Despite the absence of a couple of regulars the HYC SB3s travelled in numbers to this years SB3I Northern Championships making up a quarter
of the fleet. And to make up in some small way for the disappointment of missing out on the Lambay Regatta fun they where well represented
in the bar by the Quantitative Easing crew as well as bringing home some decent results on the water.
Belfast Lough rivals Dublin Bay for it's reputation for turning out challenging conditions and this weekend was no exception. With cold
fronts, rain clouds and sea breeze all crossing the race course, seemingly at random, conditions would best be described as variable.
While you could catch the wrong end of some huge wind shifts or holes it did mean there was always a way back to the front and a decent
overall finish if you avoided a couple of killer scores.
The Emmet and James Ryan, with Darragh Byrnes guesting in the middle, admirably demonstrated the kind of skills needed to continue their excellent 2010 form. Only dipping outside the top 7 in one race they demonstrated the kind of consistency needed to take home glassware by coming 3rd overall.
At the other end of the spectrum - despite bringing in a ringer in the shape of Bill O'Harra! - Dave Quinn and Darrel Reamsbottom on Investwise caught the wrong end of the weather a couple of times, finishing 17th. Well below where some electric starting and upwind speed deserved a 2nd place in race 3 much more indicative of their performance.
Dinghy Supplies also had a 'now you see them...' regatta ending 14th.
Adding no credence what so ever to the rumor that the McDonnalds sail better with a hang over the Elders 3 of Emma, Joe Turner and Garret
May stormed back to the front of the fleet on the second day making up for an uncharacteristically lack luster day 1 and ending up 8th overall.
Having thrown away a 7 point lead at the Easterns and somewhat abashed by the stick handed out for doing so, the boys on Sharkbait
where in no mood for a repeat performance. Despite rounding the first windward mark out side the top 5 in every race and frequently further
back - added to some dodgy work from the cameraman at the front of the boat - they picked their way back to the front in every race scoring
1,2,(5),1,5,1 to defend the title they won for the first time last year; 14 points clear of arch nemesis McCready Sailboats in second.
The win also takes them back to the top of the SB3I national rankings by half a point.
Blow by blow commentary: www.rniyc.org/ViewfromtheShore.htm
Dodgy camera work: www.youtube.com/watch?v=vxAyXVqhVzQ