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Displaying items by tag: National Champions

A week after hosting the Etchells Worlds, Howth Yacht Club is back in high-powered action again this weekend with another fleet of over 40 boats, this time with the SB3s who gather for the Investwise National Championships over three days.

 

Among the highly competitive fleet will be four or five past or present Olympians, former national champions in several classes and a couple of All-Ireland Champions, a formidable line-up by any standards. Such is the quality of the field that any one of 10 crews is capable of taking the title, with consistency the key over the 8 races on the schedule.

 

The 'bookies favourite' is undoubtedly 'McCready's Gill Racing' sailed by Gareth Flannigan/Brian Spence/Jeremy Tomlinson from Ballyholme who already have two wins and two runners-up places in the four regional championships sailed this season. Former Olympian Peter Kennedy from RNIYC is the defending champion and with a new crew on 'Belfast Kitchens' has been building slowly throughout the year - their performance at the recent Westerns suggests they are very much in contention.

 

While the Northern fleet has been dominant in SB3s since the class was formed, they cannot discount the top performers from Dun Laoghaire, Howth and the South. Leading the southside challenge will be 'Yeti' (Sean Craig/Stephen Boyle/Alan Green), a prediction for a top 5 finish, while 'Bad' (Stefan Hyde/Jerry Dowling/Jimmy Dowling) has been improving ever since the Northern Championships

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The host club's best bet is 'Sharkbait' sailed by Ben Duncan/Brian Moran/Ric Morris, a combination that is consistently at the top of the fleet (e.g. winning the Northerns) and tops the ranking ladder with Flannigan. A 'podium finish' is anticipated. The event sponsor David Quinn and his crew on 'Investwise' have enjoyed good form of late while 'Lia' (helmed by Dave Barry) has improved since a trip to Lake Garda.

 

The southern challenge is headed by 'Modus Operandi' (sailed by Ronan and Killian Collins and Donal Hegarty) which has the potential to upset the odds if they can put a steady campaign together.

 

Race Officer is David Lovegrove while Suzanne Carroll has masterminded the organisation of the event as chair of the Championship Committee.

Published in SB20

Coastal Notes Coastal Notes covers a broad spectrum of stories, events and developments in which some can be quirky and local in nature, while other stories are of national importance and are on-going, but whatever they are about, they need to be told.

Stories can be diverse and they can be influential, albeit some are more subtle than others in nature, while other events can be immediately felt. No more so felt, is firstly to those living along the coastal rim and rural isolated communities. Here the impact poses is increased to those directly linked with the sea, where daily lives are made from earning an income ashore and within coastal waters.

The topics in Coastal Notes can also be about the rare finding of sea-life creatures, a historic shipwreck lost to the passage of time and which has yet many a secret to tell. A trawler's net caught hauling more than fish but cannon balls dating to the Napoleonic era.

Also focusing the attention of Coastal Notes, are the maritime museums which are of national importance to maintaining access and knowledge of historical exhibits for future generations.

Equally to keep an eye on the present day, with activities of existing and planned projects in the pipeline from the wind and wave renewables sector and those of the energy exploration industry.

In addition Coastal Notes has many more angles to cover, be it the weekend boat leisure user taking a sedate cruise off a long straight beach on the coast beach and making a friend with a feathered companion along the way.

In complete contrast is to those who harvest the sea, using small boats based in harbours where infrastructure and safety poses an issue, before they set off to ply their trade at the foot of our highest sea cliffs along the rugged wild western seaboard.

It's all there, as Coastal Notes tells the stories that are arguably as varied to the environment from which they came from and indeed which shape people's interaction with the surrounding environment that is the natural world and our relationship with the sea.