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Displaying items by tag: John Minnis

Afloat Sailor of the Month for May John Minnis from Royal Ulster YC in Bangor on Belfast Lough has added yet another prize to his winnings with his First 31.7 Final Call taking the Causeway Cup for the best performance in the Scottish Series by a boat-based outside Scotland (other than the Series winner).

Final Call, with Gareth Flannigan driving, won Class 3 convincingly, counting two firsts and two seconds. Another Royal Ulster sailor, Flannigan, has credentials that span several classes, including Irish Laser Master's titles and wins with David Fletcher in the RS 400 class. No doubt there are many notable instances in which sailors decide to purchase a boat, but Minnis's decision, with his friend Brian Roche who has since moved on, to buy what was then Clever Clogs, was made during the emotion of the 2015 European Rugby Cup final between Munster and Glasgow Warriors at the Kingspan Stadium in Belfast. He says, " We felt this was a good call/decision and so renamed her Final Call. That big occasion in Belfast went the Warrior's way with a 31-13 scoreline in what was the great Paul O'Connell's last game for Munster.

John Minnis of Royal UlsterJohn Minnis of Royal Ulster is the Scottish Series 2021 Causeway Cup winning skipper

John Minnis isn't near finished, though, as he's off to the Beneteau First 31.7 Championships at the National Yacht Club in early July.

Minnis picked up Afloat's Sailor of the Month award for his Scottish Series achievement.

Published in Scottish Series

We can only hope that next week's up-grading of our sailing from training events to official racing will hold up through a steadily developing season, despite the many challenges to continuing emergence from the pandemic. If it does, then when the full story of the sailing season of 2021 is finally analysed, it will be seen that the victory of John Minnis with his First 31.7 Final Call in last weekend's Scottish Series is in fact the first major "official" racing success this year, and a worthy "Sailor of the Month" winner for May.

Skipper Minnis and his keen crew are no strangers to being in the frame both in First 31.7 and handicap racing. But it took a special level of enthusiasm for a flotilla of cruiser-racers from Belfast and Strangford Loughs to cross the North Channel for a very controlled Scottish series in which the racing was certainly real and officially recognised, but just about everything else was virtual and socially distanced, with three different venues being used in the eastern Firth of Clyde.

Thus it wasn't felt appropriate to declare an overall winner, but had they done so, Final Call's very impressive scorecard and clear class win would have made her the favoured contender for the top title.

Final Call racing in the First 31.7 Class in the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta 2019, when she finished second overall in a class of 14 boats. Photo: O'BrienFinal Call racing in the First 31.7 Class in the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta 2019, when she finished second overall in a class of 14 boats. Photo: O'Brien

Published in Sailor of the Month

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