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Reflecting on a Summer of Regattas

As the summer of 2022 draws to an end, we can reflect on what a busy season of yacht racing it has been for LYC members! Whether it’s been IRC racing or one-design racing, our members have been away both home and abroad competing against some of the best yachts and crews around.

So lets reflect on what has been a summer of great racing and great weather!

Volvo Cork Week

In July, Max Too (Neil Thomas) headed to Royal Cork Yacht Club, Crosshaven, Ireland, to celebrate their clubs 300th Anniversary at Volvo Cork Week 2022. One of Europe’s premier regattas, it attracted 192 boats, mainly coming from Britain and Ireland, but also as far away as the USA and Hong Kong!

It was eventful delivery from Liverpool, with a rough passage to Holyhead where the delivery crew waited out some stormy weather. Once the weather was more favourable, it was a 2 day non-stop passage across the Irish sea and then down the east coast of Ireland, enjoying much more settled conditions and a display from a pod of dolphins.

Max Too competed in the fiercely competitive IRC 1 Class, which included 16 boats. The regatta consisted of 5 days of tough racing: 3 days of windward leeward courses, 1 coastal race and 1 harbour race. Conditions were difficult, due to an area of persistent high pressure, the sun shone and temperatures were high (a rarity for Ireland I’m told!). However, this also meant that the prevailing winds were light, with a strong sea breeze setting in as the day went on. This caused headaches for both race officers and competitors alike as suddenly downwind legs became upwind beats!

After five days of racing and much improvement, Max Too finished 11th, well ahead of the other Prima 38 in IRC 1. With boat, skipper and all crew all in one piece after such a tough week, plenty of celebrations were in order. Royal Cork Yacht Club provided plenty of refreshments and delicious meals in their club house, as well nightly entertainment. This culminated in the final night’s party with a live band, seeing plenty of rehydration and dancing the night way.

With skipper and most crew members heading back to England by ferry and plane, Nichola Murphy flew out to skipper the boat back to Liverpool. An uneventful few days saw them from Crosshaven to Kilmore Quay then Arklow, before another crossing of the Irish Sea to Holyhead. After another wait at Holyhead for strong winds to pass, Neil Thomas rejoined the boat for the final passage to Liverpool. The weather was not as kind as forecast, with the crew facing force 8 winds in a torrid sea state. Word in the bar following their return was that it was the worst conditions a certain skipper had ever been in.

A mention must also be made for LYC member Ian McMillan, who along with other LYC members, skippered ‘Saints and Sinners’ in the 1720 European Championships at Volvo Cork Week. New to this class and learning all the time, the team saw a steady improvement in results, competing against a highly competitive fleet at the home of the 1720 class.

Sonata Nationals

August saw Ian McMillan, skippering Old School, head to Colne Yacht Club, Brightlingsea, for the Sonata Nationals 2022. Four days of racing were in store, with a mixture of windward/leeward and a longer distance race around the cans. Crewed by LYC members Laura Fitzgerald, Nicola Murphy and Matty Riley, it was a less than ideal first day after some main halyard trouble. Once a solution to their halyard issues was found, the results started to flow, including a 2nd place at the end of day two. With consistent results, the team finished a very respectable 11th out of 31.

The team reported a wonderful atmosphere and great hospitality at Colne Yacht Club, being provided with a very good value ‘all inclusive package’ of food during their stay. The weather gods were on their side, with a regatta full of sunshine and warm temperatures. After such an excellent regatta, the team are keen to return for 2023 and improve on their result.

Keelboat Week

Seeing the curtain fall on a summer of regatta racing, the end of August brought Keelboat Week at South Caernarvonshire Yacht Club, Abersoch. “Check Republique”, again skippered by Ian McMillan with a hot shot crew of LYC members, competed in IRC 2 Class. Five days of windward/leeward racing, with variable conditions required the crew to manage heavy winds as well as tactical light wind racing, perfecting their spinnaker work. The team achieved some great race results, with two 1st place and two 2nd place finishes, moving their way up the standings to a 3rd place overall finish and taking home a collection of glassware and prizes!

With crew coming and going throughout the week, it was a social affair, with good hospitality from SCYC and excellent dining. Ian celebrated his birthday during the regatta, being treated to a beach BBQ and some nautical themed presents.

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