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Limbo 6.6 'FA 2' is Antrim Boat Club Winter Series Winner

1st April 2024
TicTac, skippered by Peter Frazier (left) and Antrim Boat Club Antrim Winter Series overall winner, FA2 (Charlie McAllister and Jeff Harrison)
TicTac, skippered by Peter Frazier (left) and Antrim Boat Club Antrim Winter Series overall winner, FA2 (Charlie McAllister and Jeff Harrison)

There is not much in the way of shelter when the wind is in the north on Lough Neagh, so the fleet from the Club in the north west corner was greeted for the first race of the second half of the Antrim Boat Club Winter Series with a cold northerly and plenty of rain, the windiest of the whole series.

A slightly biased pin-end start saw Final Fling (Alfie Mayrs’ H-Boat) clear the fleet on port tack with the McAllister and Harrison duo in the Limbo 6.6 FA2 slightly late for the start but opting to split from Final Fling. But it was the larger H323 TicTac (Peter Frazier) that led the fleet round the first windward mark. As TicTac was sailing solo and not flying a spinnaker on the first reaches, it allowed Final Fling to pass towards the leeward mark while FA2 was close behind and managed to gain an overlap at the mark. From that point, Final Fling was unmatched, excelling in the breezy conditions in the flat water close to the shore, taking line honours and a comfortable victory on elapsed time. FA2 was second followed by Tic Tac in an excellent third place considering his solo sail in the gusty conditions.

The fleet go downwind at the Antrim Boat Club Winter Series on Lough NeaghThe fleet go downwind at the Antrim Boat Club Winter Series on Lough Neagh

Although the previous week’s race results had confirmed FA2 as the Series winner, as results for the first and second half are split up for individual series prizes, Final Fling had a one-point margin over FA2 going into the next race.

The wind had all but dropped for Race 14 with Race Officer Alan Reilly starting the fleet drifting conditions. Final Fling had made a decent start but then struggled to get much speed up in the light conditions allowing FA2 to catch up. Andy Speedy’s MG Spring Corinthian had started lower down the line but was managing to maintain good speed in one of the heavier boats. The fickle wind looked like filling in and FA2 read the shifts correctly to gain ground along with Corinthian while the rest of the fleet was left in the bottom half of the course still without wind.

The crew of FA2 being presented with The Pat Kelly Memorial Cup for the overall win in the Antrim Boat Club  Winter Series. Pictured left to right are Michael Patton, Jeff Harrison, Charlie McAllister, Gordon Rowan of Sponsor Rolos and Peter BellThe crew of FA2 being presented with The Pat Kelly Memorial Cup for the overall win in the Antrim Boat Club Winter Series. Pictured left to right are Michael Patton, Jeff Harrison, Charlie McAllister, Gordon Rowan of Sponsor Rolos and Peter Bell

The slightly strengthening breeze allowed the back markers to get around the shortened course, which finished at the top of the second windward leg. FA2 claimed line honours and a comfortable third on elapsed time, with Corinthian second equalling his best result of the series, and Final Fling third. With these results, FA2 and Final Fling were now tied heading into the last race, with FA2 in the lead on countback. But the ensuing duel was not to be, as high winds and rough water forced the Race Officer to cancel the last race. That left the first three results in the second half, FA2, Final Fling and Corinthian, in the same order overall.

Antrim Boat Club Winter Series ResultsAntrim Boat Club Winter Series results

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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