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Bosun Bob's/Rockshore RS400 Winter Series at the Royal North of Ireland Yacht Club - Day 1

by Luke McIlwaine 6 Nov 2023 13:10 GMT 5 November - 17 December 2023
Bosun Bob's/Rockshore RS400 Winter Series day 1 © Lindsay Nolan

RS400 - The most 'professional' sailing fleet in the north

A balmy start to November had the finest fleet in the north once again start their conquest to attain the highly desirable Winter Series trophy, currently sitting pride of place on Stephen's mantlepiece. Our race officer, Gerry, got the RS400 fleet off to a slightly shaky start with a massively pin-biased line resulting in a general recall. The wind was apparently to blame, but other factors may have been present as Liam made very clear to the fleet.

Race 1: A Rocky Beginning

After an adjustment was made to the course that had the fleet away for the first clean start of the series. A risky attempt from Ben and Patrick to make the line, resulted in the fleet being released with a quick tack onto port. Dan and his last-minute helm, Luke, were off the blocks, reaching the windward first, followed by the returning RS400 connoisseurs, Robert and Michael, with Michael persuaded to crew on the promise of getting to play with a shiny new toy.

Strong tidal currents resulted in the right of the downwind being advantageous for most of the day, with Ross and Andrew consistently making a nuisance of themselves by sailing high, though they may argue that perhaps everyone else could have sailed faster.

Race one ended with Dan and Luke having to settle for second, as the well-polished Robert and Michael took the first win of the series.

Race 2: A Lesson in Sailing Etiquette

A very uncontroversial second start saw three boats being called as OCS. Tom and Olivia saw the error of their ways and returned to recross the line; unfortunately, Robert/Michael and Peter/Stephen refused to atone for their sins and continued to be scored at the back of the 17-boat fleet.

Stephen and Alex showed the fleet the best way to not get around the windward mark. Consequently, they were pushed out on the port lay line and steadily worked their way back down through the fleet, all the while staring down a brand new mark, kindly provided by Bosun Bobs', a sponsor of the event.

The absence of Frank and Brian may have been noticed by some at this point. For future 400 competitors, it should be noted that hitting a floating railway sleeper on the way out to the racecourse is rarely fortunate. Indeed, it can actually result in early retirement due to the centreboard dislodgement.

William and Peter jumped positions in the race towards the end, moving up to finish fourth; proof that arriving at the club 'before sunrise' to get that perfect parking spot can have special preparation advantages.

Race 3: Shifting Crew Dynamics

Race 3 once again had a committee-end bias, leading to the most popular start position for most of the fleet. Most, because by this stage Jocelyn had decided she had done enough sailing and decided to let Rowan go solo by taking down the main. When quizzed later, it was discovered it had been a 'team effort' in the correct attachment of the shackle pin.

A gusty end to the final race did little to unsettle Ross and Andrew, who won the day with a convincing 9-point finish. The crews then retired to the bar for a well-deserved drink, kindly provided by Rockshore, an event sponsor.

The Post-Day Travels

Finally, whilst most of us were all tucked into our cosy beds, our thoughts may have strayed to Andrew and his crew Cillian, doubtless still making the journey back to Dublin. Serious kudos to the pair for making the long journey to join the fleet.

A successful day on the water, and thanks to the volunteers on race management and rescue, who once again made the racing some of the best on the island. Racing will follow this time next week so stay tuned folks!

Picture 1: The fleet congregate for the start of the series Picture 2: Tactical manoeuvres heading down to the leeward gate Picture 3: The winners of the day n

Day 1 Results:

PosSail NoHelmCrewClubR1R2R3Pts
1st1438Ross VaughanAndrew VaughanRNIYC3249
2nd1006Hammy Baker/Daniel CorbettDan SherriffBYC/SLYC/CAYC21710
3rd1316Stephen McLernonEdwina TernanCSC43916
4th1405Liam DonnellyRick McCaigCSC69217
5th1004Tom PurdonOlivia HayesSLYC57517
6th1533Rob EspeyTBCBYC1OCS120
7th877William FindlayPeter CameronStrangford SC941023
8th1339Peter KennedyStephen KaneRNIYC/SLYC7OCS328
9th1440Simon HutchinsonBen WilliamsRNIYC/SLYC148628
10th1353Robert HastingsRory HigginsSLYC/RNIYC156829
11th741Jocelyn HillRowan BerryCAYC85RET31
12th762Patrick McMeekinJane McMeekinStrangford SC12111134
13th1179Ben MartinRory FlanniganBYC/RUYC11121235
14th1178Brian HolmesWendy SmithColeraine YC/SLYC16101440
15th888Stephen DonnellyTim LeonardCSC13141340
16th1415Frank MacfarlaneBrian ConwayCSC1015RET43
17th1044Andrew IrvinAisling O'GradyNational YC17131545
18th1001Woo KearneyNick ThallonRNIYCDNCDNCDNC72
18th728Ben McMeekinLaurence McVeighStrangford SCDNCDNCDNC72
18th840Mo BlackZak DalzelRNIYCDNCDNCDNC72
18th1245Luke McIlwaineRyan WilsonCSCDNCDNCDNC72
18th1188Will BrowneRachel BrowneSLYCDNCDNCDNC72
18th1264Neil CalvinSharon CorkhillCSCDNCDNCDNC72

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