With the forecast for the Malin sea area giving winds gusting to force 8 some sailors stayed away from Sundays race which was the fourth in the Portrush Series for The Milk Marketing Board Cup.
It was decided to sail on the River at Coleraine rather than risk the open sea at Portrush and it was a decision that proved to be the right one as the WNW wind increased. In the increasingly gusty conditions the wind rose to well over 30 knots.
Only six boats braved the conditions with 3 Lasers and 3 RS Fevas. The course was a short windward leeward course.
The start gun saw CYCS leading Laser sailor Bruce McFarlane cross the line first in his Laser carrying the small 4.7 rig. Bruce was followed by James Campbell with crew Fergal and Adam Weisman in a Feva. James Burnside in the only full rigged Laser started third but soon passed the slower Feva. Johnny Campbell with crew Charlotte Campbell crossed fourth followed by Duncan Chapman and lastly Oonagh Jordon with crew Josh Weisman in a Feva.
By the time the fleet reached the bottom mark heavy gusts had set in resulting in some crews wearing their boats round the mark rather than risk capsize in a gybe.
On the run to the leeward mark James Burnside took the lead from McFarlane with Campbell third but Duncan Chapman was catching the Feva and eventually passed it on the next beat.
The three Fevas were crewed by seven Juniors and these were by far the worst conditions that they had experienced. There has been a vast improvement in the junior ranks and their developing skills really shone through in these difficult conditions. The Saturday afternoon training is certainly starting to work and it is hoped that some of the juniors will be good enough to travel to the RYA training and racing events in the summer.
Brian Holmes and James Campbell are in charge of the training sessions and they are to be congratulated on the improving skill levels of the junior squad.
A capsize by Duncan Chapman allowed the Feva of James Campbell and the Weisman brothers to regain thirds place.
Johnny Campbell and Charlotte Campbell hung on doggedly to fourth.
All remained like this until the last lap when a very heavy squall came through the race course. James Burnside capsized allowing Bruce McFarlane to gain first place and the Campbell Weisman boat to move to second.
The FEVA of Johnny and Charlotte Campbell also missed a tack and unable to get the boat out of irons had to seek assistance from the safety boat and thus were disqualified.
The tough conditions proved too much for Oonagh Jordan and Josh Weisman and they were forced to retire. The last to retire was Duncan Chapman just after the first two boats had crossed the line robbing him of a third place finish.
The finishing order was Bruce McFarlane second James Campbell with Fergal and Adam Weisman. When the results were adjusted for handicap the positions were reversed with The Campbell boat being awarded first place by a narrow margin.