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Royal North of Ireland Yacht Club GP14 Spring Series Week 3

by Michael Cox 14 Mar 06:21 GMT 12 March 2023

Gerry Reid and the race team at RNIYC must be on good terms with the weather Gods as the snow melted away to leave a dry, almost balmy ten degrees and a steady(ish) f3 building to a nice f4.

Despite the absence of front runners O'Tairnaigh and Nelson, the fleet remained in double figures thanks to Conor Twohig and Matthew Connor who made the journey from Dublin to emphasise the growing popularity of this excellent series.

With the rugby in mind Race 1 was rescheduled to get under way ten minutes early over a windward leeward course. Ross Kearney and Daniel Nelson stayed left and were first to the weather mark, Michael Cox and Josh Porter, together with Jane Kearney and Rebekah O'Tairnaigh enjoyed a good second beat to secure second and third places ahead of father and son team, Keith and Matteo Louden.

Race 2 produced the most exciting first beat of the day and a hectic battle for the first mark. Patrick Hamilton and Hana Stolkova, rounded narrowly ahead of Curly Morris and Rachael Stewart, separated by a coat of varnish from Ross and Daniel, who squeezed in ahead of Michael and Josh. The runs provided opportunities for tactical racing, while the left side of the beats became progressively more favourable, this allowed Ross and Dan to take the win from Michael and Josh, just ahead of Patrick and Hana in third.

Race 3 started in a building breeze, Michael and Josh going up the middle to round ahead of Conor and Matthew, closely followed by Ross and Daniel. A late gybe by Michael and Josh dropped them to third and set the scene for what was to be the most exciting finish of the day, with the final run being a tense affair. Coming to the gate Conor and Matthew were fighting to hold a slim lead over Ross and Daniel on the approach to the left-hand mark, with Michael and Josh a couple boat lengths behind and just ahead of Jane and Rebekah who were closing swiftly.

Sensing a crush at the mark, Michael went right to preserve his third place. Conor and Matthew kept their nerves to hold onto the win. Jane and Rebekah had a cracking rounding to reverse the Kearney household placings and secure a well-earned second place. A special mention should go to Charlie Valentine, making his series debut as crew for Jennifer Bryce and keeping everything the right way up in testing conditions.

A combination of absences together with a second discard has delivered changes to series standings as the fleet breaks for half term. Ross Kearney retains a commanding lead ten points ahead of Cox. O'Tairnaigh, one point adrift in third place, will be keen to revise the standings upon his return, as will Nelson with Hamilton still in the running. The series resumes at 13.00 on 26th March.

Results after Week 3:

PosSail NoHelmCrewClubR1R2R3R4R5R6R7R8R9R10Pts
1st14248Ross KearneyDaniel NelsonRNIYC/NSC12(7)(8)11611316
2nd14212Michael CoxClaire CromieNSC5(8)(8)256222226
3rd14215Ruán O'TiarnaighNatasha O'TiarnaighBYC4111(RET)41(9)7827
4th14241Patrick HamiltonHana StolcovaEDYC(6)(9)3435453431
5th14214Keith LoudenMatteo LoudenLFYC244(6)(7)3546634
6th13901Steven NelsonMartin WeatherstoneNSC/DSC3525223(DNC)(DNC)DNC35
7th14242Jane KearneyRebekah O'TiarnaighRNIYC/BYC(8)66(10)48734139
8th14219Curly MorrisRachael StewartEABC/NSC7353(DNC)(DNC)DNC65547
9th14090Rory HigginsAdam TorrensRNIYC9(11)109(RET)9107RET771
10th14151David MellorMike ShawRNIYC107978108(DNC)(DNC)DNC72
11th13865Jennifer BryceLara SundayNSC/DSC(DNS)10(11)119111188977

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