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Bosun Bob's/Rockshore RS400 Winter Series at the Royal North of Ireland Yacht Club - Day 4

by Tom Purdon 26 Nov 2023 23:14 GMT 5 November - 17 December 2023
Bosun Bob's/Rockshore RS400 Winter Series day 4 © Gerry Reid

A surprisingly lively day leads to a missed opportunity for some as Kennedy/Kane crawl up the rankings.

For the fourth instalment of the famous Rockshore & Bosun Bob's RS400 Winter Series the mood in the boat park was less than cheery. Spells of rain and glassy conditions that morning led most sailors to believe that no racing would occur. This was reflected by only 13 boats on the start line. This didn't include everyone, Ross Vaughan had missed his flight from London that morning but was able to get a later one so to not miss the racing, now that is real commitment.

Not disheartened by the weather, the race committee and mark layers wasted no time in getting the RIBs launched and the course was laid in their usual super efficient ways.

As boats lined up for the first race, a slight left shift gave an advantage to boats down at the pin end. This led to a clean but a chaotic start as boats desperately tried to tack off onto port. The first fumble of the day was reported here, Ben Martin (with his stand-in crew Knox Wilson) had dropped the rudder mid tack only to fill their boat with water over the gunnel.

No one boat pulled away on this leg which led to a congested leeward mark as both sides of the course showed no major favouritism. In the end we got to see a few new faces in the top three. Line honours went to the ever consistent Kennedy/Kane, followed by Paul & Adam Robinson in second and third went to the Newtownards boys in Rob Hastings' boat, Adam Torrens and Daniel Nelson, who deserve a special mention, as both these GP14 sailors are totally new to the class. Better wipe that sweat off your brow Rob!

The second race brought another interesting start as Liam Donnelly with Rick McCaig back in the co-driver seat lined up for his classic 'port flyer' which we have seen them benefit from before. This was quickly halted by a quick thinking Kennedy/Kane team who were having 'none of it' and closed them out nicely. Throughout the race we were treated to a bit of cat and mouse among the top runners.

Kennedy/Kane took the top spot after jumping 8 places by going to the left on one of the downwinds. This was followed by Alex Smallwood and Emily Hill who had an outstanding day in Jocelyn Hill's boat. Then came the Purdon/Hayes crew who were overtaken cleanly at the last gate mark. Other notable mentions in this race were RS Elite superstars Michael Browne and Jane Buchanan who realised in this race that the tiller extension of a RS400 is considerably longer than that in an Elite: the tiller should swing to the stern to avoid hitting the crew in the head. Unfortunately for Michael, like many sailors before him, he learnt this the hard way and has a lot of making up to do before next week!

Inspired by the race before the final start saw the Robinson brothers attempt an ill-fated port flyer, it was agreed in the pub afterwards that you need to have many years of practice to pull this manoeuvre off like the Donnelly/McCaig duo. Throughout the rest of the race we saw the Purdon/Hayes boat take the win after fending off the Kennedy/Kane crew.

We also saw a great result by Martin/Wilson securing their first top three of the series, which shows some great potential when the tiller is kept in his hands! We should also give a special mention to Alastair Leslie a first time crew to the fleet who showed great improvement throughout the day with Brian Holmes at the helm. Perhaps we may see him with his own boat on the start line in the future!

Our race officer, Gerry Reid, was delighted to get three races in with such a fickle forecast on the cards and some larger shifts coming off the hills. No complaining was heard from the fleet regarding the starts, which really is the best result you can ask for. The overall results show some close points at the top as the Vaughan cousins still hold the top spot, however it is still all to play for with 3 weeks left especially when more discards kick in.

May we take this chance to once again thank our event sponsors and all the event organisers from the Race Officers, Rescue Crews to the Beach teams for all their effort thus far. None of it would be possible without them. Join us next week for the 5th day of the series, with some exciting racing ahead.

Day 4 Results:

PosSail NoHelmCrewClubR1R2R3Pts
1st1522Peter KennedyStephen KaneRNIYC/SLYC1124
2nd741Jocelyn HillRowan BenryCAYC42410
3rd1004Tom PurdonOlivia HayesSLYC73111
4th1179Ben MartinRory FlamniganBYC/RUYC58316
5th825Paul RobinsonA Byres/A RobinsonCSC29817
8th1438Ross VaughanAndrew VaughanRNICC84517
7th1188Will BrowneRachel BrowneSLYC67720
8th1353Robert HastingsRory HigginsSLYC/RNIYC361221
9th1405Liam DonnellyRick McCaigCSC95822
10th1178Brian HolmesWendy SmithColeraine YC/SLYC1111931
11th1415Frank MacfarlaneBrian ConwayCSC10121032
12th1001Woo KearneyNick ThallonRNIYCDNF1001337
13th840Mo BlackZak DalzelRNIVCDNF131138

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