Hot competition for Killyleagh Regatta day

Killyleagh Yacht Club hosted the return of their annual regatta on a blisteringly hot Saturday afternoon this weekend. The hottest day ever recorded in Northern Ireland meant afloat was the only place to be, but light and fickle winds made life difficult for the race management team as they watched wind shift after wind shift play havoc with their best laid plans! Despite this, 80 yachts of various shapes and sizes lined up to compete on the day –all of whom finished, some slightly faster than others!

Peter Holden’s Go To Red showed that the more sail you carry, the faster you go in the IRC1 class, beating Jay Colville’s Forty Licks by less than two minutes on corrected time. It was also EDYC all the way in the recently rejuvenated IRC2 class, now with one of the bigger classes thanks to the addition of a fleet of Impalas from EDYC. On the day it was an Impala one, two three in the places as Michael Molloy’s Vela, romped home ahead of club mates Beeste and Alcyone. Rejuvenation was the order of the day in NHC1 too, as the mighty Fantan took a first place for PSC after a major restoration project completed by the Kelly brothers during lockdown brought her back from almost scrappage!

In the smaller NHC2 class, Jack Kennedy claimed his first ever regatta win in Meltemi while SLYC also unsurprisingly claimed both the River and Glen prizes, with River Laragh and Kenny Smith back in their customary pole position in the River class. Mike Stephens and Glenoe won the Glen fleet, their third regatta victory this year while the team of McCleery/Dougan put one on the table for KYC as they finished in a commanding first over the line in Ffast Antic, their Flying 15. In the last of the one design classes, the Squib prize and the Nautilus Cup this year was taken by Simon Watson in Volante.

The very popular restricted sail classes also saw the hosts stay on top as J&D McGookin took top spot in NHCRS1 on Sloe Gin while the ever green Don Bridges made it five in a row for Nirvana of Rhu in NHCRS2. Gordon and Findlay Reid represented EDYC lifting the large dinghy handicap prize in their Wayfarer Mistral 2, while KYC’s Ella Hawthorne took first in the Laser Radial class and Autumn Halliday, youth series hopeful, won the Toppers overall.

With only 80 yachts taking part overall, this has been one of the smaller regattas at KYC for many years, however kudos to all who took part, as the mighty wind shifts gave even the best of sailors a challenge. KYC would like to thank all those who helped to make this regatta a huge success, both on and off the water, especially the stalwart supporter of racing in Strangford Lough, Jim Lindsay, who provided both Knot4Sail as the committee boat and a wealth of expertise on the day, from both himself and his extremely hospitable crew.

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