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Everything tightens up in Irish SB3 fleet in run up to Nationals

8th July 2009

In the end, any one of three teams could have taken the SB3 Ireland Eastern Championships (hosted by the Royal Irish Yacht Club on the 4th and 5th July) and all three have a story to tell.

Big wind rock stars Gareth Flanegan and the lads on McCready Sailboats took day one by the scruff of the neck with a couple of bullets in the second and third races. Hanging on in there on the second day their story ends with of going from thoroughly tubed half way up the first beat of the deciding last race, to 5th on the back on a 30 degree shift at the top of the beat and from a losing 4th to a regatta winning 1st on a truly heroic last run to come through as a clear and deserved winner.

Second placed Sharkbait Racings story starts with a speedo that gave up the ghost half way through the first day and ended at the top of the beat on the last race on the other end of that shift. Having had to drag themselves back from mid pack at the windward mark a number of times after some average starting and first beats they did well to put a consistent set of 2nd and 3rd places together to run the winners to within one point. A disaster of a last race left them unable to decide their own fate but in many ways, such was the quality of racing, they can regard this as their best result of the season so far.

Ronan Collins, Killian Collins and Donal Hegerty in 4th can add the wrong side of that last race shift and a broken boom to 2 race wins. Luck wasn’t with them this time but the lads from Cork are clearly on form and fired up and if they can cut out the one bad race a regatta that seems to be their Achilles heel they are set to challenge at the Nationals.

With Redmond Fisher returning to form on day 2 in 3rd overall the fleet saw some awesome racing from top to bottom with the top 4 teams pushing each other right to the ragged edge. Sharkbait Racing should hold on to top spot on the SB3 Ireland rankings going into the National Championships but it will be anyone’s game, and we’ve yet to mention dark horses Gordon Patterson and Sean Craig.

The odds for the Nationals currently look something like McCready Sailboats 2/1F, Sharkbait Racing, Modus Operandi 5/2, Redmond Fisher 4/1, Splash Gordon 6/1, Squalo Bianco 8/1

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