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IDRA 14 Pair Henry & Revill Make It 'Three in a Row'

25th August 2017
IDRA 14 Pair Henry & Revill Make It 'Three in a Row'

Alan Henry & Simon Revill made it “three in a row” in the picturesque waters of Galway Bay on 17/19th of August, winning the IDRA 14 National Championship for their third consecutive year.

18 boats gathered in GBSC on the Wednesday with a poor forecast for both wind & rain. Since we were last here six years ago, the Club location has been designated as part of the new western seaboard tourist trail – the “Wild Atlantic Way”…. it was to live up to its title during our visit!!

Wednesday’s practice race had no takers and was cancelled as we all ansiously awaited the outcome of the well-forecasted gales due to hit the west coast. The Club have an excellent automatic continuous print out of the weather / wind / barometric pressure etc. from the nearby Marine Institute, which provided excellent live information.

Thursday arrived with wind of 18 kts with gusts of 23 kts, on a moderate sea. It was decided to go for the two scheduled races, so 17 boats took to the water … but not all made it to the starting line! Race 1 proved to be exciting as the weather took its toll, with thrills and spills galore. Alan Henry & Simon Revill in 14/134 won the race, beating Alan Carr & Diarmuid Brodie 14/38 into second place, followed by Charles Sargent & grandchild Caoimhe Fleming 14/126 in third place. Pierre Long & John Parker 14/161 came in 4th with Lochlann Hackett & Jacob Maguire in 5th and Brian Murphy & Hazel Rea 14/122 in 6th. Sadly 14/163 Philip Hackett & Fiachra Collins recovered from a capsize and struggled to the finish line only to discover they were out side the time limit, and the remainder of the fleet had retired earlier. Race Officers David Vinnell and Ian Sargent postponed the second scheduled race, so all returned ashore.

As is typical IDRA 14 fashion the shore events were supplemented by the usual large entourage of camp followers, and everyone enjoyed the Clubhouse facilities until the early hours. Meanwhile those in tents became more concerned as the expected gale arrived .

On Friday morning we awoke to find the campsite being hammered by the winds, and some tents had collapsed. It was obvious that sailing was impossible so Race Officer Ian Sargent (David Vinnell had to stand down as Race Officer to undergo a scheduled heart operation, from which we are delighted to say he is recovering well) and GBSC Rear Commodore Alan Donnelly made an early decision that racing would be cancelled for the day – a decision welcomed by all competitors! The early cancellation gave time for repairs to be carried out to boats and tents – some of the replacement equipment had to come from Dublin!! For others it gave a whole day to discover the many lovely tourist sights in the area.

Saturday arrived with three races scheduled - but the heavy winds continued to persist, and it was decided to have hourly postponements as the forecast was for the winds to drop. Everyone got a bit frustrated but all knew we had to try to get some sailing, since the forecast for Sunday wasn’t looking promising. Finally after seven hourly and one half-hour postbonements, the printout from the Marine Institute at last showed the winds to be easing, and with delight it was announced that racing was to commence at 16.00 hrs. Four boats decided not to participate and stayed ashore, whilst the remaining fourteen went out to the starting line. Wind conditions were much improved from the Thursday …. but the seas were the same!

A windward–leeward course was set and racing started on time. Apart from some equipment failure, there were less capsizes and and the racing was excellent. Three races were held in quick succession - with minimum turnaround time, racing was completed in just over two hours. Alan & Simon won races two & three, and Pat O’ Neill & Oisin O’Connor 14/15 won the last race. Alan Carr was consistent with two seconds and a fifth, as was Pierre Long with three third place finishes. The competitors happily made their way ashore knowing that with four races in total completed, there was a discard available – very much appreciated by some who had unhappy experiences on the Thursday!

This 2017 Championship was remarkable as for the first time since spinnakers were re-admitted to the Class in 1974, NOBODY flew one this year – mind you, they would not have got many to bet that they could do so successfully in the prevailing conditions. It was also great to see the number of young people particiipating this year – the Class hopes this trend continues.

The well attended Championship dinner and prizegiving on the Saturday night was a suitable finale to the event, rounded off with wonderful live music provided by some of our youth members. The stalwarts at the bar were rewarded with a long night of activity that only ended at daybreak – keeping up Class tradition!

The IDRA 14 Class would like to thank GBSC for their hosting of the event, and in particular Alan Donnelly for his tireless work in making the event a success. With their revamped clubhouse facilities they are a very attractive venue for events, and we would strongly urge other Classes to visit.

Ian Sargent, IDRA 14 Class Association

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