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Ice Breaker 24th March

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Ice Breaker 24th March



The bright blustery conditions of Sunday morning gave way to light, veering winds for the final race of the Taggarts Ballyholme Yacht Club Icebreaker 2023/24. Race Officer Aidan Pounder set a good beat to the north east for the first lap before a second lap in a variable easterly.


As usual, the ILCA fleet were enthusiastic to start and a few too enthusiastic, including Andrew Henry returning to the fleet after a prolonged absence in yacht racing. The middle of the line got away cleanly and Gareth McCanlis after his near miss last week was straight to the front of the pack. Bill O’Hara didn’t miss a shift or a puff all beat and led at the windward mark with Jonny Henry using pressure on the right to get round the mark in third. Meanwhile, contenders for the Whisky Cup and Overall win eyed each other cautiously…in general somewhat further down the pack than intended. Soon though Colin Leonard and Conor Simms had pushed up to make up the top 5. In large part aided by being far enough back to benefit from a shift to the right down the run.


A quick course change later and Bill O’Hara was a contender for mug of the day for failing to read it correctly. John Simms and he have been given remedial lessons on the difference between “10” and “11.” Gareth sailed a fast and clever beat and stretched to a healthy lead. He was never at any risk of being caught. Colin, with one eye on Conor and the overall trophy almost allowed Jonny Henry, Cavan Fyans and Jonathan McAlister back in after a further right shift but did enough to round in second. It finished Gareth followed by a large gap and then Colin, Jonny, Cavan, Jonathan and Conor. Ed Winton took another whiskey cup victory.


The light and variable conditions made for tight racing in the large dinghy fleet. Peter Kennedy and Stephen Kane, or was that Gareth Flannigan and Jeremy Tomalin, sailed a strong first beat but in their enthusiasm got caught in the bunch of the ILCA fleet at the leeward mark. Bob Espey and Michael Ferguson deftly maneouvred around the chaos to take the lead and defended the favour right side of the beach to extend away to win. Gareth and Jeremy came second, with Martin and Vicky Dews enjoying the conditions in third.


In the small dinghy fleet, Rhemy Polly, with Stephen Polly (Rear Commodore Sailing) sailed to another victory.

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