Impressive Ulstermen take Investwise SB20 National Title
The Royal Ulster YC crew of Gareth Flannigan/Brian Spence/Jeremy Tomlinson on ‘McCreadys Gill Team’ were the emphatic winners of the Irish Laser SB3 National Championship, sponsored by Investwise, at Howth Yacht Club with a remarkable 17.5 points margin over runner-up ‘Yeti’ (Sean Craig/Stephen Boyle/Alan Green) of the Royal St.George YC. The early pacemaker ‘Sharkbait’ (Ben Duncan/Brian Moran/Ric Morris) of the host club was a further two points adrift.
The northerners simply got better and better as the series unfolded. After a tentative start with an 8th and a 6th on day one, they strung together an impressive record of three bullets and three seconds, clearly revelling in the strong wind conditions over the weekend.
They arrived in Howth as the pre-event favourites on the back of top class performances at the four regional championships and did not disappoint. Overnight leaders going into the last day, they only had to steer clear of trouble and keep an eye on Craig and Duncan to be sure of overall victory.
Winning the penultimate race (just ahead of Craig and with Duncan back in 17th) effectively sealed the title but the last race threw up the highly unusual result in one-design racing of a tie for line honours with ‘Bullet’ (Trevor D’Arcy and crew from Carrickfergus), with Duncan salvaging a third after several average results.
Discarding an 8th was a clear indication of the Royal Ulster crew’s dominance of the event and the pre-event predictions as to who would be the podium finishers were highly accurate. In addition to the top three, there were four other northern crews and four Dun Laoghaire boats in the top ten.
Duncan was the leading local boat in 3rd overall, although two other Howth crews ‘Flying Saucers’ (Emma McDonald) and ‘Lia’ (Dave Barry) filled 11th and 12th places respectively.
1. McCreadys Gill Team (Flannigan/Spence/Tomlinson) RUYC 15.5 pts
2. Yeti (Craig/Boyle/Green) RStGYC 33 pts
3. Sharkbait (Duncan/Moran/Morris) 35 pts
4. Flutter (Algeo/Knatchbull/Haughton) RStGYC 47 pts
5. Bad (Hyde/Dowling/Dowling) RIYC 53 pts
6. Toucan 3 (Vaughan & crew) RNIYC 57 pts