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Gordon Patterson and Ross Nolan Take Squib Northern Victory at Killyleagh Yacht Club

20th May 2022
Competitors from as far away as Holyhead in Wales, Kinsale, Lough Derg, Dublin Bay and the Isle of Wight joined the northern locals for the Squib Northern Championships
Competitors from as far away as Holyhead in Wales, Kinsale, Lough Derg, Dublin Bay and the Isle of Wight joined the northern locals for the Squib Northern Championships

Killyleagh Yacht Club on the western shore of Strangford Lough recently hosted the Squib Northerns and a fleet of 18 enjoyed five races under Race Officer Scott Rogers and his team in challenging conditions over the two days.

Overall winners were Gordon Patterson and Ross Nolan from Royal North of Ireland YC on Belfast Lough.

Gordon Patterson (left) with crew Ross Nolan (right)Gordon Patterson (left) with crew Ross Nolan (right)

Competitors from as far away as Holyhead in Wales, Kinsale, Lough Derg, Dublin Bay and the Isle of Wight joined the northern locals in the event which saw four boats notching up wins but apart from Race 2 which Patterson discarded, Fagin finished consistently in the first six to win by one point from Granat (David Stewart and Brian Hare) from Royal Irish.

In light winds on the Saturday morning, race 1 got underway with Granat taking 1st place, closely followed by Simon Watson’s Volante from the home club.

After a wind shift, race 2 got under way with the sailmaker Dick Batt from the Royal Victoria Yacht Club in the Isle of Wight taking first in Squib followed by the consistent Volante, Batt scored another first in Race 3, first making him the overnight leader. Second in that race was KYC’s Stephen Stewart in Second Chance. So, it was all to play for on the Sunday.

Squib Northern ChampionshipsSquibs race downwind at the Northern Championships at Killyleagh

Major wind shifts resulted in postponements on Sunday morning and when racing did get under way it was the Royal North boats on form with Gregg Bell and Jayne Kearney in Prodigal taking a win closely followed by the host club’s David Hanna in Blue and the Royal Irish Granat. So, it was all down to the last race and in a steady consistent breeze Patterson and Nolan led from the start to take a well-deserved first, closely followed by clubmates John Miller and Gary Watson in Tamerlane. Overall runners up were Stewart and Hare with Bell and Kearney third.

This event was a valuable rehearsal for the big 56 boat National Championships in Kinsale in June with eight Northern competitors travelling to that event in which the racing will take place between the Old Head of Kinsale and the Sovereigns Islands.

And Killyleagh Yacht Club would like to thank everyone for their generosity in donating £600 to the Wave Project which is a charity which helps young people reduce anxiety and improve confidence through Surf Therapy.

Betty Armstrong

About The Author

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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