For the overall ICRA Boat of the Year, solid regatta season wins at Sovereigns and the Dun Laoghaire Regatta for Checkmate XVIII has lifted them into contention with season-long front runners, Rockabill VI (Paul O'Higgins). Victory in Howth’s Autumn League could see Nigel Biggs and crew of Howth Yacht Club and the Royal Irish Yacht Club take the trophy, but with clubmate Rockabill VI also sitting pretty at the top of Class 0 in the year-long Dublin Bay Sailing Club series it will likely be too little too late.
With a return to inshore racing, Frank Whelan's Grand Soleil Eleuthera from Greystones Sailing Club also did the regatta double in Class 0, lifting them clear of Forty Licks (Jay Colville of East Down) but behind the champions-elect. In Class One, honours look to belong to Joker II (John Maybury) whose championship nerve held strong in the face of a new challenge from Outrajeous (John Murphy and Richard Colwell) at the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta.
A National Championship and Irish Half Ton Cup in their first season will be a substantial achievement but a slide in form for Mata (Wright Brothers of Howth) in Dun Laoghaire, where they finished outside the top three has left them too far behind to overhaul Checkmate XVIII in Class 2. Dux (Anthony Gore-Grimes) moved up a division for the Dun Laoghaire Regatta taking on the challenge of racing the Half Tonners. Her series began well but she eventually finished off the podium. An unchallenged runaway victory for F'n Gr8 (Mark Fekkes of East Antrim) at the same event has left them in a strong position as top boat in Class 3. Dux may yet have the last laugh if it blows during the HYC Autumn League, and it usually does.
Demelza is still sitting pretty amongst the non-spinnaker competitors, her early-season success more than making up for not making the start line at VDLR.
With six scoring events now completed, we are halfway through the scoring series and events switch West and South to bring non-Dublin boats into the scores.
There’s still a long way to go but the up to date scores are downloadable below.