Junior sailing sessions for the year, came to a close in glorious style this Sunday afternoon when 24 young sailors took to the water to compete for the Beattie Cup, awarded each year by Raymond and Kate Beattie in memory of their daughter Joanne.
There was a strong breeze as the 19 boat fleet took to the water and this held up throughout the first race, favouring the older laser sailors with Ella Hawthorne claiming first, ahead of Isabella Kelly in second. Leading the way for the Topper fleet was Sam Kelly who marked up a third in race one, with Ella Fitzpatrick and Thomas Hanlon finishing just behind. It was all change in race two as Isabella Kelly stormed ahead to take first, but a sterling performance from Sam Kelly put him into second place, just 11 seconds behind the higher powered Laser Radial, nudging Hawthorne into third place with Hanlon and Fitzpatrick finishing fourth and fifth respectively.
As the wind held, the race committee decided to add a third race to the schedule meaning any of the top three had the potential to take the win. Isabella Kelly on three points started as favourite, and with the prize in sight she was determined to hold off her main rival, Ella Hawthorne, currently on four points. Both set off determined to get the win and while extremely close racing around the entire course saw Kelly lead for most of the race, as the wind dropped on the final leg, Hawthorne took line honours, just 14 seconds ahead and they both thought the Cup was decided. With all the focus on the lasers however, everyone had forgotten about the Toppers. In her best performance of the day, Ella Fitzpatrick claimed a first place in race three, with Sam Kelly just behind in second. The excellent race sailed by these two Topper hot-shots pushed Hawthorne into third place by just four seconds, and completely mixed up the top of the table.
With the top three all finishing on 7 points, this was the tightest Beattie Cup in years. The results were decided on countback, putting Sam Kelly in third, Ella Hawthorne in second and by virtue of a second place, leaving Isabella Kelly in first, the recipient of the Beattie Cup.
Killyleagh Yacht Club would like to thank the Beattie Family for their long standing support of junior sailing at KYC and this year they were able to watch their grandson Dara take part for the first time, ably assisted in a Pico by Sarah Kelly. If any juniors, or not so juniors, would like to sail on into the autumn, look out for the DieHard Dinghy Series starting soon at KYC.