Portaferry Sailing Club played host to the Boston Trophy last weekend (August 27) with 17 Flying Fifteens turning out to compete in three races north of the Limestone Rock in Strangford Lough. This was the first of the Strangford Lough Championships which contribute to the inaugural Strangford Lough Flying Fifteen Master’s Trophy, and McCleery and Dougan have started with a commanding lead!
Race one on Saturday started competitively in moderate north westerly winds with stalwarts Gerry Reilly and Peter Quail taking pole position at the leeward mark in Over the Moon, just ahead of Andrew McCleery and Colin Dougan in 2 Fast‘n’ Furious.
This battle continued over the next leg, however McCleery and Dougan claimed victory, with Reilly and Quail second and Peter Lawson coming third in ffRig-it.
A falling tide over the Limestone Rock claimed some victims before race two even began, with Kieran Devlin having to get out and push his Lethal Weapon off the pladdy in order to get started. When the race started, however, another clean start put McCleery and Dougan in front, with Marcus Crichton and Roy Scott in Don’t Look Back in a commanding close second at the end of round one.
Unfortunately for them, the fickle winds of Strangford Lough decided to defy the forecast half way through the race and drop to just 2mph. Patience and tactics came to the fore and McCleery and Dougan held their initial lead to cross the line just ahead of Reilly and Quail with father and son team Roger and Peter Chamberlain in The Final Resort taking third place.
As the winds dropped further, perseverance was the order of the day for Baker’s Going Grey and Devlin’s Lethal Weapon as they tried, but unfortunately failed, to make the finish line. On the other hand, a party flavour took over for those who had already finished, and in a feat to rival the feeding of the five thousand, seafood chowder was provided to all comers by the race officer’s wife as competitors rafted up to wait for race three.
Unfortunately, the winds did not return, and in a very wise decision by race officer John McAlea, race three was abandoned, leaving McCleery and Dougan in 2 Fast’n Furious claiming the Boston Trophy with their two firsts. Second overall was Gerry Reilly and Peter Quail in Over the Moon, with Chamberlain’s The Final Resort taking third.
In the Silver fleet, David Branniff and Johnny Patterson came first in Olimsea, with G & G Baker’s Going Grey in second and Kieran Devlin’s Lethal Weapon third.
With everything still to play for the next leg of the Master’s takes place on the 17th September 2011 with Killyleagh Yacht Club hosting the Baraka Cup heat of the championship. With only two races in play so far, the field is wide open and the Master of Strangford Lough is yet to be crowned.