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Kennedy & Kane Lead at Royal North's RS 400 Winter Series on Belfast Lough

1st December 2021

The RS 400 Winter Series continued last Sunday at Royal North of Ireland Yacht Club on Belfast Lough. The series is now twelve races in and has thrown up some surprises, twenty boats currently entered.

Race 10 started in a fresh breeze from the North, with 18 boats on the start line. Trevor D’Arcy and Alan McLearnon (on 1366) got a good start along with Liam Donnelly and Rick McCaig (on 1405) with the rest of the fleet in hot pursuit. Liam got to the windward mark first, however, by the end of the first lap D’Arcy had taken the lead followed by former Olympian Peter Kennedy and Steve Kane (on 1339) and Andrew Vaughan (on 1348) 3rd. At the race end D’Arcy held on and took the win, with Andrew Vaughan 2nd and coming up the outside Neil Calvin (on 1245) to take third. Incidentally, this was Barry McCartin’s old boat and after 9 races Neil had seemingly found its gears!!

Race 11 the wind had clocked slightly to the left, course-corrected, Race Officer Gerry Reid got the race away again sharply. This time the fleet was pushing the line, with 2 boats over Tom Purdon (on 1004) to be fair has been nailing the starts on the series, however on this race, he nailed it a bit to hard, found himself in the pack and struggled to get back to the line, but back to the line he went now following the whole fleet. Unfortunately for D’Arcy they pushed on believing they were having a terrific race. Liam Donnelly was once again first to the windward mark and first on lap one, followed by D’Arcy (OCS) and Ross & Jane Kearney now lying 2nd, and Peter Kennedy 3rd. By now Donnelly was going well with a comfortable lead right up to the last leeward mark were a spinnaker issue stopped them dead in the water allowing a few boats to pass on the short run-up to the line. Peter Kennedy took the win followed by Ross Kearney and Neil Calvin in third. Donnelly was robbed into 4th!

The breeze was still nice and steady-going into the third race of the day (race 12) possibly it was the extremely cold conditions that the entire fleet was keen to start, quickly followed by a General recall. Conditions didn't allow for a normal restart and the race got underway with a black flag start. They were all less keen this time around to push the line so aggressively as before. By now the wind started to drop yet once again Liam Donnelly was going well in a heavy pack making for the windward mark. By lap one Peter Kennedy had taken the lead, followed by Donnelly with Andrew Vaughan in third. In lap 2 the wind continued to lighten. But still over 7kns. By the finish, Neil Calvin had accelerated into the fist spot with PK in second and Tom Purdon third. It was deemed to cold for a fourth race as many of the crews were blue not to mention the Rescue and Committee boat teams!! Some credit has to be given to Neil Calvin who had a great day and has shown a huge improvement in his performance over the series so far.

The RS 400 Series continues for another three Sundays, finishing up on the 19th of December for the Big Christmas Race.

Download results below as a pdf file

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