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Howth's Dux Wins First ISORA Race from Dun Laoghaire to Wicklow Buoy

27th April 2014
The National Yacht Club's J109 Ruth (Liam Shanahan) was second in yesterday's first ISORA race of the season. Photo: David O'Brien
Howth's Dux Wins First ISORA Race from Dun Laoghaire to Wicklow Buoy

#isora – The arrival of three Howth Yacht Club boats onto the ISORA scene this season has produced immediate results with HYC entry Dux, an X302 yacht skippered by Anthony Gore-Grimes winning the first ISORA race from Dún Laoghaire to Arklow on Saturday. 

Although the strong winds and big seas cancelled most of the local inshore racing for Dublin Bay Sailing Club (DBSC), the 15–offshore yachts came to the line off Dun Laoghaire's East pier in what was some of the strongest breezes of the day. Dux followed by top performing J109 Ruth (Liam Shanahan of the National Yacht Club) made the best of the 40 – knot southerly winds that saw a number of retirals on the upwind leg along the Dublin and Wicklow coasts. Conditions dictated a shortened course to the Wicklow outfall buoy instead of North Arklow, a reduced distance of some 38 miles instead of 50 that produced an early (and welcome) high speed reaching leg back to Dublin Bay.

The provisional results for Race 1a - the Dún Laoghaire day race (incorporating the first Royal Alfred Yacht Club Coastal Series) is available to download below as a jpeg file.

In a move that has drawn the international support of ISAF's offshore working party, the ISORA crews are experimenting with iphone navigation during the race and 'virtual marks' to adjust the courses. 

In deploying the new mobile technology ISORA has teamed up with app developer 'Predict Wind Tracker'. 

Unfortunately on Saturday, ISORA did not get to use them to full effect. The weather was so awful that the basis of the course was to keep as close to land as possible but away from banks and headlands.

This, says Peter Ryan of ISORA, is a cost effective method of recording any offshore race that can be viewed live and also replayed after the event. ISAF's David Brunskill has offered to judge any issues surrounding the use of the virtual marks.

icra6 1

First race winner Dux sailed by seasoned campaigner Anthony Gore-Grimes'  Photo: Robert Bateman

Ryan adds that if the innovative approach to setting courses is successful, 'it will radically change offshore racing to the betterment of all', a sentiment supported by the world sailing body.

The next race is the Holyhead to Dún Laoghaire qualifying race on 10th May. This is followed by the return race from Dún Laoghaire to Holyhead on 24th May. One of the highlights of the ISORA series this year is the Midnight Race from Liverpool to Douglas on 6th June.

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