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Volvo Noble Marine RS400 UK & Irish Nationals at Royal North of Ireland Yacht Club - Day 4

by Matthew Sheahan 29 Aug 2019 12:54 BST 25-29 August 2019
Volvo Noble Marine RS400 UK & Irish Nationals © Lindsay McCarty

For the more extra-medium sized crews in the fleet, Day 4 was just the ticket. A solid 15+knots from the WNW provided the opportunity for many of us to sit on the same side of the boat as our crew on the upwind legs for the first time in the week, while the new wind direction added another variable into the mix for all.

The clearer than forecast skies also allowed thermals to build on the hills at the upwind end of the loch which in turn dragged down the gradient wind aloft onto the water's surface boosting the breeze with gusts that came down rather than across.

But whatever the interpretation of the weather, the bottom line was that this was the breeziest day of the week and delivered some fully powered uphill climbs and three slick downhill rides.

When it came to the racing, after a difficult start to the week, Mike Simms and Jack Holden (1488) finally found their mojo to take the first win of the day and their first bullet of the week. Nick Craig and Toby Lewis (1500) took second, while Robert Espey and Richard McCulloch (1006) nailed third.

But if the fleet had stared to get its head around the conditions, the weather decided to throw in a googly.

For those that were looking aloft for clues, the skies had cleared and the thermals had stopped dragging the upper breeze down onto the water. This, along with a forecast drop in the gradient breeze throughout the day saw a step change for the start of Race 2 with around 10 knots across the course.

What did remain was an uncomfortable sea state making it tricky to keep the pace upwind, as well as adding more to think about on the downwind legs. It was this that caused another reshuffling of the pack as even the big guns found it difficult to read the conditions to their advantage. Most notable was an uncharacteristic seventh place for Craig/Lewis and a fourth for the Cockerills (1489).

Taking line honours were Espey and McCulloch (1006) with Sean Cleary and Annalise Nixon (1377) in second and Chris Penny and Jessica Rutherford (1436) in third.

In the overall standings, Craig/Lewis continue to lead the field with a 14 point margin over the Cockerills who only have a three point lead over Espey and McCulloch.

Behind them a fierce scrap is developing down the pecking order to Howard and Louise Farbrother who are currently lying in 10th overall.

The final day's racing promises to be a punchy affair with breeze well into the 20s and while most were contemplating how to spend an afternoon on the lawn at the Royal North of Ireland without peaking too soon at the club's super hospitable bar, others had become twitched by some action in the dinghy park.

Stories of Nick Craig's broken mainsail halyard after just three days spread like wildfire as crews lowered their masts to check for chafe.

Even those who knew their halyard was fine were fiddling and fettling in preparation for the final day's show down.

Or, after a night on the town in Belfast yesterday, was it just to stay away from the bar?

Results after day 4:

PosSail NoHelmCrewClubR1R2R3R4R5R6R7R8Pts
1st1500Nick CraigTobytastic LewisFrensham/Burghfield1312(BFD)12‑710
2nd1489Stephen CockerillSarah CockerillStokes Bay SC31‑10718‑13424
3rd1006Robert EspeyRichard McCulloughBallyholme YC5‑162133‑183127
4th1488Mike SimsJack HoldenCarsington SC/Arun YC‑221354(BFD)211136
5th1264Barry McCartinAndrew PenneyRoyal St George YC/CSBC‑1696(RET)265836
6th1460Dave ExleyMark LunnLeigh & Lowton SC84‑12‑11494938
7th1377Sean ClearyAnnalise NixonOxford SC‑14791077‑14242
8th1436Chris PenneyJessica RutherfordCarrickfergus SC/Holywood YC710‑2565‑2716347
9th1463Mark OakeyBen RobertsonItchenor SC62445(BFD)57‑2651
10th1481Howard FarbrotherLouise HoskenQMSC‑488‑20191218553
11th1407Hamish GledhillAndy DawsonWest Riding SC‑176314(BFD)1761460
12th874Jon GayAmanda HendersonLochaber SC‑441588(BFD)228667
13th1189Steve RestallChris StubbsDowns SC‑40227381620‑2476
14th1406Paul McLaughlinOwen Mc KinleyCushendall SC2621515(BFD)21‑321796
15th1376Oliver LoughheadTiffany BrienRoyal North of Ireland YC235132313‑38‑362097
16th1438Ross VaughanAndrew VaughanRoyal North of Ireland YC‑282821‑34610112197
17th1363Ross RyanOliver Ryan‑MooreNotts County SC2020‑27181211‑3427108
18th1452Govan BerridgeDavid ColemanKillaloe SC42128‑3920‑451225110
19th1405Liam DonnellyRick Mc CaigRoyal North of Ireland YC1518141724‑26‑3523111
20th1004David JessopJohn McKelvieQMSC/SLYC/Schnellwurst12143419(BFD)3‑3931113
21st875Jacob AinsworthKayleigh RobertsSouth Shields SC2112‑312021‑301029113
22nd877Ryan GlynnKatie KaneBallyholme YC24‑4211‑3111292418117
23rd1339Peter KennedyStephen KaneRoyal North of Ireland YC2391822(DNC)(DNC)2519125
24th1383Joe ScurrahPhil RobinsonCarsington SC10‑3523‑4315353012125
25th888Hammy BakerBarry SwanstonQYC/SLYC29‑3116‑3222311710125
26th1188Stephen McLernonRyan WilsonCushendall/Carrickfergus SC33111728(BFD)1423‑40126
27th1429Neil BevingtonAlan SkeensLee on Solent SC‑452729‑3014192215126
28th1484Mark SomervilleJoe RobertsBassenthwaite SC‑36‑36221610281932127
29th741Mikey FergusonPhilip AdamsBallyholme YC3223‑362729159‑33135
30th1467Paul RidgwayBronwyn RidgwayLeigh & Lowton SC‑41‑3332923332813138
31st1439Kevin PodgerHeather ChipperfieldLymington Town SC31‑34‑351219232730142
32nd1353Robert HastingsRory HigginsRoyal North of Ireland YC‑38(DSQ)19293342934148
33rd1140Robert O'SullivanPhilip McGladeMBSC18‑462424163433‑36149
34th1465Ben WilliamsonJon WillarsWelton SC27252626(BFD)3215‑39151
35th1124Robert YeamansNadia YeamansAberdeen & Stonehaven‑4719‑482518373122152
36th1001Woo KearneyNick ThallonRoyal North of Ireland YC2517‑433736(DNC)2616157
37th1292Christopher EamesNiall EamesSLYC93837331736(DNF)(DNC)170
38th1435Matt SheahanEllie SheahanNetley SC11‑45‑444238392128179
39th815Trevor D'ArcyAlan McClernonCarrickfergus SC133050212840(RET)(DNC)182
40th1487Andy BrayAngela CarterLee on Solent SC‑49‑50494026133837203
41st1345John HobsonRebecca OgdenNotts County SC3726413627‑42‑4238205
42nd1501Ken TwemlowGoizeder Aspe JuaristiNotts County SC194439‑4525(RET)4435206
43rd1379Neil StrainJohn FergusonRoyal North of Ireland YC35‑5146‑4830244845228
44th1029John CunninghamNicola CokayneCarsington SC3029(OCS)51(BFD)254649230
45th1178Brian HolmesWendy SmythColeraine YC463233‑473443‑4944232
46th1432James AlsopSimon EdwardsQMSC‑503738‑5231464043235
47th1440Simon HutchinsonBen WilliamsRoyal North of Ireland YC42434235(BFD)20(RET)DNC237
48th1152Mike JacotRebecca AllenMount Batten Sailing Centre‑5340303839‑514550242
49th1319Vicki ThurstonJenny DouglasDalgety Bay SC‑5441‑524135473741242
50th1445Phil BrittonMike AtkinsonDalgety Bay SC‑525240‑5332414142248
51st840Neil CalvinRoger PerrotCarrickfergus SC3447‑51‑4937494347257
52nd1359Mike UptonTrisha ClancyStarcross YC43‑534546404447‑48265
53rd1430Simon MathewsPenny MathewsLancing SC3948474442‑50(RET)46266
54th824Jack DaviesPeter DaviesLee on Solent SC514953504148(DNC)(DNC)292

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