Dave Mulvin reports on the Northern Championship:
Strangford Sailing Club hosted the Northern Championship. With 15 entries, sailing took place in the Lough off Killyleagh, in light to moderate breezes, with three races on Saturday and two on Sunday.
Windward-leeward was the order of the day, with an excellent race management team providing good courses.
Day one belonged to McCleery and Chamberlain, who shared the spoils. The only Dun Laoghaire boat, Mulvin and Beirne, broke their spi pole in race 1, leaving Ronan holding out half the pole for the day.
Sunday had lighter winds and very tidal conditions. Chamberlain took a second, with Mulvin third. In the final race, Chamberlain led, but McCleery found the breeze on the left side of the run and snatched the championship by two points from Chamberlain, who could only manage a sixth. McKee was third.
The club showed wonderful hospitality in a converted cottage in the trees on the Castleward estate, with coffee and scones in am, and soup after sailing.
They even had a big-screen TV for the Heineken Cup Final Leinster-Ulster match, followed by a bbq. A great weekend was had by all.
And another view on the event ...
KILLYLEAGH pair Andrew McCleery and Colin Dougan, last year’s Mastersof Strangford Lough, were crowned North of Ireland Flying 15 champions atStrangford Sailing Club over the weekend May 19-20..But it was a close run thing. With two legs of the final race to go, it looked as ifthe title was going to Whiterock duo Roger Chamberlain and Charlie Horner.Leading with just the run and final beat remaining, they needed to finish thirdat worst to become champions. But in a dramatic switch in fortunes, they wentbackwards and McCleery and Dougan came from way back to surge into thelead which they held to the finish.It was perhaps just reward for the Killyleagh pair, who won three of the five racesover the two days. Chamberlain and Horner, who finished second overall, tookone of the three races on Saturday, while Portaferry’s Shane McCarthy andJeremy Rodgers won the Sunday morning race.The ultra consistent Brian McKee and Stevie Martin finished third in the goldstandings.McCarthy and Rodgers won the silver fleet ahead of Dave Mulvin and RoryByrne, from the National Yacht Club, who, disappointingly, were the onlycompetitors from outside of Strangford Lough.Australian newcomer Rob Pelley and Orla Lawson, from Strangford Sailing Club,finished tops in the bronze fleet ahead of Tommy Connor and Hilary Crichton,also from the host club.