Strangford Lough brothers Rory and Andy Martin Martin of Strangford Lough Yacht Club were close winners coming out on top after some hard-fought racing.
The brothers were closely followed by Bryan Willis and John McPeake of County Antrim YC, just one point behind, with Brian McKee and Ian Smyth of Strangford Lough third, in a clean sweep for the Northern contingent.
Race one started in sunny and moderate winds with a tidal sweep from the river affecting the race course. Collisions proved costly for some eager to get a good start. The right hand side of the course paid throughout the day. Martin Bros and McLeery/Dougan of Killyleagh YC had a good tussle for the top spot throughout the race with the eventual race winners McLeery / Dougan making a nice move on one of the final reaches.
Race two in similar conditions saw the same four boats finish in a different order. This time Flying Fifteen Stalwarts McKee & Smith taking the bullet with McLeery & Dougan in second.
Race three saw a change in the pecking order. National YC duo Coleman & Quinn led from start to finish with come cool headed sailing throughout. Local sailors Statham & Paul finished second with McKee & Smith third to become leaders over night.
Sunday saw a change in wind direction and increased sea state, Crews found themselves hiking in the helmsman’s toe straps to avoid swamping. Willis & McPeake fought off challenges to retain their lead. With the Martin brothers second, and other contenders having a mediocre race, the championship would be decided in the final race.
The final race of the series saw a general recall and use of the U flag which would put some manners on the competitors. The race got off to a clean start second time round. The left hand side of the race course seemed to be paying.
Martin Bros rounded the windward mark first, but wouldn’t have it all their own way. Court & O’Leary took the lead on the first reach but lost it again at the gybe. Hot on their heels was Willis/McPeake who would battle it out with some tight covering throughout. The Martin Bros rounded the windward mark with a small lead which they managed to increase in the final triangle with some nice waves & gusts and take the bullet in the final race.
On receiving the prize, Andy Martin thanked the OOD, Race & Shore Teams and Volunteers for fantastic racing, great hospitality and good tidal tips.
Next up on the FFAI events calendar is the Championship of Ireland, to be held at County Antrim YC, September 8th to 10th.