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Conditions couldn’t have been more glorious for a bank holiday weekend of ISORA races in Pwllheli writes Vicky Cox. The last two races of the Global Displays three-race Welsh Coastal series.

The first race of the weekend, the Global Displays Day race, was a 30nm coastal race taking in Pwllheli Sailing Club (PSC) Mark 10 off Penychain, the Causeway buoy and the Tudwal islands before heading back to the finish via the Tom Buoy. Given the winds forecast (none!), some felt the course was a little ambitious but with a steady 6-8kts at the start, all boats got away cleanly and steadily along the beach.

Andrew Hall’s Jackknife rounded PSC10 first, closely followed by Peter Dunlop & Vicky Cox’s Mojito and once their kites and code zeros went up they progressed at a steady 6-7 knots down to the causeway cardinal buoy. Meanwhile, back at Penychain, it looked like the wind had dropped and Peter Ashworth’s ZigZag, Mark&Jo Thompson’s Jac y Do rounded 30 -40 minutes after the leading boats.

As the wind died further offshore, boats had the added problem of waves close to the bar. For Keith Greenwood’s Hullabaloo Encore, who rounded the PSC10 last, progress was painfully slow at less than 2kts and they were forced to eventually retire.

Meanwhile, at the causeway buoy, Jackknife managed to get some wind and sped away at an impressive 7-8kts leaving Mojito to round in the dying airs now 3 miles behind. It certainly looked like Jackknife had the race in the bag.

In consideration for the slower boats, the course was shortened - straight to the finish from the Tudwal islands but that’s where Jackknife ran into trouble and appeared to be heading west along the headland rather than east through the sound. An hour later they were joined by Mojito who soon realised the problem - barely any wind and significant tide against them.

Much merriment ensued in the deathly quiet of the sound and Jackknife were heard hailing from a distance ‘Starboard!’ Both boats erupted in laughter. Trying all tactics to get through, they both ended up close inshore next to Bear Grylls island where a gentleman appeared at the edge of the cliff asking ‘Are you alright?’, ‘Do you need any help?’, ‘Do you need any fuel?’. ‘We could do with some beer!’, was the reply.

Jackknife tacked away to try the other side of the sound while Mojito floated past hoping for more wind being funnelled through the islands.

Now joined by ZigZag and Jac y Do two hours after they had arrived, Jackknife appeared to be parked for the night under the cliffs of the headland so put up their kite in a desperate attempt to get the boat moving. Mojito appeared to be in a worse position as they were floating backwards between the two islands watching the slightest of zephyrs on the water, all frustratingly too far out of reach. The discussion onboard was a debate on how Bear Grylls managed to keep the flag flying on his island with such vigour while all around there was no wind to be seen. Boredom started to set in, so up went Mojito’s kite - at least it would dry it out after a heavy 10days of sailing.

Jac y Do watched as Mojito slowly disappeared between the islands, with just their masthead showing and then witnessed them being catapulted back out at speed. The zephyr had arrived! A desperate attempt to tack the kite meant it was wrapped in the very moment it was needed - of all the times!! But they managed to get it free and it filled. After over 3 hours of floating it was such an uplifting moment, almost worthy of a cheer. Off they shot smartly at 6kts.

But it was short lived, the wind had gone in the shadow of St Tudwals East. They could see wind at a flag on a lobster pot up ahead. Did they have enough momentum to get there? Yes, they did! And they managed to stay in it all the way to Pwllheli leaving the rest of the fleet to float at 0.5kts for another hour at least.

Mojito finally finished at 2133 taking 1st overall and class 1, Jackknife finished an hour later taking class 0 and Jac y Do an hour and 15 mins after that took 2nd overall and class 2 1st. Tremendous perseverance saw ZigZag finish at 0122 in the morning, taking 2nd in class 2.

After the struggle in the day race, there was little appetite for a lengthy Global Displays Night race in similar wind conditions, so it was kept short - PSC start, St Tudwal islands, and back to the finish. St Tudwals again?! Hadn’t we learned?! This time the fleet were sent through with the tide, rounding St Tudwals East, St Tudwals West and the bell buoy all to port.

Mojito got a good start along with Jackknife and managed to keep with them on the beat all the way to the islands, playing the shifts. Jackknife rounded St Tudwals West, up went the kite and off they went. Luckily the 6-7kts breeze was steady, with puffs of 8kts coming from the east. Mojito managed to capitalise on the wind bend with fewer gybes managing to finish just 10 minutes behind Jackknife to take 1st overall again. While Stephen Williams’s Darling xx were visibly closing the gap they were unable to beat Jackknife on handicap and had to settle for 3rd overall.

Mojito missed the first of the Global Displays three race coastal series in Pwllheli by taking part in the Irish coastal series sponsored by Viking marine. All the talk was of Mojito potentially winning the coastal series on both sides of the water. Had they compromised their lead in the Viking Marine series on the Irish side by being in Pwllheli?... As results came in from both sides of the Irish Sea it was evident that Mojito had brought back some Irish luck that weekend, and by a fluke of events and results, they had won the Viking Marine series overall without doing the last race. But with no discards on the Welsh side, they had to settle for 3rd overall in Pwllheli despite taking top spot in the last two races.

Jackknife had done enough to take the Global Displays series in Pwllheli with a 1st, 2nd and a 3rd, meaning that they retained the Midland Punch bowl. In time-honoured tradition, the bowl was filled by the two coastal series-winning skippers with vodka & tequila sunrises and the party continued well into the early hours.

Full results for both coastal series and ISORA offshore series can be found here

Pwllheli Sailing Club will welcome the ISORA skippers back on the 7th September for the last and deciding race of the overall ISORA series for the Wolf’s Head.

Racing then continues inshore in Pwllheli, with the very popular Autumn and Winter series, starting on the 21st September and every other weekend till Christmas.

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Race 14 of the ISORA Offshore Series 2019 took place from Dun Laoghaire on Saturday, 24th August 2019 writes Peter Ryan. 

As Afloat previously reported, the race was a Coastal Day Race with a 10.00 start. The race was part of the ISORA “Viking Marine” Irish Coastal Series and also a feeder race to the Greystones Regatta

The race was the last race in what was to be a five-race series for the Viking Marine Coastal Series. However, one of the earlier races was cancelled due to severe weather. The discard was still to be applied after this race. It was hoped that this could open the challenge for the series. Peter Dunlop’s “Mojito” was leading the series into the last race followed by Lindsay Casey’s “Windjammer” and Paul O’Higgins' “Rockabill VI”.

Of the 24 entries, 14 boats came to the start line at DBSC “Pier” mark and were sent on their way by Barry MacNeaney and Larry Power. The race organiser for the race was Grainne Ryan and the Safety Officer was Anita Begley.

The series leader “Mojito” was not to be seen. It was back home in Pwllheli taking part in the ISORA UK Global Communications coastal series taking place the same day. Just prior to the start Rupert Barry’s “Red Alert” developed steering problems and retired.

The forecast for the day was for SSE winds 10-15 knots and possibly reaching 20 knots. The winds were very local with very light winds in all other parts of the Irish Sea. To ensure that the fleet finished in Greystones in sufficient time to take part in the “Taste of Greystones”, a 33 mile course was selected by the Sailing Committee

The course was:

  • Start at DBSC “Pier Mark”
  • Muglins (S)
  • North India (S)
  • Wicklow Outfall (S)
  • Finish at Greystones

As the boats exited Dun Laoghaire Harbour for the start the winds were SSE 14-18 knots. However, soon after the start, the wind dropped to 10 knots.

At the start, there was still two hours of south going tide. The first leg to the Muglins was a beat with the fleet splitting, some heading inshore and the remainder staying out in the tide offshore.

Frank Whelan’s “Eleuthera” led the fleet from start to finish followed closely by Chris Power-Smith’s “Aurelia” and George Sisk’s “WOW”. The second leg down the coast started with a fetch but the veering wind to South headed the fleet inshore and produced another beat. The fleet made landfall at Greystones but had to keep going another 8 miles to North India. Close tacking along the beach to avoid the tide, paid off.

Eventually, the fleet had to strike out into the tide for North India. As the leaders arrived at North India the wind dropped to 3-5 knots making rounding the buoy very difficult for all boats. The leading Class 0 boats managed to round North India before the tide became too strong in the light winds to make any progress to the mark. Many of the boats retired at this point, unable to reach North India.

ISORA courseThe ISORA course for race 14

Those boats that managed to round North India crabbed their way against the tide in the zephyrs for the 6 miles fetch to Wicklow Outfall. Once Wicklow Outfall was rounded, good progress was made in a dead run towards the finish in Greystones.

Finish times were recorded automatically using the YB trackers and results were displayed immediately a boat crossed the finish line.

“Eleuthera” took line honours, Class 0 and the Overall IRC. “Windjammer” took Class 2. Grzegorz Kalinecki’s “More Mischief” took Silver Class. Full results are on the ISORA website

The Greystones Regatta committee presented prizes for 1st and 2nd Overall in the ISORA Race.

The results in this race, after the discard was applied, did not knock “Mojito” off the top, despite not even taking part. “Mojito” won the Viking Marine ISORA Coastal Series and Class 1. “Windjammer” took 2nd Overall and Class 2 while “Rockabill VI” took 3rd Overall and Class 0. “More Mischief” took Silver Class.

The next race is the final offshore to take place on the 7th September from Pwllheli to Dun Laoghaire. It will be the decider race for the Overall ISORA Championship with Andrew Hall’s “Jackknife” leading the series. A weighting of 1.3 will be applied to the results of this race. This weighting with an anticipated large fleet taking part could topple “Jackknife”, “Aurelia” and “Rockabill VI” are in position to challenge for the coveted Wolf’s Head trophy and Overall ISORA Offshore Championship.

To encourage ISORA boats to take part, the entry fee for the race is been waived for any boat that has raced in ISORA in the past. A complimentary Crew Bus is also being organised to bring crew taking the afternoon ferry, from Holyhead to Pwllheli.

To further encourage boats to take part, an end of season party has been arranged in the National Yacht Club after the race, no matter what time the boats finish. This is always a great social event where the new ISORA Champion will be toasted.

Entries for any of the remaining ISORA races are welcomed. Online entry can be made on the ISORA website 

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Greystones Sailing Club yacht Eleuthera (Frank Whelan) was the winner of Saturday's final Viking Marine ISORA Coastal Series Race from Dun Laoghaire on Dublin Bay to Greystones Harbour in County Wicklow.

Only eight of the 14 starters finished the 40-mile race that started at 0955 am in perfect 10-knot southerly breezes at DBSC's Pier Mark. 

The Wicklow Grand Soleil 44 was impressive from the first tack out of Dublin Bay but Whelan was too eager at the start arriving too early for the pin end and having to gybe around.  

Second was the Royal St. George's Aurelia, Chirs Power Smith's J122 who beat off Wow (George Sisk's XP44 from the Royal Irish) and Paul O'Higgins's JPK10.80, Rockabill VI, also of the RIYC.

The boats are now positioned for today's BJ Marine Taste of Greystones Regatta. More here

Results are here

ISORA Start 1 5925With approximately 20 seconds to go, the 14-boat fleet lines up for the start off the East Pier...

ISORA Start 2 5928...but Eleuthera arrives too early.....

ISORA Start 3 5929and bears away from the line....

ISORA Start 4 5931....also early was overall contender, the J97 Windjammer 

ISORA Start 5 5933but timing the start to perfection was Chris Power Smith's Aurelia

ISORA Start 6 5937....who nailed the pin end right on the gun

ISORA Start 7 5949Windjammer made a port tack start as did Eleuthera below her and headed into the Dublin Bay shoreline

Aurelia 6001Aurelia - second

WOW 6015WOW -third

Rockabill 6046Rockabill VI - fourth

Lively Lady 6169Lively Lady - sixth

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The final race of the Viking Marine Coastal Series ISORA series on Saturday will see an expected fleet of 18-20 boats race to Greystones Marina in County Wicklow on Saturday. 

As Afloat reported earlier, this, the 14th race in the ISORA calendar begins at 0955 am and the aim is to race over 40-miles but with the light air forecast, the course will not be published later today.

The ISORA champion Mojito, the Welsh J109 of Peter Dunlop & Victoria Cox, leads for coastal honours but Royal St. George's Windjammer Lindsey J Casey & Denis Power is only 2.6 points off the lead.

Read more in today's Irish Times here.

Read W M Nixon's Greystones Regatta focus on Saturday here

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Race 12 of the ISORA Offshore Series 2019 took place from Dun Laoghaire on the 16th August 2019. The race was a Night Race with a 20.00 hrs start. The race was part of the ISORA “Viking Marine” sponsored Irish Coastal Series writes ISORA Chairman Peter Ryan.

The race has taken place in the past with mostly balmy conditions when the fleet glided down the coast, illuminated by the lights on land. Well, this year was not to be like that. The weather for the previous day and for the morning of the race was very windy with a Gale Warning in operation for most of the country. The weather was so unsettled that the Night Race from Pwllheli, that was to take place at the same time, was postponed.

Viking logo

Fortunately, the weather moderated on the west Irish Sea and the forecast for the race was for SW 10-15, Gusting 25 knots. This was the weather that existed for much of the race except when conditions became very squally when winds up to 35 knots were recorded.

Of the 22 entries only 13 boats came to the start line at DBSC “Pier” mark and were sent on their way by Barry MacNeaney and Larry Power. The race organiser for the race was Grainne Ryan and the Safety Officer was Anita Begley.

Conditions at the start were light with 8-10 Knot SW winds providing a spinnaker start for the fleet towards the first mark. The tide on the day was a strong spring tide so the course for the race, as set by the Sailing Committee, ensured that the least amount of tide plugging took place. The tide was fast flooding north at the start. The fleet headed north.

The 39-mile course was:

  • Start at DBSC “Pier Mark”
  • ISORA Dublin (Virtual Mark ) (P)
  • Taylor’s Rock Cardinal (S)
  • Lambay Island (S)
  • Bennet (S)
  • ISORA Dublin (Virtual Mark ) (S)
  • Finish between the pier heads in Dun Laoghaire.

Conditions leaving Dublin Bay became light with winds dropping to 5-6 Knots for a time. Chris Power-Smith’s “Aurelia” led the charge out of the bay and was first to round ISORA Dublin virtual mark. As the fleet rounded ISORA Dublin the first of many squalls hit and caused a huge amount of frenzied activity on many boats, trying to get spinnakers down and jibs up. The squalls did not last long, but it changed the Leaderboard.

“Aurelia” and Paul O’Higgins “Rockabill VI” led the fleet north towards Taylors Rock Cardinal, located just north of Lambay Island. This leg was a tight reach and suited those boats with asymmetric spinnakers. Rounding Taylor’s Rock caused some confusion to the fleet as there was no light on the buoy and the first boats approached the buoy in darkness. Well used to rounding virtual marks, the fleet successfully rounded the “dark shape” and turned south toward Bennet. This leg was a fetch. Squalls were still blowing through.

The Line Honour placings within the fleet remained the same except that the faster boats could not get sufficiently away from the remainder of the fleet to take overall leading positions. The leg from Bennet to ISORA Dublin Bay was a beat and the final leg to the finish was a very tight reach.

Finish times were recorded automatically using the YB trackers and results were displayed immediately a boat crossed the finish line.

“Aurelia” took line honours but not sufficiently far ahead to prevent “Rockabill VI” taking the Overall IRC and Class 0 win. Simon Knowles, J109 “Indian”, took 2nd place Overall IRC and 1st in Class 1, just ahead of Peter Dunlop’s “J109, “Mojito”. Lindsay Casey’s “Windjammer” took Class 2. Grzegorz Kalinecki’s “More Mischief” took Silver Class. Full results are here

The result for “Rockabill VI” tightens the top of the ISORA Overall Championship and focuses the spotlight on the top four contenders – Andrew Hall’s “Jackknife”, “Rockabill VI”, “Aurelia” and “Mojito”. As the championship uses the high point scores, the Champion for 2019 will not be known until after the last offshore race on the 7th September, from Pwllheli to Dun Laoghaire. This race is of further importance as the weighting for the points in the race is 1.3. In the Silver Class, “More Mischief” and Joe Conway’s “Elandra” are close together for the Silver Class Series.

As we head into the last coastal race next Saturday the Viking Marine Coastal Series will be decided in Greystones. A discard will kick in after that race and this will open the Series to several boats. At this stage “Mojito” is leading in Overall but “Windjammer” and “Rockabill” are close behind. Class winners will also be decided.

The next race is a coastal race and takes place next Saturday 24th August. The start is in Dun Laoghaire and finishes in Greystones. It is the final race in the Viking Marine Coastal Series and acts as a feeder race to the Greystones Regatta. Greystones Regatta is a great social and sailing event and takes place on Sunday the 25th. ISORA boats are encouraged to enter this event and join in the fun.

The Pwllheli ISORA Night Race, postponed from last Friday, is rescheduled for next Sunday 25th August, a Bank Holiday in the UK.

Entries for any of the remaining ISORA races are welcomed. Online entry can be made here

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ISORA offshore racing tops the offshore agenda again now summer Regattas and Championships are more or less completed writes Stephen Tudor.

ISORA has attracted 60 competitors (so far) in the 2019 series.

Top ISORA performer Rockabill VI (Paul O'Higgins) scored a great win on the final day to claim the Calves Week overall title as Afloat reported here.

Rockabill VI (Paul O'Higgins) competing in CowesRockabill VI (Paul O'Higgins) competing in Calves Week Photo: Bob Bateman

On the Welsh, side competitors were treated to fantastic racing in the IRC Welsh National Championships with 6 races completed in two days.

Injenious, a local boat, won Class 2 and the Overall title by one point to Class 1 winner, Spirit of Jacana from Carrickfergus and Dee SC who in-turn beat Triple Elf from Clyde Cruising Club on countback! The full report is available here.

Race 12 and 13 - Friday Night 16th August

The next races are the Viking Marine Coastal Night Race (12) in Dun Laoghaire and the Global Display Coastal Night Race (13) in Pwllheli both on Friday evening 16th August 2019

Race 14, 15 and Race Re-Run of Postponed Race 2 - 24th & 25th August

On Saturday 24th August we will have two coastal races - one in Ireland and the other in Wales. (Races 14 and 15)

On Sunday 25th August the postponed Global Display Race (no.2) will be raced

There is a party in Pwllheli Sailing Club on Saturday Night 24th August between the two coastal races - all welcome!

Race 16 - 7th September

The final race of the 2019 series is the High Scoring Pwllheli to Dun Laoghaire Race on 7th September. This will be the deciding race for the 2019 Championship Winner for the Wolf's Head Trophy, Class Winners and Silver Class Winner.

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A win in Saturday's offshore race from Dun Laoghaire to Pwllheli has put Andrew Hall's Jackknife into the overall ISORA lead after 11 races sailed.

Racing into his home port of Pwllheli after 75 miles of sailing, Hall and his J125 crew now top the overall ISORA championships points table by 30 points in the 60-boat fleet.

The overall result is calculated from the best nine races sailed so far this season with three discards applied.

Aurelia J122 2116

Second in race 11 was Royal St George Yacht Club's J122 Aurelia (Chris & Patanne Power Smith) with Dublin Bay JPK 10.8 rivals Rockabill VI (Paul O'Higgins) from the Royal Irish Yacht Club in third place. 

Rockabill Paul OHiggins 3302Chris Power Smith's J122 Aurelia is lying third overall in the 2019 ISORA Series Photo: Afloat

See race 11 results here and overall results here

Race report from Marc Thompson below

The build-up to race 11 showed a consistent NW wind in the mid Irish Sea, with potentially less in both Dublin and Cardigan Bays. The general consensus of the sailing committee, was to start as published and route direct to the finish line at Pwllheli, with the only mark of the course the ISORA bay mark to keep clear of Dublin Port. The talk in the bar the night before however was the tidal gate at Bardsey, and its impact on the race - with a potential in light airs for the class 2 boats to take advantage of a parked fleet, or in stronger winds to allow the faster boats to get through before the tide turned.

Saturday dawned brightly, and a fleet of 15 gathered off the Dun Laoghaire harbour entrance, ready for the 75 mile race to Pwllheli, with the up to date forecast promising a little more wind, particularly on the Welsh side.

Barry MacNeaney and Larry Power of the National Yacht Club started the fleet from the pier mark, with the fleet getting away cleanly in a 10 kts North Westerly breeze, with spinnakers hoisted on the line on Starboard Gybe

J125 Jackknife taking an early lead, chose to remain on starboard and go south of the rhumb line, with most of the fleet gybing onto port shortly after passing Muglins. Leaving Dublin bay the wind built as promised averaging 12-17kts allowing a fast crossing, with the fleet bunching in class order! The south going tide was with the fleet for 5 hours, allowing most of the fleet to sail just south of the rhumb line, and soak further down when able, to mitigate the later tide turn. The fleet enjoyed a great spinnaker run, with some impressive boats speeds, and frankly champagne sailing!

Approaching the Welsh side, the north going tide didn’t trouble the fleet too much, particularly as the wind veered a little to the north as the tide changed, which was very helpful in being able to lay the sound without gybing. A few boats went close to the North coast of the Llyn Peninsula , and reported some big windshifts and turbulent water. Jackknife managed to get to Bardsey Sound just at the end of slack water and blasted through with speeds of 10-12ts over the ground, with Aurelia arriving as the tide turned. The rest of the fleet lead by Rockabill and Mojito got to Bardsey a little later and had to sail though against 4-5 kts of tide, but with the wind holding at 15 kts were able to maintain good boat speed. The sound was reasonably calm considering wind over tide, but a few boat experienced the overfalls and disturbed water south of the tripods!

The whole fleet got through Bardsey against the tide without any major problems.

Once through Bardsey a straight forward sail to Pwllheli with a few wind holes for the backmarkers to negotiate, in a generally dying northerly breeze, with a fetch from St Tudwals to the Plas Heli finish line under white sails, manned by ISORA finishers Brian Metcalf and Robin Evans. The last boat finished at 21:20 , and all enjoyed a “boisterous” aprés sail in Plas Heli, with Richard Tudor (Jackknife) and Pete Ashworth (Zig Zag) celebrating a special birthday milestone this weekend. Congratulations to Andrew Hall J125 “Jackknife” who took line honours, class O and overall, Peter Dunlop and Vicky Cox J109 “Mojito” who won class 1 and Lindsay Casey and Denis Power J97 “Windjammer” who won class 2 giving the J109’s a great race.

“Jackknife” leads the ISORA overall from “Rockabill VI” with coastal races on both sides of the Irish sea in August, before the high point scoring “James Eadie” race from Pwllheli to Dun Laoghaire in September

Race management by Peter Ryan at the Dun Laoghaire end, with Jo Thompson and Awel Tudor managing the trackers in Pwllheli. Thanks also to safety officer Anita Begley .
The next races are the Exposure lights night races on August 16th

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35 boats took part in the Hendrick Ryan Royal Dee Offshore Championship 2019 that took place over two weekends and over 5 races. The championship included the ISORA Offshore from Douglas IOM to Dun Laoghaire on Sunday the 7th July and the four Offshore races of the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta. The series was decided on points from the five results with no discards. The ISORA race had a weighting of 1.2. The High Point scoring system was used.

At the end of the series, J109, “Mojito” (Peter Dunlop and Vicky Cox), from Pwllheli, the current Championship holders, just regained the title, but only by 0.4 of a point over 428 points. Another J109, “Jetstream”, Nigel Ingram from Holyhead took second place. Paul O’Higgins from the Royal Irish in his JPK10.8, “Rockabill VI” took third place.
“Rockabill VI” took Class 0 Overall with “Mojito” taking Class 1 Overall. Lindsay Casey’s J97, “Windjammer” took Class 2 Overall.

rockabill ISORAPaul O’Higgins with the crew of “Rockabill VI” and RDYC Commodore Charlie Jones Photo: VDLR

The race winners were:
Race 1 – “Jackknife” – Andrew Hall
Race 2 – “Mermaid IV” – Seamus Fitzpatrick
Race 3 - “Mermaid IV” – Seamus Fitzpatrick
Race 4 – “Mojito” – Peter Dunlop & Vicky Cox
Race 5 - “Mermaid IV” – Seamus Fitzpatrick.

seamus FitzpatrickSeamus Fitzpatrick (right) of “Mermaid” with RDYC Commodore Charlie Jones Photo: VDLR

Prizes were presented as part of the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta prize giving and they were presented by the Royal Dee Yacht Club Commodore, Charlie Jones.

Full results can be found here

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In a 39-boat ISORA midnight race from Liverpool to Douglas on the Isle of Man, Royal St. George Yacht Aurelia (Chris Power Smith) was the overall IRC winner.

The race, number eight in the 2019 ISORA calendar, was sailed in West South West winds averaging 14 knots.

Second overall in the 75-miler was another Class Zero yacht, Spirit of Jacana, a J133 and skippered by Alan Bruce. Third was defending ISORA champion, Mojio (Peter Dunlop & Victoria Cox), a smaller class one, J109.

Full results here 

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ISORA Race 6 was originally planned as an offshore race from Holyhead to Dun Laoghaire, but had to be re-planned to start and finish in Dun Laoghaire, due to ongoing infrastructure issues at Holyhead, following last years devastating damage to the marina writes ISORA's Mark Thompson.

The build up to the race gave the race committee the usual course setting conundrums with light winds forecast, and tides to consider. The forecast seemed to consistently indicate a light SW wind building to a stronger 10 - 12kt westerly as the day progressed

After much deliberation, a course was agreed as follows:

Start (DL Pier Mark)
Muglins (S) and keeping the ISORA Dublin Bay Virtual mark to port (this mark is to keep the course away from the TSS)
West Codling (p)
South Codling (p)
East Codling (p)
Kish Lighthouse (p)
ISORA Dublin Bay VM (s)
Finish (DL Pier heads)

A distance of 43 miles, with hopefully two hours of south going tide to help the fleet on its way. 

ISORA tracker

17 boats came to the line, in 4-5 knots of SE breeze, giving a beat down to West Codling. With two distinct groups at either end of the line, with Mojito choosing the pin and Jackknife the committee boat, the south going tide making it a challenge to stay above before the gun, at least two boats got recalled. Once away the fleet made steady progress past Muglins, taking advantage of the weak tide, with three tactical choices splitting the fleet - go into Bray head and remain inshore to stay out of the tide when it changed, and hopefully benefit from the wind veering, go offshore towards the banks, where there can be less tide but more wind, but risking getting headed with the wind shift, or stay close to the rhumb line. After a debate on Jac Y Do, we felt inshore was risky with potentially less wind, and the boat feeling “sticky” in the light airs, so we decided to take the least distance option. As the tide changed, we encountered the usual lack of apparent wind and stalled off Greystones, for what seemed an eternity in the company of Joe Conway (Elandra).

Looking at YB, it appeared that the brave group of four boats lead by Andrew Halls Jackknife made very good progress inshore, with the offshore group not getting anymore significant wind.

Fighting the tide and with the wind building a little, we finally started to make better progress towards West Codling, with the wind veering towards the SW, and were encouraged by the sight of the offshore group not too far ahead. Once around South Codling, it was a relief to hoist the A2 for a great ride to East Codling, with just a couple of gybes (and of course a mandatory forestay wrap and sheet change). Gybing round Codling East and a shy kite reach to Kish. We were starting to see 12-15 knots of wind now but decided to hold the A2 as long as we could, probably benefitting from about an extra 3/4 knot compared with the Jib. Watching “More Mischief” bravely carrying his A2, we were pleased to have a wide transom! Ultimately the time came to drop the kite for the last mile to Kish and tack towards the virtual mark.

With the wind now building now to 13-18kts at times, it was a three tack sail into the sunset and the welcoming Pier Heads of Dun Laoghaire Marina and the finish.

Always a case of “what ifs” and the conditions not initially suiting the wider transom boats, it was a very fine tactical race by Andrew Hall (Jackknife) taking line honours, Mojito taking the class 1 and overall win, skippered today by Anthony Doyle, and Windjammer taking class 2 and second overall.

A tough race, but with a great welcome in the National Yacht Club for the usual ISORA post-race party.

Race management by Grainne Ryan with Anita Begley as Safety officer. Jackknife continues to lead the series from Windjammer. The next race is the D2D race on June 12th

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