RNLI Commodores Cup 2024

Our 2024 Sailing Season commenced on 17th March with the Commodores Cup. As this year is the 200th anniversary of the founding of the RNLI and our Commodore Ross Bennett is a member of the lifeboat crew, the entry fees for this event will be donated to our local lifeboat.

The first sailing event of the year proved to be a bit of an adventure. At 6am you couldn’t see the Copeland’s for fog, by 10:30 it was lifting but kept returning at intervals. Finally we decided to go ahead.

Twelve boats were on the slip ready, when one of the recently serviced tango outboards decided not to cooperate after being launched. The AP was hoisted. Brought ashore the mechanics failed to persuade the engine to start again. Quick thinking Jonathan dashed home and his outboard was pressed into service.

By 13:00 the fleet was afloat and a triangular course laid. The delay meant the tide was much further in as a bonus too. It was chilly but enjoyable racing with a decent breeze off the land. A couple of the juniors retired after the first race as they were feeling the cold. Lesson learned that more layers are required at this time of the year.

Race 1 was won by Kevin, ILCA7/Laser by 17 secs on corrected time from Ross Bennett , ILCA&/Laser.

Race 2 1st Adam Nelson, Topper by 3 seconds on corrected time from Xander Boyd, Pico

Race 3 Fraser Menzies & Heather Hutchison, GP14 39 secs corrected from Chris Burrows & Sam Wilkinson, RS200

The overall Commodore’s Cup winners were Chris & Sam with their steadily improving rankings of 4th, then 3rd then 2nd. Three boats were tied on 10 points, second on count back was Adam Nelson with Fraser and Heather in third place.

Almost £100 was raised for Donaghadee Lifeboat from the £5 entry fees and some additional generous donations. The Commodore awarded the prizes and accepted the donations. Well done all.

A big thank you to Lawrence & Katie our race officers and to Jonathan, Willie & Andrew on the second safety boat, especially for rescuing yours truly after I capsized in the first race.

Also thanks to Ali as beach master and Heather M for thoughtfully providing welcome hot drinks on the slipway.