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Rockshore Bosun Bobs RS400 Winter Series at Royal North of Ireland Yacht Club - Day 1

by Barry McCartin 7 Nov 2022 22:02 GMT 6 November 2022
Day 1 of the Rockshore / Bosun Bobs RS400 Winter Series at Royal North of Ireland YC © Gerry Reid

The Rockshore/Bosun Bobs RS400 Winter series kicked off for the 15th year on Sunday 6th November out of Belfast Lough's Royal North of Ireland YC.

For this very popular series, many people come to compete from all over NI, sometimes fly-in from UK & up from Dublin such is the rewarding format of racing, focused on FUN! With 20 entries to-date many boats started arrived in the days before, filling up the dinghy park to tweak and tune their beloved vessels before racing was to kick off 1.30pm that Day.

Event PRO Gerry Reid performed the Briefing before sailing commending everyone's participation and the intention for 3 x quick-fire Windward-Leeward races each day. The plan being to get on and off the water as quickly as possible so as to claim heat by the fire and have a beer/debrief of the day in the Clubhouse for rest.

For Day 1 Sunday 6th Nov, the forecast was to feature SW 11-20kts so an exciting first day in store beckoned. As everyone arrived, a bit of chatting, rigging, some last minute drilling & repairing as well as some uncovering their boats for first time, the fleet hurriedly made it out to the startline. (Kites up on a reach, full plane putting a smile on everyone's face before we even started!)

The first race quickly went into sequence as fifteen boats took the start line and got away at first attempt bar one; event sponsor Bob Hastings (1353) called over the line and even punished himself by capsizing as he went back round the committee boat end!

As for the other boats, they took off upwind in 11-15kts with Hammy Baker/Dan Sheriff (1006) leading at windward followed by BMcCartin/J Porter (1406) and Will Findlay 877. The leaders swapped on the downwind as the fireball-lightweights in 1406 got through only at the leeward mark/next beat to have issues getting their "simpler" asymmetric spinnaker down. This let Andrew Vaughan (1438) come back into the top three where he stayed on the second beat as a bit more wind right-hand side benefited.

Come the finish, Baker/D Sheriff (1006) got back in lead for first, Will Findlay (who won this year's Irish Traveller's Trophy in 877) in second place.

The second race kicked off shortly after, (9-12kts) this time a clean start with some pin bias and a strong flooding tide against you meant each boat had to get lay lines right. McCartin/Porter (1406) got away to lead followed by Mikey Ferguson/ S Kane (1339) and winner of CSC Autumn series L Donnelly/R McCaig (1405). The wind was shifting and gusty so finding pressure was key.

The top three reversed as L Donnelly/R McCaig rounded second lap in the lead which they held on the run. In second McCartin/Porter attacked-opting a higher planing mode and the last cross at the leeward gate it was super-close, a few words exchanged as they jostled for position "Starboard, did you watch the rugby? Overlap, No overlap!", so they split port/starboard and in end McCartin/Porter (1406) won by a boat length at windward finish. In third was Ferguson/Kane, Hastings/Higgins (1353) kept it upright this time for a fourth, Baker/Sheriff (1006) in fifth.

The third and final race got off in 8-11kts and again port bias, lighter wind against tide lay lines critical. There was some noise down pin-end as one boat bravely tried to port-start but managed to (just) tack under and get away. McCartin/Porter (1406) this time lead throughout a bit more comfortably although kept honest by Ferguson/Kane (1339). Baker/D Sheriff third, Hastings/Higgins (1353) fourth and Will Findlay (877) rounding out top five after a mishap in race 2.

That concluded the first day sailing as all retreated for a shower and a drink-voucher courtesy of Rockshore!

As always thank you to the event organisers, Gerry and his team, all the rescue boat drivers, those on commitee boat and Royal North for accommodating us and keeping the bar well-stocked.

The event continues for six more consecutive weeks through to the final-feature Christmas Race on the 18th December. As well as the twenty RS400s entered, there is an expected twelve GP14 entries that day as well which will include mulled wine and followed by a Prizegiving dinner party. Visitor boats are welcome to join for even one day or the whole series via:

Day 1 Results:

PosSail NoHelmCrewClubR1R2R3Pts
1st1406Barry McCartinJosh PorterCSBC/NSC4116
2nd1006TBCDan SherriffBYC1539
3rd1339Peter KennedyStephen KaneRNIYC/SLYC63211
4th1405Liam DonnellyRick McCaigCSC521017
5th877William FindlayTBCSLYC211518
6th1438AndrewVaughanCallum DalzellRNIYC38718
7th1353Robert HastingsRory HigginsSLYC/RNIYC114419
8th1264Neil CalvinSharon DohertyCSC77822
9th1440Simon HutchinsonBen WilliamsRNIYC/SLYC1010626
10th1004Tom PurdonSam PurdonSLYC1361130
11th1245Luke McIlwaineRyan WilsonNewcastle YC/CSC813930
12th1415Frank MacfarlaneGemma VanceCSC991230
13th888Stephen DonnellyTim LeonardCSC12121337
14th840Morris BlackZak DalzellRNIYCDNFDNFDNF46
15th1379Neill StrainJohn FergusonRNIYCDNFDNCDNC58
16th1178Brian HolmesWendy SmithColeraine YC/SLYCDNCDNCDNC63
16th815Jane KearneyMartin WeatherstoneRNIYCDNCDNCDNC63
16th1001Charles KearneyTBCRNIYCDNCDNCDNC63
16th1366Matthew McClernonKelly PattersonCushendall SBC/EABCDNCDNCDNC63

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