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Bosun Bob's/Rockshore RS400 Winter Series at the Royal North of Ireland Yacht Club - Day 2

by Peter Kennedy 13 Nov 2023 02:59 PST 5 November - 17 December 2023
Bosun Bob's/Rockshore RS400 Winter Series day 2 © Calum Dalzell

Sunday week 2 of the series arrived dank and dismal with light rain and a forecast including 29kt gusts; what a contrast to the previous bright and sunny weekend which had seen the return of Bob Espey into the class, notching two bullets but with the overall lead being taken by cousins Ross and Andrew Vaughan. It is likely that the forecast put off a few of the potential players as only 15 boats out of the 25 entered reached the start line.

In fact the wind strength had dropped considerably in the hour before the scheduled start, although still from the south east, meaning that the breeze was diminished by the Holywood hills, leaving anything from 5-18 kts with direction varying around 40 degrees in short lived gusts tumbling down over the trees. Carrickfergus SC, on the north side of Belfast Lough had been forced to cancel their racing, facing the full force of the southerly breeze.

Andrew Vaughan was now the helmsman in his boat - cousin Ross, unable to make it this weekend, had suggested that he headhunt a "top helm" to make sure that their good start in the series was consolidated, but Andrew answered in the best way possible, scoring another 2,3,4 for the day, exactly the same as with Ross at the back of the boat the week before! Peter Kennedy and Stephen Kane had fared badly last week and decided the answer to an OCS and RET was to cheer themselves up with a new (one year old) boat!

Setting a start and first beat was a challenge for any race officer with Gerry Reid finding a mean direction for both and settling for that; there was a big left shift at 30 seconds before the first start with several boats trapped too low and unable to cross the line, leaving Jocelyn Hill and Rowan Berry to tack onto port at the pin and sail into a comfortable lead at the first mark; however they were hunted down by Tom Purdon and Olivia Hayes who found a nice shift and gust down the last run to sneak past them at the last mark and take the first gun, also his maiden win since his first appearance at the RNIYC winter event. Liam Donnelly and Rick McCaig did something that they also hadn't managed for many years and rolled in for a swim, nosediving after a gybe into an unyielding wave.

There was controversy at the start of the second with race officer Reid rolling into the 3 minute start sequence - after his capsize Donnelly was heading up the short last beat when the 3 sticks appeared, with half of the fleet still catching breath after the first race; again it was Hill who was most alert and took the lead after the start. Kennedy was close behind and they swapped the lead over the next couple of legs with Vaughan also getting past Hill on the last downwind after he took a brave foray to the left hand corner and found a long lasting gust to move him up to second behind Kennedy.

The last race marked the return of Donnelly - the fleet might have stopped to applaud his perfect port tack start at the pin, as he raced into a big lead up the first beat only to ruin it by getting his legs tangled in rope on the last tack, getting stuck in irons and letting 3 boats past. It was Kennedy who was there to capitalize, and he stretched into a safe lead over the next few legs; Purdon was in second to complete an excellent 1,2,6 result for the day.

Three races completed in tough conditions for competitors and race management alike, lets hope for better next week!

Day 2 Results:

PosSail NoHelmCrewClubR1R2R3Pts
1st1522Peter KennedyStephen KaneRNIYC/SLYC2114
2nd1004Tom PurdonOlivia HayesSLYC1629
3rd1438Ross VaughanAndrew VaughanRNIYC4239
4th741Jocelyn HillRowan BerryCAYC34714
5th877William FindlayPeter CameronStrangford SC63817
6th1179Ben MartinRory FlanniganBYC/RUYC59418
7th1353Robert HastingsRory HigginsSLYC/RNIYC85619
8th1405Liam DonnellyRick McCaigCSC118524
9th1316Stephen McLernonEdwina TernanCSC77RET30
10th1415Frank MacfarlaneBrian ConwayCSC10111031
11th1264Neil CalvinSharon CorkhillCSC912DNS37
12th1006Hammy BakerDan SherriffBYC/SLYC/CAYCRET101137
13th888Stephen DonnellyTim LeonardCSCRET14939
14th1044Andrew IrvinAisling O'GradyNational YCDNS13RET45
15th825Paul RobinsonA Byres/A RobinsonCSCDNS15RET47

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