at Shielfield Park, has attracted huge interest and a big crowd is expected.
Chris Harris, the Great Britain internationalist is favourite and the Birmingham captain Danny King is Britain's other representative. Ryan Fisher, Edinburgh Monarchs' former No.1 now with Plymouth, is in the field along with the former Glasgow Tigers favourite Emiliano Sanchez.
FIELD. Grand Prix qualifier (Shielfield Park, tonight, 7pm) Sam Masters (Aus), Emiliano Sanchez (Arg), Krysztof Buckowski (Pol), Chris Harris (UK), Guglielmo Franchetti (Ita), Christian Hefenbrock (Ger), Henry van der Steen (Ned), Kenneth Hansen (Den), Ryan Fisher (US), Matej Kus (Cze), Tero Aarnio (Fin), Davey Watt (Aus), Danny King (UK), Linus Sundstrom (Swe), Facundo Albin (Arg), Kenny Ingalls (US)
n Edinburgh Monarchs' Premier League meeting with Berwick Bandits at Armadale last night was postponed because of a waterlogged track.