Pat Kelly's all-conquering J109 Storm of the host club continues her winning ways this weekend by topping the leaderboard in Howth's Wave Regatta after a strong turnout for the annual Lambay Race yesterday. It's a result, at least in Class One IRC, that confirms an earlier prediction made by Afloat.ie here.
The non-discardable Lambay Race as part of the overall regatta series did not disappoint with ideal 10–15 knots breeze for north Dublin's traditional course around Lambay Island.
Billed as the biggest event of the sailing season, the scale of the fleet was a tonic for all involved as the 154–boats reached to Lambay in good surfing conditions.
Howth Yacht Club rolled out Ireland's newest sailing event and amassed a great fleet to make it Ireland's biggest sailing event in 2019 at the first attempt.
The new style 'Wave' formula breathed new life into one of Dublin's oldest sailing fixtures; the annual Lambay Race dating back to 1899.
The bank holiday event manages to combine inshore and coastal racing that includes rounding the Dublin Island.
Lambay, according to Afloat.ie's WM Nixon in his Wave Regatta preview, says it's a 'perfect island which does so much to make the Fingal coast into Leinster’s sailing paradise'.
Combining a six race inshore programme with the Lambay route has been a popular decision that has produced a quality fleet across three ratings divisions, to the extent that the regatta is being touted as an 'East Coast IRC Championships'.
The coastal race had a 1.5 times multiplier and is non–discardable for overall honours that could yet prove critical as today's final three rounds get underway.
Crisp boat handling stole the show off Ireland's Eye yesterday with those who had already produced the goods in Scotland or in other early-season events clearly showing an edge.
With a small entry in Class Zero of three boats, it was left to Conor Phelan's Ker 37, Jump Juice to take the win despite planing conditions that gave Jamie McWilliams' high rating Ker 40, Signal 8 the chance to do a horizon job on the water. Unlucky to only finish third at last week's Scottish Series, Phelan got the better of the other two in this class. Signal 8 was second with George Sisk's Wow third.
In Class One IRC, the Storm crew, who were crowned Scottish Champions last Monday, outwitted a strong fleet of 19 by catching the first shift off the leeward end of the line. Second was Royal Irish J109, Juggerknot, the recently crowned J109 East coast champion skippered by Andrew Algeo, with clubmate Colin Byrne in the XP33, Bon Exemple third.
Class Two IRC was a Half Tonner benefit for the top three places for three well prepared Howth boats edging out the threat of Nigel Biggs' Checkmate XVIII, that took a creditable second at last year's Half Ton Cup. Dave Cullen's Checkmate XV took the win, Jonny Swan's Harmony was second and Mike Evans' The Big Picture was third, leaving Biggs fourth in the 22-boat class, the biggest of the event.
Another Scottish winner, 'F'nGR8' skippered by Rory Fekkes of Carrickfergus but sailing under the burgee of the National Yacht Club took a well-earned win from two Howth X boats, Dux (A Gore-Grimes) and Xebec (Bourke McGirr Ball) in second and third respectively in the 21–boat fleet.
In a ten–boat ISORA class, Chris Power-Smith's J122 Aurelia from the Royal St. George was the winner from yet another J109, Wakey Wakey skippered by Roger Smith from Poolbeg Y&BC.
All results are here
Wave Regatta racing continues today with three more races.