A new RC sailing club showing great enthusiasm and a great desire to develop the sport of radio controlled sailing, especially in the International One Metre Class (IOM), by the younger generation, existing larger boat sailors and older sailors who might find that they can continue with real competitive sailing without the exertions, and expense of bigger boat ownership.
East Down Yacht Club, situated on Strangford Sea Lough, South of Belfast near the village of Killyleagh.
Not content to just enjoy sailing their IOMs, the Club decided to invest time and considerable effort in setting up and acting as Host Club for “The Ulster IOM Championship”. This was a two day event held over the weekend of 1st and 2nd September, 2012.
Twelve skippers from various clubs registered to compete, including five from Scotland.
Racing commenced at 11.15am on the Saturday with light winds from the South, rapidly increasing in strength, demanding an immediate change down to number two rig for the subsequent races. The control area was restricted to a floating pontoon running roughly North to South. Race Officer duties were spread among all the skippers, each skipper standing down to carry out the task and receiving a third place for his efforts.
It quickly became apparent that the major battle for the laurels would be between Pat Johnston of Greenock Model Yacht Club sailing his “Lintel”, and Jeff Kay from Howth Yacht Club sailing his “Obsession”.
Fifteen races were sailed on the first day with Jeff Kay finishing in the lead with 18pts, Pat Johnston with 23pts, Gordon Neil with 39pts and Gordon Allison with 42pts.
The races were unusual, especially for the Scottish contingent, as strong tidal runs from the South were experienced throughout the day. The skill in “Ferry Gliding” was slowly acquired! Unfortunately a deal of heavy seaweed was encountered by various (most) boats on a regular basis, drastically affecting the results of the individual races. Racing was also interrupted, to an extent, by the berthing of full size yachts onto the pontoon.
Only six races were held on the second day with the wind having shifted to the North West, being fairly light in strength and shifting at random. A suitable course was hard to determine due to the restricted sailing area. A “best compromise” was achieved and racing commenced.
The fleet opted, without exception, to sail using the number one, top rig. It was a great pity that Jeff Kay was unable to sail on this day. (to the relief of his main competitors!) The top three skippers of the day were Pat Johnston, Gordon Allison of Paisley Model Yacht Club sailing his McShee and Gordon Neil of Ayr Bay Model Yacht Club, also sailing a McShee, with 11pts, 11pts and 14pts respectively.