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National 18s Are Keen to Show off New 'Ultra' Boats at Royal Cork All Ireland Sailing Championships

30th September 2021
A 90kg wireman is the optimum weight for this weekend's National 18-based All Ireland Sailing Championships
A 90kg wireman is the optimum weight for this weekend's National 18-based All Ireland Sailing Championships Credit: Bob Bateman

BYOW - Bring your own wireman, that's the call for this weekend's All Ireland sailing championships that puts a premium on a 90kg trapeze crew in the National 18s for what looks likely to be a breezy edition of the two-day event at Royal Cork Yacht Club

The 16 invited helmsman will be racing in the National 18 Ultras, the brand new version of the three-man dinghy that was totally redesigned by Phil Morrison in 2012.

"The idea of donating our boats for the competition is to show them off", National 18 class captain Charles Dwyer told Afloat.

The boats are all built by the class boat builder White Formula of West Mersea, so are very evenly matched.

Dwyer says the fact that invited helms are bringing their own dinghy trapeze crews with them rather than using 'yacht crews',  means the class will deliver a 'closer' performance across the event.

As the National 18 sails with three, the third crew is an owner's representative.

National 18 Ultras racing in Cork HarbourNational 18 Ultras racing in Cork Harbour Photo: Bob Bateman

Racing will consist of two “flights” or heats. The top three from each flight go straight into the final.

The remaining competitors who placed 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th compete in a 2-race qualifier or “repêchage”, and the top two then enter the Final also.

Sunday's final will have eight teams competing.

National 18

National 18

As Afloat reported in 2013, the N18 Ultra prototype named ‘Odyssey’ was trialled extensively in UK and Ireland for nine months. The new boats, says Dwyer, are sleeker, lighter, faster and great to sail. 

That's not to say that the fleet does not accommodate its older designs too in regular club racing.

There are now four categories of National 18s. The Ultra joins the Ultimate, Pen­ultimate and Classic and the class says it "likes to think they coexist quite happily and makes the effort to be all-inclusive".

And as Afloat mentioned this week, it looks like an 'original of the species' will be making a return to the water soon as Roger Bannon gets to work on the 1957-built National 18 Fingal.

In more good news for the class, the early weekend forecast for strong winds on Saturday now appears to show more sailable conditions at Crosshaven.

Afloat.ie Team

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At A Glance – All Ireland Sailing Championships 2021

The 2021 Irish Sailing Senior All Ireland Championship will take place at the Royal Cork YC in National 18s, 2 & 3 October.

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