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J109 Ruth Wins ISORA's Baily–Rockabill–Kish Lighthouse Race

19th July 2015
Unstoppable Ruth took another offshore prize, this time on a course around Dublin's lighhouses
J109 Ruth Wins ISORA's Baily–Rockabill–Kish Lighthouse Race

#lighthouserace – The Adrian Lee & Partners Lighthouse Race, as part of the ISORA Avery Crest Offshore Series 2015 and the RAYC Offshore Series, took place starting and finishing in Dun Laoghaire yesterday writes Peter Ryan. The race culminated three weeks of tough offshore racing that started with the RORC / Liverpool YC's Lyver race on the 4th July and the four offshore series races in the VDLR as part of the very successful Royal Dee Offshore Championship.
The Lighthouse Race will now be a fixed race in the ISORA calendar and will be sponsored by Adrian Lee, a hugely experienced offshore racing skipper and his company Adrian Lee & Partners. A special trophy is being commissioned for the race. The idea of the race was to use the major lighthouses close to Dublin as part of the course. They are the Baily, Rockabill and Kish. Using these marks the length of the course is 43 miles.
The course was selected earlier in the week to allow the YB Trackers to be set up. The 43 mile course was: Start - Baily (P) - Rockabill (S) - Kish (S) – Finish.
This year's race had 14 starters from the entry list of 23. The weather on the previous day prevented some boats from delivering to Dun Laoghaire and the challenging forecast for the race did little to encourage those boats considering competing. The weather forecasts for the race were not consistent. Generally what was expected was south-east winds, 15-20 knots, at the start and backing southerly and increasing 20-25 knots. A strong tide was flooding north at the 10.00 start of the race and due to turn at 14.00.
NYC Commodore, Larry Power and RAYC Commodore, Barry MacNeaney were at the start line at DBSC "Pier" mark to send the boats on a fast spinnaker leg towards the Baily. The start time of 10.00 was postponed for 15 minutes to allow those boats travelling from Howth to arrive after they were delayed departing Howth due to the very low tide at their departure time.
"Lee Overlay Partners", Adrian Lee's Cookson 50, the fastest boat in the fleet was being crewed by six junior sailors from the Royal St George Yacht Club. This was a great opportunity to give these young sailors some taste of offshore racing. The first and second leg of the race would have provided them with some fast upwind sailing as "Lee Overlay Partners" led the fleet and sped north towards Rockabill. Gusty winds off Howth Head and Lambay Island, that was not a mark on the course, produced some exciting conditions for the fleet. Peter Hall's "Adelie" suffered a spinnaker halyard break and retired from the race after Howth Head.
Following "Lee Overlay Partners" were the two J122's, James Tyrell's "Aquelina" and Chris Power-Smith's "Aurelia" followed by Vincent Farrell's First 40.7 "Tsunami". The smaller J109, "Ruth"- Liam Shanahan, was right there with the leading pack and going like a train as they rounded Rockabill in that order.
The 17 mile leg to Kish started as a tight fetch, but turned to a beat as the wind backed southerly. The changing to south going tide assisted the boats towards Kisk. As "Lee Overlay Partners" was rounding Kish they were approximately 6 miles ahead of the next boats, making the pin pointing of the, usually hard to see, Kish Lighthouse, much easier.
After rounding Kish, the southerly winds gave "Lee Overlay Partners" with its novice young crew a fast tight reach to the finish. They crossed the line, manned by the RAYC Commodore, taking Line Honours after completing the 43 mile course in just under four and a half hours with an average speed of 10.7 knots.
The two J122s and "Tsunami" crossed the line close together approximately an hour after "Lee Overlay Partners". The unstoppable Liam Shanahan in "Ruth" stuck with the bigger boats in the front of the fleet and crossed the line approximately two minutes after "Tsunami".
While "Lee Overlay Partners" took line honours, "Ruth" won Overall and Class 1 and will be presented with the new perpetual trophy at the ISORA dinner in November. Anthony Gore-Grimes's "Dux" came a remarkable 2nd Overall and 1st in Class 2. David Simpson's "Albeiro" took Silver Class.
As the races was tracked using the Avery Crest Trackers, the progress of the race can be re-played using the YB app or on the ISORA website.
Using more remarkable technology, the finish times were sent by text from the finish line to the ISORA Hon. Sec, Stephen Tudor in Pwllehli, who entered them in the Sailwave program and posted the results on the ISORA website by the time the finishing boats had tied up at the NYC for the usual "Apres Sail". At the same time Stephen was preparing to give a speech at the official opening of the marvellous new Sailing Academy in Pwllheli, "Plas Menai", and the new home of Pwllheli Sailing Club.
ISORA looks forward to visiting this great facility after the next Dun Laoghaire to Pwllheli cross channel race on the 15th August. This is also the Feeder Race to the Spinlock IRC Welsh Nationals to be hosted in this great facility from the 21st-23rd August. A spectacular event is promised!!
The next ISORA race is the popular "Night Race" on the Friday 7th August, starting and finishing in Dun Laoghaire. A similar race is been held starting and finishing in Pwllheli on the same date. This is an excellent opportunity for boats to experience the "joys" of night offshore racing.

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