THE Donaghadee man whose boat beat stiff competition to clinch a momentous victory at the largest sailing regatta in Ireland has hailed his crew members for “not putting a foot wrong”.

John Minnis’ A35 Final Call II made history by becoming the first boat from north of the border in the history of the esteemed IRC One class to take the top prize at the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta, with an impressive display on Dublin Bay last weekend.

In stormy conditions, Final Call II – representing both the Royal Ulster and Royal North of Ireland Yacht Clubs – fought off the challenges of a number of highly regarded entries in the 24-strong fleet, which included 2022 boat of the year, second-placed J/99 Snapshot (Mike & Richie Evans, Howth).

“It was harmonical mayhem at times but poetry in motion in other stages,” reflected John.

“In the 10 years of the contest, a Northern Irish boat has never won before and it’s great to have a Belfast Lough boat so highly represented.

“Dun Laoghaire is the biggest regatta in the whole of Ireland and an excellently well run event. Great credit must go to the racing committee who marshalled the races superbly well,” he continued.

“We had great competition from Snapshot and White Mischief, but each of the guys on board Final Call worked extremely hard in very testing conditions and the boys never put a foot wrong.”

Next on the agenda for Minnis and the rest of his team are the ICRA National Championships, taking place in Howth in September.