Cantrell Crowley Frostbite Series Week 5. Report by Chris Doorley
With ten races completed and only four left, positions are finally being sorted out in this closely contested series.
With a turnout of 15 boats and great courses set by PRO Ian Matthews, it is probably the best racing of the season.
After a couple of weeks off the boil, the Green/Doorly combination in ‘Deranged’ had two hard-fought wins at the weekend to go clear in the series. Crummy/Burgess have moved into second position after two consistent third places, and Niall & Nikki have slipped to third overall.
With four races left it’s still all to play for. This year there is also a prize for first in the silver fleet,. Michael McCambridge leads at this stage from Peter Sherry and Joe Coughlan but, as in the gold fleet, a lot can change in four races.
Sunday was cloudy with an n-ne wind and the tide was flooding. PRO Ian Mathews set a windward-leeward course with three llaps and got racing started promptly.
Race 9: the pin end was slightly favoured and there appeared to be more wind out to the left.
Tom was close to the pin, with Keith, Alan Green and Ciaran up to weather. Tom kept going out but Alan tacked before the lay line to cross Ciaran and get a clear lane up to the weather mark.
This early tack was to make all the difference and Alan arrived at the weather mark first ,very closely followed by Michael McCambridge, with Ciaran third and Tom fourth.
On lap 2, Alan went more to the right on the shifts and stayed ahead at the weather mark: it was only at the next gate that a bit of daylight appeared and Alan went on to win the race.
Michael McCambridge was a good second, with Ciaran following closely in third place, a good result after falling back on the second lap when he went out left. Tom was fourth and Keith fifth.
Race 10: the wind was flicking much the same but had settled back to the way it was at the start of the previous race.
After a general recall, when most of the boats at the pin end were over the line, the PRO introduced the black flag for the first time in the series.
The fleet got away and some of the boats were brought left by those to weather, not ideal when you are trying to keep an eye on the rest of the fleet who had gone right!
Eventually, after tacking off onto port, those on the left came steaming in to converge with those who went right. Alan/Chris just nipped in in front of Tom and Keith, all very close.
It was so close that on the second run about six boats arrived at the gate together! Keith Poole led around the mark after the downwind leg, followed closely by Ciaran & Frank, followed by Alan Dooley, who had a fantastic downwind leg, with Alan Green and Tom hot on their heels.
As he couldn’t stay behind the lead boats Green tacked off. The numbers and wind pressure were good so they stayed with it as the others remained on the right hand side. They waited for their chance and eventually a knock came and they went. Who would come out in front? Would they cross?
With hard hiking and a flat, fast boat they just crossed the two other boats to take the lead, a lead they this time managed to hold onto on the downwind leg for a change and continued on to take the gun.
The race remained close: Alan Dooley finished second, Ciaran third, Tom fourth while Keith slipped to fifth.