#OFFSHORE – The stable, easy to sail and performance attributes of the J109 came to the fore in a blustery start to the ISORA season on Saturday, the Rod Johnstone design taking the top two places overall in the 18-boat fleet. Photos from yesterday's start below plus full results in pdf format for download.
Racing in between gale forecasts the first race of the season from Dublin Bay to North Arklow and back was won by top DBSC performer John Maybury's J109 from the Royal Irish Yacht Club. Joker 2 beat 36–foot sistership Jedi skippered by offshore campaigner Andrew Saratt by a three minute corrected time margin.
Despite strong north-easterly winds, 18 boats (and a good cross section of sailing cruisers some drawn from the ranks of the local bay fleet), came to the Scotsman's bay start line from an entry list of 23 at 10.00am. The conditions were not as bad as last Tuesday when even trawlers found the going tough on the east coast but there was nevertheless a good sea running.
The 42–mile course took the fleet around South Burford and against the tide to North India. In the very lumpy seas around Codling Bank the fleet beat out to East Codling before turning to the finish.
Absent from the first race was Irish Sea champion Matt Davis' Sigma 400 Raging Bull. The 'Bull' is the ISORA Champion for 2010 and 2011 but was damaged last week during the north-easterly storms when moorings failed in Skerries in big seas and the yacht was blown onto rocks. Davis is hoping to get the boat repaired and to defend his title.
The second ISORA race is on Saturday 5th May, the 60–mile Round Ireland Yacht Race qualifier race from Dun Laoghaire to Holyhead where some some new additions to the ISORA fleet are expected into the race.
Run in conjunction with the Royal Alfred Yacht Club racing was started by RAYC Commodore, Barry MacNeaney
Irish Offshore Sailing's Desert Star was the winner of the Silver fleet
Dinah, Barry Hurley's double-handed Jeanneau was third in the race from Dun Laoghaire to Arklow
Big seas on the way to Arklow for 18 yachts competing in the first ISORA of the season. More ISORA fleet photos below.