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Biggs's Checkmate XVIII Leads as Half-Tonners in Total Control of ICRA's Division Two

8th June 2019
Royal Irish Yacht Club's Nigel Biggs has a four point lead of Division Two of the ICRA National Championships in Checkmate XVIII Royal Irish Yacht Club's Nigel Biggs has a four point lead of Division Two of the ICRA National Championships in Checkmate XVIII Photo: Afloat

There is a  new half-ton leader in division two of the ICRA national championships at the Royal St. George Yacht Club as overnight leader Johnny Swan's Harmony from Howth Yacht Club drops to fourth overall but optimised Irish Half Tonners continue to dominate proceedings on Dublin Bay and occupy the top six places overall.

The Royal Irish Yacht Club's Nigel Biggs, who is based in North Wales, is now four points ahead in Checkmate XVIII. 

Half tonners Start 2939Half Tonners jostle for position at the start of race four that was recalled and restarted under a black flag by race officer David Lovegrove Photo: Afloat

As regular Afloat readers will know, Biggs has been working up this latest Checkmate over the last two seasons. The boat is the old Emiliano Zapata, ex Dick Dastardly, ex French Beret, ex Concorde from 1985. As with his previous two successful half–tonners (Harmony and Checkmate XV) she has been 'breathed on' by Wicklow yacht designer Mark Mills with a revised sailplan and keel. 

The brand new Howth Yacht Club Half-Ton campaign of the Wright Brothers is second overall and Royal Cork visitor Miss Whiplash skippered by John Downing lies third. 

"It's an exceptional event with very close racing, just seconds between the boats only," said Kieran O'Connell, Rear Admiral for Keel Boat Racing at the Royal Cork Yacht Club on Miss Whiplash.  That comment was a reference in particular to the third race of the day, the windiest when six or seven half-tonners were lined-up on the downwind leg, almost close enough to walk across.

Mata Wrights 2277The Wright's Mata (IRL 2794) from Howth Yacht Club is second Photo: Afloat

Miss Whiplash 2303Royal Cork's Miss Whiplash skippered by John Downing is lying in third place

Defending champion Dave Cullen in Checkmate XV lies fifth with only 9.5 nett points separating the top six and two races left to sail in the championships tomorrow.

Checkmate Dave Cullen 2320Half Ton Classics World Champion – Dave Cullen's Checkmate XV Photo: Afloat

Half tonners 2129The X332 Equinox sandwiched between the top performing Half Tonners in the tight approach to a leeward mark Photo: Afloat

1720 Antix Beag 2437The well-sailed 1720 Antix Beag is two points outside the top ten in 11th Photo: Afloat

Raptor Mills 2177Fintan Cairns and Denis Hewitt's Mills 31 Raptor is eighth Photo: Afloat

Rationel J80 2825Two RStGYC J80s are competing for U25-honours in Class Two Photo: Afloat

Results are here The final two races are scheduled tomorrow from 11 am with breeze forecast to be westerly at eight knots on Dublin Bay

Read all the latest from the ICRA National Championships in one handy link here.

Published in ICRA, Half Tonners Team

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