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Anthony O’Leary Crowned 2014 All Ireland Sailing Champion Off Howth

7th September 2014
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Anthony_OLeary_allireland2014
Anthony O'Leary (right) and his crew Dylan Gannon (left) and Dan O'Grady celebrate All Ireland victory off Howth. Photo: Jonathan Wormald
Anthony O’Leary Crowned 2014 All Ireland Sailing Champion Off Howth

#allirelandsailing – Royal Cork Sailor Anthony O'Leary is the 2014 ISA All Ireland Sailing Champion beating clubmate Stefan Hyde on count-back following a two day, 12 race battle against 15 other national class champions. The top five in the event were all Cork harbour sailors.

The Crosshaven sailor who brought home the Commodore's Cup to Ireland for a second time in August has competed in the Championship numerous times (including runner–up four times) but had never brought home the coveted Helmsman Trophy. 

Sunshine and a breeze of 10-12 knots again awaited the sailors today for the finale of the ISA All Ireland event hosted by Howth Yacht Club. First to take to the waters north of the harbour were the eight sailors competing in the repechage for the remaining two final spots.

Local sailor Conor Turvey and J24 Champion Flor O'Driscoll finished Race 1 at the top of the leader board. O'Driscoll went on to win Race 2, and the repechage, to qualify him for the Final but a penalty for Turvey cost him the remaining place. Ultimately it was consistency that paid off for Clontarf's Pat O'Neill. His 3, 3 earned him the eighth place in the Final.

O'Leary, who is also the 1720 national champion stormed into the lead in Race 1 of the Final and just could not be caught. He rounded each mark in pole position to take the win and push him to the top of the leader board. O'Leary was tailed by Pat O'Neill and RS200 sailor Alex Barry but fellow Corkonian Stefan Hyde's 4th was enough to keep him in 2nd place overall with defending champion Ben Duncan only a point behind in 3rd.

There was a significant shift in the leader board after the second race. Stefan Hyde, Anthony O'Leary and a third Cork sailor; Alex Barry were first to cross the line. This resulted in a Cork takeover of the top four places with overnight leader Ian Nagle rounding off the domination by moving up to 4th. Duncan pulled in his worst result of the championship and even the discard couldn't save him from dropping to 7th overall.

The penultimate race couldn't have been closer. All eight competitors were neck and neck throughout, jostling positions. In a shock result Stefan Hyde finished in last place but he discarded to hold on to the top spot. Alex Barry had his second consecutive bullet followed by Pat O'Neill who finished in 2nd place for the second time in three races. Now only 3.5 points separated the top four sailors in a Cork dominated fleet.

The wind dropped off to about 7 knots for the final deciding race. Again, it was so close that the positions changed frequently. At the first mark, Anthony O'Leary was at the back of the fleet but he then led around the second mark. Alex Barry, who had been 3rd around the first mark, dropped to the back of the fleet rounding the final mark. But O'Leary and his crew Dylan Gannon and Dan O'Grady could feel the win. They maintained their lead, crossed the line two places ahead of Stefan Hyde, tied them on points, and won on count-back in what was undoubtedly the closet fought All Irelands in many years. Hyde and his crew Jerry and Jimmy Dowling who were OCS in the final race ultimately took Silver and Alex Barry, Sandy Rimmington, Lisa Neary and Patrick Good claimed Bronze. 

Results

Boat

Helm

Club

R1

R2

R3

R4

R5

R6

R7

Dis

Total

2

Anthony O'Leary

RCYC

1

4

3

1

3

7

1

7

13

4

Stefan Hyde

RCYC

1

1

2

4

2

8

3

8

13

8

Alex Barry

MBSC

4

2

4

3

1

1

8

8

15

5

Ian Nagle

RCYC

1.5

1

2

6

6

3

2

6

15.5

1

Pat O'Neill

CY&BC

5

2

8

2

5

2

4

8

20

3

Chris Helme

RSGYC

3

5

1

8

3

5

6

8

23

7

Ben Duncan

 

2

5

1

5

7

6

7

7

26

6

Flor O'Driscoll

RSGYC

6

3

6

7

4

4

5

7

28

Published in All Irelands
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