#sb20– The battle finally ended yesterday evening on Belfast Lough to decide the Irish national championships for the SB20 Sportsboat class. Gold and Silver fleet results are available for download below. The margin being only 2 points between the front runners Ben Duncan and Mel Collins, it was Collins who had to mount the attack and Duncan to defend his slim advantage. Only one race was sailed and Royal Ulster YC race officer Robin Gray and his team got the slimmest window possible for a decider and sent the fleet off in 5 knots of breeze.
Ben Duncan and crew got the slight advantage at the start with Collins not quite getting the same boat speed off the line. Duncan rounded the weather mark in 3rd with Mel Collins and crew rounding in 10th. However Collins made a remarkable comeback to place 4th in the final race but it was Duncan who pulled off another race win to make it a 3,1,1,1,1 to Collins 2,2,2,2,4.
Second placed Mel Collins from Royal Cork at full speed
So Ben Duncan, Brian Moran and Joe Turner reign supreme in the class with an incredible second nationals title in a row. Adding that to his Scottish nationals title along with a practically clean sheet at all the regional events makes it his best season yet.
Third was Andrew and Ross Vaughan (4 5 4 5 1), 4th was class Chair Jerry Dowling helmed by Stefan Hyde (3 4 8 4 6) and 5th was Ger Dempsey and Chris Nolan staging a very impressive first season appearance in the class.