Wet and wild at Killyleagh event

Wet and wild at Killyleagh event

6 September 2017

SATURDAY proved to be a great day to be a member of Killyleagh Yacht Club, with home sailors winning all but one class as the club hosted its annual open keelboat event incorporating both the Bennett and Crooks Cups.

On a sunny day with excellent, steady, strong breezes, 22 competitors in four classes took part in the two-race event.

For the second year in a row, the IRC class was poorly-represented, with only Peter Holden’s Go To Red and Raymond Killops’ Movistar Bleu competing on the day.

Movistar Bleu, able to retain their full main sail in the rising wind, romped home with two firsts to lift the Bennett Cup, while last year’s winners, Go To Red, were second.

In the NHC class, the racing was also very consistent, and the strong conditions certainly suited Raymond Beattie’s Tiger Lily to a tee.

A late arrival by Stephen Martin’s Signet of Kip gave Beattie a good win in race one and with Martin in second, race two became the all-important decider.

With gusts of up to 30mph, Tiger Lily powered home three-and-a-half minutes in front of the best of the rest, but every second counted as she took race two by just one second on corrected time, lifting the Crooks Cup for the season and leaving Signet of Kip in second, with Colin Patterson’s ever valiant Digit in third.

Seven competitors in the restricted sail class made it the joint largest class on the day and, again, performance between the top three was very consistent.  Jonathan Gifford’s Apache, visiting the two-sail class for the event, brushed off all challenges, taking two convincing wins.

Peter Mullan’s sleek Oyster Bay was equally consistent with two second places, leaving KYC commodore Kyle Bolton in Backdraft, with two thirds.  

Just as well represented was the Squib fleet and here again the host club managed to lift the top spot overall.

The convincing winner, with two firsts, was Robert Marshall’s Slipstream, finishing ahead of Simon Watson’s Volante who fought for an excellent second in both races.

In race one, George Cromie in Dotzboat claimed third, with Billy Ruff’in under Dermot Quinn in fourth. However, damage in the strong breeze left Dotzboat unable to finish race two, leaving the way clear for Quinn who took third place overall. 

The event was very kindly sponsored by the Bennett and Crooks families, who have been stalwart supporters of sailing at Killyleagh Yacht Club for almost 30 years.

The organisers would like to thank both families for their continued generosity.