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FFAI Championship of Ireland 2023
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FFAI Championship of Ireland 2023

County Antrim Yacht Club, 1st-3rd September

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Niall & Ronan O’Briain (4092) from Chonamara were deserved winners
24 boats competed in the  Ireland  National Championship at County Antrim Y C in Belfast Lough with a win for the cousins Niall & Ronan O’Briain (4092) from Chonamara, after they affected a 10-point swing in the points table on the final day. They won the penultimate race of the regatta on Sunday morning and then proceeded to make sure that Ian Mathews & Keith Poole (4093) did not upset the applecart in the final race by keeping an initial cover of the National Yacht Club pair in the middle of the fleet before finishing with an 8th to Mathews and Poole’s 15th. After discard, this left the westerners with a 9pt advantage and the title of 2023 National Champions.

 Seven races series were completed under the excellent race management of Sheela Lewis (NRO) with 10-15 knots on Friday, 10 – 12 on Saturday and around 10 knots maximum on Sunday. The tidal push on Friday caused problems for both RO and the fleet alike and when the fleet came ashore, four boats found that they had jumped the gun” under the black flag start. Lee Statham & Andy Paul (4070) [1,9] won the Gerry Donleavy Trophy for winning the first race. They had led the first race from the start to near the finish when the McCarthy/Green combination caught them and went over the finish line first, only to learn they had a DSQ due to breaking the black flag.
Andy McCleery & Colin Dougan (4037), who were carrying a black flag from Race 1, won Race 2 by a comfortable margin and another race one infringer Hammy Baker & Peter Chamberlain (3756) scored a fourth place.

Saturday dawned to a no-wind situation and a postponement flag was hoisted.

The fleet launched in accordance with the shoreside postponement and were soon back in start mode. Three races were completed on Saturday under benign conditions of wind and sunshine Ian Mathews & Keith Poole went to the top of the class” for the day with a 1,2,1 scoreline. However, the O’Briain cousins were a very tight second for the day with a 2,1,2 scoreline.
Overall, after Day 2, Mathews & Poole led the way with 7pts, followed by the O’Briain cousins (8), Statham & Paul (16), Kennedy & Kane (19), D’Arcy & McClemon (20), Baker & Chamberlain (26), McCleery & Dougan (28), Colin & Casey (34), McCarthy & Green (34) and Roger Chamberlain (36).

Sunday morning gave us wind and sunshine.  However, Race 6 only got away after a “U”, then black flag. The O’Briain duo led this race from start to finish, winning by a large margin. Conversely, Mathews & Poole were back in the vanguard and could only finish 11th. Between 1st and 11th, were Statham & Paul (2), Chamberlain (3), McCarthy (4), Kennedy (5), Meagher (6), Colin (7), D’Arcy (8), Peter Lawson & Chris Hannon [3893] (9) and David Mulvin & Ronan Beirne [4068] (10).

The final race saw the O’Briain cousins keep a loose cover on Mathews & Poole off the start and first half of the race. That left each of them mid-fleet before the westerners departed the scene to finish 8th in contrast to Mathews’ 15th. Kennedy & Kane finished second to McCarthy & Green but ahead of Mulvin & Beirne (3), Meagher & Matthews (4) and Dermot Flaherty & Joe McDonogh (4083), the new owners of Phoenix, also from Connemara (5).

As ever, County Antrim Yacht Club in Whitehead were exceptional hosts! Commodore Peter Darragh was on-site for the full three days and behind him there was an enormous group of volunteers managed, cajoled and pressed ganged by regatta organiser John Lewis (his own words).

NRO Sheela Lewis and her team ran a good regatta with challenging conditions (tide) on the Friday, more manageable conditions on Saturday and a fluctuating wind on Sunday. She made every effort to get the fleet away under P” or U”, before having to break out the black. Her reward was the completion of seven competitive races.

Next month (October) sees the first anniversary of the untimely passing of our dear friend Ben Mulligan. Over the weekend many people mentioned how much he would have enjoyed being back at Whitehead with the Flying Fifteens and how much he is missed.

This is a summary of a full report written by Comac Bradley which is available here

Full Results

Results are final as of 17:57 on September 3, 2023

Gold Fleet
Sailed: 7, Discards: 1, To count: 6, Entries: 10, Scoring system: Appendix A
Rank Sail Number Helm Name Crew Name Club Name R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 R7 Total Nett
1st 4092 Niall O'Briain Ronan O'Briain Flying Fifteens Chonamara (9.0) 3.0 2.0 1.0 2.0 1.0 8.0 26.0 17.0
2nd 4093 Ian Mathews Keith Poole National Yacht Club 3.0 8.0 1.0 2.0 1.0 11.0 (15.0) 41.0 26.0
3rd 3920 Peter Kennedy Stephen Kane Strangford Lough Yacht Club & RNIYC 4.0 5.0 5.0 (7.0) 5.0 5.0 2.0 33.0 26.0
4th 3782 Trevor D'Arcy Alan McClernon Carrickfergus Sailing Club 6.0 2.0 4.0 (12.0) 8.0 8.0 9.0 49.0 37.0
5th 4085 Shane MacCarthy Alan Green National Yacht Club (25.0 BFD) 13.0 7.0 8.0 6.0 4.0 1.0 64.0 39.0
6th 4070 Lee Statham Andrew Paul Waterford Harbour Sailing Club 1.0 9.0 11.0 3.0 3.0 (17.0) 13.0 57.0 40.0
7th 3756 Hammy Baker Peter Chamberlain Strangford Lough Yacht Club (25.0 BFD) 4.0 3.0 5.0 14.0 2.0 17.0 70.0 45.0
8th 3962 Roger Chamberlain Phil Anderson (Peter Gilmore) Strangford Lough Yacht Club 16.0 15.0 13.0 4.0 4.0 3.0 (25.0 DNF) 80.0 55.0
9th 4028 Neil Colin Margaret Casey Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club 13.0 6.0 9.0 6.0 (16.0) 7.0 16.0 73.0 57.0
10th 4037 Andrew McCleery Colin Dougan Killyleagh Yacht Club (25.0 BFD) 1.0 8.0 10.0 9.0 25.0 UFD 25.0 DNF 103.0 78.0
Silver Fleet

Sailed: 7, Discards: 1, To count: 6, Entries: 6, Scoring system: Appendix A

Rank Sail Number Helm Name Crew Name Club Name Boat Name R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 R7 Total Nett
1st 3938 Niall Meagher Nicki Matthews National Yacht Club ffantastic mr ffox 5.0 7.0 (19.0) 13.0 12.0 6.0 4.0 66.0 47.0
2nd 4068 David Mulvin Ronan Beirne National Yacht Club Ignis caput duo 2.0 (20.0) 15.0 15.0 11.0 10.0 3.0 76.0 56.0
3rd 4083 Dermot Flaherty Joe McDonagh Flying Fifteens Chonamara Phoenix 7.0 11.0 (16.0) 16.0 7.0 15.0 5.0 77.0 61.0
4th 3893 Peter Lawson Chris Hannon Portaferry Sailing Club FFRIG-IT 14.0 10.0 6.0 (18.0) 13.0 9.0 12.0 82.0 64.0
5th 3883 Charlie Boland Rob McConnell Waterford Harbour Sailing Club Fleet Foxes 8.0 (24.0) 10.0 14.0 17.0 12.0 6.0 91.0 67.0
6th 4074 Bryan Willis John McPeake County Antrim Yacht Club Simply Gold 10.0 16.0 14.0 9.0 18.0 13.0 (25.0 DNF) 105.0 80.0
Bronze Fleet
Sailed: 7, Discards: 1, To count: 6, Entries: 5, Scoring system: Appendix A
Rank Sail Number Helm Name Crew Name Club Name Boat Name R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 R7 Total Nett
1st 3608 Emma Pierce Ian Smyth Strangford Lough Yacht Club Monkey Business 12.0 (22.0) 12.0 11.0 15.0 16.0 7.0 95.0 73.0
2nd 3757 Tom Galvin Cormac Bradley National Yacht Club Thingamabob (25.0 BFD) 14.0 17.0 17.0 10.0 14.0 14.0 111.0 86.0
3rd 3753 Alastair Court Conor Oleary Royal StGeorge Yacht Club Ffinisterre 15.0 12.0 18.0 19.0 (22.0) 19.0 10.0 115.0 93.0
4th 3454 Niall Bradshaw Rory Scullion Strangford Sailing Club Freyja 18.0 18.0 (22.0) 20.0 19.0 18.0 11.0 126.0 104.0
5th 3747 Jill Fleming Richard O'Rahilly Royal StGeorge Yacht Club/National Yacht Snowwhite 11.0 19.0 (21.0) 21.0 20.0 20.0 18.0 130.0 109.0
Classic Fleet
Sailed: 7, Discards: 1, To count: 6, Entries: 3, Scoring system: Appendix A
Rank Sail Number Helm Name Crew Name Club Name Boat Name R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 R7 Total Nett
1st 074 Jocelyn Hill David McFarland County Antrim Yacht Club   20.0 17.0 20.0 22.0 23.0 (25.0 DNF) 21.0 148.0 123.0
2nd 2265 Ben Ferris Peter Darragh County Antrim Yacht Club Taz-Mania 19.0 23.0 (24.0) 23.0 21.0 21.0 19.0 150.0 126.0
3rd 2278 John Lewis Maurice Porter County Antrim Yacht Club Charley Brown 17.0 21.0 23.0 (24.0) 24.0 22.0 20.0 151.0 127.0

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