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ICRA Nationals Day 1 – Storm II Takes Charge of IRC Division One

13th June 2013
Storm II
Storm II is in the lead after day one of the ICRA nationals in Tralee. Photo: Bob Bateman. Scroll down for more photos in the gallery below
ICRA Nationals Day 1 – Storm II Takes Charge of IRC Division One

#ICRA – Pat Kelly's J109 Storm II from Howth Yacht Club tops the leaderboard of the biggest IRC class after two heavy weather races in the opening day of the 2013 ICRA National Championships.

Three J109 designs are in the top five overall, but both Paul O'Higgin's Corby 33 Rockabill V from the Royal Irish Yacht Club and the new Xp33 design Bon Exemple sailed by O'Higgin's club–mate Colin Byrne break the J109 dominance, and lie second and third respectively tonight.

There was a thumbs–up from the 60–boat fleet moored at Fenit marina tonight for Tralee Bay Sailing Club's handling of the opening day with good race management and great conditions with sunshine and winds gusting to 25 knots.

The club, of course, is well used to giving a warm welcome to sailors, they’ve hosted events on all levels from Club to world championships on this beautiful part of Ireland's coast; the most south–westerly port in Europe.

Kelly's 2011 ICRA Boat of the Year has a one point lead over O'Higgins. In turn O'Higgins, who placed third in IRC one at the 2012 ICRA championships, has a single point over Byrne in a scheduled six race series with a twist – this is a no discard event.

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The new Xp33  – with boat speed doctor Jochem Visser onboard – lies third overall in class one. Photo: Bob Bateman

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Rockabill V, powering upwind, lies second in class one. Photo: Bob Bateman

There was disappointment for Denis Hewitt's Raptor again in Tralee Bay today. The Dublin Bay boat lost its mast the last time the ICRA Nationals sailed here in 2009 and today rigging issues also forced their withdrawal but with rig still intact the Royal Irish crew are ready for race three tomorrow.

In division 2 IRC, Nigel Bigg's Checkmate XV from the Royal St. George took two wins in the fresh conditions and leads the modified Half tonner King One skippered by Dave Cullen from Howth YC. The vintage half–tonner, that was a runaway winner at last year's Ramsgate week, took two seond places to be three points clear of former WIORA champion Ray McGibney's Dis-A-Ray from Foynes Yacht Club.

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This week's Dun Laoghaire–Dingle race winner, Amazing Grace from the host club, is back in action in class two. Photo: Bob Bateman

There was no local advantage for Brian O'Sullivan and Frances Clifford's Amazing Grace in the opening race. Monday's winner of the Dun Laoghaire to Dingle race 'ploughed a neighbour's field' in race one but took fifth in race two.

In division 3 IRC, another Royal Irish Yacht, Barry Cunningham's Quarter tonner Quest, took two race wins from the Cove Sailing Club entry Illes Pitiuses that is counting two seconds. Illes Pitiuses is a modified Quarter tonner brought back from the Mediterranean by owners Jason and Dominic Losty in 2011.

Third in this ten–boat fleet is Tralee Bay's own Jaguar, a J24 design, skippered by Gary Fort.

Somewhat predictably, Antix skippered by Anthony O'Leary, who has just announced his intention to contest New York's Invitational Cup for a third time, got off to perfect start in class zero taking two wins in the five boat fleet. Second is ICRA commodore Nobby Reilly's Crazy Horse with Martin Breen's Reflex 38 lying third. It is perhaps a sign of the times we live in, that just five boats are in this division.

O'Leary's Club mate Jump Juice (Denise Phelan) suffered a man–overboard in the opening race. The crew man was recovered by RIB.

Racing continues tomorrow in day two of three and more strong winds are forecast.

Full results here.

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The ICRA fleet has given a thumbs up to TBSC Commodore Pat Daly and his team after day one of the competition. Photo: Bob Bateman

Published in ICRA
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