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Bosun Bob's RS400s Frostie Series at Royal North of Ireland Yacht Club - Day 1

by Robert Hastings 6 Nov 21:27 GMT 3 November 2019
Bosun Bob's RS400s Frostie Series day 1 © Simon McIlwane /

Sunday 3rd November saw the resumption of the Bosun Bob's Frostie Series for the RS400s at Royal North of Ireland Yacht Club. This was the first time that many boats had their covers dragged off since the UK & Irish Nationals back in August, but as it turned out nobody was rusty from the lack of sailing.

Numbers were down on the first day as Irish National winner Bob Espey had a date with Mr Tumble, some were on holiday, some were at stag parties and class stalwart Neill Strain had to sit it out as he had ironically strained his knee. There were some new faces in the fleet, and they didn't let themselves down.

As we launched the boats we quickly realised this was a day for the light spini sheets & the centre cockpit bungs as the wind was very light and what there was, was coming straight across Belfast Lough from Cave Hill. The race team got the course laid and as per usual they didn't hang about and got the first race off just after 2 o'clock. With a clean start, the majority of boats decided to head left but Hastings & Higgins took a gamble and tacked off early and went right, sailed off to the lay line and low and behold were in front of the fleet at the windward mark. They were closely pursued by McKinley & Katie Kane and then Vaughan & Rowan. As the wind was light there weren't many opportunities to make big gains downwind but a few spots did change mid fleet on the next upwind. Hastings & Higgins held onto a great lead and took 1st followed by McKinley & Kane in 2nd and D'Arcy & Ginge in 3rd. Well please with their effort was McFarland & Mercer who had managed to climb up to get 4th.

Race 2 started quickly and it looked like it was going to be a repeat of race one with Hastings & Higgins getting to the windward mark first and very closely pursued by D'Arcy & Ginge then McKinley & Kane. Veteran RS400 sailor Liam Donnelly was in 4th and cleverly spotted the wind tracking round and gybed off very early, the boats in front followed suit and it was a drag race to the leeward marks. By this time Donelly & McCaig had crawled up beside Hastings & Higgins and had water at the port leeward mark making Hastings & Higgins round the starboard mark. What a disaster for them as the wind by this stage had moved a full 90 degrees to the north which meat that they were left for dead and Donnelly & McCaig lead the fleet in a straight line to the windward mark. The course was in such the wrong direction that the boats at the back of the fleet were able to raise their spinnakers on the windward leg and pick some boats off, sorry Brian & Wendy! Some thought they could fly their spinnakers on the downwind but they all had to come down as it was just far too tight. The old man Donnelly had a big smile on his face as he picked up line honours closely followed by the ever consistent D'Arcy & Ginge in 2nd, with McKinley & Kane in 3rd.

The course had to be completely reset for race 3 due to the 90 degree wind shift and it didn't take too long to get going again. Hastings & Higgins took off like rockets and managed to get 3 out of 3 with first to the windward mark but that really doesn't count and they quickly ran out of skill. McKinley & Kane who are feather weights rounded very closely in second, they were able to snuff out the leaders Hastings & Higgins. They had to gybe off as they were being rolled by the fleet. Vaughan & Rowan managed to take the lead at the start of the second lap, mid fleet positions were changing all the time. New comers to the fleet Luke & Erin McIlwain showed they were up for a scrap and didn't make any faults and stayed mid fleet which was good for the first outing. At the front of the race track Vaughan & Rowan let McKinley & Kane through into 1st, they took 2nd and D'Arcy & Ginge took 3rd. Donnelly & McCaig were in 4th but it later transpired that they had been naughty boys and hadn't gone through the upwind gate so had been given a DNF, or as the rest of the fleet like to call it, disqualified! This brought a lot of hilarity to the bar after racing, but maybe not for Liam.

So after the first Sunday of racing the score board has: Dr. Hutchinson & Williamson in 3rd, D'Arcy & Ginge in 2nd, McKinley & Kane in 1st.

Thanks as always to the race team and the rescue and mark layers for giving up their time to let us have fun. Racing starts again this coming Sunday @ 13.00.

Results after Day 1:

PosSail NoHelmCrewClubR1R2R3Pts
1st1406   2316
2nd815Trevor D'ArcyAlan McClernonCSC3238
3rd1440   54514
4th1353   110415
5th1438Andrew Vaughan RNIYC68216
6th1178   77620
7th941Steve AtkinsonPete MageeCSC951024
8th515Ed CodyPete ToddRNIYC126826
9th1245   811726
10th1405Liam DonnellyRick McCaigRNIYC111DSQ27
11th500Frank MacfarlaneKyle MercerCSC4121127
12th816Marc MiskellyGordon WillisNYC109928
13th510Stephen DonnellyTim LeonardCSC13131238
14th1339Peter KennedyStephen KaneRNIYCDNCDNCDNC45

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