Report on Race 4 – Pwllheli – Causeway - Bardsey – India Nt - Wicklow – 5th June 2010.
From an entry list of 28 sailing boats, 14 boats came to the line in Pwllheli for the 4th ISORA race – 75 miles to Wicklow. Due to tidal difficulties the race start time was brought forward to 07.15. The weather forecast was for light winds increasing to Force 3 or 4 and veering North West. However a reasonable wind of 8kts in Pwllheli, early in the morning convinced the Race Organiser to hold the planned course to Wicklow. The wind held well for the beat to Causeway and for the tight spinnaker reach towards Bardsey. “ Galileo” was first around Causeway followed by “Tsunami”.
As the fleet approached Bardsey the wind dropped to virtually nothing. “Tsunami” had just enough wind to creep around Bardsey first while the remainder of the fleet wrestled with the possibility of the tide pushing them through the sound and around the wrong side of Bardsey.The wind picked up from the West for “Tsunami” after the rounding Bardsey and a fast passage to Wicklow was expected. This was not to be as the wind died again and a heavy sea mist appeared. There was little or no wind for 3-4 hours. When eventually the mist lifted and the westerly wind appeared again, only four boats were visible – “Tsunami”, “Raging Bull”, “Just Enough” and “Lula Belle”.
The four boats continued across the Irish Sea, within sight of each other, with the wind shifting all the time and disappearing at times. At approximately 02.30 on Sunday morning “Raging Bull” rounded Nt India followed by “Tsunami” and “Just Enough”. “Lula Belle” could not be seen. The wind picked up again and soon there was 14kts of wind from the North West and the boats roared towards the Wicklow finish.
The wind had not finished playing its tricks. The usual “Wicklow Hole” had formed within one mile of the finish line and the boats ground to a halt as they arrived there. Very tricky sailing was required to manoeuvre in the light winds and the then strong south going tide to the finish.The first boat to cross the finish line was “Raging Bull” at 04:01, who only managed to take 2nd Overall and 1st in Class 1. It was followed closely by “Tsunami” who took 2nd in Class 1 and 3rd Overall. “Just Enough” appeared over the finish line at 04:28 to take the Overall Win and Class 2. “Lula Belle” continued to battle the fluky conditions and finished at 12:25 to take 4th Overall and 2nd Class 2.
There were no other finishers.
The next race is next weekend 13th June, a Sunday Day Race from Dun Laoghaire. It is hoped that some new boats will use this race as a “taster” for ISORA. An Après Sail get together is arranged in the NYC after the race.
Results and Entry form race five is attached.