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Seven yachts join overnight race 19.06.09

Successful launch for Sanda Race at Moville

THE FIRST ever overnight offshore yacht race organised by Moville Boat Club has been hailed as a success with a total of seven yachts taking part. The four yachts from Moville boat club and three from Coleraine yacht club set sail at 7pm on Friday from Greencastle. Their destination was Macosh Rock Light at Sanda Island off the Mull of Kintyre coast.
With near perfect weather conditions on the outbound journey, the first of the boats made Sanda by 3am. Eclipse (Coleraine) was first around the light. After eight hours of sailing there was less than half an hour between the first and last boats to round the light. Unfortunately Marie Julie II (Coleraine) missed the tidal gate making it almost impossible to complete the race within the time limit so Marie Julie II retired from the race and motored home. The return journey was a much slower affair after the weather conditions changed and wind speed dropped. The eight-hour outbound passage became a 13-hour return journey.
As first boat over the finish line Megaera (Moville), skippered by Bill McCann took line honours followed closely by Eclipse and Mahuri (both Coleraine). All three boats finished within a minute of each other after the 19 hour journey. The remaining three Moville boats finished an hour and a half later.
George McCormick, Commodore of Moville Boat Club explained how the Sanda Race came about.
“Last year I took my boat Tamitroot to the Scottish Series race in Tarbert, Scotland. I wanted to experience a bigger event, something totally out of my comfort zone. My crew were joined by skippers and crew from other boats from Moville club and we all had a fantastic time. We started to consider the possibility of running an off shore race from Greencastle and decided that Sanda would be a challenge. We also wanted to include other yacht clubs to try and get as many boats on the water as possible.”
He continued, “We were successful in securing funding from Inishowen Development Partnership to buy equipment to run the off shore race which I hope will be run on an annual or biannual basis. I realise that we started small but with the right level of support and a lot of effort we can grow this race into a much bigger event. I think that the Volvo Ocean Race has captured peoples’ attention and I think that we have great potential on this coastline.”
Jim Millar of Coleraine Yacht Club agreed, “When George approached me about the Sanda race my first thought was, why has this not been done before. I started from Northern Ireland, sailed to Scotland and back to the Republic of Ireland, all within 24 hours. To me that is a unique achievement. What made it even more special was the hospitality from the people of Greencastle. Technically this was one of the most challenging races I have ever sailed. I certainly will be putting my boat forward for the next one. It was a great experience for me personally and also my crew.”
George concluded by saying “Well done to Noel Young skipper of Eclipse (Coleraine) who won the race on corrected time, followed by Megaera and Tamitroot. I have to thank Coleraine Yacht Club for all the support, especially our own members in Moville Boat Club and all the skippers and crews for making it not only possible but a great success.” (Inishowen Independent)
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