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Rockshore Bosun Bobs RS400 Winter Series at Royal North of Ireland Yacht Club - Day 2

by Robert Hastings 14 Nov 2022 22:13 GMT 13 November 2022
Day 2 of the Rockshore / Bosun Bobs RS400 Winter Series at Royal North of Ireland YC © Mo Black

The weather forecasts for Sunday had held true all week which is a novelty, straight offshore and breezy, somewhere around 25knots. To all the non-sailors it was the most beautiful day, the sun was splitting the sky, it was 15 degrees and there was nice gentle breeze, but that was onshore and it looked very deceptive!

In the dinghy park, we all knew this was going to be a big day, so good sails and spinnakers were getting relegated and older sails were brought out of retirement. Our race officer Gerry held a very quick briefing to remind us all to stay close together and to try not to give the rescue guys too much work to do in anticipation of what was to come.

Several crews tentatively hung around the slip way to see which eejits were going to sample the waters first. I took up the challenge with my crew for the day Chris Clayton. We launched and it seemed easy enough, we had time to get the rudder and centreboard down, hoisted the kite, then all of a sudden we were out of the lee of the land and the boat jumped to warp speed 9! This was great fun but very wet.

We thought it was time to put a gybe in or else we would be in the Outer Hebrides within two minutes. This is where we ran out of skill and put in the first capsize of the day.

Like lambs to the slaughter the rest of the crews started to launch except a few wise people like RS400 veteran Liam Donnelly who decided to sit it out (you will never see the words "Liam" and "wise" in the same sentence again).

Like lemmings, boats were capsizing left right and centre, but most were getting back up quickly enough and the race team got on with the start sequence. By this stage we had all quickly worked out that the racing was about survival, if you stayed upright, there was a good chance of a decent result.

The first race started and most boats were well spread out playing it safe. The wind was gusty and shifty, it was really bright and we were hiking hard - I can't say it was an enjoyable beat with those gusts.

At the windward mark, Peter Kennedy & Stevie Kane arrived first, closely followed Kearney & Vaughan. Hastings & Clayton were not too far behind but when putting in a quick tack with an ill-timed gust it resulted in another swim. Kites popped up and everyone went flying to the next hurdle, the gybe, and the majority went swimming. Only the top few managed to stay upright and continued on to do one more lap and finish.

In the end it was Kennedy & Kane who got the bullet, followed by Kearney & Vaughan in second, the Purdon Brothers were third, Findlay & Gilmore in forth, and Calvin & Conway held on and managed to get fifth. Out of the thirteen boats that hit the water, there were only five finishers.

At that point the race team decided enough was enough and sent everyone ashore which was probably the right decision. Once ashore we all helped each other get the boats up the slip and then assessed the damage done to various boats like broken universal joints, ripped off slot gasket, broken gooseneck, failed sheave, a spinnaker pole that wouldn't retract etc etc but nothing too major.

After four races, Kennedy & Kane lead the pack on 12 points.

Thanks as always to the race team and especially Frank and his rescue team who said that they had had a brilliant day on the water as they got plenty of practice in. Racing will continue next Sunday 20th November starting at 13.26, hopefully with conditions that aren't just so challenging.

Results so far:

PosSail NoHelmCrewClubR1R2R3R4Pts
1st1339Peter KennedyStephen KaneRNIYC/SLYC632112
2nd1406Barry McCartinJosh PorterCSBC/NSC411DNF19
3rd1438AndrewVaughanCallum DalzellRNIYC387220
4th1006TBCDan SherriffBYC153DNF22
5th877William FindlayTBCSLYC2115422
6th1264Neil CalvinSharon DohertyCSC778527
7th1353Robert HastingsRory HigginsSLYC/RNIYC1144DNF32
8th1004Tom PurdonSam PurdonSLYC13611333
9th1405Liam DonnellyRick McCaigCSC5210DNC37
10th1245Luke McIlwaineRyan WilsonNewcastle YC/CSC8139DNF43
11th1415Frank MacfarlaneGemma VanceCSC9912DNF43
12th1440Simon HutchinsonBen WilliamsRNIYC/SLYC10106DNC46
13th888Stephen DonnellyTim LeonardCSC121213DNF50
14th840Morris BlackZak DalzellRNIYCDNFDNFDNFDNC66
15th1366Matthew McClernonKelly PattersonCushendall SBC/EABCDNCDNCDNCDNF73
16th1379Neill StrainJohn FergusonRNIYCDNFDNCDNCDNC76
17th1178Brian HolmesWendy SmithColeraine YC/SLYCDNCDNCDNCDNC80
17th815Jane KearneyMartin WeatherstoneRNIYCDNCDNCDNCDNC80
17th1001Charles KearneyTBCRNIYCDNCDNCDNCDNC80

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