Bangor Town Regatta - RUYC Rear Commodore Report

Posted: 11/7/2018

Bangor Town Regatta – a note from the Rear Commodore

 The big event of my tenure as RC has come and gone in what seems like a flash. The months of planning by the BTR Committee under the chairmanship of Jim Coffey resulted in a highly successful Regatta with an excellent turnout of keel boats and also of RS 200s and RS 400s for their Irish Nationals, held as part of the BTR. Seen from my vantage point on Witchcraft in NHC Restricted, the four days of racing were keenly contested in all classes. The Waverley World Championships also took place during the Regatta.

Early expectations were of very light conditions for the weekend but enough wind always filled in for almost the complete programme to be completed, with only once race lost on Saturday. The first day, Thursday, had fresh northerly winds which provided exciting racing in steady conditions. Friday started off calm and things looked dire for racing. Then, as everyone was drifting around contemplating their first gin, out from Bangor appeared Jamie McWilliam’s amazing Ker 40* Signal 8  making about 5 knots under main and gennaker in what seemed to be no wind at all. Suitably heartened, sail appeared on the rest of the fleet and soon enough a ripple showed on the water and racing got under way.

All nine races were run on  windward – leeward courses. The race management team under the direction of Principal Race Officer Robin Gray did an excellent job. In often fluky conditions, their courses were set with exactitude to the point of pedantry and the mark boats were kept exceedingly busy. This paid off in that only in one race was there a near fetch to windward and that was caused by a late wind change. The area between the leeward two-mark gate and the finishing line got quite crowded at times. Given the number of boats racing and the huge disparity in performance between the fastest and the slowest boats, this was unavoidable and all encounters took place with good humour. The results for the days’ races were posted remarkably quickly on the noticeboard and thanks are due to Jim and his team for this. All results are now available on the website, Results Central page.

Ashore, the clubs were crowded, especially Royal Ulster. The bars, dining room and marquee were filled to capacity each night. The pleasant weather allowed extensive use of the terrace well into the evening. Somehow, the multitude got fed and watered. Our staff under the direction of Club Manager Nicole McKee  worked wonders. The caterers under Tom Corran did a splendid job, with a special BTR menu in the dining room and a barbecue in the tent. My thanks go to all the staff and the caterers for putting in such a special effort. High quality musical entertainment was provided each evening and the ringing in my ears is just beginning to ease from the rock band on Saturday night.

All in all, it was a first rate team from both BYC and RUYC who, after many months of sustained work, delivered a Regatta that was enjoyed by all competitors.

Roll on BTR 2020!

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