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Royal Ulster's A35 "Final Call II' Clinches Celtic Cup

5th October 2022
John Minnis and his team on Final Call II from Royal Ulster Yacht Club are Celtic Cup winners
John Minnis and his team on Final Call II from Royal Ulster Yacht Club are Celtic Cup winners Credit: Afloat

It all came good at the end of the 22 season for John Minnis and his team on Final Call II from Royal Ulster Yacht Club on Belfast Lough.

Eight weeks after a serious hiccup in June during Bangor Town Regatta, when the Archambault 35 suffered rigging damage and had to be hauled out, Minnis’s slick team pulled it all together for the remaining events and won the Vantage Health and Life-sponsored Celtic Cup, clinching the title by one point from Debbie Aitken’s First 36.7 Animal from Clyde Cruising Club and Royal Northern.

Four events make up the RC35 Celtic Cup - Kip, Tarbert, Bangor Town Regatta and Cork Week but only Pat Kelly’s Storm raced in Cork. John Minnis burst onto the RC 35 scene at Kip when he won the event. It was victory also at Howth.

Bangor Town Regatta proved a testing event for Final Call II. Apart from the challenging and varied conditions, severe damage to the mast meant that the crew were desperately disappointed at having to withdraw from the competition. It was soon clear that the boat would be out of the water for a considerable time. But Iain Percy’s Artemis Technologies in Belfast was quick to come to the rescue and made life somewhat easier for Minnis when they transported the 64-foot mast on a low loader to their HQ. So, two months after being taken ashore the Archambault 35 was back in the water. Final Call II came second at BTR despite the problems.

Final Call also raced in the RC 35 ChampionshipFinal Call also raced in the RC 35 Championship Photo: Afloat

Final Call also raced in the RC 35 Championship crossing the North Channel to the practically windless Largs event, Helensburgh and Rhu, the last cancelled due to Queen Elizabeth II's passing. John appreciated the help of Alastair and Nada, who helped by taking Final Call to Rhu.

Celtic Cup results

John said he and the crew have very much enjoyed Final Call’s first season in the RC 35 class:- “I would like to thank the class for their hospitality and would love to see them next year in Belfast Lough when Royal Ulster YC in Bangor hopes to host a special RC35 event. Thanks also to every member of the crew who have worked hard this season”.

Betty Armstrong

About The Author

Betty Armstrong

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Betty Armstrong is Afloat and Yachting Life's Northern Ireland Correspondent. Betty grew up racing dinghies but now sails a more sedate Dehler 36 around County Down

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