#sb20 – The sb20 fleet assembled in Carrickfergus last weekend for their Northern Championship for what was supposed to be the opening of the new club house writes Ronan Downing. Unfortunately "Health & Safety" hadn't signed off on occupation or the club thought better of it considering the fleet had the last regatta at the old club before it burnt down. With an entry list comprising numerous national champions, commodore cup sailors and an Olympian the competition was always going to be fierce.
Results are available to download below as a PNG file.
The conditions on Saturday didn't live up to expectations with the wind completely shutting down at the second leeward mark of race one robbing Who's The Boss (Mel Collins, Killian Collins and Luca) of a comfortable race victory. This lead was hard fought for after Bad (Stefan Hyde, Gerry Dowling, Jimmy Dowling) managed to tie themselves to the spreader mark TWICE giving away a 2 minute lead. Sailing for the day was cancelled after much waiting around in very cold, dreary and wet conditions. The fleet retired to the bar in the boat shed where we were treated to a barbecue. The new club house might not have been ready but the hospitality made everyone feel welcome.
For day 2 the sun came out and the breeze was up building from 15 knots in the lulls to just shy of 30 in the gusts by the end of the day. After a general recall the fleet got away under the u flag off a square line. Over the next 3 legs the lead changed several times with Who's the boss leading around the second weather mark. The downwind legs were full planing on both gybes making the leeward gate arrive rapidly. With tidier drops Bad and ManaMana (Graeme Grant, Ronan Downing, Tara Flood) took the lead. A match race to the finish ensued which opened the door for Dinghy Supplies ( Daragh Sheridan, Shane Murphy, John Phelan) who had stormed down the last downwind leg. A photo finish at the line saw Dinghy Supplies take the win from Bad and ManaMana with Ridgefence (Peter Kennedy, Andrew Vaughan, Stephen Kane) taking fourth from Who's the Boss.
Race 2 saw Who's the boss take the lead on the first beat closely followed by a large pack. This time the Cork/ Italian crew weren't going to let it slip away and extended on every leg winning by a substantial margin. The race for second was one by Ruby Blue (Aidan O Connell, Brian Reilly, Alan Daly) from Dinghy Supplies and BomChickaWhaWha (John O Driscoll, Robert O Donohoe, Edward Cooke). Ridgefence took fifth with ManaMana in sixth. This put Dinghy Supplies out in front of Who's The Boss by a point. With the top sixth all within 3 points.
Race 3 got off first time of asking on another square line. ManaMana rounded the weather mark first closely following by BomChickaWhaWha, WhosThe Boss and RidgeFence. After a slow kite hoist at the second weather mark by ManaMana, BomChickaWhaWha took the lead and the win followed by Manamana, Ridgefence and Who's the Boss with Bad in fifth. This left the scoring all tied between Manamana and BomChickaWhaWha in second with Who's The Boss 1 point ahead in first.
With all to play for in race 4 the breeze really filled in as the fleet got off another clean start on a square line. ManaMana lead out to the right side of the course after starting second row at the committee boat. This gave ManaMana a 6 boat length lead at the first weather mark with what appeared to be the entire fleet arriving together behind. ManaMana extended on the first downwind with Ridgefence in second breaking away from the following pack. After Ridgefence broached and ditched their kite at the leeward mark ManaMana now had a substantial lead and loose covered the entire fleet up the next beat. BomChickaWhaWha made the best effort to next break away from the following pack by playing the right hand side of the course. With many wipe outs on the next downwind including a wayward kicker on the lead boat during a gybe, survival proved the better part of valour. ManaMana managed to hold onto first with BomChickaWhaWha taking second and Shark Bait (Darren Martin, Simon Murray, Roger Pannell) having their best race of the day with a third.
Who's the boss retired from the last race after being involved in a small collision which left the overall results ManaMana first on 6 points, BomChickaWhaWha second on 7 points and Dinghy Supplies taking third from Who's The Boss on count back both on 10 points. Ruby Blue took fifth from Ridgefence on count back tied on 12 points. The silver fleet was won by Bad with Shark Bait in second and www.yachtsmarine.ie (Davey Taylor, Trevor D'Arcy, Lisa Neary) in third.
The class would like to make a special mention about the Race Officer Robin Gray. The R.O. did an exceptional job on Sunday getting four fantastic races in on one day to complete the regatta.