Day #2 10 pm – The Line Honours winner, the 94ft Windfall (Mick Cotter) may be finished with a new course record established, but for many boats you get the impression that the Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Race is only just becoming serious writes W M Nixon.
Even with the drag race in a reaching northerly for much of the south coast, it was an interesting bit of fleet sailing to monitor. But now that the bulk of the boats are beating to windward from the Fastnet Rock towards the finish, it has become utterly fascinating with a massive fleet compression and former leaders demoted by a place or three.
For some boats, the longer it goes on, the better they seem to get. Conor Doyle’s Xp50 Freya may have had a very disagreeable experience with fishing gear off Ireland’s southeast corner, but since then she’s been into the groove with increasing confidence, and has been turning to windward along the West Cork and Kerry coasts in such a convincing style that she may well pip Andrew Hall’s J/125 Jackknife to take second place on the water.
Two other boats which seem to have found unexpected reserves of extra speed are the Shanahan family on the J/109 Ruth from the NYC, and Rupert Barry’s JOD 35 Red Alert from Greystones, with sailmaker Shane Hughes on the strength.
Admittedly with the unstable wind full of holes, some crews have had the exasperation of sitting almost becalmed while another boat within a mile appears to find a private line of breeze, and seemingly within minutes there she is – gone……
Nevertheless, the showing by Ruth has been extra impressive, She was always there or thereabouts, but Johnny Murphy with Outrajeous seemed to keep the rest of the J/109s under control astern. But from the Old Head of Kinsale westward, Ruth provided an increasing challenge, and at the Fastnet itself she swept past, such that as of 2200 hrs she was ahead of Outrajeous by an entire mile, and top of the leaderboard in IRC as she put Mizen Head astern at 6.5 knots.
"Nevertheless, the showing by Ruth has been extra impressive"
Tonight and tomorrow looks like being another period of lovely soothing rain in best June 2019 style, and Kerry will get its fair share and more, so the winds could go anywhere. But the final result is wide open as first one part of the fleet, and then another, finds a brief period of extra-favourable conditions.
We’ll try to make sense of it in the morning, and then do further analysis in Sailing on Saturday on June 15th.
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