Baileys still out in front
The day started and ended with rain, there was thick fog for several hours followed by a spell of lovely hot sun and the wind came from almost every direction possible at some point in the day. Despite the delays for fog and the very shifty and mainly light conditions the race committee was able to run two further races, races three and four of the six race series. For the competitors it was an extremely challenging day's racing with a number of boats having decidedly mixed results on only three boats managing an all top ten score.
Julia Bailey, Graham Bailey, Dylan Potter and Will Heritage sailing Aimee retain their overall lead of the regatta despite a wobble in race three which saw them finish twentieth. Fortunately they came back hard in race four fighting their way out of the pack to finish second and secure a ten point overall lead.
Top performing boat of the day was Simon Brien's Irish crew including Mark Brien and David Gomes, who took third in race three before going on to win race four in style by leading the fleet the entire length of the course. As a result Brien leaps up the scoreboard from 13th to second place overall counting 34 points. Also very consistent was Gavia Wilkinson-Cox on Jerboa with Martin Payne and Rui Boia, who placed ninth then fourth to move up from ninth to third overall, four points behind Brien.
Owen Pay, sailing Seabird with Jon Mortimer and Steve Richardson proved that consistency pays with a tenth and 15th to move up a place in the ranking from fifth to fourth, just one point behind Wilkinson-Cox. Ron James, Julia Walsh and Nigel Young sailing Fei-Lin's Flirtation have moved up from 11th to fifth and also provided the closest finish of the day when they crossed the line in race for absolutely neck and neck with Mick Cotter's Whisper crewed by John Driscoll and Kenny McCullough. Lawrie Smith, crewed by Tim Tavinor and Ossie Stewart in Alfie took a fifth in race three, but then a 26th in the day's second race moved him down the leaderboard from fourth to sixth.
Another boat that reveled in the conditions today was Andrew Craig's Chimera, crewed by Brian Matthews and Mark Pettitt, which was the only other team to finish in the top ten in both races with a second in race three and a sixth in race four. Sadly for them they are still carrying a Black Flag disqualification from yesterday's race two so they currently lie in 16th place overall and will be very happy to see the discard come into play after the fifth race.
While some made the most of the conditions others struggled including Jens Rathsack, sailing with Stefan Waak and Mario Wagner. Having gone into the day second overall they were over eager on the start line in race three but failed to return when the individual recall flag was hoisted. Things improved for them in race four where they finished ninth, but they now lie 12th overall and will also be very glad to see the discard kick in.
Martin Byrne and his crew Pedro Andrade and Adam Winkleman got their day of to a fantastic start by winning race three. Sadly they could not get the measure of race four and were bitterly disappointed to finish 39th, ruining a previously all top ten score card and moving them down the overall rankings from second to ninth.
In the Corinthian Division for the all amateur crews Julia Bailey again continues to lead the fleet, Simon Brien has moved up into second place and Owen Pay has dropped down into third.
At the post-racing prizegiving at Royal North of Ireland Yacht Club Brewin Dolphin's Executive Chairman Jamie Matheson presented the daily awards and also presented a truly unique prize to the overall leader Julia Bailey and her Aimee team of beautifully engraved sterling silver cufflinks. Today's special Sebago prize of footwear for the entire crew went to Mark and Mandy Wade and Simon Cash of Avalanche.
This evening the crews are getting all dressed up in best bib and tucker for the Edinburgh Cup Gala Dinner, hosted by the Belfast Harbour Commissioners at the historic Harbour Office and sponsored by Brewin Dolphin. For more than 150 years the Harbour Office has been the headquarters of the Belfast Harbour Commission and its elegant public rooms house many fascinating and unusual works of art and artifacts connected with Belfast's maritime history.
The Edinburgh Cup, sponsored by Belfast Harbour, continues until Saturday 7 July with two further races still to be completed. The single discard will come inot play once race five has been raced. One championship race is scheduled for tomorrow and in addition the traditional and highly competitive Crews Race will also be run tomorrow with contenders for this prestigious title including 11 year old Will Heritage from Aimee and teenager Harry Strauss who is crewing for his parents Quentin and Nikki aboard Rumours.
Top Five After Four Races
1. GBR720 - Aimee - Julia Bailey - 1, 1, 20, 2 = 24
2. IRL214 - KIN - Simon Brien - 4, 26, 3, 1 = 34
3. GBR716 - Jerboa - Gavia Wilkinson-Cox - 12, 13, 9, 4 = 38
4. IRL204 - Seabird - Own Pay - 10, 4. 10, 15 = 39
5. GBR633 - Fei-Lin's Flirtation - 16, 10, 7, 10.5 RDG = 43.5