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Irish Flying Fifteen Nationals at Strangford Lough Yacht Club - Day 2

by Cormac Bradley 28 Aug 2021 13:08 PDT 27-29 August 2021

As was feared at the close of business yesterday, the weather on arrival at Strangford Lough Yacht Club was reminiscent of the British Championships sailed at the same venue a couple of years ago when we sat ashore for three days under an AP flag.

This morning a combination of inshore mirror-like conditions combined with a mist that hid the race area from view meant that the flying of an AP flag was inevitable even though there was insufficient wind to make it flutter. Instead of a scheduled 10:55 Warning Signal the suggestion was that it might be closer to 14:00 before we would get under way... and so it proved.

Under very light conditions, a la Portaferry of s few weeks back the fleet got away. The majority of the fleet started along the outer half of the start line, but a few pioneered the right hand-side including this correspondent sailing with Ben Mulligan (4081) and Roger Chamberlain, sailing with Paddy Spratt (3962). Chamberlain made his way to the middle of the course first before coming back right again. Mulligan persisted in his right-hand side quest and was rewarded when he crossed the entire fleet to lead into the first weather mark. Chamberlain closed on him in the final approach to the mark but at the mark there was a few boat-lengths between them.

Initially both boats led the fleet down the right-hand side of the beat before Mulligan broke away to head left. Regrettably and hopefully understandably, I can't tell you who was following Chamberlain. Ass the fleet made their way downwind there were increasing indications from the committee boat, conversing with the rib at the weather mark, that they had growing doubts that the race was fair and ultimately those doubts prompted an abandonment of the race. From a jaundiced perspective (again understandably) I have to question why the race was abandoned where it was when the fleet was sailing back down towards the start area. As we approached the committee boat the RO admitted there would probably be six boats who would not be happy with the decision. I suggested she might need both hands for that count!

The wind then faded away before a slightly stiffer breeze came in from the south, prompting a move of the weather mark westwards. Under a black flag start, the fleet got away apart from three transgressors of the revised starting protocol - Messrs McCarthy (4085), Chamberlain (3962) and Biggs (4092). This time it was the left side which paid from which exited Bryan Willis and John McPeake (4074), Niall Meagher & Nicki Matthews (3938) 3782. Regatta leaders overnight, Lavery & Green (4083) were at the committee boat end of the start and may have worked middle and left to work their way up the fleet.

This correspondent with his helm had a biblical race - those who had been first were last, etc, etc, well not quite, but you know what I mean.

A shortened race saw Willis & McPeake win with Meagher & Matthews second, 3782 third, Peter Kennedy & Stephen Kane (3920) 4th and Lavery & Green 5th. The previous day's other winners, Mulvin & Beirne had a 13th.

Results after Day 2: (top ten, 4 races, 1 discard)

PosHelm & CrewSail NoR1R2R3R4Pts
1John Lavery & Alan Green408351258
2Peter Kennedy & Stephen Kane3920464412
3Nigel Biggs and Pritchard Jones 40927332313
4Hammy Baker & Peter Chamberlain3756348613
5Shane McCarthy & Andy Thompson408521162319
6Roger Chamberlain & Paddy Spratt396214512320
7Bryan Willis & John McPeake 407415911121
8Trevor Darcy & Crew 37829129321
9Peter Lawson & Chris Hannon38938157823
10Ian Matthews & Keith Poole409311851224

I have yet to see a forecast for Sunday, but surely it can't be as trying as today... or could it?

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