Wind blows as season begins

Wind blows as season begins

9 May 2018

THE sailing season officially started at Killyleagh Yacht Club on Saturday.

Cool, but sunny conditions and a good breeze enticed nine sailors out of hibernation for the first race of the year.

With just three yachts taking part in the NHC class, Raymond Beattie’s Tiger Lily led the fleet home, but line honours were not enough to take the top spot.

In a somewhat biblical turn of events, last became first and first became last, and despite finishing third over the water.

David Thompson’s Moody, Finola’s Wing claimed the opening day shield, beating D & J McGookin’s Sloe Gin by just 24 seconds over the two-hour race, leaving Tiger Lily in a creditable third place.

With five competitors in the Squib class, this year’s commodore, Simon Watson, threw down the gauntlet and started his year as he hopes to continue with a first overall.

With David Hanna and Blue out of contention after an OCS on the start line, Steven Bridges’ Firecracker took second, while the real hero of the day was young Brady Kelly, helming his uncle Brian’s new Squib, Andromeda, into third place in his first ever Squib race.

With only one taker in the Dinghy Handicap class, Ronnie Barr romped home in a resurrected Lark — something we haven’t seen on Strangford Lough for many years and a great deal smaller than the First 31.7 he usually helms.

The annual Sail4Cancer series at Killyleagh YC will take place for the next two weeks, so if you fancy a race on a Saturday afternoon check out the website for details ( and come along and support this very worthy charity.