#dlregatta – Lighter winds brought new leaders and relief to tired crews at Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta 2015 this afternoon. Two more races on the penultimate day have upset the pecking order in many of the 29–classes and set up tomorrow's final race as an appropriate climax to Ireland's biggest sailing event.
From a total fleet of 415-boats perhaps a half a dozen boats might rightfully be eyeing the overall boat of the week prize this evening but whoever is ultimately revealed as winner at tomorrow's National Yacht Club based prizegiving (Sunday at 3pm) the coveted trophy will be going to a crew that has managed to perform across the wind range.
In one of the most demanding series in the 12–year history of the event, superb Dublin Bay conditions have produced a season highlight to add heft to Dun Laoghaire's claim to be the 'Cowes of the Irish Sea'.
Moderate westerly winds produced flatter seas and gave some much needed relief to crews battered by the opening three races but the drop in pressure brought many changes to the scoresheets.
All classes will sail one more race tomorrow and in many cases the overall results will depend on this final race outcome.
One contender for tomorrow's (Sunday) top prize of the Volvo boat of the regatta trophy is the Farr 42 Wow, skippered by George Sisk, the Royal Irish yacht that now counts two wins from three races in a bumper turnout for the IRC offshore class.
A promising 10 to 12 knots westerly wind got racing for all 415 boats in 29 classes off to a solid start this morning and held all day to keep the ambitious programme of more than 200 races on target for tomorrow's final round.
The Sisk led 25-boat IRC offshore fleet departed Scotsman's Bay bound for South Burford, the first of eight turning marks on its 31–mile course.
The 31–mile IRC offshore course took four and a half hours to complete
The offshore fleet has one race left to sail tomorrow morning but already Irish Sea Offshore Racing Association (ISORA) Commodore Peter Ryan is hailing the offshore series within the regatta programme a 'terrific success'. 'Other regattas need to do what Dun Laoghaire has done and move with the times – offshore racing is here to stay', he said tonight.
The 25-boat IRC offshore fleet depart Scotsman's Bay bound for South Burford, the first of eight turning marks
The Cookson 50 Lee Overlay Partners (Adrian Lee) took line honours in Scotsman's Bay...
...George Sisk's Farr 42 Wow was second across the line to take the overall lead with one race left to sail tomorrow
Howth X302 Dux
Another contender for the top prize is the X302 Dux, the Anthony Gore–Grimes skippered Howth Yacht that has three wins from five races in IRC class three.
Dux mastered some of the trickiest conditions of the event so far to lead the 11–boat Volvo class three since racing began last Thursday.
A slip in race four ruined a perfect scoreline for Conor Phelan's Jump Juice crew but took another win in race five for the Royal Cork Yacht Club to have a seven point advantage at the top of the seven boat class zero.
Jump Juice has a commanding lead in class zero
Tony Fox's A35 Gringo leads class one
Rockabill V is lying third and Boomerang (to leeward) is ninth in class one
In class one, one Dublin Bay entry replaces another at the top of the leader board as Tony Fox's Gringo scored a race five win this afternoon to unseat 2014 national champion, Bon Exemple, an Xp33. Fox goes into the final race tomorrow with a single point cushion.
In class two, the South Caernarvonshire Yacht Club J97 Injenious continues to lead from Howth Half–Tonner Checkmate XV. Third is another modified Half–Tonner from Howth, Johnny Swan's Harmony.
The Royal Irish Quarter tonner Cri Cri has also produced a scoreline worthy of boat of the week consideration. Paul Colton counts three wins in the 16-boat fleet to lead Royal Ulster Yacht Club and Ballyholme entry Starflash (Alan Morrison and John Simms) by three points.
Storm leads Joker II by two points going into tomorrow's last race
In the J109 class, John Maybury's Joker II from the Royal Irish briefly overhauled Rush Sailing Club's Storm II for the first time in the series this afternoon but a final race win saw the north Dublin crew regain its two point margin. With one race left to sail both the Volvo and Irish title will be decided on the 'centre course' race track tomorrow morning.
In the one design divisions, three wins out of five races is good enough for Alan Harper's Leaky Roof 2 from the Clyde Cruising Club who leads Belfast lough rival Squawk (Paul Prentice) by two points.
With five wins from eight races Ian Mathews and Keith Poole have built a six point lead in the 20–boat Flying Fifteen class.
Olympic sailor Annalise Murphy together with her coach Rory Fitzpatrick are racing in the fast Moth class of the Volvo Dun Laoghaire regatta, the first time the foiling craft have raced in class in the biennial event. Fitzpatrick has eight wins from eight races. Murphy, sailing Bad Dolphin, is second in the eight boat fleet.
The overall prize giving will be staged at the National Yacht Club tomorrow at 3pm
All results subject to protest