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Cyclops Marine 2023 November - LEADERBOARD

Bosun Bob's/Rockshore RS400 Winter Series at the Royal North of Ireland Yacht Club - Day 3

by Ross Vaughan 20 Nov 11:56 GMT 5 November - 17 December 2023
Bosun Bob's/Rockshore RS400 Winter Series day 3 © Emma Jane Boland

A cold and fresh westerly wind attracted a larger turnout for week 3 of the Bosun Bob/ Rockshore RS400 Winter Series at Royal North of Ireland YC as the lucky streak of glamour sailing conditions continued for yet another weekend.

The forecasted heavy rain was playing kind and seemed to be avoiding Belfast Lough as the crews began arriving in numbers to the boatpark with the fleet looking set to face three races in a wind strength of between 10-15 knots.

After some high profile returns into the class in recent weeks its clearly had an effect by attracting some familiar names to join in on the action. The latest being Michael Browne with partner Jane Buchanan deciding to test their RS Elite keelboat dominance of late against the seasoned participants of the RS400 Winter series. What could possibly go wrong.....

Other notable additions to the class for the first time were William Brown as well as the return of the Dalzell brothers as 21 boats made their way out to the start line.

Race Officer Gerry Reid & the on-water management team had the course ready and waiting for the fleet as the scheduled start sequence got under way on time.

Some grumbling of start line bias over the past two weekends in the boatpark was swiftly put to bed as a square line enticed the fleet to behave for R1 of the day.

Bob Espey with the return of his old stalwart of a crew Richard McCollough were slightly too eager to get going after skipping last weekend and added another OCS to their series tally.

What followed was a closely fought battle royale between the top 3 overall in the series to date with position changes taking place on each lap right through to the finish.

Tom Purdon & Olivia Hayes took a photo finish line honours over Ross Vaughan and stand in crew Jane Kearney as usual crew (Andrew Vaughan) had to skip the days racing due to an appointment with Disney on ice he quite simply could not miss! In 3rd place was last week's daily winners Peter Kennedy and Stevie Kane who don't seem to know how to race away from the pointy end of the fleet as they begin to fine tune their shiny new toy.

A noticeable increase in wind speed greeted the fleet in the pre-race start sequence for R2. This ultimately brought out the best series' bloopers so far and mistakes began to creep in across the fleet as manoeuvres went badly both upwind and downwind!

Noteworthy incidents included Stephen Mclernon and Edwina Ternan port lay line attempt at the windward mark and subsequent crash tack that nearly ended in the first capsize of the day as well as Liam Donnelly being heard shouting over on the shores of Scotland after debating a leeward gate mark rounding with Peter Kennedy.

There were also noises of GRP crunching on some port/starboard incidents but on this lucky occasion we will avoid any names mentioned until the dust settles!

Amongst the chaos on the tightly laid racecourse the standout team of the series (Bob & Richard) continued to show superior boat speed and take home the win ahead of Liam and another top 3 for Peter and Stevie.

R3 started with a front rapidly coming down the lough over Black Mountain and another increase in wind strength. A clear start much to the delight of the on-water race management team led to a tightly contested 1st beat in strong breeze between Bob Espey and Richard McCollough and Ross Vaughan Jane Kearney on who would take the lead at the windward mark. Bob Espey and Richard McCollough got inside rounding the windward mark and never looked back for the rest of the race as they flexed their boat handling skills.

Ross Vaughan and Jane Kearney fell back into the chasing Peter Kennedy and Stevie Kane with the subsequent manoeuvres between both ensuring the result was contested all the way to the finish line between the series challengers. Taking the spoils was team Peter Kennedy and Stevie Kane which capped off their consistent scoreline as winners of the day.

Liam Donnelly claimed 4th place and Jocelyn Hill with Rowan Berry rounding off the top 5 and their best result of the day.

The fast dash reach after the finish and back to the slipway was made all the better seeing our series sponsor and RS400 mainstay Robert Hastings (Bosun Bob) and new crew Peter Todd upside down on the hull after an unsuccessful gybe sent them swimming into a capsize on the last lap - hopefully we don't need to negotiate any new boat parts with Rob between now and the end of the series!

Yet another successful day on the water and a big thank you must be extended to the volunteers and on water race management team and (Sponsors Bosun Bobs and Rockshore) on delivering these quick races so efficiently.

We move on to week 4 with some intriguing battles set to take place as the overall leaderboard starts to become established and teams jostle for position over the remainder of the series.

Overall Series Results after day 3:

PosSail NoHelmCrewClub05/1105/1105/1112/1112/1112/1119/1119/1119/11Pts
1st1438Ross VaughanAndrew VaughanRNIYC32‑442324323
2nd1004Tom PurdonOlivia HayesSLYC57516212‑1029
3rd1522Peter KennedyStephen KaneRNIYC/SLYC(RET)OCS321133233
4th1405Liam DonnellyRick McCaigCSC692‑118585447
5th1006Hammy BakerDan SherriffBYC/SLYC/CAYC217(RET)101167650
6th741Jocelyn HillRowan BerryCAYC75(RET)3471112554
7th877William FindlayPeter CameronStrangford SC8410638710‑1156
8th1353Robert HastingsRory HigginsSLYC/RNIYC146885658‑1660
9th1179Ben MartinRory FlanniganBYC/RUYC10‑1212594411964
10th1316Stephen McLernonEdwina TernanCSC43977RET(OCS)RET875
11th1415Frank MacfarlaneBrian ConwayCSC915(RET)101110991588
12th1533Rob EspeyTBCBYC1OCS1(DNC)DNCDNCOCS1193
13th888Stephen DonnellyTim LeonardCSC121413RET14915‑1712105
14th1264Neil CalvinSharon CorkhillCSC(DNC)DNCDNC912DNS1067110
15th762Patrick McMeekinJane McMeekinStrangford SC111111(DNC)DNCDNC121313121
16th1044Andrew IrvinAisling O'GradyNational YC161315DNS13RET(DNC)DNCDNC139
17th1440Simon HutchinsonBen WilliamsRNIYC/SLYC1386(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNCDNC152
18th825Paul RobinsonA Byres/A RobinsonCSC(DNC)DNCDNCDNS15RET13RETRET152
19th1178Brian HolmesWendy SmithColeraine YC/SLYC151014(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNCDNC164
20th840Mo BlackZak DalzelRNIYC(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNCDNC141414167
21st1188Will BrowneRachel BrowneSLYC(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNCDNC171517174
22nd1001Woo KearneyNick ThallonRNIYC(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNCDNC1616DNS178
23rd728Ben McMeekinLaurence McVeighStrangford SC(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNCDNCRETRETDNS188

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