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RS200 EuroCup at Strangford Lough Yacht Club

by John McKelvie 30 May 14:25 BST 24-27 May 2019

Strangford Lough is often accurately described as a 'hidden gem'. While only 30 minutes from Belfast, as you pass the rolling fields and gastropubs of Killinchy, you really aren't sure what to expect - until you see it from the crest of a hill. 58 square miles of sea lough, over 300 islands, and a comfortable white clubhouse sitting in a bay jammed full of racing and cruising yachts.

26 RS200 teams made the journey from all over Ireland, Scotland, England, and even Guernsey - special mention to Henrik and Georgina who have now been on every ferry on these islands!

A crack race team under Angela Gilmore had been assembled, the competitors were keyed up, and then... nothing. Not a breath of wind on the first day so a decision to postpone was made Some took the chance to visit the sights around the Lough by RIB, while others found solace in one of the many aforementioned gastropubs. They serve Guinness... certainly enough to dampen some teams' performance in MJ Gifford's brilliant pub quiz that night.

Saturday had four races in light and shifty conditions. Sophie Mear and David Jessop in 1659 put the schnell into schnellwurst, and probably had the legs on the fleet, but overnight leaders were Alex Sutcliffe and Andy Brown. The fleets then sat down together for the famous three course SLYC Championship Dinner.

Big Sunday brought a sold 20 knots, gusting 25 and more. The RS400s kindly stayed ashore and let the 2s go play. Only faintly terrifying at times - it felt fast downwind, and looked even faster in the photos. Most of the fleet managed to get the centreboards out of the water and boats airborne, and those who stayed upright, scored well. Alex and Andy had cemented their lead at the top, followed by Jill and Andy Peters, but the final podium step was where the action was, with Charlotte Cotter and SLYC local John McKelvie in 3rd, closely followed by Sophie Taylor and Brendan Lynch, and the 1659 combo likely still to be in contention when discards kicked in.

Ultimately it all came down the the final race. Pre-start, 806 and 1546 circled with John driving Brendan down to the unfavoured end of the line. This continued through the first beat and run, but both boats kept popping out at the front of the fleet! Sophie/David recovered well after a bad first beat, and the three boats finished within touching distance of each other, with job done for 1546 who completed the podium and took the RS Northern Championship. Sophie/David claimed 4th overall with Sophie/Brendan rounding out the top 5.

Congratulations to Alex and Andy who sailed a fantastic series and are well deserved 2019 EuroCup champions. Thanks are due to all the members at SLYC who volunteered to make the event so successful - two favourite quotes were, "I don't want to go home", and "can we come back here next year?"

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmCrewClubR1R2R3R4R5R6R7R8R9Pts
11682Andrew BrownAlex SutcliffeTynemouth/Budworth SC‑1012111‑31310
21559Andrew PetersJill PetersQMSC143‑623‑92116
31546John McKelvieCharlotte CotterStrangford Lough YC53555‑663‑732
41659David JessopSophie MearQMSC7512(DNC)(DNC)75633
5806Brendan LynchSophie TaylorPort Edgar‑14787342‑9435
61421MJ GiffordFran GiffordWaldringfield SC82104‑14(DNC)58239
71642John WilsonLaura GloverEast Lothian YC2‑149‑136746842
81178Julian BradleyHelen CafferataWembley SC24643(DNC)(DNC)14547
91120Peter CollingsMirjam TimmermanCastle Semple SC39138(DNF)(DNC)1071060
101573Henrik AsplundGeorgina KingGuernsey YC‑21‑136111358121267
111315Frank OrourkeEmma HynesGreystones SC4‑19121642‑17161569
121025Alex BeaneyHannah LiptrotWembley SC1112714(DNC)(DNC)11101176
131566Jocelyn HillKatie KaneCounty Antrim YC/EABC911‑14128101214‑1876
14630Joseph GriffithsFionn OconnorBSC616‑22‑199918151790
15951Daniel SmithRebecca JefferyLargs SC15‑1816177(DNC)1511990
161416Erica RuigrokSally BellRush SC‑20820‑2510816201395
171336Ben FerrisPeter DarraghCounty Antrim YC171715151111(DNF)‑1916102
181310Emily HillEmma FowlerCounty Antrim YC13‑20‑21201612141314102
19759Meg TyrrellConor TwohigRoyal Irish YC12211810(DNC)(DNC)131719110
20826Connor GallianAdam Leddy 161511912(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNC119
211297Andrew MullallyLeon MullallyKillaloe SC19221718(DNC)(DNC)221823139
22223Cameron McCoshCiaran McMonagletbc‑2524242115(DNC)192122146
231486Nigel SheppardDebbie Thompson‑BrownNorthampton SC18262324(DNC)(DNC)212321156
24781James MooreIan MooreBallyholme YC23232623(DNC)(DNC)202220157
251131Peter CameronNatalie CameronBallyholme YC221019(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNC163
261525Rory MileyCharlotte CarwayKillaloe SC26252522(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNCDNC182

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