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Shanahan's J109 Ruth Wins ISORA 2014 Championships

7th September 2014
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The J/109 Ruth is 2014 ISORA Champion. Photo: David O'Brien
Shanahan's J109 Ruth Wins ISORA 2014 Championships

#isora – The National Yacht Club's top offshore yacht Ruth skippered by Liam Shanahan, that came within minutes of claiming the Round Ireland Race in June, has confirmed her overall win of the 2014 ISORA Championship following the race from Pwllheli to Dun Laoghaire yesterday. Overall results are downloadable below as a jpg file.

A J109 sistership, Mojito, won yesterday's ISORA race ten sponsored by Hendrick Ryan and Associate which featured six J boats taking the top five positions.

Overall, J109s also took the top three places with yesterday's winner the runner–up. Third was Mojito's Pwllheli club–mate Sgrech, the Stephen Tudor skippered 2013 champion.

Additional reporting by Peter Ryan below

The overall championship was decided at the last race when Liam Shanahan's "Ruth" crossed the finish line after the Hendrick Ryan + Associates "James Eadie" Pwllheli to Dun Laoghaire race on the 6th September. Fifteen boats came to the start line in Pwllheli. Of the line-up, six of the boats were "J" boats and of them five were J109's.

The forecast was for northerly winds all day ranging from 10-15 knots. At the start the wind was 10 knots and this sped the fleet down to the PSC racing Mark No 2 and then direct to Dun Laoghaire. "Jackknife" was the first to break away and was soon far out in front ahead of the five J109's. The fleet had just 2 hours to get to Bardsey or the tide would turn south against them. "Jackknife" just arrived at Bardsey as the tide was turning but the gate was firmly closed by the time the remainder of the fleet arrived. Not only that but the wind dropped.

In an effort to get out of the tide most of the boats attempted to stay as close as possible to the land side of the sound but unfortunately, there was no wind there. The lack of wind and the tide bunched the fleet, with the exception of Jackknife". The race re-started again when the winds filled in and "Mojito" led the charge out of the sound. "Predator" retired in Bardsey after storming through the stationary fleet.

The leg to Dun Laoghaire should have been a tight reach but the wind backed to the north-west and continuously veered and backed all day. All the remaining "J" boats with the exception of "Jedi", who had to retire at Bardsey, were bunched together as they headed across the Irish Sea. Seconds only separated them and there was little change in position over the remaining 57 miles.

With the winds veering and backing, the fleet just made it into Dublin Bay. "Sgrech" maintained a more northerly course and looked to be in a good position however "Mojito" managed to squeeze up and cross the finish line less than 2 minutes ahead of "Sgrech" to take the Overall and Class 1. Although "Jackknife" had finished an hour and a quarter before "Mojito", it was not enough to give them the race. "Adelie" took Class 1 while "Big Deal" took the Silver class.
"Ruth" only managed a third Overall but they did enough to take the Championship and the "Wolf's Head Trophy". They also won Class 1. "Adelie" took Class 2 while "Big Deal" took the Silver class.

The fast race meant that all boats had finished by mid-night allowing all the crews to gather in the NYC for the end of year party.

The prize giving will take place at the annual dinner in the NYC on the 15th November. The AGM will also take place that day. As normal, the race schedule for 2015 will be decided at the AGM. Suggestions for races are being sought and all should be sent to me at [email protected] . The dinner is always very popular and I would recommend that places be booked as soon as possible with the Manager in the NYC, Tim O'Brien, [email protected] .

It was the end of another great season of very mixed weather conditions. The season also produced two outstanding offshore performances by ISORA members. Liam Coyne and Brian Flahive's "Lula Belle" taking Class and 6th Overall in the recent Round Britain & Ireland Race and our new champion, Liam Shanahan and "Ruth" taking second place in the Round Ireland Race. ISORA are really proud of them.

Peter Ryan - Chairman

Published in ISORA
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