A forecast of 30 knots didn't put anyone off, as sailors were greeted by a sunny Monkstown Bay, the sun compensating for the low temperature. High Tide and a fresh North Easterly meant Officer of the Day Alan Fehily set a start line in Monkstown Creek, racing towards Monkstown Marina, then returning to Monkstown Creek for the finish. The entire racecourse was overlooked by the historic Victorian houses of Alta Terrace, the setting being a pleasant sight for the Saturday morning walkers on Strand Road.
After an initial general recall, last year’s winner, Ronan Kenneally, led the fleet into the top mark for Race 1. Kenneally just stayed clear of a noisy collision between Paul O'Sullivan and Charles Dwyer, with Paul O'Sullivan being forced to take a 720 degree penalty to exonerate himself. Kenneally was eventually overhauled by Laser National Champion, Darragh O'Sullivan, who held first place to the finish. Kenneally had to deal with local Radial sailor, Chris Bateman, who showed great consistency to come in 3rd place.
Race 2 was where Darragh O'Sullivan started to show his class and he led the race from Charles Dwyer, Ronan Kenneally and Chris Bateman who were all battling for 2nd place. Kenneally fell victim to one of the heavier gusts and capsized, allowing Charles Dwyer to take second from Bateman, in third.
The small race area and lively fleet, meant there were two general recalls before Race 3 got underway and Darragh O'Sullivan broke free from the fleet early. Former UK Olympic Laser squad member, Rob Howe, held second for most of the race, until he too capsized, as some of the forecast breeze started to emerge from the direction of the old Verolme Dockyard. Dwyer took second after a collision, his second of the day, with Kenneally who fell back, but was able to hold 3rd.
Racing continues for the next 5 Saturdays. First Gun 1015 this Saturday, January 13.