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Water Wags Compete for Sri Lanka Tankard During Heritage Week

28th August 2015
water wag
The Dun Laoghaire harbour website recorded winds of 24 knots at the start of the race
Water Wags Compete for Sri Lanka Tankard During Heritage Week

On 29th. July the Water Wags competed in Dun Laoghaire in the second of three races for The Sri Lanka Tankard (div.1A) and Sri Lanka Mug (div.1B) and the Meldon Cup (div.2). It was a cool evening with a strong breeze blowing through the harbour mouth from the north-west which was kicking up quite a chop in the harbour. The Dun Laoghaire harbour wesite recorded winds of 24 knots at the start of the race, a condition which would normally require the Water Wags to have a compulsory reefed mainsail. All the boats competed with full sails. The windward leeward course of four laps of the harbour was laid with a start line off the east pier and the windward mark between the west pier lighthouse and the mouth of the marina. The tide was flooding through the harbour mouth.

Mollie had some problems with her yard as she left the National Y.C, so she had to drop her yard at a mooring, and only just made the start line in time. As the Wags approached the start line the choppy water was quite challenging, which resulted in some pre-start contact between boats. At the pin end there was pressure on space and three boats, Gavotte, Pansy and Freddie were declared premature starters. Swift started at the committee boat end giving her the ability to tack towards the harbour mouth.
Tactically there were many choices; head for the harbour mouth in the hope of picking up a favourable flood tide, or alternatively avoid the harbour mouth where the waves were steepest.

At the first windward mark the order was Guy and Jackie Kilroy in Swift, Cathy MacAleavey and Con Murphy in Mollie and Dan O'Connor and David Williams' Scallywag. The strong breeze on the off-wind leg seemed to favour the Wags on starboard gybe. Almost all the Wags rounded the port gate mark. There were few place changes at the top of the fleet, but further down mistakes were made and places lost and gained as a result. On the beat the challenge was to keep the boat moving over the waves.
On the third off-wind leg the wind had shifted, so those who could, gybed their spinnakers. By that stage the wind strength was reducing to less than 15 knots.

At the windward finish the order was:
1st. . 'Swift' Guy & Jackie Kilroy. (div. 1A)
2nd. 'Mollie' Cathy MacAleavey & Con Murphy. (div.1A)
3rd. 'Scallywag' Dan O'Connor & David Williams. (div.1b)
4th. 'Gavotte,' Frank Guy (div 1A)
5th. 'Little Tern', Tim & Marcus Pearson. (div.1A)
6th. 'Coquette', Seymour Cresswell & Mary.(div.1B)
7th. 'Ethna', Bill Nolan & Niamh Hooper. (div 2)
8th. 'Tortoise', William & Linda Prentice. (div.1A)
9th. 'Pansy' Vincent Delany & Maree Dee. ( div 1A)
10th. 'Vela' Philip Mayne (Div 1B)
11th. 'Alfa', Michael & Jenny Donohoe. (div. 1B)
12th. 'Polly' Henry Rooke & Richard Mossop.(div 2)
13th. 'Eva' Orla Fitzgerald & Dermot Flynn (div 1b)
14th. 'Chloe', Kate O' Leary & Donohoe (div 1B)
15th. 'Freddie', David Corcoran and son. (div. 1 B)
16th. 'Sprite', Adrian Masterson & Geoff Davys.
Moosmie, & Sara retired

Published in Racing
Vincent Delany

About The Author

Vincent Delany

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Sailing historian Vincent Delany is a member of the Association of Yachting Historians, and an active sailor in Water Wag, SOD and Squib classes. He has written a thesis on 'Yachting and yachtsmen on the River Shannon 1830-1930.' He has lectured on the history of The Water Wag Club, Royal St.George Yacht Club, and the Killinure Yacht Club, He has written two sailing books 'The Water Wags 1887-2012' and 'The International 12 foot class in Ireland' both of which are available from

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