The Oppie Sailing Calendar kicked off in earnest today with East Antrim Boat Club hosting the Ulster Championships.  With a total of 95 solo racers across four fleets, SDC was proudly represented by 5 sailors, Ethan Harte and Robbie Clarke in Senior Main (SM) and Rory Barron, Aine Cahill and Daniel Clarke in Regatta Racing (RR).

After Day 1 Daniel is lying 4th, Rory 8th and Aine 11th in RR, the trio scored some very impressive top 5 finishes including a 2nd and two 4ths, in the 16 boat RR fleet.

The SM Fleet is no place for the faint hearted……. they generally race beyond the horizon to shield shore based spectators from the relentless screaming of rules that would make Bambi Thug blush !   After day one Ethan sits just inside the prizes in 5th place in Snr Bronze Fleet with Robbie in 7th. 

Best of all, all 5 sailors throughly enjoyed the day of blue skys, a stiff breeze and EABC sponsored hot dogs, chocolate and jellies !

Day two at the Oppie Ulsters offered another great day of racing for our 5 SDC sailors and ideal conditions for the landlubbers to watch through binoculars while consuming copious quantities of coffee.

The RR fleet had a further 4 races to bring their total to 8 over the two days. With only one (miserable!) discard, there was very little room for error.   Best of our gang was Daniel Clarke in 6th and tied on points with 5th place (which went to a sailor from Norn Iron….). Rory Barron posted three top 10 finishes today to take 9th overall while Aine Cahill was in the top 10 in all four races today including a very respectable 6th & 7th.

Senior Main Fleet sailing for the nubie, is like being a sausage in a piranha pool. While Ethan Harte has seen it all before and took the challenge in his stride to secure 4th in the bronze fleet, Robbie Clarke was unfortunately today’s wiener in the water !

Overall the event was a great success, the kids thoroughly enjoyed the sailing, chats and post sailing pizza.   

Really looking forward to an even bigger fleet of SDC Racers in a months time in Cork, by which time Robbie hopes to be more toothy fish and less juicy frankfurter !


Roll on the 2024 Oppie Season for SDC!