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#E-Boat - Pat O’Neill sailed OctupussE consistently to a deserved victory in the E-Boat National Championships held on the second weekend of June, writes Findlay MacDonald.

The championships were hosted at the Clontarf Yacht and Boat Club following a super weekend of sailing on the River Liffey as part of the Dublin Port Riverfest.

A fleet of nine boats gathered, with one from Howth Yacht Club and three enthusiastically representing the Skerries fleet.

Conditions for the weekend were lively both days. Saturday saw large wind shifts (as much as 30%) making course-setting near impossible for PRO Ian Sargent.

Squalls further delayed racing and boats returned to moorings once postponed was called.

Nevertheless, two races were run in Force 3-4 once the breeze had moderated. 

Windward-returns were set within the confines of Dublin Port inside Bull Island, making for an excellent course with good wind and a slight chop, and close competition throughout the fleet with visitors placed well in the results.

Favourites OctupussE (HYC) scored firsts, with local boat Aoife in close contention. Indeed, only an OCS in race one and and an error with spinnaker drop at leeward mark in race two cost Aoife otherwise attainable firsts.

The Skerries boats — Easygo in particular — showed their worth, battling and placing great results, and ensuring home fleet did not dominate. 

Racing was close, with boats changing positions frequently and finishing within boat-lengths of one another.

Sunday saw more challenging conditions, averaging Force 4.5-5. Only four boats ventured to the start area, with one retiring with gear failure. The remainder stayed ashore as the weather was forecast to freshen.

Though blustery, the wind direction was stable and three races were completed.

Race four saw the recently restored Enchantress, with an adventurous rookie crew, around the weather mark first but unable to hold off Aoife and OctupussE downwind.

Aoife was the only boat to hoist a kite — but a few near-broaches negated any advantage made, allowing Enchantress and OctupussE to slip by at the leeward mark.

Conditions remained lively for races five and six, and racing became closer.

Enchantress did well to compete and challenge the experienced boats sailing on windward legs to often round in second, but unable to make good downwind. Local boat Aoife lost out to OctupussE at the finish line.

Thanks go to all crews, particularly visitors from Skerries, for participating and supporting the class.

The class this year has seen renewed interest in the fleet. New crew are engaging, and several boats this year were restored and brought back into service.

A successful class-training event was also held at the beginning of the season in Skerries.

The class is always keen to hear from people wishing to sail E-Boats. For further enquires please contact class captains at Skerries Sailing Club or Clontarf Yacht and Boat Club.

E-BOAT  NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP - RESULTS  2017

Boat 
sail No

Boat
Name

Skipper

club

race1

race2

race3

race4

race5

race6

discard

Total 
Points

Overall
Placing

127

Octopusee

P O'Neil

HYC

1

1

Not Raced

2

2

1

2

5

1

279

Aoife

B Linnane

CYBC

10

2

1

1

2

10

6

2

202

Enchantress

F MacDonald

CYBC

3

7

3

3

3

7

12

3

128

Easy Go

P Hicks

SSC

2

3

10

10

10

10

25

4

204

Etype

B Ferguson

SSC

4

5

10

10

10

10

29

5

151

DeckE

M McGowan

CYBC

7

4

10

10

10

10

31

6

19

Heatwave

P Duggan

CYBC

5

8

10

10

10

10

33

7

118

Eaglet

B Grogan

SSC

8

6

10

10

10

10

34

8

57

Euro One

T McGuigan

CYBC

6

9

10

10

10

10

35

9

Published in Racing

The Annual Conference of the Irish Cruiser Racer Association (ICRA), an absorbing all-day affair in Limerick this Saturday (March 4th), has an intriguing agenda writes W M Nixon. But for many sailors from all over Ireland and the other side of the Irish Sea, the high point of it all will be the announcement of the ICRA “Boat of the Year” selected by the ICRA judges.

We revive memories of the great year of 2016 by running our own informal poll - just click as you wish on this alphabetic list at the bottom of this story to see whose achievements rise up the ranking. We can only say that that the wealth of choice speaks highly of the great good health and re-growing popularity of “waterborne truck racing”

anchor challenge1QUARTER TONNER Anchor Challenge – Paul Gibbons from Royal Cork Yacht Club. Photo: Bob Bateman

Anchor Challenge: Paul Gibbon’s classic Quarter Tonner from Crosshaven was good on enthusiasm, and good on performance, her top line being the overall win in the IRC Europeans at Crosshaven in July, which he plans to defend at Marseilles this summer.

antixKER39 Antix – Anthony O'Leary from Royal Cork Yacht Club. Photo: Paul Wyeth

Antix: Anthony O’Leary’s Fast Forty+ may not have had her most successful season ever in 2016, but many crews would give their eye teeth to have a record as good, topped with the Class O win in the IRC Europeans in Cork Harbour in July.

BAM Sunfast 3600SUNFAST 3600 BAM! - Conor Fogerty from Howth Yacht Club. Photo: Afloat.ie

Bam!: With the complexities of the RORC Caribbean 2017 still fresh upon us, we realize just how good was Conor Fogerty’s Class win in 2016 in this demanding maze of a race around the islands with his Sunfast 3600 Bam!. And on top of that, it was all just part of an extraordinary season with thousands and thousands of miles of sailing and racing

Checkmate Davd CullenHALF TONNER Checkmate XV – David Cullen from Howth Yacht Club. Photo: Afloat.ie

Checkmate XV: David Cullen’s beautifully-presented classic Half Tonner Checkmate XV found form to rocket to the top in the ICRA Nats at his home port of Howth in June in a very convincing style. Dave also skippered the J/109 Storm to a class win in the Volvo Round Ireland as Euro Carparks, but maybe that should count as a success for the Kelly family’s Storm, which also won the J/109 Nationals

Cartoon Quarter tonnerQUARTER TONNER Cartoon – Ken Lawless & Sybil McCormack  from the Royal Irish Yacht Club. Photo: Afloat.ie

Cartoon V: Ken Lawless & Sybil McCormack (RIYC) with their characterful Quarter Tonner came sweeping through the IRC Nationals to win their class in style.

dark angel yachtDUBOIS 37 Dark Angel – Tony Ackland from Swansea. Photo: Bob Bateman

Dark Angel: Tony Ackland from Swansea turned all heads with his handsome boat which in a previous life was well known in both Cork Harbour and Galway. There’s more than just looks to the Angel – she won IRC 1 in the Europeans at Crosshaven.

Harmony yachtHALF TONNER Harmony – Jonny Swan from Howth Yacht Club. Photo: Bob Bateman

Harmony: Jonny Swan’s wooden-built classic Half Tonner Harmony benefitted from an under-deck laminated fore-and-aft girder installed by Dougal McMahon of Belmont in County Offaly literally to provide a bit of backbone, and it worked a treat. In many victories, Harmony won IRC 3 in the Europeans at Cork.

Irelands Eye Kilcullen j24J24 Ireland's Eye Kilcullen – HYC under-25s from Howth Yacht Club

Ireland’s Eye Kilcullen: The HYC nippers – aka the under-25s – in the club-backed J/24 showed there’s still life in this classic Johnstone design. In open events they took second place in Class 4 at Cork Week and the IRC Europeans, they also took third overall in the J/24 Under 25 Europeans. And in the class in Ireland they won the Nationals (7 wins in 7 races), the Northerns, the Southerns, and the Westerns.

Jump JuiceKER36 Jump Juice - Conor Phelan from Royal Cork Yacht Club. Photo: Bob Bateman

Jump Juice: Like good wine, Conor Phelan’s Ker 36 from Cork improves with age. They won the RORC Easter Challenge in ferocious weather in the Solent overall, and they won Class O in convincing style at the ICRA Nats in June.

Joker 2 J109J109 Joker 2 - John Maybury from the Royal Irish Yacht Club. Photo: Afloat.ie

Joker 2: If you wanted a demonstration of the J/109’s all round ability, John Maybury’s Joker 2 provided it in 2016. She recorded a back-to-back win in the ICRA Nats – the only boat to do so in 2015-2016 – and under the skippering of Commandant Barry Byrne, she was the first winner of the new inter-forces Beaufort Cup including winning its Fastnet Race. Same boat, but completely different crews – Joker 2 makes a special claim for top boat of the year

OctopussE E BoatE–BOAT OctopussE - Pat O’Neill from Clontarf Yacht & Boat Club. Photo: Afloat.ie

OctopussE: The Julian Everitt-designed E Boat is a blast from the past, a miniature offshore racer in which the vertical keel can be retracted completely into the hull. The fleet at Clontarf deserve every credit for their multiple use, including club racing and canal cruising. But it is Pat O’Neill who carries it all through with competition in the ICRA Nats, and he won IRC 4.

Rockabill Paul O Higgins JPK 10.80 Rockabill – Paul O'Higgins  from the Royal Irish Yacht Club. Photo: Afloat.ie

Rockabill VI: It takes courage to start racing in a boat with a massive international success record like the JPK 10.80, but Paul O’Higgins was game for the challenge when he took Rockabill VI fresh out of the wrappings to do the Volvo Round Ireland Race in June, and came within an ace of a class win. He then re-surfaced for the IRC Europeans at Cork in July – and won IRC 2.

Who is Your ICRA Boat of Year 2016?
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Published in ICRA