Displaying items by tag: Ballyholme Yacht Club
#fireball – Barry McCartin and Conor Kinsella (RStGYC) became the new Ulster Fireball champions in a thrilling final day of racing at Ballyholme YC. The first regional Fireball event of the season saw fourteen entries and some really great sailing conditions at an extremely friendly club noted for it's support of dinghy and small boat racing. The winning team scored three first places on day two of the event to catapult into victory overall. On Saturday night after the first three races of the six race series Noel Butler and Stephen Oram (DMYC) had a narrow lead over Kenny Rumball and Scott Flanagan. McCartin/Kinsella languished down the score card after suffering a snapped kicker and a broken main halyard. Overnight assistance from Kenny Rumball saw their boat back into tip-top shape.
Day one saw fantastic if challenging conditions with strong winds and even stronger gusts combined with a disturbed sea state making smooth upwind progress tricky. To add to the test there were big shifts and even the odd flat patch in the offshore breeze. The compensation came in the offwind legs. Race officer Robin Gray set superb sharp reaching angles resulting in some very fast and some very exciting sailing. On day one Butler/Oram and Rumball/Flanagan showed exceptional boat-speed pulling away from the rest of the fleet for what often looked like a private duel of speed and tactics.A bit further back Conor Clancy and Jim Devlin scored two thirds and a sixth, McCartin/Kinsella posted a 4, 3, DNF while Niall McGrotty and Neil Cramer were a very steady 5,4,5. Further back there was close racing throughout the fleet. Frank Miller/Grattan Donnelly battled with Jon Evans/Aidan Caulfield and Michael Ennis/Marie Barry on almost even points troughout the event. Positions mid-fleet shifted like snakes and ladders, often due to unforced errors and the occasional swim.
The intention to go for four races on day one was stymied by a significant wind shift during race two and a bit of a delay resetting the course in a breeze which took time to settle into a steady direction. That delay combined with some signs of tiredness and some swimming meant the fleet headed for shore after race three. That tiredness led to a bit less support at the bar than is normal at Fireball events but a super meal at the club had the fleet eating together and risking the odd pint. A few heroes were seen in a local nightclub much later but many had an early night resting body and soul.
Sunday looked breezy from ashore but by the time the course was set conditions though still lively were distinctly steadier and the water a lot flatter. At this point any reasonable gambler would have put their money on Butler/Oram or Rumball/Flanagan.
Race officer Robin Gray was true to his word and started race one on time catching out a couple of boats who launched late and almost catching out McCartin/Kinsella who made the start with just seconds to spare. The pair stayed level with leaders up the course and on the reaches and broke away with a useful gust as they rounded into the run, consolidated by gybing onto starboard and into more pressure two thirds the way down. They held this lead to take the bullet.
Ulster Fireball champions – Barry McCartin (left) and Conor Kinsella (RStGYC). Photo: Frank Miller
In race five McCartin/Kinsella went right on the first beat to lead at the windward mark. They held on with Rumball/Flanagan snapping at their heels and broke away with a gybe set into more pressure which gave them the distance to hold Rumball/Flanagan off for the win. In the final race the pair had a bad start and arrived at the windward mark in about 6th but used the gusts on the reaches to close into third behind Butler/Oram and Rumball/Flanagan. They stayed close on the beat to the two boats ahead and played the shifts, managing to get left of the leaders and ahead on shifts and then concentrated on holding off Butler/Oram. That pair suffered a snapped spinnaker sheet on one reach but managed a fast repair and sailed on with a shorter sheet.
McCartin/Kinsella's victory in the final race put them on an even score of ten points with Butler/Oram and Rumball/Flanagan but the three wins gave them the edge for overall victory in what was a thrilling event. The silver fleet prize was won by Mary Chambers and Brenda Maguire who displayed solid sailing in often tricky conditions. The event marked a great start to the Fireball summer season, with a bigger turnout anticipated at the Fireball Open event in Clontarf on June 14th/15th.
Results available below to download
#ballyholmeyc – Can any other Irish club boast over 110 days of racing this year? Ballyholme Yacht Club on Belfast Lough has been awarded the 2014 RYA NI Youth National championships to add to its already full calendar with the F18 World Championships, Irish Laser Championships, IMA Northerns, Fireball Northerns, RS Sprint Series. All this and the club still has yet to announce keelboat events for the new NI Restricted Keelboat Racing Association.
The go–ahead dinghy club has a coaching series starting this morning for Lasers 4.7, Radials, Standards, Toppers and Double–handed boats sponsored by North Down Borough Council.
More details here
#F18 – Ballyholme Yacht Club is the host for this summer's prestigious F18 catamaran World Championships as Afloat first reported last July. The event will be sailed on Belfast Lough and is one of the largest in Ireland this year and runs from 4th till 11th July.
The Worlds will attract 120 multihulls and crew and this contingent, together with their managers, trainers, friends and family will bring over 500 visitors to North Down. Local competitors include Adrian Allen and Richard Swanston.
The F18 is a fast catamaran with a spinnaker and double trapeze crewed by two people and is a fully International Sailing Federation (ISAF) recognised class with large fleets all over the world. The class is made up of over 50% professional and semi-professional sailors including World Champions, Olympians and major event winners.
Ballyholme Yacht Club is highly experienced in running events of this magnitude and is delighted to have club member Bill O'Hara as Principal Race Officer. Bill is an Independent Sports Professional and an Olympian, who is currently Rules Coach for the Irish Sailing Association and Principal Race Officer for the Volvo Ocean Race. The club has among its members three World Champions and 11 Olympic sailors.
#ballyholme – Northern Ireland's largest open dinghy series began on Belfast Lough today with 49 Lasers competing in Ballyhome's Icebreaker series. Gareth Flannigan was the winner of today's first race with Hammy Baker second and Chris Boyd third in the standard class. Tim Brow was the radial winner and James Moore won the 4.7 fleet.
The series runs though to Sunday 30th March with 22 races. This year an F18 Multihull fleet are gearing up for the F18 worlds at Ballyholme YC in June 2014. Adrian Allen won the first race. The results are here.
#49er – For the first time in many years, Ballyholme Yacht Club (BYC) orgsnisers on Belfast lough are hoping for double figures for the Mackey Opticians sponsored Irish 49er nationals, especially if a few of the Dublin fleet travel for the October 5th event.
It will be a very busy weekend at Ballyholme bay with Race 4 of the Autumn Series on Sunday morning and Race 1 of the BYC Icebreaker series on Sunday morning.
There will be practice racing on Friday 4th for those who haven't stepped on a 49er in a number of years or ever before.
The briefing will be at 10:30 on Saturday morning with races starting as soon as possible afterwards. We hope for 6 quick races on Saturday with 3-4 on Sunday starting earlier. Sailing instructions will be available at the briefing and will be dependent on the weather conditions.
There is a perpetual trophy available for the winning 49er and Mackey Opticians are donating two pairs of polarized sunglasses (value up to £150 each) for the winning pair.
Two races were sailed today in predominantly light conditions at the combined RS Championships at Ballyholme Yacht Club. The race officer made a good call to postpone proceedings until Sunday when the afternoon breeze completely shut down.
There are 18 RS 400's, 8 RS200's and 6 RS Fevas competing.
1st E.Ryan J.Ryan R1(2) R2(1)
2nd J.Espey M.Gunning R1(1) R2(3)
3rd D.Cheyne S.Kane R1(3) R2(5)
4th M.Ferguson J.Tomalin R1(7)R2(2)
5th R.Seaton M.McGovern R1(5)R2(4)
6th G.Flannigan D.Fletcher R1(4)R2(7)
1st C.Coffey H.Cassidy R1(2) R2(1)
2nd F & K O'Rourke R1(1) R2(5)
3rd R.Milligan P.Blamphin R1(5) R2(2)
RS Feva Results:
1st N.Eames M.Fekkes R1(3) R2(1)
2nd B.Coburn A.Mitchell R1(1) R2(5)
3rd R.Fekkes A.Harley R1(1) R2(6)
Ballyholme has seen a great influx of RS400s to go with the RS200s already there, and has attracted some of Ulsters top racing talent, evidenced by July's two top Irish performances from Bob Espey/Mike Gunning, and Michael Ferguson/ Jeremy Tomalin at the Nationals. Whilst they will undoubtedly form the strongest teams to beat this weekend, there will be plenty of other talent tackling them, with Irish 49er Olympians Ryan Seaton and Matt McGovern flying back for the weekend from Marseilles, multiple Irish Laser and SB20 Irish Champion Gareth Flannigan, and recent top youth helm at the British Nationals, Chris Eames.
All the old timers will be there, licking their wounds from the recent shoeing handed out by the new boys in the fleet. Liam Donnelly will be fresh from the UK Nationals, and always as competitive as ever, at 60 something years of age, spearheading the RNIYC charge, along with Whitehead's John Lewis, another Scorpion veteran, who will be keen to see how he goes in his first RS400 event. From RNIYC, former Squib Irish champion Gordy Patterson has been spotted practising, and seems to be getting to grips with the faster boat (though he has years of SB3ing to call on), and someday Ruan O'Tiarnaigh will get his boat out too; whilst the Southern efforts will be led by Emmet Ryan and Simon Herriott, along with up and coming Sean Cleary and Any Verso from Greystones.
Rumour has it 4-5 good teams from the Cork area are on the brink of getting 400s, which could lead to further strengthening of the fleet in Ireland, along with some good new Dublin sailors, and 5 new boats have arrived into other Northern clubs in the past fortnight, so turnouts should be increasingly strong going into 2014.
McCready Sailboats have recently been appointed as RS Boat Dealers for Ireland, following a few years of direct sales only, and are especially keen to push the RS Feva, supplying three boats for crews to test, and hopefully we will start to see a resurgence in this great youth boat next year, with their support.
The RS200s at Ballyholme will face some stiff competition from the ever strong Greystones contingent, who usually take the prizes home, and it would be great to see this class strengthening in the north as the RS Family gain a stronger foothold.
Racing in the Bay runs Saturday and Sunday, with beer and grub on Saturday and some decent northerly breeze looking set to roll in some surfing waves and maximise the craic.
#topper – Liam Glynn from Ballyholme YC is leading the Topper World Championships in Loctudy, Brittany, France. In a fleet of 102 boats, he has already registered 3 firsts, 1 second and a third.
He has already won the Irish Nationals this summer at Donaghadee where conditions were similar with little breeze and lots of tide. Hopefully there is a little bit more wind forecast today although tomorrow is looking light without a sea or land breeze kicking in during the afternoon. Today is the first of the races where the gold and silver fleets have been separated and the racing starts properly. Ben Martin (BYC), Tom Purdon (BYC and SLYC), Peter Gilmore (SLYC), Lucy Mearns (SLYC) and Emily Hill (CAYC) should also make the Gold fleet.
Today wind-speed up to 12 knots , sunshine but also tidal stream were expecting the 117 contestants for the International Topper Class World Championship.
Racers were disturbed at the starting line by the tidal current as pointed out the young British William Birch Tomlinson who got the 4 th place for this evening.
"In the first and second race it was hard to stay under the starting line as the current made the dinghies drift.Then in the following legs everything was about taking the right decision and tack at the right moment to get the windward mark."
The Irish Liam Glynn, at the head of the overall results seems to share this point of view:
"The wind was quite steady but it was tricky to deal with waves and current at the starting line. Moreover beating to get the windward mark was one-sided and tide wasn't helping."
A light land breeze strengthened the wind-speed on the race and the real wind eventually dropped at midday. Then the land breeze had to vanish because of some clouds covering the body of water.
As for the French contestants, the process of learning how to sail this typically Anglo-saxon dinghy is still on the way.
"I never sailed a Topper before and I am far from the top ten but I don't really mind, Chloé Le Bars confesses. I usually sail Lasers and I'm not used to the Toppers' tricky balance. However I'm starting to get hold of this new boat even though what you feel when you hold the tiller is so different."
When we consider Marie-Anne Resmond the transition is even stiffer since she evolved from oppies to sporty catamarans. Hence a tough but pleasant return to single-handed dinghies .
"Going back to dinghies is so challenging, since you have to show real technical skills to sail them. I have so much to learn and to remember (many things forgotten when sailing catamarans) and I find it thrilling."
Tomorrow golden and silver fleet will be merged and that is when the real challenge to get in the top three starts.
Results after four races :
Topper 4.2 m² :
1. Hamish Beaumont (GBR), 14 pts ; 2. David Rosie, (GBR), 26 pts. ; 3. Georges Graham (GBR), 26 pts ; ... 15 classés.
Topper 5.3 m² :
1. Liam Glynn, (IRL), 25 pts ; 2. Phoebe Connellan ( GBR), 31 pts ; 3. Bella Fellows (GBR), 31 pts ; ... 102 classés.
#F18 – Adrian Allen and Barry Swanston from Ballyholme Yacht Club on Belfast Lough competed last week at the F18 Worlds in Marina di Grosseto on the west coast of Tuscany, Italy. They travelled as top ranking boat in Ireland with great expectations but little experience recently of large start lines and competing against large numbers of other F18 catamarans. Ballyholme Yacht Club will host the 2014 World Championship in July 2014, and the team plus Mark Mackey, Rear Commodore at Ballyholme Yacht Club, were looking at every detail of the organisation, planning for this huge event next year.
F18 catamarans are a level formula of dinghy catamarans bringing together up to 10 different makes and designs sailed by a number of profession teams including Olympian (silver and bronze medallist) and America's Cup helmsman Mitch Booth, the recent Vendee Globe winner Francois Gabart (who finished here in 4th) and many other world champions. The fleet is dominated by the French, German, Dutch and Italian fleets through there were 26 countries competing with a large number from South America and Australia and a first entrant from Oman who have started their own professional team in a bid to host the event in several years and also to use sailing to promote female equality. The fleets are sailed by male teams - young and old, female teams and mixed crews with a minimum weight for the larger sail plan or a lighter weight with a smaller jib and spinnaker.
180 boats were expected although a few may not have got through the Mont Blanc tunnel and only 161 arrived. Most were through qualification in their various countries though the event was eventually opened out and a number of extra English teams took the opportunity to join the fun. Races were to be sailed over 5 days with the plan for 2 days of qualification before the fleet was split into gold and silver fleets with 3 races per day.
After three days of boat measurement and scrutiny at the yacht club and a practice race, the competitors got together on Sunday evening for the opening ceremony with a flag procession through the town enthusiastically applauded by hundreds if not thousands of local spectators to the Marina. The other Irish team's - Dermot and Siobhan - daughter Emma took the mantle of carrying the Irish flag although by the end Barry had to take over and carried it into the arena. Speehes followed from the town mayor, main sponsors - Bank of Maremma and a local wine supplier owned by Ernesto Bertarelli's sister in law, many other dignateries and the Compagnia della Vela Grosseto yacht club "president" Marco Borioni.
Racing was held close to the shore of Marina di Grosseto so that spectators could get a great view of the action. The wind continually shifted throughout the week with an offshore breeze competing against the sea breeze and the first day got off to a slow start with racing postponed at the start due to competitors getting to grips with getting afloat on a sandy beach. Racing at Marina di Grosseto ensures warm weather, mainly great breeze of 15 knots or more, sunshine but also fantastic thunderstorms and lightning at 5 o'clock for a couple of days every two weeks which clashed with the start of the competition, and only allowed 1 race on the first day, 3 on the second and qualifying finally finished with 2 races on the third day. By then the Irish boats had realised how difficult mixing with the professionals was, and Adrian had also found that a leak in his boat was letting in water meaning that good starts were difficult to maintain by the end.
The final series started on Thursday with 4 races sailed. At the end of the first day, recent French champion Billy Besson had moved into the lead with Hugh Styles close behind. Another favourite Mishca Heemskerk had to retire from race 3 ending his hopes even though he won the final race. On Thursday night, the team from Ballyholme YC supported by Alison Stobie from North Down Borough Council held a very successful launch of the 2014 event at the yacht club with free T shirts for the competitors, visitors packs, DVD's and more. Many of the competitors left their email addresses for further details of Bangor 2014. Marina di Grosseto was suddenly covered in people wearing the new 2014F18Worlds logo and NDBC Tourism logo on the reverse side.
On the final day the wind dropped for the first time to 5-10 knots and sometimes lighter. Having dominated Thursday, the French sailor began today at the top of the standings and then proved more than capable of not only controlling his closest rival Hugh Styles in the final three Formula 18 World Championship races but also of taking home one win and one second position, which meant he barely gave the Englishman an inch. This was the perfect ending for the French duo who take home the title after a week that saw them go from strength to strength from day one and ending on 26 points. That was a good 19 points less than Hugh Styles and Richard Mason (45 points) who, nonetheless, proved their worth on the water by keeping the pressure on the French duo until the very last tack. This earned the Brits a very well deserved silver medal which they made their own with a very steady series of good results.
Mitch Booth and his son Jordi also showed the same kind of consistency in their performances in the final two days' sailing. After a less than brilliant start in the qualifiers, which they finished in seventh position, the father and son team delivered a string of results that saw them move all the way up to the third step of the podium on last day of racing with a total of 61 points. An enormously satisfying achievement for Mitch and 16 year old Jordi who was competing in his first international event.
The Silver fleet, however, was very much an Italian-dominated affair with Vaccari/Meoli taking victory. Mitch and Jordi Booth also won the Masters category while Taylor Reiss and Matthew Whitehead (USA 888) won the Youth and Moana Vaireaux and Manon Audinet (FRA 33) the Mixed.
The Silver fleet got only 2 races on the final day after a number of general recalls across all starts. Unfortunately Adrian and Barry, who had climbed the results table on Thursday, came unstuck when in 10th place when their spinnaker halyard strop broke and they had to retire to the beach for repairs. Both Irish boats finished the last race together with Adrian and Barry finishing 31st and Dermot and Siobhan 65th. Our new Italian friend and great character Manuel Vaccari and his crew Allesandro Meoli won the Silver fleet overall.
The prize giving was held in the marquee at the end of racing with lots of champagne Formula 1 style. International F18 president Olivier Bovyn thanked the local club's volunteers and the International race officers and jury for their great organisation. Compagnia della Vella is only 7 years old as a yacht club and will host the RS Feva worlds the week after the F18's which is incredible, especially as the current management board has only been in place for 3 years. The premises were only usable on the bottom floor which finished refitting 3 months ago. They do have the benefit of a very large car park and beach on which to keep the boats.
Much to the delight of everyone involved in working on the event, the Formula 18 Worlds is already looking forward to the next edition in Ireland in 2014. The organisers, in fact, came to the Maremma for the symbolic passing of the baton between the Compagnia della Vela Grosseto, represented by president Marco Borioni, and Ballyholme Yacht Club represented by Rear Commodore Mark Mackey.
Many thanks were given by Mark Mackey for the very friendly welcome he and the Irish team had received in Marina di Grossto and the hospitality shown especially on the final day when Marco entertained them all day on his rib and eventually on the race committee boat during the final race.
Multiple Irish National Champion Gareth Flannigan is one of the leading contenders for the Laser Masters title when it is sailed on his home waters of Ballyholme Yacht Club in three weeks time (25/26th May).
Visitors from Scotland and England are swelling the fleet at Ballyholme to over 50 entries.
Four entries leave for warm weather training in Lake Garda this weekend, a sign of how competitive Laser sailing is in Ireland right now.