Week two of the Ballyholme Yacht Club Icebreaker series on Belfast Lough in Northern Ireland was quite a bit calmer than the first week. One the water at least. The previous night's activities did have an impact on the turn out on the race course and of the performance of some of the competitors !!. BYC’s centenary ball was on the Saturday night and some of the revellers must still have been dancing ……. instead of racing.
Mark Mackey and Charlie Westhurst both managed to appear for the early morning “big boat” racing but then went back to bed and missed the afternoon racing. At least Charlie showed up for Sunday tea time pints!!! The other missing competitors were the Simm’s family - John and Conor are in Portugal doing a mammoth cycle to raise money for the fantastic Pancreatic Cancer Charity. If anyone has not already done so please make a donation on their just giving page.
Champion Laser sailor John Simms was texting to find out what the wind conditions were like and he was delighted to hear that it was very light winds…… not a bad week for him to miss!
The Toppers were away first and Daniel Sherriff managed to beat Charlie O'Malley after 2.5 laps of the course. Charlie still leads overall with 3 points between them.
Only one small dinghy this week so no one for Jenny Mullan and Jonny Potts to race against!
Lucas Nixon beat Ellen Barbour in the Laser 4.7s and no multihulls again this week……… has anyone seen them?
The large dinghies had six boats taking part and again David Fletcher and Ryan Wilson managed to keep Sandra Halliwell and Rob Milligan at bay to claim another first place. The start of this fleet was very interesting and Roger Armson and Ken Green both tried to start the upwind beat with their spinnakers up. I think, in reality, they were both very late for the start!!!……. but it did look like an early bid for Mug of the day.
The Laser Radials had close racing yet again. There were a few in this fleet have to remember to sign out…… and they were handed DSQ’s. A shame with the fleet racing so close. Mind you others were handed DNC’s for just not turning up……
Those who did sail within the rules had a great race and David Smyth claimed his first victory in the Radial rig. Jess Winton was 3rd with Russell Finlay squeezed back into 4th place and was lucky not to be overtaken by Sara Odisio from our twin club Andorra, Italy who was breathing down his neck. This win pushes David to the top of the fleet after 2 races with Jess in 2nd and Sara in 3rd. Hopefully, the wayward souls will return next week.
In the Laser Standards, there was a very familiar pattern……. Veteran Chris Boyd relished the tricky light conditions and pulled way ahead of the chasing pack. At one stage he was nearly a leg ahead of the rest of us!!!. James Moore was the only one who was anywhere close to him and sailed a great race to claim the second spot. Richard Ramsey was back in the saddle and made an impact on his return with a superb 3rd holding off the new light wind specialist, Charlie Taylor. John Simms was reportedly gutted when he heard Charlie had such a good result in these conditions……
Ballyholme Yacht Clubs Volunteer of the year, Keith Story had a fine race finishing 5th. Not bad considering the rest of his table from the previous night did not even make the start line!. Maybe Keith was dodging some of the Jokers that Alex Ward was providing at the table!!!……. clearly Robin Moran, Alex Ward and Charlie Westhurst were not!
Unfortunately, no Mug of the Day was presented, although apart from the two Spinnaker upwind starts there were not many misfortunes to report. One person did think the Race Officer might have put himself in contention by starting the boats out of sequence…… probably another gala night related error!