Variable south westerly winds were the order of the day on Saturday as Killyleagh Yacht Club played host to the Baraka Cup. Fifteen Flying 15s turned out to compete in the three race event held just off Killyleagh and although the changeable winds made life difficult for race officer David Young, they offered close, competitive racing for the fleet.
This is the second championship to contribute towards the newly awarded Strangford Lough Flying Fifteen Master’s Trophy and race one saw current leaders Andrew McCleary and Colin Dougan just out of the top three as Roger Chamberlain and Jason Scammell claimed line orders in The Final Resort.
In a close second, making an impressive debut appearance at this event, were Norman Hamilton and William Rutherford in Final Fling, whilst third place was taken by Shane McCarthy and Peter Buckley from Portaferry Sailing Club in Last Orders.
After a quick course change to keep up with the shifting wind, race two saw Brian McKee and Ian Smyth from Strangford Lough Yacht Club come to the fore in Stiffler’s Mom, pipping race one winner The Final Resort on the line. In third place were front runners Andrew McCleary and Colin Dougan in Too Fast and Furious, keeping their points low for the overall series prize.
In the final race of the day, McCleary and Dougan retained their overall lead claiming a first, as a strong breeze filled in at the pin end but not in the middle of the line. Too Fast and Furious grabbed the wind channel and sneaked ahead of Stiffler’s Mom and Gerry Reilly’s Over the Moon to claim first place just on the line.
Stiffler’s Mom held onto second place, while Gerry Reilly, with Marcus Crichton in place of regular crew Peter Quail, came third.
Overall the Baraka Cup was claimed by Andrew McCleary and Colin Dougan in Too Fast and Furious, with Stiffler’s Mom in second place and Chamberlain’s The Final Resort in third.
In the Silver Fleet, David Branniff and Johnny Patterson came first in Olimsea, with Gavin & Jeff Baker second in Going Grey.
With only three races still to go, the Master’s Trophy is still up for grabs and the discards are now starting to kick in and take effect. Andrew McCleary and Colin Dougan are proving hard to catch and lead this series with 6 points, but Chamberlain and Scammell are hot on their tails with 10 points overall and the possibility to discard another result before the series is over.
Just one point behind on 11 points is Gerry Reilly in Over the Moon and as Strangford Sailing Club host the final set of races on the 15th October, he could prove to be the one to watch racing in his home waters. While the field is certainly opening up, the title Master of the Lough has yet to be claimed!