County Sligo's Mullaghmore Sailing Club hosted its annual regatta last weekend, as Afloat previewed here, with careful consideration of health and safety in accordance with Irish Sailing’s ‘Return to Sailing’ guidance.
While some of the normal onshore post-sailing activities had to be curtailed, there was a super turnout of 16 boats, and Mullaghmore extended a very warm welcome to all the visitors. Racing started with the Pier Head Trophy on Friday evening in good conditions. This was won by Sligo Yacht Club’s Colm O’Flaherty and his crew on the J24, Jana. Jana also took the SF trophy on Saturday in much more mixed weather – occasional sunshine was interspersed with very heavy rain and squalls which presented a real challenge to the crews.
Racing finished on a high on a sunny Sunday with a strong offshore breeze giving flat seas, fast sailing, and a colourful display of spinnakers over the bay. The final race was the Commodore’s Cup which was won by Ed Cody from Royal North of Ireland Yacht Club in his impressive RS Elite, Speedwell.
Under the IRC rating system which handicaps the boats based on their speed and adjusts them to ‘corrected time’, the overall standing after six races over three days was:
- Jana (Colm O’Flaherty, SYC)
- Jevan (Ken Draper, SYC)
- Speedwell (Ed Cody, RNIYC)
It was really encouraging to see so many younger sailors taking up the challenge of helming and crewing the J24 class boats, with recent training programmes in both MSC and SYC paying dividends. Sligo’s Lady Caroline won under 25 class with an all-female crew, with Mullaghmore’s Black Pearl coming in second.
MSC Commodore, Michal Czubala, presented the results and individual race prizes outside the Pier Head after racing on Sunday, and congratulated all the sailors who took part in the regatta. He also thanked the support team, in particular Brian Matthews who came from Dublin to act as Race Officer for the weekend.
MSC has very recently signed up to the 20x20 Club Charter – a national initiative to support and promote women and girls in sports clubs. The 2020 Regatta was a significant milestone, as there were 3 boats with ladies at the helm, and more than 25% of the crew across the competing boats were female – the club is looking to build on this in coming years.
In a year when so many events and activities have been cancelled due to COVID-19 considerations, MSC has been making a big effort to get people on the water in a safe manner. Support from long-standing as well as the many new members was terrific. Club racing will continue for the remainder of the season. The junior sailing programme, which is running on shortened hours and reduced numbers has been fully booked so far, with limited places available for the next three weeks.