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Squib Northern Championships at Killyleagh Yacht Club

by Angela Gilmore 5 Jun 2012 21:09 BST 2-3 June 2012

Strong winds at Killyleagh Yacht Club on Saturday saw both local and visiting competitors at the Squib Northern Championships whip around the windward leeward course set just off Killyleagh. Despite sunshine and light winds in the morning, the afternoon saw everything change as strong easterly winds set in for the rest of the day. Eleven local boats were joined by the same number of visitors to contest the Northern Championship with sailors arriving not only from RNIYC but from Howth YC, Royal St George YC and Mayo SC as well.

In the first of the three races on Saturday, Born Wild, under Thomas and Jack Anderson, got off to a flying start leading the pack at the windward mark, just ahead of Brian O’Hare’s Nimble in second and the home grown Terpsichore, helmed by Julian Sandford from Quoile Yacht Club in third. On the second leg though, this all changed with Nimble taking pole position and The Worm, under Sam Lyness and Eric Heyes wriggling into second place, from Born Wild now in third. On round three though, David Eccles and Philip Hutchinson set the mood for the rest of the day by moving Insh’allsh into second place with some excellent tactics on the upwind leg, to leave The Worm the clear winner, but with Insh’allah in second and Quickstep in third.

In race two Quickstep, under Gordon Patterson and Ross Nolan, was quick off the line and reached a newly re-laid windward mark ahead of the rest where the clear air allowed her to fly downwind ahead of the fleet. On the second rounding though Insh’allah proved faster upwind in the heavy seas and nipped ahead at the windward mark, with Quickstep in second and Fred Campbell’s Halloween now in third. Some close racing on the final leg though, especially downwind where Quickstep showed just how quick she was, saw the lead positions swapped before the finish and Quickstep sauntered back into pole position to take the race from Insh'allah with Nimble in third, all the way from Royal St George YC, in third.

Wind against tide caused some lumpy conditions in race three and the 22 strong fleet was quickly reduced to 18 as some decided to save their strength for another day. In the most consistent race of the day, Eccles and Hutchinson kept Insh’allah ahead of the rest the whole way round the course, extending their lead with great boat speed and tactics on the upwind legs to claim a commanding victory. Hot on their tails and holding second place throughout the race were Jonathon Craig and Hazel Ruane in Kerfuffle and while Brian O’Hare and Tonia McAllister were Nimble for the first two laps, it was Quickstep who raced ahead to claim third in race three.

With the visitors claiming the top three spots on the leader board, the best of the local boats at the weekend proved to be Julian Sandford’s Terpsichore who finished ninth overall, just one place ahead of Firecracker sailed by Don Bridges and event organiser Steven Bridges.

While racing had to be cancelled on Sunday due to even heavier conditions than the day before, the event was a great success and many thanks go to the sponsors, Killyleagh Box Company, The Dufferin Arms, Killyleagh, TM Martin & Sons and GybeWear and to all those who helped in any way.

Overall Results:

1st Insh’allah, David Eccles and Philip Hutchinson (RNIYC)
2nd Quickstep, Gordon Patterson and Ross Nolan (RNIYC)
3rd Nimble, Brian O’Hare and Tonia McAllister (RSTGYC)

Best Strangford Lough Boat: Terpsichore, Julian Sandford and Hammy Baker (QYC)
Furthest Traveller: Servus, Bobby and Matthew Conlon (MSC)
Mid-Fleet Prize: Contender, Denis Todd and Des Clayton (RNIYC)

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