What better way to energise yourself on a Sunday morning than going sailing? Last Sunday provided great conditions for the third race of the Mackey Eyecare Autumn Series. With winds gusting over 25 knots there was plenty of excitement to be watched from the shore, as the fleets were running downwind with spinnakers up and the odd death roll - mind you, the spinnakers were 'chicken chutes'. Despite the strong winds, racing was very close in the IRC class.
The top four boats finished within a minute of each other on corrected time. Ken Halliwell in CHAIN GANG was only 16 seconds ahead of Ian Wilson's RESPECT, despite Ken having two reefs in his mainsail. Ian flew his asymmetric spinnaker which kept him upright. The crew in TROUBLE had plenty of excitement when they broached and eventually ripped their spinnaker in two!
Cruiser racers run into problems on Belfast Lough
The six boat Sigma fleet had great close racing with some flying spinnakers and others not doing so. The Sherwoods and Taylors in SULA led from the start and managed to stay ahead of Paul Prentice in SQUAWK. IMPULZ put in a good race with the Johnston Brothers sticking to whitesails and still finishing third.
The IRC Whitesail shortened sails like the rest of the fleets and once again John Moorhead in MARGARITA notched up another win from Messrs Adair, Johnston and Jordan in ENIGMA.
There are two more weeks to go in the Mackey Opticians Autumn Series and with one discard to kick in, it's close competition in the IRC and Sigma classes.
IRC 1st Chain Gang - Ken Halliwell
2nd Respect - Ian Wilson
3rd Rattle 'n Hmm – Messrs Harrington, McVicar & McClugan
Sigma 33 – 1st Sula – Taylor & Sherwood
2nd Squawk – Paul & Emma Prentice
3rd IMPULZ – Johnston Bros
Whitesail 1st Margarita – J Moorhead
2nd Enigma – Messrs Adair, Johnston & Jordan