#waterwags – The Water Wag fleet was back to full strength for the first of three handicap races for the Buckingham Cup (div. 1A+1B) and the Wigham Trophy (div. 2) on 18 May. The fleet who had travelled to France to compete in the classic boat event, La Semaine de la Voile du Golfe de Morbihan were back in Dun Laoghaire in time for the race.
Forty-one handicap times were allocated, and twenty-one Water Wags came to the start line. This race was organised as a pursuit race with a handicap start. The first three boats to start were Brian McBride and Stuart Mc Bean in the Michael Mahony built 'Nandor', Fergus Cullen and Alice Walsh in the Michael Mahony built 'Penelope' and Adrian Masterson and Geoff Davys in 'Sprite'.
The conditions were ideal with a shifty wind in Dun Laoghaire harbour of about 10 knots gusting to about 12 knots. The course was a windward leeward course of four and a half laps. It was five and a half minutes later that the last starters got away. The westerly wind enabled the whole width of the harbour to be used, and on the beats, competitors had the tactical choice of heading either towards the harbour mouth or to the HSS ferry berth. Because the wind was shifty, neither option was consistently beneficial. However, 'Nandor' took the harbour mouth option each time and it worked for them. Back through the large fleet of classic boats places were changing rapidly.
William and Linda Prentice in the John Jones built 'Tortoise' and Tim and Marcus Pearson in the Derek Paine built 'Little Tern' consistently made places both on the upwind and downwind legs. In fact 'Tortoise' was in 15th place on the first lap, 11th on lap two, 7th on lap three and finished in second place. A remarkable performance.
At the finish the places were:
1st. 'Nandor', Brian McBride and Stuart Mc Bean.(div.2).
2nd. 'Tortoise', William and Linda Prentice.(div. 1A).
3rd. 'Penelope', Fergus Cullen and Alice Walsh. (div.2).
10th. 'Eva' Orla Fitzgerald and Dermot O'Flynn. (div.1B).