With upwards of 150 boat competing, the inaugural Wave Regatta is set to become the largest gathering of racing yachts this year in Ireland. So who is likely to come out with the Howth Yacht Club spoils in each of the IRC divisions, Class 0, Class 1, Class 2 and Class 3?
It is no exaggeration to say that wind conditions are set to play a very big part in this.
Some yachts, especially the wider modern types excel in the breeze whereas some of the less modern shapes, with less wider sterns often do very well in the lighter conditions.
So far, all the forecasts are showing for light airs on the Friday and Sunday when the fleets have six races in total, with a little more wind on Saturday when the Lambay Day Race will be sailed. The prospect of a sea breeze similar to today, however, could yet surprise by increasing wind strengths across at least one, if not all, the three days of the regatta.
"Each of the inshore races will have a multiplier of 1 and there are six of them"
The Lambay Race will have a 1.5 times multiplier and is non–discardable. However, each of the inshore races will have a multiplier of 1 and there are six of them. Therefore, you would expect that the high number of races on Friday and Sunday, when lighter winds are expected, will favour the lighter air orientated designs.
Here is Afloat.ie's best guess of who will end up in the frame.
Class 0 Very small entry here, only three boats, George Sisk's Farr 42, Wow, Conor Phelan's Ker 37, Jump Juice and Jamie McWilliams' Ker 40, Signal 8. The Ker 40 is by far the highest rating boat of these 3 and if there was more wind, she would get up and plane easily, and sail to her handicap, but in lighter airs, she may not get these planing conditions. Wow has a new keel, a new rig configuration and new sails this year and appears to be all the better for these changes, but it may be just a bit early for her to show her form. Jump Juice is the likely winner in this class. She was unlucky to only finish third at last week's Scottish Series, and we expect she will get the better of the other two in this class.
"The smart money is on Storm to take the Class One title"
Class 1 This will be a really tight Class. A lot of well–sailed, well–prepared boats here. Were the conditions windier, you would expect to see the 3 wide, modern designs, Fools Gold, Rockabill VI and Bon Exemple feature well up there. Of these three, Rob McConnell's Fools Gold may take the lighter wind conditions better and could end up towards the front. However, in lighter winds, it is very hard to look outside one of the nine J109’s from taking the win. The J109 has won virtually every regatta in Ireland over the last four years (except Sovereign's Cup 2017 when Fools Gold won and 2016 when Rockabill VI won Cork Week), and this includes winning the last 4 Icra Nationals, class winner in the last Round Ireland, ISORA overall winner, overall winner in the 2017 Dun Laoghaire Regatta. Pat Kelly's Storm from Howth comes fresh from a win at the Scottish Series and having also won the J109 nationals last year, will certainly be one of the ones to watch. Tim Goodbody's White Mischief wins most of the Dun Laoghaire races, but will he be able to replicate this on the Northside of the Bay? Andrew Algeo's Juggerknot has recently won the J109 East coasts and has been going very well of late. However, John Maybury's Joker II, with three consecutive ICRA Nationals wins and an overall win last year at the very competitive Dun Laoghaire week will be the one to beat, if she has Olympian Mark Mansfield calling the shots, (as he did in the four wins mentioned above). If he is not aboard, then the smart money is on Storm to take the title.
Class 2 Again, wind conditions will likely make a big difference in this class, where the size range from smallest to biggest is quite large. If it were medium to fresh, you would expect to see Ross McDonald's X332, Equinox take the win, closely followed by the two Beneteau 34.7s Flashback (Breen/Hogg) and Leslie Parnell's Black Velvet. However, the conditions are likely to be light and there are no better light wind boats than the tricked–up Half Tonners, of which four are competing. David Cullen's Checkmate XV, Nigel Biggs Checkmate XVIII, Johnny Swan's Harmony (second in Scotland this week) and Mike and Richard Evan's Big Picture. Nigel Biggs was second at last year's Half Ton Cup so you would have to give him the nod ahead of Cullen. Don’t be surprised, however, to see one of the other two Half Tonners up there also. Another boat that could be good on her day in light airs is Kodachi from Howth (Wright/Connolly).
Class 3 Again, if conditions were windier, you might see one of the X302’s from Howth take the win or even one of the J24's which sail very well to their rating in the breeze. However, in the lighter airs, it is likely that one of the four Corby 25,s will take the honours and we suspect that the local Corby 25, Fusion (Colwell and Cobbe) from Howth will be the pick of these four.
See full entry list here