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ISORA kicks off season

30th April 2008

A near gale ushered a nine-boat fleet out of Dun Laoghaire last weekend as the season’s first Irish Sea Offshore Racing Association (ISORA) race got underway.

ISORA chairman, Peter Ryan, said the turn-out was ‘very encouraging’ and expressed hope that the white sail contingent in future ISORA events would grow considerably.

“The turnout was extremely promising and suggested that the interest in offshore sailing on the Irish Sea is being rekindled.,” said Ryan.

The fleet of 9 boats gathered for the start at the Dun Laoghaire ‘pier’ mark, before setting off on a course to round the M2 weather buoy and finish in Holyhead.

The forecast was for the fresh southerly winds to moderate during the day from 25 knots to 10 knots. However, the wind strength increased soon after the start to near gale and the fleet, with spinnakers, thundered out of Dublin Bay.

Due to the wind strength and confused sea all the boats soon dropped their spinnakers and proceeded using two sails. The first boat completed the 27-mile first leg to M2 in less than 3 hours followed closely by four others.

Rounding the M2 buoy the fleet had to harden up to reach the final 32 miles to Holyhead. Although the wind had moderated slightly the apparent wind remained close to gale force. The wind further moderated as the fleet approached Holyhead.

The first boat finished the race at 14.32. Five of the nine boats crossed the finish line within a 13-minute period with the smallest boat “Tyred Dreamin” finishing last within 90 minutes of the first boat. “Quiet Correct”, John Roberts, took line honours. “Lancastrian”. Neil Eatough, won the IRC division while “Yahtzee”, Richard Mossop won the White Sail division.

The next ISORA race is on the 10th May with a day race down to Arklow, starting and finishing in Dun Laoghaire. The race will be run in conjunction with the Lee-Overlay / Royal Alfred series. It is hoped that the revived interest in offshore sailing will be maintained and increased with a less demanding Day Race. Team

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