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Espey retains Laser title with ease

2nd September 2008

Defending Champion James Espey of Ballyholme YC emphatically retained his title at the Kia Motors Laser National Championships in Howth with an impressive string of results in the 11-race series sailed in light southerly and south-westerly conditions.

Four race wins, four second places and a 3rd and 4th were more than enough to see off the challenge of clubmate Ryan Seaton, 9.5 points adrift in the runner-up spot in the 42-boat standard rig fleet. UK visitors filled four of the next six places while Ian McSweeney was the best placed HYC entry in 14th overall.

In the Radial fleet, British entry Alison Young from Stokes Bay dominated proceedings with nine top six finishes and although runner-up Barry McCartin from Cushendall recorded three race wins, he couldn’t match Young’s consistency and was 24.5 points behind after discards.

And he only had 0.75 points to spare over Olympic contender Debbie Hanna of East Antrim who recovered from an average first half of the championship to put the pressure on in the last two days. The Radials had the biggest fleet of 51 boats.

While entries from north of the border enjoyed the limelight in the Standard and Radial divisions, it was very much a Howth affair in the 4.7 fleet. Local boats filled the top four places, with former Optimist National Champion Diana Kissane taking the honours by 4.25 points ahead of Scott Flannigan, Mark Condy and Ali Dix while Katie Malcolm was only a few points away in 6th overall in the 43-boat event.

Below: James Espey receiving his award from Peter McKenna, HYC’s Vice-Commodore


 Espey Team

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