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O'Leary unmatched on home turf

26th August 2009
O'Leary unmatched on home turf
RCYC sailor Nin O'Leary was the clear winner at the Match Racing Southerns last weekend in Crosshaven, sailed over two days in the ISA Sailfleet J80s, writes Claire Bateman. Round Robin 1 was completed in full on Saturday and in anticipation of bad weather forecast for Sunday, the Race Officer managed to fit in three flights of Round Robin 2. Young sailors made their mark, with Fred Cudmore finishing a strong second.

Wind was from the South, light at the start of the day and building to 16/17 knots from the South/South East during the day. The Principal Race Oficer was Richard Leonard, using Purple Haze, generously provided by Miriam and Chris McMahon  as the committee boat,  and ably assisisted by the race management team. Umpires were Jimmy Nyhan, Denis Kiely, Grattan Roberts and John McCann.

The youngest skippers included Killian O’Keeffe and Freddie Cudmore.  Other teams included Nicholas O’Leary, Maria Coleman, who skippered an all female crew, Martin Darrer and Brian Carlin.

Sunday dawned and with it came the promised forecast.  With reefed mainsails and spinnakers not allowed, the fleet faced a strong southerly, a rolling sea coming in the channel and the fog horn at Roches Point blaring.  The second Round Robin was completed and against all the odds Round Robin 3 got under way.  However, by lunch time torrential rain and more wind arrived forcing the abandonment of the series but, each competitor having sailed 13 races and with thirty matches sailed in total, a clear winner emerged in the person of Nin O'Leary. A turn up for the books and getting stronger by the match young Fred Cudmore finished in second place.  Martin Darrer's team finished third with Brian Carlin fourth, Maria Coleman fifth and in sixth place, putting in a superb performance, was 15 year old Killian O'Keeffe showing all the benefits of his many years in Optimist sailing.

The report below comes from Brian Carlin:

With other team members fervently training and preparing for the SB3 nationals in two weeks, I decided to try the dry end of the boat position in last weekend’s match racing Southern Championships in RCYC.

Having never sailed together as a team, our felt at odds with well-worked teams like Nin’s and Fred’s however we would not let this unsettle us.

In the first match against Nin, my shaky pre-start put us in a tough position to come back from, but as the day moved on we slowly gained experience and confidence, and started to get a couple of matches back. Our best pre-start on day one was against Maria Coleman, a lot of flags and circling in the pre-start lead to an exciting first leg. Unfortunately, she managed to outsail us, but all was not lost.  In round robin 2 of day one, we managed to get one back – one match each.

Generally, we were happy with our first day's racing, but we worried about the forecast of heavy breeze for day two to finish out round robin 2 and start a third.

We started with two wins, the second of which was down to the wire, between the pre-start and the downwind legs it was the hardest fought match from the thirteen we had raced over the two days.

As the wind increased to over 30 knots and time was running out to finish the third round robin, after our last match against Maria the committee decided to send us in – rather happy with ourselves finishing fourth overall, we would have like to finish the final two matches to have a shot at third overall but it wasn’t meant to be.

Now it’s back to bow or trimmer for me – but with an itch to get the helm again if for nothing more than a big pre-start dial up.


Published in Racing Team

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