Roll it back a year, with storms and millponds alternating weekly, we had completed only four races by this stage of the Autumn series. Roll forward a year and thankfully after three days racing at Royal North of Ireland Yacht Club we are already at nine races completed on Belfast Lough. If we continue like this it is set to be a 36+ race bonanza RS400 Autumn Series writes Dave Cheyne RS Ireland Chairman.
Glorious conditions have prevailed these last two Sundays, and despite a backdrop of Ireland’s sad exit from the other great sporting show in town, the RS400 sailors are in high spirits with great racing fresh in our minds. The first Sunday had been a little topsy-turvy, but that is a distant memory now, with a cracking series to remember well underway.
A few regulars forgot to turn up, presumably solstice responsible for that, though we still had 9 ships on the start line, some without clocks and compasses, which to be honest aren’t that big a help with Gerry Reid calling the last minute out followed by a 100 metre sprint for a beat.
Each race lasts about 15-20 minutes, but this is intense, and teams were wheezing and gasping as they quickly contend with all the hoists gybes and drops. The busy roundings abound and its great competition. For this type of racing all you need is a good Race Officer, a RIB, three marks, and the right attitude as a fleet. Everyone agreed that this was more fun than many of the well-attended full championships we have enjoyed all season.
So Liam Donnelly, in “Zimmer Frame” has established an early lead, Cushendall’s Paul Mclaughlin and Mick McKinley should really be second, but until the discards (could be 6 by the series end….) kick in, DrC and Stevie/Charlie sit in second, with everyone else snapping at their collective heels.
How lucky we are to be involved in this sailing, and what a great focus for the week this is.