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The Brewin Dolphin RS Elite Irish Championships & Squib McMillan Shield

by Gerry Reid 30 Aug 2022 06:36 BST 27-28 August 2022
Squib start during the Brewin Dolphin RS Elite Irish Championships & Squib McMillan Shield © Lindsay Nolan

On the morning of the first day of the event, hosted by the Royal North of Ireland Yacht Club, the Race Committee and competitors were met with glass like conditions, and a wind forecast that didn't show much promise, with 1 knot max. But this is Belfast Lough and on a good sunny day a nice sea breeze is expected.

The race officer, Sam Lynas put up a 2 hour postponement, thereafter nearly all competitors headed out to rig their boats, one or two were not convinced that the wind would come and retired for the day. By lunchtime the wind had filled in nicely 6/7 knots and racing got under way.

The RS Fleet started first, with Warren Polly helming "Toucan" had a nice start, to nice (OCS) "Toucan" led the pack around the course, followed Closely followed by Stephen Polly on "Storm", Michael Browne on Jane Buchanan's "Love Bug" and Tiffany Brien on "Kin" with the rest of the fleet chasing them. "Toucan" continued her lead, with the pack changing position with each lap. By the race end "Storm" took first, "Love Bug" Second and "Kin" third.

In the Squib fleet, Gordon Patterson on "Fagin" had a good start, along with Greg Bell on "Prodigal", Peter Wallace on "Toy for the Boy and David Eccles on "Inshallah". These four plus Johnny Millar's "High Flyer" were to hold positions in the top three over the course of the Event. This race went to "Fagin" followed by "Prodigal" and "Toy for the Boy"

Race 2, The Elites were once again led by "Toucan" (this time a clean start), in a fiercely competitive pack positions regularly changing. Toucan won this one followed by "Love Bug" a consistent 2nd and "Storm" on Third.

The Squibs had an almost reversal in results from race one, In their race David Eccles had found the gears and took a convincing win, "Prodigal" 2nd and "Toy for the Boy" once more in Third.

By the end of the afternoon's racing the race committee contemplated maybe running a fourth race given the nice steady wind conditions, but decided instead it had been a long day and the forecast for Sunday was more promising. The day ended with "Storm" leading the Elite fleet, on 5 points, "Love Bug" 2nd on 7 points and "Kin" 3rd on 11 points.

The Squibs finished with "Inshallah" in pole position 6 points, followed by "Fagin" 7 points and "Prodigal" on 8 points. Only one point separating the top four positions the weekend was still wide open for and this to change on the second day.

Day 2 saw a nice steady breeze of 6-7 knots again, with racing starting earlier. Jeff Ralston joined the Elite fleet today on "Upfront". Jeff was to mix it up a bit today proving to be very quick and taking race four, followed by "Storm" 2nd and "Toucan" 3rd. Michael Browne on "Love Bug" slipped into 4th.

The Squibs, Peter Wallace was to take race four, "Inshallah" 2nd and "Prodigal" 3rd. The discards kicked in after race four. "Inshallah" on 4 points and the next three boats all on 7points. Two more races all still to play for.

For the Elites, the Irish Championship was still wide open, race five turned out to be a blistering race for the "Love Bug" crew, although Jeff Ralston tacked towards the shore during one leg and on the cross must have given Michael Browne pause for thought as when Jeff returned he had gained a stack passing close on "Love Bug's" stern. At this race end "Love Bug got the bullet, "Up Front" 2nd and "Kin" 3rd.

Race five for the Squibs, "Inshallah" was still showing consistent pace, with another win, David Eccles able to relax a bit now as he had a few points between him and the next boat "Toy for the Boy" taking third and "High Flyer" pulling a 2nd in this race.

For Race Five and six Sophie Killliner stood in as the Race officer giving Sam Lynas a break for a cup of tea !!

The last race of the Event was to be the decider for the Elite Fleet with one point separating the top two, "Storm" on pole. Again in this race placings changed on each of the three laps. However "Love bug" (Michael Browne, Jane Buchanan and Rusty McGovern) took the win, and the event overall becoming the new RS Elite Irish Champions! Followed by "Storm" (Stephen Polly John Gunning and David Kelso), and "Toucan" 3rd (Warren Polly, Gavin Vaughan and Ross Kearney).

In the Squibs "Inshallah" (David Eccles and Michael Write) got another bullet taking the Event for the Squib Fleet, followed by "Toy for the Boy" (Peter Wallace and Fiona Ward) and "Prodigal" (Greg Bell and Des Clayton). All competitors returned ashore to very welcome hot dogs and a few beers!

Gerry Reid, the Event Director thanked all the competitors and Brewin Dolphin, the sponsor, for many years support of Royal North of Ireland Yacht Club and the Elite Fleet, as well as the many volunteers who help made this event run smoothly, with a special mention of the team on the Committee Vessel "Gentle Spirit", headed by the Race Officer Sam Lynas.

Overall Results:

Brewin Dolphin RS Elite Irish Championships

PosBoatSail NoClubHelmR1R2R3R4R5R6Pts
1stLove Bug53RNIYCMichael Browne223(4)119
2ndStorm37RUYC/BYCStephen Polly1312(4)310
3rdToucan64RNIYCWarren Polly(OCS)1235213
4thKIN111RNIYCTiffany Brien344(5)3519
5thBamboozled17SLYCJohn McVea455(6)6626
6thUpfront56RNIYC/RUYCJeff Ralston(DNC)DNCDNC12427
7thAnchorman50LEYCMichael Brines566(7)7731
8th 49Ballyroanan BCJohn Mcobert(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNCDNC50

Squib McMillan Shield

PosBoatSail NoClubHelmCrewR1R2R3R4R5R6Pts
1stInshallah139RNIYCDavid EcclesMichael Wright(4)112116
2ndToy for the Boys818RNIYC/KinsalePeter WallaceFiona Ward(3)3313212
3rdProdigal146RNIYCGreg BellDes Clayton22(4)34314
4thFagin100RNIYCGordon PattersonRoss Nolan1424(5)415
5thHigh Flyer747RNIYCJohnny MillarSally Watson(6)5662625
6thContender70RNIYCDenis ToddLaura Killiner5(7)557527
7thFat Boat799RNIYCMarcus MWyatt Wright86(OCS)86735
8thConquest786RNIYCTrevor LindsayJohn Wilkinson787(9)9940
9thMaximus838RNIYCScott KillinerMax Killiner(OCS)DNFDNC78843

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