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

by Matthew Sheahan 31 Aug 16:39 BST 25-29 August 2019

Big Thursday had been on the cards all week. A strong south westerly breeze with the threat of squalls associated with a trough of low pressure delivered a forecast for 25knot gusts that had been consistent all week.

Given the predominantly light conditions that had prevailed up until then, the sight of white horses across the entire loch was an intimidating sight, while out on the course the race committee were reporting at steady 22knots with gusts up to 28.

With the breeze accelerating around the small headland off the club, launching was a punchy affair too and saw several trip up within a 100m of the slipway - no names, no numbers - but this rattled some and caused others to have second thoughts about whether to head out at all. Some poked their noses out and returned, others chose to keep their bats dry for the day

For the 30-odd boats that did head downwind to the start area, the ride was a tricky one, especially for those that chose to conserve their strength and keep the kite in the chute. Burying the bow at speed put an uncomfortable load on the rudder, drenched the crew and raised the anxiety levels once again.

But when the racing got under way and the red mist of competition descended, it was back to normal as crews egged each other on to launch kites for the downwind legs. And the ride was spectacular.

With little more than the back end of the boat in the water, this was a full on foam up for the fleet. Miraculously most made it through to the leeward gate in one piece. But there were casualties. A broken mast and several broken rudders took a few out of the running.

At the front it was Nick Craig and Toby Lewis (1500) that were leading the charge around the course once again as they delivered yet another uncontested bullet. Behind them Hamish Gledhill and Andy Dawson (1407) secured second with Robert Espery and Richard McCullough (1006) in third.

The boisterous conditions had spread the fleet out making for a longer than usual pause between races as the race committee waited to re-group. During this period the breeze had dropped to the mid-teens providing a welcome pause in proceedings for teams to get their breath back. The Cockerills were even seen having sandwiches, it was lunchtime after all.

But as the first of several rain squalls swept down the loch the breeze built as if someone had opened a giant door upwind of the course. The white caps were back as was the steep, boat stopping chop.

The first race of that day had taken a few more casualties and reduced the fleet size for the final race to 27. And as the bulk headed off to the flatter water and potential lift on left hand side of the course close to the shore, conditions were back up in the high twenties during the gusts and occasionally into the thirties.

But as this race unfolded the weather threw a few more banana skins on the course with some big and erratic shifts, strange lulls and some weird inland style gusts that unsettled all those in full upwind hike mode.

But the biggest curve ball of the day was the huge right handed shift that turned the downwind leg into a one sided, reaching gruntfest. Those of us who had ignored any attempt at dieting this season were looking smug as we watched the flyweights forced to sail lower than the lay line to the gate and then scramble to lower their kites mid leg. It would be wrong to suggest that the 'extra mediums' now believed that after a light week there was indeed a God, but as we revelled in the benefit of size it at least took our minds off the alarming noises that were coming from various parts of the boat as it leapt from wave to wave.

The final lap of the final race saw the wind swing even further and with the fleet so spread out and the downwind legs so quick, the race officer was unable to move marks in time resulting in a one tack beat and white sail reach, for most, to the finish.

Leading the charge were Craig/Lewis (1500) who took another bullet with Espery/McCullough (1006) taking second and Mike Simms and Jack Holden (1488) in third.

When it came to the overall winner of the 2019 UK & Irish National Championships Nick Craig & Toby Lewis' dominant performance had left them 20 points ahead of the second place team, Robert Espery and Richard McCullough whose performance had also won them the 2019 Irish Nationals. Stephen and Sarah Cockerill took third, winning the tie break with Mike Sims and Jack Holden.

Whatever the result, this was surely the way to end a regatta. A full on and flat out day at the end of a week that had seen a wide range of conditions that had provided an evening's worth of big stories that went on well into the night - egged on by an incredibly hospitable club that clearly loves the craic.

What a week, what a club.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmCrewClubC'shipDivisionFleetR1R2R3R4R5R6R7R8R9R10Pts
1st1500Nick CraigTobytastic LewisFrensham/BurghfieldOpenStandardGold1312(BFD)12‑71112
2nd1006Robert EspeyRichard McCulloughBallyholme YCIRLStandardGold5‑162133‑18313232
3rd1489Stephen CockerillSarah CockerillStokes Bay SCOpenMasterGold3110718‑1349‑1443
4th1488Mike SimsJack HoldenCarsington SC/Arun YCOpenStandardGold‑221354(BFD)21114343
5th1460Dave ExleyMark LunnLeigh & Lowton SCOpenMasterGold84‑12‑1149495447
6th1436Chris PenneyJessica RutherfordCarrickfergus SC/Holywood YCIRLStandardGold710‑2565‑271636861
7th1377Sean ClearyAnnalise NixonOxford SCOpenStandardGold14791077142‑23(DNC)70
8th1463Mark OakeyBen RobertsonItchenor SCOpenStandardGold62445(BFD)57‑26131074
9th1407Hamish GledhillAndy DawsonWest Riding SCOpenStandardGold176314(BFD)176142(DNC)79
10th874Jon GayAmanda HendersonLochaber SCOpenStandardGold‑441588(BFD)228610986
11th1264Barry McCartinAndrew PenneyRoyal St George YC/CSBCIRLStandardGold1696(RET)2658(DNC)DNC107
12th1438Ross VaughanAndrew VaughanRoyal North of Ireland YCIRLStandardSilver‑282821‑346101121115113
13th1481Howard FarbrotherLouise HoskenQMSCOpenMasterGold488201912185(DNC)(DNC)121
14th875Jacob AinsworthKayleigh RobertsSouth Shields SCOpenStandardSilver2112‑312021‑301029712132
15th1376Oliver LoughheadTiffany BrienRoyal North of Ireland YCIRLStandardGold235132313‑38‑36202117135
16th1189Steve RestallChris StubbsDowns SCOpenMasterGold4022738162024(DNC)(DNC)140
17th1484Mark SomervilleJoe RobertsBassenthwaite SCOpenStandardGold‑36‑36221610281932126145
18th1406Paul McLaughlinOwen Mc KinleyCushendall SCIRLStandardGold2621515(BFD)21321718(RET)146
19th741Mikey FergusonPhilip AdamsBallyholme YCIRLStandardGold3223‑362729159‑3387150
20th1405Liam DonnellyRick Mc CaigRoyal North of Ireland YCIRLGrand MasterGold151814172426‑352316(DNC)153
21st888Hammy BakerBarry SwanstonQYC/SLYCIRLStandardGold29‑3116‑32223117101415154
22nd877Ryan GlynnKatie KaneBallyholme YCIRLStandardSilver24‑4211‑31112924182613156
23rd1429Neil BevingtonAlan SkeensLee on Solent SCOpenMasterGold‑452729‑30141922151516157
24th1363Ross RyanOliver Ryan‑MooreNotts County SCOpenMasterSilver2020271812113427(DNC)(DNC)169
25th1188Stephen McLernonRyan WilsonCushendall/Carrickfergus SCIRLStandardSilver33111728(BFD)1423‑402918173
26th1465Ben WilliamsonJon WillarsWelton SCOpenStandardSilver27252626(BFD)3215‑391920190
27th1124Robert YeamansNadia YeamansAberdeen & StonehavenOpenStandardGold‑4719‑4825183731222021193
28th1452Govan BerridgeDavid ColemanKillaloe SCIRLStandardSilver421283920451225(DNC)(DNC)194
29th1292Christopher EamesNiall EamesSLYCIRLStandardGold93837331736(DNF)(DNC)2211203
30th1383Joe ScurrahPhil RobinsonCarsington SCOpenStandardSilver1035234315353012(DNC)(DNC)203
31st1004David JessopJohn McKelvieQMSC/SLYC/SchnellwurstOpenStandardGold12143419(BFD)33931(DNC)DNC207
32nd1439Kevin PodgerHeather ChipperfieldLymington Town SCOpenGrand MasterGold3134351219232730(DNC)(DNC)211
33rd1467Paul RidgwayBronwyn RidgwayLeigh & Lowton SCOpenGrand MasterGold413332923332813(RET)(DNC)212
34th1435Matt SheahanEllie SheahanNetley SCOpenMasterSilver11‑45‑4442383921281723219
35th1001Woo KearneyNick ThallonRoyal North of Ireland YCIRLStandardSilver2517433736(DNC)261627(RET)227
36th1140Robert O'SullivanPhilip McGladeMBSCIRLStandardSilver1846242416343336(DNF)(DNC)231
37th1339Peter KennedyStephen KaneRoyal North of Ireland YCIRLMasterGold2391822(DNC)(DNC)2519DNCDNC235
38th1353Robert HastingsRory HigginsRoyal North of Ireland YCIRLStandardSilver38(DSQ)19293342934(RET)DNC241
39th1501Ken TwemlowGoizeder Aspe JuaristiNotts County SCOpenGrand MasterBronze194439‑4525(RET)44352824258
40th1319Vicki ThurstonJenny DouglasDalgety Bay SCOpenStandardBronze‑5441‑5241354737412419285
41st1345John HobsonRebecca OgdenNotts County SCOpenMasterSilver3726413627424238(DNC)(DNC)289
42nd815Trevor D'ArcyAlan McClernonCarrickfergus SCIRLStandardSilver133050212840(RET)(DNC)DNCDNC292
43rd1445Phil BrittonMike AtkinsonDalgety Bay SCOpenMasterBronze‑525240‑53324141422522295
44th1487Andy BrayAngela CarterLee on Solent SCOpenMasterBronze4950494026133837(DNC)(DNC)302
45th1379Neil StrainJohn FergusonRoyal North of Ireland YCIRLMasterBronze3551464830244845(DNC)(DNC)327
46th1178Brian HolmesWendy SmythColeraine YCIRLStandardBronze4632334734434944(DNC)(DNC)328
47th1432James AlsopSimon EdwardsQMSCOpenStandardBronze5037385231464043(DNC)(DNC)337
48th1029John CunninghamNicola CokayneCarsington SCOpenGrand MasterBronze3029(OCS)51(BFD)254649DNCDNC340
49th1359Mike UptonTrisha ClancyStarcross YCOpenStandardBronze43‑5345464044474830(RET)343
50th1152Mike JacotRebecca AllenMount Batten Sailing CentreOpenStandardBronze5340303839514550(DNC)(DNC)346
51st1440Simon HutchinsonBen WilliamsRoyal North of Ireland YCIRLStandardSilver42434235(BFD)20(RET)DNCDNCDNC347
52nd840Neil CalvinRoger PerrotCarrickfergus SCIRLStandardSilver3447514937494347(DNC)(DNC)357
53rd1430Simon MathewsPenny MathewsLancing SCOpenGrand MasterBronze394847444250(RET)46(DNC)DNC371
54th824Jack DaviesPeter DaviesLee on Solent SCOpenStandardBronze514953504148(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNC402

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