St Patricks Day Idiots Cup at Coleraine Yacht Club
Despite the fact that this race is for the Idiots Cup the turnout indicated that no one minded winning this title. All sorts of fancy dress apparel was on display from a convicts suit of Fergal Weisman to Superman of Mervyn Montgomery, a bit of a stretch of the imagination if ever there was one. The subtlety of James Campbell in a Santa suit at the Idiots Cup on St Patricks Day was lost on most spectators.
Oonagh Jordan and Kate Barton came as pirates but were too far from other boats to make an effective boarding!
Eighteen boats lined up on the starting line in gentle winds from the north north east. At the start the Feva of Fergal Weisman and Kate Barton was the only boat on the wrong side of the line and had to return to follow the others . The Lasers of Bruce McFarlane, Ivor Paul and Peter Rainey seemed to find their own pocket of wind from the start and reached the windward mark well ahead of the rest of the fleet with Alan McCann leading the following bunch.
The Junior Topper sailors were lead by Kurtis Fraser who rounded ahead of Adam Weisman and Hanna Gilately with Michael Simpson fourth.
The leading Lasers rounded the first mark on the course and continued to find wind as they set off on the run to the leeward mark on this windward leeward course.
As the rest of the fleet arrived at the mark the inside boat of Alan McCann got through but the rest lost the wind and were barely able to stem the current until a light breeze filled in after about five minutes. Some close to the mark were able to take advantage but some of the fleet including the very experienced Duncan Chapman, John Lynn and James Campbell were still in the windless zone.
The Toppers of Kurtis Fraser and Adam Weisman and the Feva of Johnny Campbell and Charlote Campbell were the best of the juniors round the mark whereas the Fevas of Kate Barton and Fergus Weisman and that of Oonagh Jordan and Josh Weisman and the Topper of Michael Simpson seemed to raft up and give up in the light conditions.
Since this is a fun race some rule breaking is permitted and Mervyn Montgomery seemed to be taking full advantage and at one stage managed to attach his boat to that of Russell Yates taking them both way off course. The wind did not improve much but the second fleet of eight Lasers swopped positions with Alan McCann and Davy Hunt making the best of it. The RS400 Sailor Brian Holmes was also making a good showing for his first time out in a Laser.
The battle for first was between Bruce McFarlane and Ivor Paul with Peter Rainey recently returned sailor well ahead of the rest in third place.
A tight battle ensued in the middle of the fleet Chapman and Campbell having caught up. John Lynn was observed swimming his boat back to the slipway the light conditions not being to his liking and the call of St Patricks Day Guinness being much too strong!
On the last lap the battle between McFarlane and Paul intensified with Bruce taking the line on the last leg close to the pontoons in the hope of getting less current and Ivor sailing a middle of the river course. Ivor Paul kept the wind and just nudged in front of Bruce as they crossed the line two seconds apart
Peter Rainey finished a good third with James Campbell fourth and Duncan Chapman fifth. First Junior home was the Feva of Johnny Campbell and Charlotte Campbell followed by Kurtis Fraser with Adam Weisman third.
A large crowd of members and friends gathered in the Clubhouse after the race for St Patricks Day celebration and the prize giving.
Irish stew and other Irish delicacies were prepared and served throughout the evening by Social Convener Tina Brown with her team of Maggie Holmes, Joan McLeod, Carolyn Campbell and Ronda Lynn.
The revival of the famous Percys Pluckers Traditional Band provided the music.
It is a while since this quartet of members Percy Blane, Noel Patterson Alvin McLeod and Amanda Patterson played together in The Club but their musical dexterity had not deteriorated. They were joined sometimes by Russell Yates on vocals.
The Judges for the Idiots Cup were Thomas Brolly and Denzyl Dinsmore for the winner was not necessarily the person who won on handicap.
No one expected the prize to go to anyone else but Mervuyn Montgomery and it was so, someone making the comment that he didn’t have to dress up to be the winner it was so obvious.
The Junior prize went to Fergus Weisman in his convicts suit.
It was a lively celebration of our Patron Saint with the large crowd of sailors members and friends enjoying the renowned Coleraine Yacht Club atmosphere.
1st Ivor Paul Laser; 2nd Bruce McFarlane Laser; 3rd Peter Rainey Laser
Juniors - 1st Johnny and Charlotte Campbell Feva; 2nd Kurtis Fraser Topper; 3rd Adam Weisman Topper
Next week’s race starting at 1430 hours is The Perches Race for The Seaton Bell