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Northern Ireland Restricted Keelboat Racing Association (NIRKRA) Crowns New King

4th August 2014
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STARFLASH
Starflash, the Northern Ireland Restricted Keelboat Racing Association (NIRKRA) winner
Northern Ireland Restricted Keelboat Racing Association (NIRKRA) Crowns New King

#nikra – Despite the horrendous weather which had encircled Northern Ireland last weekend a tiny window opened to allow the August "Challenge" races of the Northern Ireland Restricted Keelboat Racing Association (NIRKRA) to proceed on Belfast Lough. A Bangor bay morning of sun-drenched competition, which after a series of light weather windward-lee races, in turn, saw the crowning of a new 'King Nirk'.
NIRKRA is an owner controlled class designed to give good, competitive, close racing at a reasonable cost. It is aimed at small racing keelboats within the Province with the emphasis on keeping the class in a small rating band so racing is as close as can be. NIRKRA racing is currently run under the RYA's NHC system.
With the NHC numbers revised after the previous 'Super Sunday,' none of the fleet were sure who would profit after the mathematics had had their day. Proceedings were opened by the crew of QT-pi who were taking no chances; at the helm, Ballyhome's Charlie Taylor drove the Gibsea80+ into a commanding lead gained from the second windward leg, and held it to the finish. The Starflash of Alan Morrison & John Simms were second on the water, with the defending 'NIRK' Prodigal, third.
In race two the same three boats were swapping places on the water with Prodigal gaining the final advantage from Starflash and QT-pi. However on corrected time it was the 'Starflashers' who profited yet again. The latest addition to the fleet, Nick & Davy Quinn's Eygthene 24, Chatterbox took third place, and then topped off his Super Sunday with second place in the final race!
For the final race, the wind Gods played their closing card. A lifeless starting line saw most of the fleet in irons. But as the wind again swept in from the west, the last boat away became the first to round the weather mark! Prodigal lead the fleet home, but a surging Starflash was close enough to make it three wins in row on corrected time; it was indeed a 'Super Sunday' for the home club - Ballyholme Yacht Club.
Ashore at BYC, and organised by NIRKRA secretary Tom Bell, the fleet enjoyed a Gourmet Barbeque as well as a 'live session' from the next county Down music superstar Sam Wickens.
RESULTS
POS BOAT TYPE OWNER CLUB SCORE
1 Starflash Starflash A. Morrison/J. Simms Ballyholme YC 3
2 Prodigal Bolero TN Jobling East Antrim BC 9
3 Chatterbox Eygthene24 D&N. Quinn Ballyholme YC 10
4 QT-pi Seagib 80 J. Coffey/T. Bell Royal Ulster YC 11
5 Mumbo Jumbo Contessa 25 C. West-Hirst/K. Storey Royal Ulster YC 12

Published in Belfast Lough
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