Beshoff Motors’ Autumn League - Day 6 reports from the Classes
Slippery Visitor Snaffles Squib Trophy
Before even setting foot in Slipstream on Saturday morning, Killyleagh visitors Rob Marshall and Fiona Ward had already done enough to secure 1st place overall, while Tiger Roll (HYC Squib fleet) and Cool Beans (Thomas O’Reilly) went into the final race even on points, fighting for 2nd overall. With Tiger Roll’s usual helm Fergus O’Kelly unavailable, the boat was instead manned by Skelator and Mer-Man (a masked Ronan MacDonnell and Emmet Dalton).
With the wind picking up and backing substantially during the start sequence, Tiger Roll pulled off a glorious port tack start much to annoyance of the other boats. It was all square at the first mark with the first three rounding in unison. As Slipstream pulled ahead slightly on the first downwind, Cool Beans and Tiger Roll jostled for position coming into the leeward. In all the excitement of trying to put Cool Beans off its game, Tiger Roll made contact with the mark, allowing Cool Beans back into 2nd but recovering fast enough to not allow Tears for Fears through.
The visitors in Slipstream, who were doing well on the left side of the beat, gave up precious ground dropping down before spotting the actual windward mark. From here, it was a battle between Cool Beans and Tiger Roll, with Cool Beans leading right up until the final mark before the finish. Attempting to just sit on top of Tiger Roll, Cool Beans made the mistake of getting into a tacking match with them and with each tack the Tiger reeled in the Beans until the Tiger got free on the left of the pair. The next time the boats crossed, Tiger Roll was ahead and rocked over the line in 1st, with Cool Beans and the overall League winners, Slipstream, following. On HPH, Cool Beans’ win on the day was not enough to stop Slipstream adding the HPH overall to its scratch victory
Puppeteer Champion takes last race win of Autumn League
Going into the last race, although Trick or Treat (Pearson/Blay) had already won the event, the three-way tie for second place between Harlequin (D Clarke), Shiggi Shiggi (P&L McMahon) and Yellow Peril (Murphy / Costello) meant there was still a lot to race for, especially with HoneyBadger (G. May) just two points behind and within sight of taking the runner-up spot if they could repeat their win in Race 5.
With a 14 knot breeze from 200 degrees promising a great day’s racing, Race Officer Derek Bothwell was looking good for a quiet afternoon on the Committee Vessel when a significant veer required an AP just as the Pups got into the last minute of their pre-start. With the start line re-laid, the fleet opinions were divided about which end was best. The majority favoured the Committee Vessel but Shiggi Shiggi, Yellow Peril and Snowgoose (S. Robertson) set up to start at the pin end when, with 30 seconds to go, the wind flicked left and the pin end suddenly became the only show in town. Shiggi Shiggi led Yellow Peril around the first windward and that remained the pattern for the rest of the race as the two of them stretched their lead on the fleet. Although never more than 5 boat lengths apart, occasionally swapping the lead, Shiggi took it back each time to finally win the race and secure second overall with Yellow Peril second on the day and third overall. With the wind gusting and varying in direction all afternoon, being in the right place to take advantage of the lifts and gusts allowed lots of scope for place changing and Trick or Treat, after being caught out at the wrong end of the start line, fought back to grab third place at the finish and save their record of never being outside the top three over the seven-race series.
In the handicap event, the two contenders for first overall were No Strings (T. Harvey) and WeyHey (I. Dickson), just two points apart. Geppetto (O’Reilly / McDyer) took first place on HPH on the day to secure the last of the Beshoff Motors race winners’ jackets for the series, a fitting reward for hard-working Class Captain Mary McDyer. No Strings spent much of the race challenging for third on the water and displayed their renowned downwind speed to good effect on the long runs that were a feature of the race. Despite WeyHey working their way ahead on the water over the last two upwind legs to take fourth at the finish, No Strings had done enough to assure first overall on HPH while WeyHey and Ghosty Ned (D. Harkin) took the minor placings.
Maximus wins Class 2
With a blustery South/Southwest wind blowing and an ebb tide running and churning-up a lumpy sea-state, it was just what Paddy Kyne’s X302 Maximus was looking for in their attempt to overtake the Corby 25 Impetuous and take the Class 2 win.
All seven entries made the start line with Dux, No Excuse and Impetuous heading left off the line out into the chop in the hope of benefitting from the stronger tide while Maximus, Xebec, Viking and Pepperbox took the right-hand side looking for flatter water. At the weather mark, Dux led No Excuse followed by Impetuous. On the long run to the Apex mark, the four X302’s stretched their legs with Dux and Maximus nip and tuck all the way.
As the wind started to lessen slightly, Impetuous changed up to a number 1 headsail for the long beat home as a final roll of the dice to attempt to haul in Maximus. The change was to no avail, with Maximus spotting the possibility of an upset and throwing in a number of covering tacks that may have cost her the race win but secured her the IRC series win. Dux got the race win with Maximus 2nd and No Excuse 3rd home. The series ended with a win on IRC for Maximus with Impetuous 2nd and Dux 3rd while Impetuous was awarded the HPH Trophy.