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Final set to decide honours

19th August 1996
A HICCUP for the class zero fleet leaders, who sailed the wrong course in the penultimate race of the series and retired, means the winner of the RAYC Superleague will not he known until the final race on September 7th. The mistake was only realised after the race, with the lead boats having rounded a new dinghy mark close to the location of the RAYC buoy. After eight races sailed and despite both yachts counting a discard on Saturday, Sarah J (Cormac Twomey) leads Colm Barrington's Surfin Shoes by 2.5 points. In order for Surfin' Shoes, to win overall she must now win the final race and Sarah I must finish fourth or worse. Elsewhere on the class zero course, Roy Dickson's Cracklin' Rosie is appealing her fourth place after the Howth crew spotted the body of a woman as they sped along under spinnaker at 11 knots. After alerting the emergency services the crew took down their sails and stood by at the scene, close to Howth harbour, until Howth lifeboat arrived. Dickson resumed the race some 30 minutes adrift and is seeking redress under IYRU rules.
South easterly winds reached 30 knots over the course and provided testing conditions for both the Royal Alfred crews and the 50 boats that had gathered a mile downwind for the Malahide Yacht Club regatta. Peter Killen's Black Pepper won the Class One ECHO from Robert Michael's Mystique of Malahide. Brothers Andy and David Sargent battled it out for line honours in the Squib keelboat class. David, sailing with Shay O'Leary in Terpsichore, put their weight of 30 stone to good advantage and led the 21 boat fleet for most of the race. Andy, sailing with his wife Sandra in Gizmo, at only 21 stone should have struggled in the strong but steady winds, but instead held David's lead to within five boat lengths until the final run where they closed. After a dramatic tacking duel the boats split tacks, and tour or five boat lengths from the line the lighter crew passed clear ahead to take the gun by five seconds. Gillian Guinness in Kookaburra was third.
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