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Shanahan's J109 Ruth Wins ISORA Night Race

14th July 2018
The J109 Ruth skippered by Ben Shanahan The J109 Ruth skippered by Ben Shanahan Photo: Afloat.ie

The National Yacht Club's J109 Ruth skippered by Ben Shanahan was the winner of this morning's 16-boat Exposure Lights sponsored ISORA night race. The race was the ninth in the popular Viking Marine Coastal Series.

The fleet sailed a 33–mile course starting at 8pm on Friday from Dun Laoghaire round Lambay Island and back to Dun Laoghaire. Winds were eight to ten knots throughout except for the reach home to the Dun Laoghaire finish from South Burford when the breeze dropped away. 

Second was Chris Power Smith's Aurelia, the RStGYC J122 that finished third overall in this month's Round Ireland Race. Third was Paul O'Higgin's Rockabill VI from the Royal Irish Yacht Club.

Full results here

Additional report by ISORA's Peter Ryan

Race 9 of the ISORA Offshore Series 2018 took place from Dun Laoghaire on the 13th July 2018. The race was a Night Race with a 20.00 start. The race was sponsored by marine lighting specialist suppliers “Exposure Lights” and was also part of the ISORA “Viking Marine” Irish Coastal Series.

Despite the fact that the recent gruelling Round Ireland race finish was only a week away, many of the stars of that race came to the line to take part in the Night Race – “Aurelia”, “YoYo”, “Rockabill VI”, “Wakey Wakey”, “Windjammer”, “Samatom” and “Red Alert”.

Of the 20 entries, 17 boats came to the start line at DBSC “Pier” mark and were sent on their way by RAYC’s Barry MacNeaney and Grainne Ryan.

The weather forecast was forecasting light winds for the evening – SE 10k at the start dropping and veering around midnight before continuing the veer and increasing again to 10-15k W. The tides on the day were spring tides. The traditional course for this race was to head south to North India buoy but the weather forecast was indicating no wind at Bray Head. For this reason, the decision was taken to go north with the flooding spring tide and to round Lambay Island – 33 miles.

To avoid shipping traffic entering and exiting Dublin Port, ISORA have agreed with Dublin Port to always exit and enter Dublin Bay by going south of South Burford. The Course was:

Start outside Dun Laoghaire Harbour at DBSC racing mark “Pier” – South Burford (P) – leaving North Burford (P) – Taylors Rock (S) – Lambay Island (S) – leaving North Burford (S) – South Burford (S) and the finish line between the pier heads in Dun Laoghaire harbour.

The tide at the start was strongly flooding north. The first leg was a tight fetch east out to South Burford with some boats being pushed too north by the tide and having to tack for the mark. First around the mark was a tight bunch consisting of “Lively Lady”, “Aurelia”, “Tsunami” and “Rockabill VI” with “Jackknife” having to tack before rounding.

The next leg to Taylors Road buoy, a cardinal mark immediately north-west of Lambay Island, was a dead run. On this leg, the J109’s particularly “Ruth” and “Wakey Wakey” made strong progress and joined the leading bunch at Taylors Rock and Lambay Island.

ISORA night raceTaken from the deck of Tsunami with (L to R) Rockabill, Jackknife in the background, Aurelia and Lively Lady approaching Lambay Island (on the right) Photo: Peter Ryan

Rounding the island the winds increased and remained in SE giving a full beat back towards North and South Burford. The change in the tide at 00.44 did not suit the lead boats as they had to plug the last of the flooding tide as they beat south towards the Burfords. As the later boats rounded Lambay the turning ebb tide helped them in this leg south. This tidal situation tended to keep the fleet bunched.

Rounding the South Burford, the leg to the finish was a very tight reach that suit those boats with Asymmetrical spinnakers. Just as the boats arrived at Dun Laoghaire harbour there was very little wind in that localised area around the finish. The now strongly ebbing tide was against the approaching boats and made the finish trickier with the last boats being becalmed for a time within sight of the line.

The finish line was between the Pier heads. The finish times were being logged automatically by the YB trackers. This meant that finishers were not required to sit a night shift at the end of the pier.

“Jackknife” took line honours while J109 “Ruth” took IRC Overall and Class 1. “Aurelia” took Class 0 while “Windjammer” took Class 2. “First of September” took Silver Class. 

The next race is the second Exposure Lights sponsored night race from Pwllheli on the 20th July.

Published in ISORA
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