04 June 2017
Glorious weather smiled on Cultra last weekend for the Brewin Dolphin RS Elite Irish Championships. This coupled with a perfect breeze on the first day of this prestigious event. This was Sam Lynes's debut as race officer (Assisted by Nigel Kearney) for these championships and the good weather helped with his baptism. The fleet got away on time with a near perfect start for most. By the top mark a very bunched fleet fought their way around the mark and spreader mark, by the race end Tiffany Brien on Kin (RNIYC) emerged the for 1st quickly followed by Ryan Wilson on Eclipse (CSC) 3rd went to Phil Andersons boat Illegal (SLYC) helmed by Stephen Milne. Race two saw the top three boats in a right old skirmish however this time Eclipse took first followed by Illegal and third went to Kin. it is difficult here to describe the back of the fleet, as all the boats were within spitting distance of a podium in such a tight fleet but in 4th John Driscoll on Anchorman wasn't letting the leaders have a break nor was Mark Brien on Full Marks, of Jeff Ralston on UpFront 6th (All RNIYC boats) With the last race of the day the pressure was still on everyone, John Driscoll on Anchorman finally closing that precious boat length to take 1st followed by Eclipse and Kin in Third. Everyone returned to the lawn of Royal North for a well-earned refreshment X many! This was followed by an excellent class Diner in the Admirals room, followed by more craic and music in the bar. At the close of day one Eclipse led with Kin second and Anchorman third and illegal in forth, everything to play for in day two! On Sunday morning all the crews with dark glasses told a tail. Plenty of scones and coffee got them going. However although the sun was shining like yesterday the wind was much lighter and more fickle. Race four finally got underway when the race officer deemed the conditions to have settled to be consistent and fair. The two leaders hadn't let up from day one and the duel between Eclipse and Kin was to continue. Kin emerged as winner of this race with Eclipse 2nd Bangor Boat Storm (RUYC) helmed by Stephen Polly took third. This boat had been fancied to do very well at this event, but at race four not enough. Race five, all change! Kin was over the line at the start and Eclipse had lost its pace the lighter airs didn't help. This time Anchorman took 1st followed by Mark Hunters B'Have (RNIYC) and third going to Storm. The event leaders being grateful that the discards would bail them out! At this stage points for first and second were tied, and third forth and fifth tied. The last race was critical! The final race of the event went to Kin, with the Vaughan's Toucan in second and Storm in third, John Patterson's Momentary laps in forth and Eclipse in Fifth. Back on shore the prize giving got underway after the visiting boats got lifted out . Overall the Irish Elite Championship went to Tiff Brien on Kin with Eclipse 2nd and Anchorman third. Forth went to Storm. The Event Director Gerry Reid thanked the sponsors Brewin Dolphin for their kind Support, and reflected on a great weekends racing on these extraordinary boats, fleet atmosphere and camaraderie.