Second overall at the RS Feva Northern Championships were Felix Dion and Lucas Browne from the National YC (1774) pushing hard upwind Credit: EDYC
Fourteen boats with a mixture of duos and family crews took part in the East Down Yacht Club hosted RS Feva Northern Ireland championships over the Bank Holiday weekend.
The club is situated on the sheltered shores of Holm Bay on the western side of Strangford Lough and is blessed with acres of room on a very large site, with parking for caravans, tents, cruiser-size yachts and dinghies.
The results were in three divisions, with the Ballyholme YC pair of Emily and Annabel Ridout winning the Youth section with a run of four firsts and a third and they were fortunate to discard an NSC in Race 3. The runners-up in that section, Felix Dion and Lucas Browne, who travelled from the National Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire, also discarded an NSC. Felix and Lucas are well-travelled this season, having finished 11th overall out of 46 in the UK Championships at Pwllheli in Wales earlier. In third slot was the host club pair of Jakub Ozarek and Daniel Long.
Topping the Juniors were Sally Nixon and Jessica Dadley-Young (BYC), who finished 20th in the UK Nationals with Niamh Coman and Ellie Nolan of the Belfast Lough club, Royal North runners up, and in third place were Zara Whelan and Polly Jackson representing Ballyholme and National Yacht Clubs.
The Feva Northerns also included a family division, which Matt and Peter Ridout from Ballyholme won with Aileen, Louis and Andrew Smith runners-up. In third was the Royal North pair, Ross and Martha Nolan.
For the six races on a mixture of Triangular and Windward Leeward courses, conditions were very different on each of the two days. Saturday’s three races saw about 14 knots, and Sunday was the opposite with light airs, making the tide harder to negotiate.
Vice Commodore Liam Kelly was pleased that the club rose to the occasion: “East Down YC has always had a strong history of dinghy double-handed sailing. Traditionally, we have used our fleet of Fevas for training – the main, competitive fleets being Mirrors, Wayfarers and GP 14s. Last year, to the club’s welcoming surprise, the RS Feva Association proposed if our club would like to host the Northern Championships, with a more rapid focus on extending the fleet and celebrating junior/youth sailing in double handed sailing. We took it on, and following a gruelling seven months of training that never deterred the enthusiasm of the young sailors or dedicated volunteers, EDYC had four boats race ready for their debut championship. The event itself was wonderful test of our race management skills, commitment from the volunteers around the lough, and a testament to how much our youth sailing had grown”.