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Taggart's Junior Icebreaker Series Part 2 day 3 at Ballyholme Yacht Club

by David Nelson 24 Mar 13:53 GMT
Taggart's Junior Icebreaker Series at Ballyholme Yacht Club © Colin Robinson

Champagne sailing was forecast for day three of the Taggart's Junior Icebreaker with some stronger winds to appear later in the afternoon.

Nothing to worry about until the organisers arrived down at the club and heard the whistling in the rigging as a few choice gusts worked their way past the club and over the bay. That said with the wind in the North West giving an amount of shelter and with numbers in the fleet reduced with lots of sailors away competing at the "Winters" in Lough Derg the decision as made to go ahead with plenty of safety cover afloat.

Eleven toppers, two RS Fevas and one 29er made it to the start line as the windward leeward course was setup. The Race Officer Coin Robinson advised the wary that a reef might be considered for the day which a number of sailors opted for.

Despite the caution there was one large squall before the start that had it's way with the fleet with a number of capsizes and even the more experienced sailors were not immune to an early swim. A number of the Toppers made the decision to return to to shore and get a grandstand view of some heavy weather racing.

Colin got racing under way in the South West corner of the bay which offered the most shelter from the conditions. In the toppers Hannah Archer who was mixing it up with the squad sailors last week continued this form and won the first race with Polly Robinson (a topper 4.2 squad sailor) second and Effie Lappin in third with Rebecca Reddy in her windiest race to date in fourth. In the RS Feva fleet father and son combination Matthew and Peter Ridout were first with the Emily Ridout in second with stand in crew Greta Qutteineh in second. No Spinnakers flown this week by the fevas. The one 29er afloat of Henry Nelson and Joseph Robinson decided to go out of the bay for some wind and waves practice in advance of the Irish Youths in April and forgo racing.

The second race was a repeat of results in the topper full rig with Hannah first and Effie in second with Polly in the smaller 4.2 rig beating them both over the water. With the wind steadying some coaching was offered to the sailors and Effie managed to close the gap in this race with Hannah to make a closer finish. In the Fevas Greta and Emily capsized in a brave attempt to port tack the fleet off the line and this let Matthew and Peter get away to an unassailable lead.

The final race in the toppers, once again Polly sailed cleanly to win over the water (despite a misunderstanding about which lap to finish on). Effie made use of the tips she was getting from the coaching and was able to deliver on her potential and was first full rig with Hannah finishing second but a good day to keep her overall score in good shape.

Before going ashore some of the sailors went for a longer beat out of the bay and were rewarded with a sleigh ride home in the bigger waves and continued gusting winds.

Racing continues next week weather permitting.

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