All Ireland Sailing Champion Anthony O'Leary will defend his Irish Sailing Association title after finishing top of his qualifying group in the first day of the weekend championships at the National Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire today.
After a day of slack winds on Dublin Bay six finalists from a fleet of 16 is made up of four keelboat and two dinghy helmsmen.
In group A, RS400 dinghy champion Alex Barry; Flying Fifteen champion Dave Gorman and Alan Henry of the IDRA 14s qualify for tomorrow's final while in group B it's O'Leary, ICRA's Cillian Dixon and Chris Helme of the Ruffians who go through.
Six qualifying races were sailed with only two minutes separating first and last place in any of the races despite trying conditions that started this morning shrouded in fog.
Two more helmsmen will qualify from a line–up of eight in repechage rounds yet to be sailed in supplied J/80 keelboats.
The forecast for tomorrow is for more light south–easterlies but scheduled to strengthen significantly for the finals tomorrow evening.
Read WMN Nixon's All Ireland preview
Results to date: