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Mansfield out to regain top spot

14th September 1996
OLYMPIC STAR helmsman Mark Mansfield and his crew lead out an 18 strong 1720 keelboat class for the first outing of the Nissan autumn league at Howth Yacht Club this weekend. Mansfield will be attempting to regain his number one position after being beaten in the sportsboats inaugural East Coast Championship by Jamie Boag on Dublin Bay last weekend. The biggest of the 10 competing classes of this year's 200 boat league is Division Three with 39 entries, while there will also be more than 30 in the Squib keel boats category. Round the cans racing for the expected 1,500 sailors begins at 10.0 a.m. from both committee boat and pier line starts. In class one, which will have 10 entries, Max McMullen moves from the IMX Innovision III to the Cowes week class two winner, Mustang Sally, previously owned by Howth's Peter Wilson. McMullen has just completed a winning season in Innovision that included class wins at Ford Cork Week and the IMX British open.
The league is preceded by additional racing for 1720s who will race the first two windward leeward races of a mini series today. The first gun is at 10.50 and the same format applies next weekend as well. At the end of the Nissan league the 1720s move to Cork for the annual Crosshaven Boatyard October league. Down the road from Howth, an 8 boat match racing fleet takes to Clontarf waters as part of the IDRA 14s' 50th birthday celebrations. Tomorrow there will be a sail past to be reviewed by the boat's veteran designer George O'Brien Kennedy and ISA President Neil Murphy. Match racing invitees include representatives from Larchmont in the USA and sailors from Royal Natal YC, South Africa and Waldringfield, England, who all sail boats derived from the original craft, designed in 1936. Freshwater sailors on Lough Derg compete today in the annual Gortmore Bell race hosted by Iniscealtra Sailing club at Mountshannon, county Clare. The 25 mile course has attracted an entry of 35 yachts from nearby Garrykennedy, Dromineer and Killaloe. Participation by any visiting yachts is also welcomed. The first gun is at 10.0 a.m., with two separate starts for class one and two under Club ECHO handicap rules.
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