#d2d – In previewing the National Yacht Club's 280-mile Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Race here on Friday morning, Afloat.ie's W M Nixon predicted that the best racing would be among the six J/109s, and that the smart money would be on the Shanahan family's Ruth.
Ruth has just finished first of the J/109s at 1945 hrs, and this puts her clear first overall on the leaderboard too. But in case anyone thinks this is counting chickens before they're hatched with most of the fleet being still at sea and racing, Ruth's success is cushioned by her Welsh-based sister ship Mojito (Peter Dunlop & Vicky Cox, Pwllheli SC) lying second overall just a couple of miles astern.
In fact, J Boats are definitely in the ascendant, as it looks very much as though the already-finished J/122 Aurelia (Chris and Patanne Power Smith, Royal St George YC) will continue to hold on to third place overall on IRC. But right now, the laurels are very much for Ruth and her determined family crew. Liam Shanahan and his team effectively match-raced neck-and-neck with Mojito all the way from the start in Dublin Bay on Friday night until noon today, when they finally opened out a lead as both boats got themselves clear of the calm patch which had been slowing the boats off Bantry Bay.
Getting past Dursey Head, Ruth finally managed to create a gap of two miles which they have diligently maintained ever since. And unlike the first finishers in early afternoon, who found the final couple of miles to Dingle frustrating with winds drawing locally from the southeast, Ruth has carried the afternoon and evening's northerly breeze all the way to the finish line and a triumphant conclusion to a great race.