In spite of an impressive three-minute winning margin on the water, sole Swedish entry steered by Martin Pallsson was denied his place at the top of the Dragon Gold cup leader board following the imposition of a 20 per cent penalty, which dropped him to joint 17th overall after the first of a six race series on Dublin Bay yesterday. Instead the results sheet for what is the 50th Gold Cup regatta now has a familiar look to it with triple cup winners Poul-Rikard Hoj-Jensen (Denmark) and Fred Imhoff (Holland) in first and second places respectively. Following three aborted starts Race officer Tony O'Gorman of the Royal Irish Yacht club was forced to use the sudden death black flag to get the 81 boat fleet away in a fickle five to eight knot oscillating breeze, one mile south of Dun Laoghaire harbour.
Pallsson produced the big lead in this three man keelboat by sailing the right hand side of the course downwind. After rounding the kickmark for the first time, the wind shifted to the right, making the run more of a broad reaching leg. Spotting the shift, the Swede was able to gybe back with a fast reaching angle and popped out in front of the top 10 bunch to sail the rest of the race well ahead and in clean air. In a disappointing day for the host nation, only two Dun Laoghaire crews made it in to the top 20. Renowned light air expert John Ross Murphy of the Royal St George YC was 14th and the host club's Clare Foley shares 17th with Pallsson in the former Olympic class. In the abandoned starts - under the new Z rule, Pallsson and up to 12 other yachts were caught inside the starting triangle area and their finishing positions were subjected to a 20 percent penalty. Frustrated by a strong tide and fickle airs, crews were kept afloat for over seven hours. Scheduled to start at noon the race did not get underway until 2.30 p.m. but a full three rounds of the windwardleeward course was completed to the satisfaction of O'Gorman and the international jury who are present on the water. O'Gorman fears similar winds for today's race and indicated last night that he will resort to use of the black flag almost immediately if the fleet get `edgy' again. Strict rules for this, one of the most prestigious prizes in world yachting, do not allow for any discarding of bad results, so all races count and a penalty of any kind puts paid to overall hopes of the trophy. DRAGON GOLD CUP (Race one at Royal Irish YC, Dun Laoghaire: (Provisional and subject to protest) 1. Danish Blue Poul-Rickard Hoj Jensen ( Denmark) 2. Danish Joker Fred Imhoff (Holland) 3. Ted De Draak Tjacko Vanm Olst ( Holland) Top Irish team placings: 14. China Blue JR Murphy 17. Aphrodite C. Foley 24. Rascal Rat R. Hennessy 25. Chimaera A. Craig 27. Mystery M. O'Rahilly 33. Suselle M. Halpenny 35. Das Boot. J. Lavery 36. Phantom B. O'Hara 39. Ulysses Gerry Owens 41. Leprecaun D. O'Connor. Howth Yacht Club - Superleague Cruis- ers 0 Channel 1. Mustang Sally Max MacMullan (1, 5.00) 2. Cracklin' Rosie Roy Dickson (3, 12.00) 3. Braveheart Tom O'Reilly (4, 19.00) Cruisers 0 Echo 1. Braveheart (5, 18.00) 2. Cracklin' Rosie (2, 12.00) 3. Mustang Sally (1, 9.00) Cruisers 1 Channel 1. X-claim Oliver Sheehy (1, 8.50) 2. Escapade Tony Fox (4, 25.50) 3. Scenario encore Stuart Kinnear (7, 32.00) Cruisers 1 Echo 1. X-claim Oliver Sheehy (1 , 9.00) 2. Escapade Tony Fox (5, 26.00) 3. Scenario encore Stuart Kinnear (8, 33.00) Cruisers 2 Channel 1. Trudi Edmund Kay (1, 5.00) 2. Fast buck Michael Guinan (2=, 12.00) 3. Bonanza A Gore-Grimes (5, 18.00). Cruisers 2 Echo 1. Voyager Carton/O'Donnell (14, 48.00) 2. Bonanza (2, 16.00) 3. Sylph Donal O'Sullivan (5=, 21.00) Cruisers 3 Channel 1. Solidarity John Molloy (1, 6.00) 2. Gung-ho Ian Switzer (6, 26.00) 3. Caligula Barry Cunningham (2, 10.00) Cruisers 3 Echo 1. Solidarity John Molloy (1, 13.00) 2. Birgitz John Leonard (3, 14.00) 3. Caligula Barry Cunningham (4, 16.00) Sportsboats 1. Bond girl Richard Burrows (6, 33.00) 2. Key events Martin Byrne (1, 17.00) 3. The Insurgents Henry/Burke (8=, 40.00) DB 24 1. Harmony Chris Johnston (1, 5.00) 2. Euphanzel George Geoffroy (3, 14.00) 3. Arandora Charles Hohn (2, 12.00) Shipmans 1. Malindi Malachy Muldoon (1, 7.00) 2. Viking Fred Cooney (3=, 15.00) 3. Therapi Arthur Finegan (2, 10.00). Howth Yacht Club - Club racing: Puppe- teer scratch 1. Snowgoose D & K Lovegrove (1, 2.00) 2. Toucan J McCaffrey (2, 5.00) 3. Cloud 9 C Feeley (3=, 14.00) Puppeteer ECHO 1. Toucan J McCaffrey (1, 3.00) 2. Ile Molene C Holmes (3=, 13.00) 3. Snowgoose D & K Lovegrove (2, 7.00) 17 Footer scratch 1. Aura I Malcolm (3, 15.00) 2. Isobel HYC/Mulligan/Others (1, 5.00) 3. Hera J & M Duffy (9, 28.00) 17 Footer ECHO 1. Erica HYC/Maher/Others (2, 10.00) 2. Pauline P Heydon (1, 8.00) 3. Zaida T Houlihan (14, 44.00) 17 Footer scratch 1. Aura I Malcolm (1, 5.00) 2. Isobel HYC/Mulligan/Others (3, 14.00) 3. Hera J & M Duffy (5, 25.00) Squibs scratch 1. Container R Clery (6, 58.00) 2. Klipbok G Headon (5, 54.00) 3. Aurora P Byrne (10, 80.00) Squibs ECHO 1. Container R Clery (3, 51.00) 2. Ambler Gambler M Farrell (13, 120.00) 3. L'Escargot P Kilmartin (6, 61.00).
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