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In Dingle This Afternoon, Everyone’s a D2D Winner

17th June 2017
(Top) Rupert Barry’s JOD35 Red Alert at the start off Dun Laoghaire on Wednesday evening  and (above) We made it! The crew of Red Alert in Dingle this morning. They may have placed 7th in Racing 1, and 14th overall. But remember, that’s 14th out of 43 starters (Top) Rupert Barry’s JOD35 Red Alert at the start off Dun Laoghaire on Wednesday evening and (above) We made it! The crew of Red Alert in Dingle this morning. They may have placed 7th in Racing 1, and 14th overall. But remember, that’s 14th out of 43 starters Photo: W M Nixon/Adam Winkelmann

The mood is good in Dingle this afternoon. And while some have hard-won successes to celebrate, others have the simple fact of getting there at all to further brighten their already bright day writes WM Nixon. For the National Yacht Club’s Volvo Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Race 2017 was a toughie until you got yourself past Mizen Head. But after that, the coasts of West Cork and Kerry brought the reward of champagne sailing with a warm fair wind.

There are still some boats racing as we write this at 1300hrs, and out in Dingle Bay the surprise is that Marcus Ryan in the Mini 650 Port of Galway Black has got ahead of Yannick Lemonnier and Dan Mill in the other still-racing Mini, Port of Galway Green.

Doubtless there’ll be some further explanation for this reversal of fortune when the two little boats get to port in due course, for it’s only as de-briefings –official and otherwise – take shape that we get the full story.

One thing is absolutely clear. Paul O’Higgins’ JPK1080 Rockabill VI has won overall by every known method of calculation, with Peter Dunlop & Vicky Cox’s J/109 Mojito taking second for the second time in a row.

dingle fleet3Some of the fleet from Dun Laoghaire in Dingle Marina this morning. Photo: Adam Winkelmann

In another area, the continuing drama of who would win the Two-handed Division came down in the end to the unlikely matching of Stephen O’Flaherty & David Cagney on the modern classic, the Spirit 54 Soufriere, against the 20ft shorter Dehler 34 Big Deal from Foynes, sailed by father and son duo Derek and Conor Dillon.

While Soufriere held the lead at times, Big Deal was always ready to pounce, and the acceleration towards the end helped her in this. In port at the finish, however, it has emerged that for several hours of the race Soufriere was only jogging along under jib only, as the two boyos had discovered that the lazarettes – the pair of vast lockers under the after-deck in that long and elegant counter – were full of water.

Soufriere’s crew pumped and bailed like blazes while their big boat ambled along, and then when the situation was under control again, they simply resumed racing without a word to anyone about a “slight problem”.

Although the results in Racing 1 were for a long time fixed at Rockabill VI first, Mojito second, Andrew Algeo’s J/109 Juggerknot third, and the Shanahan family’s sister-ship Ruth fourth, in Racing 2 things were more fluid.

Racing 2’s early longtime leader, the Granada 38 Cavatina (Ian Hickey) lost first place to the Irish Offshore Sailing’s school yacht, the Jennneau 37  Desert Star (Ronan O Siochru), down toward the Fastnet. With some nicely-called tacks, Desert Star nipped into the lead. But in the long haul up past the majestic headlands to the next major turn at Skellig Michael, Cavatina took it back and kept it after Desert Star got hung up for a while in the flat patch at Mizen Head, while Liam Coyne’s First 36.7 Lula Belle was steadily in third for much of the race.

windshift finish4The Jeanneau Sunfast 37 Windshift (Brendan Couglan) finishing the Dingle Race this morning. She placed fourth overall in Racing 2. Photo: Cathy MacAleavey

The Cruising Division saw Paul Sutton’s Dufour 40 Pipedreamer in the lead virtually throughout, with the Fulmar 32 Fulmar Fever (Robert Marchent) second. It seems that the early listing of the Tyrrell family’s J/112E Aquelina as a cruiser – and the winning one at that - was as a result of computer glitch. 

So Aquelina is in Racing 1, and she’ll stay at fifth in Racing 1 even with the redress they’ll get for standing by the J/109 Sgrech when she started leaking back at Carnsore Point early on Thursday morning. That’s an incident, a time and a place which, in sunny Dingle this Saturday afternoon, now seems a very very long time ago.

Let’s hope this afternoon the Race Finishing Team headed by Con Murphy can grab a bit of sleep, for it has been one extremely long night for them. Some turbo-powered energy is going to be needed by everyone for tonight’s epic prize-giving party at Benner’s Hotel. Justice must be done to a gloriously crazy way to round out a great race. 

dingle view5Sunny Dingle as seen from the finishing team’s hilltop station. Photo: Cathy MacAleavey

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