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Abandoned Final Race Rounds off Royal North RS 400 Winter Series on Belfast Lough

22nd December 2021
RNIYC RS 400 Winter Series (l to r) Andrew Vaughan, winners Steve Kane, Peter Kennedy and Race Officer Gerry Reid
RNIYC RS 400 Winter Series (l to r) Andrew Vaughan, winners Steve Kane, Peter Kennedy and Race Officer Gerry Reid

Just like on the previous Sunday the competitors in the final race day of Royal North of Ireland’s RS400 Winter Series hosted by the club on the south shore of Belfast Lough gathered last Sunday (19th) looking out at a mirror-like Lough. But this time it stayed like a mirror and the series came to a quiet end with the results for the previous week standing as the final results for the series.

It was close at the top after 19 races and the top prize went to Strangford Lough Yacht Club’s Peter Kennedy (former Olympian, All Ireland Champion Helm and Afloat Sailor of the Month for October 2018) and Stevie Kane of Royal North who finished with 44 points. The closest to Kennedy were two local boats, Andrew Vaughan and Toby McCullough on 54 points and Liam Donnelly and Rick McCaig, (56). The previous holders of the Bosun Bob’s Trophy, Trevor D'Arcy & Alan 'Ginge' McLearnon from across the Belfast Lough at Carrickfergus were fourth. Other visitors represented Coleraine YC, Newcastle YC, Ballyholme, and Newtownards. Another helm was two-time World Mirror champion, Ross Kearney.

This event has been running for about 14 years and built up from a handful of boats to the 20 entered this winter. The event always ends on the Sunday before Christmas.

The previous week bang on time for the Race 1 start a good southerly breeze materialised and thirteen crossed the line. For Race 2 and 3 wind direction was much the same and with the wind still building gains and losses were made on the downwind legs. Race Officer Gerry Reid, who has been running the series since its inception, made the most of those perfect conditions and slotted in one more race, repositioning the course in the increasing wind. Winners on that day were local crew Andrew Vaughan and Ross Nolan with Kennedy and Kane second in what was a very close set with only six points separating the top six boats.

Andrew Vaughan, the event director, thanked the support crews on Mark laying boats, the Committee boat and the Race Officer for series, Gerry Reid, Jack Anderson for the Results as well as the Office Staff.

Traditionally Royal North runs a Spring Series in the same format, and it is hoped that this will be possible in ’22 given the Covid 19 pandemic.

Betty Armstrong

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Betty Armstrong

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Betty Armstrong is Afloat and Yachting Life's Northern Ireland Correspondent. Betty grew up racing dinghies but now sails a more sedate Dehler 36 around County Down

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