Katerina defends her title in Ireland

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The Hyde Sails powered Moody 336 ‘Katerina’ managed to defend her PY1 Strangford Lough Narrows regatta title this year. Having returned from a winter in Scotland the day prior to the first race, much work was required to prepare for the first race. Hyde’s Wooderz tells the tale...

Thursday’s ‘Bar Buoy’ race is a one-off event, with the start and finishing line stretching the full width of the lough narrows. The IRC boats started first, followed by the PY class and then the keelboats. With little wind and a strong ebbing tide the start was fraught as boats tried to stay the correct side of the line prior to the starting gun. Once underway the tactic was to find the strongest current, which in places was running at up to six knots. As the Lough entrance was passed and the trek to the turning mark begun, the little wind there had been faded further. A drifting match ensued with crews checking their watches almost as often as checking for wind. As time and yachts drifted on, it soon became apparent that the turning mark would not be passed prior to the turn of the tide making it impossible for any of the yachts to complete the course. With shore-side activities beckoning, the gentle stream of retirees soon became a torrent with all yachts retiring. Due to having a shorter course, the keelboats managed to complete their races, though some did struggle with their arrival back at port!

Friday’s racing for the yachts began just south of Portaferry with a beat to the north into the Lough. For the PY1 class a two lap triangular course followed consisting of a beat, close reach, broad reach; before a running finish back to Audley Roads. Whilst not having a particularly good start, ‘Katerina’ used their good boat speed and the tide well to get back into contention and then consolidate their position. Once the results had been calculated ‘Katerina’ took the win with another Hyde Sails-powered yacht, ‘Tiger Lilly’ (Raymond and Katie Beattie) taking third.

Saturday’s race started with a long spinnaker run to the north end of the Lough. The yachts arrived at the first leeward mark in a group that led to some interesting rounding moments; then headed for the shallows and a long beat up tide. ‘Tiger Lilly’ managed to pull away from the chasing pack that eventually led to a class win. Meanwhile aboard ‘Katerina’, one of the lowest rated boats in the class, finding clear air was proving difficult. However, the crew managed to pull together and with some good tactical decisions regarding tide and wind, fought back to eventually take second on corrected time.

With a series win still a possibility for many of the competing yachts - there is no discard - Sunday’s race was eagerly awaited. Whilst the conditions initially looked ideal, with 20-30 knots of wind from the south, on closer inspection, knowing that once the tide had turned a very nasty and potentially dangerous sea would develop, the sensible decision was taken to cancel all racing.

Thus the results from the two races meant that the Hyde Powered yachts ‘Katerina’ and ‘Tiger Lilly’ had taken first and second in class. For the crew of ‘Katerina’, Alison (owner) and Pete Tyler, Wooderz, Eoin and Rosie, Robbie, Alex, Fazia, Emily, Jamie, Paddy, Lisa, Dan and Guy this was a particularly pleasing result - the boat is now up for sale, a fitting way to end six years of racing in the Lough.

For further information on Hyde Sails in the Strangford Lough area please contact:


Hyde Sails | Northern Ireland

+44 (0)7967 111518

Sketrick Sailmakers LTD Sketrick Island Killinchy Newtownards County Down Northern Ireland BT23 6QH



Hyde Sails Ltd, Harbour Building Office A, Hamble Point Marina, Hamble, Southampton SO31 4NB

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