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Royal Ulster Yacht Club 150th Anniversary Sailing Underway With Sigma 33 Champs

20th June 2016
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The crew of Busy Beaver (Mark Bradshaw & Jack Gallagher) from Scotland, new UK Champions of the Sigma 33 class, with their trophies at RUYC on Sunday The crew of Busy Beaver (Mark Bradshaw & Jack Gallagher) from Scotland, new UK Champions of the Sigma 33 class, with their trophies at RUYC on Sunday

Honouring a tradition of Belfast Lough sailing which can be traced back to its foundation in 1866 and beyond, the Royal Ulster YC at Bangor on Belfast Lough began its four week “Sesquicentennial Sailing Celebrations” over the weekend with the British & Irish Sigma 33 Championships.

Three days of good racing on the open waters of Belfast Lough were enjoyed by nineteen Sigma 33s, which continue to have significant strongholds in the Firth of Clyde, as well as enthusiastic local small groups at many other ports. Ten races were scheduled, and despite varying winds and weather over the event, all ten were fully completed by a fleet drawn from Cornwall, Liverpool, Dunmore East, the Isle of Man, Glenarm, Strangford Lough and points round the Clyde, together with Belfast Lough-based crews, for the Class’s biggest event of the year.

The racing was close such that seven races on Friday and Saturday produced six winners. Bangor based boat ‘Squawk’ (Emma and Paul Prentice) got the local fleet off to a good start with a win in Race 1. Eric Robertson and Alan Harper from Cove Sailing Club in Loch Long in Argyll won Race 2 in ‘Leaky Roof II’, and Mark Bradshaw and Jack Gallagher in ‘Busy Beaver’, also from Cove SC, took Race 3. In contention after two days was James Miller’s Mayrise from Helensburgh, the winner at the recent Silvers Scottish Series at Tarbert. Race winners on Saturday were ‘Busy Beaver’, Stephen Martin’s ‘Signet of Kip’ from Strangford Lough YC, Allan Lennox and Grant Simpson’s Miss Behavin from Helensburgh SC, and Griogair Whyte’s Close Encounters from Royal Northern and Clyde YC.
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Signet of Kip (SLYC) was winner of the Irish Sigma 33 Championship – this is Stephen Martin and his crew from Strangford Lough YC

Sunday saw three races sailed in the only damp weather of the series, and the Bradshaw/Gallagher team on Busy Beaver continued in good form, taking honours in Races 8 & 9. It was left to the Class Chairman, Paul Prentice, and his crew in Squawk to finish the event the way they had started, with the win in Race 10.

SIGMA 33 UK CHAMPIONSHIP WINNER: Busy Beaver (Mark Bradshaw & Jack Gallagher), Cove Sailing Club, Loch Long
Runner Up: Mayrise (James Miller) Helensburgh Sailing Club.
IRISH SIGMA 33 CHAMPIONSHIP WINNER: Signet of Kip – Stephen Martin (Strangford Lough Yacht Club)
Runner Up: Squawk (Emma and Paul Prentice) Royal Ulster Yacht Club/Ballyholme Yacht Club.
The RUYC 150th Anniversary Programme continues this weekend with a thee day Classics Regatta from Friday 23rd to Sunday 25th June, in the midst of which on Saturday 24th June is the Sesquicentennial Regatta which will feature a Sailpast by classics and traditional boats, including varied craft from several Irish Sea and Clyde branches of the Old Gaffers Association.

Published in Sigma

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