Sun 18th Nov was the third day of Belfast Lough's RS400 Frostie Series at Royal North of Ireland Yacht Club in what has become the biggest doublehanded fleet in the country winter racing with 22 boats on the water and 3x420s joining the fun as well.
The conditions were ideal with 11-18 knots through the day with an easterly direction incl some 30-degree shifts providing some swell giving epic sailing for these need-for-speed power-hungry boats & sailors to provide close, fast, place-changing sailing.
The first race the fleet were so keen the OOD had no option but to pull back the fleet due to their indiscretions and go with a black flag. The second time they got away in a fresh breeze coming from Scotland providing hiking conditions in gusty/shifty conditions. Dr Bob, Sam Pickering, Paul McL were in the hunt first lap but with big gains to be made on the downwinds other boats came into it making exciting racing. In the end, Dr Bob held on after a late charge last downwind from Barry McCartin and Bosun Bob Hastings to come in 2nd and 3rd.
The second race got away first time and Sam Pickering lead from Dr Bob & Hammy Baker. By the second lap there was still nothing in it among the top 10 and on last downwind McCartin called the last gybe layline just right to come through for the win over Sam and Dr Bob in 2nd/3rd.
The third and final race got away first time again (for the 3rd start according to OOD all boats hitting the line a sight to see) except for an individual recall for the overkeen Dr Bob. Chris Penney lead with Mr D'arcy and numerous others in hot pursuit in strengthening conditions allowing full planing. At the bottom BMcC, CP, D'arcy and Dr Bob making a heroic recovery all lead at various stages but in the end Dr Bob got it for 2nd win of day followed by BMcC and CP. Paul McL still leads the series after some boat trouble today breaking wing-wang in 2 races but for the 3rd stole a boat from an Olympian and even being late came home 11th to keep just ahead of Olly & Tiff and steady-eddies D'arcy & Ginge in 3rd with 1st discard in play. Results below.
It was the best weekend so far racing in superb conditions for all concerned with numerous passers-by on the shore commenting at the sheer number and speeds of the 400s racing only 200 metres from the shore The 4th weekend continues on Sun 23 November with notions of certain members from host club interested in getting a boat to join the fun we could soon be hitting 25 boats!