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Antrim Boat Club's Winter Series Expects Close Finish

10th March 2024
Alfie Mayrs' H Boat Final Fling competing in Antrim Boat Club's Winter Series
Alfie Mayrs' H Boat Final Fling competing in Antrim Boat Club's Winter Series

With Antrim Boat Club on the north west corner of Lough Neagh in Northern Ireland nearing the end of the second half of its Winter Series it will be a close gallop to the final result. There is little between Alfie Mayrs’ H Boat Final Fling and Charlie McAllister’s Limbo 6.6 FA 2. This part of the series was due to return for Race 7 on 28th January, but it was blown out as was the following week for Race 8.

Race 9 saw return to action but in a slightly different format. As the Committee Boat was out of action for this race, the fleet raced round the cans. This made for a very exciting race as FA2 (Charlie McAllister and Jeff Harrison) made the better start but was quickly hunted down on the close reach to Kettlebottom mark by Final Fling, Alfie Mayrs’ H Boat sporting new North Sails along with the MG Spring 25 (Andy Speedy), followed up by a chasing TicTac (H323 Peter Frazier) who had been slightly early for the line. The race ended with six seconds separating three boats on the water. FA2 was first, followed by Final Fling and TicTac making his return to racing with a third place.

The Antrim Boat Club's Winter Series fleet rounding Firing Head on Lough NeaghThe Antrim Boat Club's Winter Series fleet rounding Firing Head on Lough Neagh

For Race 10 normal service resumed with the Committee Boat back on the water setting an Olympic course in the light shifty conditions. Another exciting race for the top 3 as the shifty conditions made for multiple lead changes on the water throughout the whole race. The first upwind leg saw Corinthian gain the lead but they were hunted down on the reaching legs by Final Fling and FA2 with the latter gaining a sizeable lead by the leeward mark. With the wind dying the Race Officer shortened the race on the third upwind leg. Corinthian took line honours and second on corrected time with Final Fling close behind on the water and taking their first win of the series.

Race 11 saw a duel between series leaders FA2, their second-place rivals Final Fling. A congested pin end at the start with the much larger TicTac becoming an obstacle with the three contenders forced out. In the end the Final Fling made the most of the flat water and 10 knot breeze and could not be matched for the rest of the race.

Race 12 saw another dramatic race between the series leading pair of FA2 and Final Fling – a race long duel between the two boats was had in the light winds. Crucially nearing the leeward mark, both FA2 and Final Fling gybed simultaneously but a slow gybe on Final Fling left the door open for FA2 to retake the lead but only just, as both boats rounded the final leeward mark only an inch separated them. But in the end Final Fling had to sit in dirty air before tacking off, but FA2 made sure to cover their rival on the beat home to the finish to take line honours and first place on corrected.

With today seeing Race 13 followed by Races 14 and 15 the current leaders is Final Fling by one point.

Antrim Boat Club's Winter Series results 2024

Antrim Boat Club's Winter Series results 2024

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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