After the near gale force racing conditions and white-knuckle sailing experience of 2017, this year’s IDRA 14 Nationals held at Carlingford Sailing Club 9th–11th August proved a more nuanced and tactical racing experience for the 15 boats that competed over the 3 days of the Championship.
The Club has views of the Lough and Cooley and Mourne mountains nearby and the weather over the three days racing was generally good, which made the event for the competitors and family and friends that accompany these events very enjoyable. Carlingford Lough is known for its unusual wind patterns, particularly where the wind comes from the west rolling down the mountains, and so it proved on the first day’s racing where the wind was light and with significant holes and changeable in direction. Despite this, Race Officer Ian Sargent managed to complete one race after moving the race area northwards which was won by 14/134 “Dubious” of Sutton Dinghy Club, last year’s winner - but this year helmed by Simon Revill with Alan Henry as crew. New to the IDRA fleet, Ryan Cairns and Ian Byrne (Clontarf Yacht & Boat Club) 14/128 “Dr. J.P. Frog” were second.
Day 2 of the Championship brought more stable northerly winds coming down the Lough, and 3 back-to-back races were held close to the clubhouse. Newly-partnered Catherine Martin and Brian Murphy in 14/122 “Diane” of Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club raced superbly, keeping tight to the shore to avoid the strong tide and won two of the three races, while Revill and Henry kept in the chase achieving three-second places. Alan Carr and Dana Kilroy in 14/38 “Starfish” (Sutton Dinghy Club), always in the mix at National Championships, lay in third position at the end of the day.
"The Championship proved a great result for Sutton Dinghy Club taking first and third places"
Day 3 brought more stable, sea-like conditions with southerly winds blowing Force 4, gusting 5 which brought some challenging moments with Revill flying full spinnaker capsizing in Race 5, letting the fleet blast through. Unfortunately, Cairns suffered gear failure and retired. Race 6 ended with Revill taking the final win of the series and the Championship, with Martin and Murphy taking second only two points behind, with Carr and Kilroy third.
The Championship proved a great result for Sutton Dinghy Club taking first and third places, but the Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club squad were delighted with three of their members being in the top 5 including Catherine Martin and Brian Murphy taking second (the highest result in 9 years for the Club!), Pierre Long and John Parker fourth and Julie Ascoop and Sinead Mangan fifth - no doubt a reflection of the intensive racing these sailors are enjoying in the DBSC series at Dun Laoghaire. The event ended with an evening dinner and prizegiving at the clubhouse, where Simon Revill and Alan Henry were awarded their trophy and announced that after 9 years racing together they would be parting ways.