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#sb20 – Trench warfare is best used to describe the fight going on at the front of the SB20 Sportsboat fleet for Day 2 of the nationals on Belfast Lough. There is no letup whatsoever between Mel Collins and Ben Duncan battling it out for first place. Duncan with Brian Moran and Joe Turner aboard leading at the end of the day by a slim 2 point difference to Royal Cork Yacht Clubs Mel Collins, Aidan MacSweeney and Kieran Dorgan. Duncan came out of the blocks to win race 1 with Collins 2nd. Collins squeezing a narrow margin in race two over Duncan to score a extremely consistent 2nd to Duncan's 3rd. With discards now applied Duncan's score is 1,1,1,3 and Collins 2,2,2,2. All to play for.

Local boat Ross & Andrew Vaughan with John Driscoll winning race 2 to keep them well within the hunt for a podium finish. Some fine performances from class newcomers Ger Dempsey and Chris Nolan on will see the Westerns silver fleet winners vying for a top 5 result.

Winds on the lough increased to 30 knots gradually over the day forcing Race Officials to abandon racing for race 3 but not before some thrilling downwind action with boats reporting 20 knots speeds to the leeward mark.

Racing continues Sunday with 2 races scheduled.

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#sb20– Heavy rain and bad visibility greeted the SB20 fleet yesterday in Belfast Lough for day 1 of the Class Nationals. Wind from the south coming off the Ballyholme shore made for gusty and shifty racing for the fleet. Strangford Lough based former Flying fifteen champion Darren Martin started the series with a very impressive first place in race 1 in this highly competitive fleet. Local heroes Andrew & Ross Vaughan also consistently in the top 5 with a 4,5,4 showing the advantage of local knowledge.

However it was Ben Duncan again who showed a master class in one design racing with a 6,1,1 leading overnight by 4 points to Mel Collins (8,2,2). These leading two boats as expected battling it out at the front for race leader, each boat gaining and losing the advantage several times. On the final race, Collins only losing it out to Duncan on the final sprint to the finish as each boat split for different sides of the gate.

More to come today on Belfast lough where inclusion in the top 10 in this class is a hard fought thing.

1st - NZL 3287 -Duncan

2nd - IRL 3198 - Collins

3rd - IRL 3501- Martin

4th - IRL3298 - Vaughan

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#sb20 – Hosted this year by Royal Ulster Yacht Club this weekend's SB20 nationals in Belfast Lough, will feature up to 30 boats

Based at Bangor Marina, the eight race series will kick off on Friday lunchtime in what is looking likely to be a light airs and typically fickle Belfast lough event.

Fresh from his Squib National championship win, Aidan O'Connell on Ruby Blue will be keen to serve up back to back championship wins and is tipped as a hot contender for the title, however he does have to overcome the ever consistent Ben Duncan to achieve this. Based on recent form and speed, Aidan and his team will certainly be tipped for a podium finish.

Duncan however is coming off the back of a typically successful season having scored a Scottish National title, an SB20 Easterns, Westerns and Southerns title. His foray into the Dublin Bay sailing club scene resulted in an impressive string of 6 wins from 6 races.

Peter Kennedy and Stephen Kane from Belfast Lough are a team never to be underestimated however. A win on home waters this season for the Northerns title shows that the northerners have the potential to upset. Local Hero Brian Spence and Gareth Flannigan will both be on the water. Although not recently active in the class, both northerners will be keen to assert their influence on the leader board once again.

From the West, Sligo based Brian & Paul Reilly on BMW Boomsticks and Cork based Scott McKeown onboard Magic helmed by Mel Collins will be up for this event, with a few near misses this season, both crews will be hungry for this event and will certainly do damage to the scoreboard and look to upset the table.

Also attending is the formidable team of Emmet and James Ryan, recent RS400 National title winners. The pair have been going from strength to strength in the RS class and will be tipped to cut a dash in the SB's.

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#sb20 – Ben Duncan, Brian Moran and Joe Turner again showed great pace in the SB20 Western Championships at the weekend knocking up four 1sts and a 6th to win by a 5 point margin. The result is Ben's third back to back win at this event.

Fresh from the recent Volvo Ocean race, the harbour gates once again opened up for the SB20 Western Championships this weekend. Martin Breen and his team from GBSC did a superb job providing six action packed races with Captain Morgan in McSwiggins Bar providing the onshore entertainment.

Ben Duncan, Brian Moran and Joe Turner again showed great pace in the series knocking up four 1sts and a 6th to win by a 5 point margin. This counting as Ben's third back to back win at this event. Second is Aidan O'Connell ably assisted by Graham Elmes. Aidan showing a terrific turn of speed this weekend with some very consistent sailing counting a 2,2,3,3,5. The two leaders hunted each other from the start and pulled off a match racing challenge to expose each others weakness. Watch this space. The O'Reilly brothers on Boomsticks finishing 3rd with Dun Laoghaire Class Captain Doug Smith enjoying a terrific weekend with Killian Collins Mary Collins onboard and finishing 4th overall on countback.

Overnight leader Peter Kennedy unfortunately suffered a broken pole and had to withdraw.

Conditions on the bay were a combination of 15-25 knots with some big swells that the SB class enjoy so much with plenty of whitewater downwind action.

SB20 Western Championships overall:

1st Sharkbait 3287 Ben Duncan Brian Moran/Joe Turner (10.0) 1.0 1.0 6.0 1.0 1.0 20.0 10.0

2nd Ruby Blue 3072 Aidan O'Connell Graham Elmes/Peter Bayly 3.0 2.0 5.0 3.0 2.0 (25.0 DNF) 40.0 15.0

3rd Boomsticks 3222 Brian Reilly Paul Reilly/Jonny O'Dowd 7.0 5.0 4.0 (18.0) 7.0 2.0 43.0 25.0

4th Sacre Bleu 3164 Doug Smith (15.0) 3.0 8.0 5.0 4.0 5.0 40.0 25.0

5th Magic 3198 Mel Collins Scott McKeown/Aidan McSweeney 12.0 8.0 2.0 (14.0) 5.0 3.0 44.0 30.0

6th Hit n' Run 3501 Darren Martin Rodger Ringhaddy/Simon Murray 4.0 11.0 (18.0) 2.0 9.0 4.0 48.0 30.0

7th Milvus Milvus 3338 Rob Howe Paul McMahon/Joanne Sheehy 5.0 10.0 6.0 7.0 10.0 (25.0 DNC) 63.0 38.0

8th Sin Bin 3544 Barry O'Neil James Ryan/Emmet Ryan 2.0 14.0 7.0 (19.0) 8.0 11.0 61.0 42.0

9th Manamana IRL3 Ronan Downing David SweeneyLisa Neary 6.0 7.0 13.0 8.0 (25.0 OCS) 9.0 68.0 43.0

10th Ridgefence 3500 Peter Kennedy Dave Cheyne/Andrew Vaughan 1.0 4.0 3.0 13.0 (25.0 DNF) 25.0 DNC 71.0 46.0

11th Dinghy Supplies 3490 Darragh Sheridan Shane Murphy/Alan 8.0 (16.0) 10.0 9.0 14.0 6.0 63.0 47.0

12th Lia 3449 Dave Barry Owen Laverty/Ger 14.0 12.0 9.0 (16.0) 6.0 8.0 65.0 49.0

13th 3316 Ger Dempsey Chris Nolan/Conor Clanchy/Barker 11.0 (18.0) 17.0 4.0 12.0 7.0 69.0 51.0

14th 3433 David Taylor S Ferres/C Glynn 13.0 15.0 16.0 (22.0) 3.0 12.0 81.0 59.0

15th Seriously Bonkers x 3 3484 Marty Cuppage Peter Lee/Michael Galvin 16.0 9.0 20.0 1.0 (25.0 DNF) 14.0 85.0 60.0

16th Alert Packaging 3467 Justin Burke Darren Burke/Osmond Morris 9.0 13.0 21.0 10.0 (25.0 OCS) 10.0 88.0 63.0

17th Bad - Kilcullen 3307 Enda Coineen Jerry Dowling/Rory Byrne 17.0 6.0 12.0 20.0 11.0 (25.0 DNF) 91.0 66.0

18th Monkey 3279 Keith Cassidy Mick McCormack/Ian McSweeney 18.0 (19.0) 15.0 15.0 15.0 15.0 97.0 78.0

19th Sin a Bhuil 3165 Gillian Guinness Colm Costigan/Mark Wheelin (25.0 DNF) 25.0 DNC 14.0 12.0 13.0 16.0 105.0 80.0

20th Galway Harbour 3426 Aidan Breen Cillian Dickson/Cormac Dickson 19.0 21.0 11.0 17.0 (25.0 RAF) 13.0 106.0 81.0

21st Rubdubdub 3343 Nick Doherty Robert Galvin/Conor O'Regan 21.0 (22.0) 19.0 11.0 16.0 18.0 107.0 85.0

22nd Blue Playground 3270 Cathal Clarke Nigel Moss/Eoin Breen (25.0 DNF) 20.0 23.0 21.0 17.0 17.0 123.0 98.0

23rd Odin 3586 James Gorman Ted Laverty/Keith Staunton 20.0 17.0 22.0 (25.0 DNF) 25.0 DNC 25.0 DNC 134.0 109.0

24th Sirius Black 3315 Anna Leech John Leech/Ken Hudson 22.0 23.0 24.0 23.0 18.0 (25.0 DNC) 135.0

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#SB20 – The first SB20 event was held at TBSC over the weekend of June 30th/July 1st. Although the fleet was small the racing under PRO Peter Moore of the host club was of the highest quality. On Saturady the wind blew fro the NW with a vengeance. Gusts of 35 knots were recorded between the race 1 and race 2 but only 25 to 30 knots during the racing.

Race 1 was won by Ben Duncan's Sharkbait with a flawless display of heavy wind sailing. In race 2 however it was Scott McKeown's Magic who won the plaudits and the race. Two boats retired with damage during the race as the wind and waves took their toll. Sharkbait was the winner of race 3 with Magic in second. At this point the race officer decided that the fleet had had enough punishment for one day and even though it was still early sent them to the showers and the bar.

It was obviously a great party as even though one of the damaged boats reappeared on Sunday morning only eight boats made it to the startline. Conditions could not have been more different as a light and shifty SW breeze made for difficult conditions. Once again Peter Moore did an outstanding job and had three good races on the board by one o'clock with less than ten minutes between races.

Sharkbait made light of the conditions to score three bullets and won the last race of the event by an enormous margin to take the title with five wins and a second as a discard. In the Silver Fleet Ronan Downing recovered from a poor first day to take first and fourth overall.

Sail No Boat Owner Race 1 Race 2 Race 3 Race 4 Race 5 Race 6 Net Place

3287 Sharkbait B. Duncan 1 2 1 1 1 1 5 1

3490 Dinghysupplies S. Murphy 3 7 3 2 4 2 14 2

3198 Magic S. McKeown 2 1 2 6 6 7 17 3

3 Manamana R. Downing 10 8 4 4 3 3 22 4

3433 D. Taylor 4 6 5 3 8 5 23 5

3449 Lia D. Barry 5 5 8 5 5 4 24 6

3338 MilvusMilvus R. Howe 8 4 7 7 2 6 26 7

3537 Boomsticks B. Reilly 6 3 6 11 11 11 37 8

35 R. Tate 7 11 11 8 7 8 41 9

3307 Bad Kilcullen J. Dowling 9 11 11 11 11 11 53 10

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#SAILING – Schull Youth Team from West Cork won the Under 21 Trophy at the Wilson Trophy in West Kirby in the UK yesterday and it represented a sweet revenge for the teenage three boat team.

Dublin's Ger Owens and Scott Flanigan final chance for Olympic selection at the 470 World Championships in Barcelona got off to a flying start yesterday with the double Olympian Owens finishing fifth in the opening race. It is an early boost for one of 7 remaining places left in the Summer Olympics.  Ross Hamilton is also trying to qualify in the Finn class, he lies

It may have been 'gutting' not to come away with a medal at the Star world championships where Peter O'Leary and and David Burrows finished fourth overall but it was nevertheless a fantastic performance for the London qualified pairing who were third overall for most of last week.

Ben Duncan continues his domination of the SB3 class with a win in the 2012 Eastern Championships yesterday at the National Yacht Club who celebrated its yacht club of the year award last Wednesday.

There was success for Class III champion Supernova plus results from all 19 DBSC classes on Saturday in Dublin Bay.

Cork Harbour's Patrick Crosbie and Grattan Roberts were 420 dinghy winners at Galway Bay Sailing Club.

Offshore American Kenny Read and Team Puma is in back in the USA, a Volvo Ocean Race Win on the home waters of Miami all the more satisfying. The race will finish in Galway at the end of next month.

Billed as one of Europe's major yacht racing events, the 2012 Round Ireland Race starts on June 24th and an international fleet has been announced with UK entries at an all time high for Ireland's top offshore fixture.

Offshore sailing is on a high thanks largely to the pioneeing work of Peter Ryan with the Irish Sea fleet and why shouldn't we be our exploiting our offshore assets, sure don't we own 220 million acres? The third ISORA Race this weekend will feature virtual marks on the way to the Howth finish.

The title holder's absence may be Hong Kong's opportunity at the 2012 Commodore's Cup. Where is Team Ireland as Hong Kong builds up for the cup in just two month's time?

And in two week's time Howth Yacht Club report they have reached the magic number of 100 for the ICRA Cruiser Nationals at the North Dublin venue.

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#SB20 – Howth Yacht Club's Sharkbait Ben Duncan (3287) sailing with Brian Moran and Paul Adamson won the first of the 2012 SB20 sportsboat championships with three wins in a series cut short by strong winds at the National Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire today. 

Second in the 28-boat fleet was Aidan O'Connell (3072) Graham Elmes and Brian Reilly and third Rob Howe (3338) with Paul McDonland and Ross McDonald, the latter two fighting it out for second but O'Connell winning out on countback.

Full results downloadable in PDF format below.

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In Dun Laoghaire, 136 SB3s have assembled at the National Yacht Club this morning for Monday’s first race of the SB3 world championships. 

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