Last Saturday saw Foynes Yacht Club host the Topper Topaz National Championships on the Shannon Estuary. Five races were scheduled for the one day event with one discard to be applied after the fifth race. ISA National Race Officer Geoff O’Donoghue & Local Race Officer Donal Mc Cormack where presented with a mixed bag of weather conditions which made it a challenge to complete the full schedule.
The thirty one Topper Topaz’s entries were greeted with beautiful sunshine with a twenty minute beat to the sailing area just north of Foynes Island.
Racing got off to a great start on time in 15kts NNE with wind against tide resulting in choppy seas but great racing. However as forecasted, wind began to ease, and by race three wind had dropped down to 6kts which made it slow and tight racing but which resulted in a few boats not finishing due to pure frustration. Lunch was provided afloat from the mother ships which gave the competitors time to relax and concentrate on the final two scheduled races.
By race four the wind slightly picked again and the fleet in good numbers were back on the race course for two rounds of the triangular course. Going into the final race, it was tied at the top with Brian Fox from Tralee Bay Sailing Club level on points with 2014 champion Paddy Cunnane from Dingle Sailing Club while Mary McCormack from Foynes Yacht Club was just one point behind in third place. At least a thirty degree wind shift during the start sequence meant the start was abandoned and at the restart Brian Fox was deemed OCS. Paddy Cunnane took 1st in the final race and with it the overall championship while a third place for Mary McCormack was enough to secure the runner up spot for her, dropping Brian Fox back to third.
Dingle's Paddy Cunnane retained his title
The club were delighted to have the support of Topper International Ltd who sponsored the overall prizes, Ronstan who sponsored the prizes in the underage categories and UK McWilliams Sailmakers who sponsored a number of individual race prizes.
The Topper Topaz Class Association of Ireland have now nominated Paddy Cunnane for the All Ireland Junior Sailing Championships which will take place in Kinsale Yacht Club on the 26th & 27th September.
1st Overall – Paddy Cunnane – Dingle Sailing Club
2nd Overall – Mary McCormack – Foynes Yacht Club
3rd Overall – Brian Fox – Tralee Bay Sailing Club
U16 - Tim Kelleher – Tralee Bay Sailing Club
U14 – Dylan Reidy/Oisín Finucane – Foynes Yacht Club
U12 – Ellie Cunnane – Dingle Sailing Club
Full results can be found attached below