Sailing was the big winner at the CH Marine 1720 Nationals, held in Baltimore from the 27th–29th August, with varying conditions from 25/30 knots in the first two days followed by a sunny 10/12 knots on the Saturday. It proved the perfect contrast and good test for all the sailors involved.
With the fleet closing in on 20 boats this year, the 1720s are making a return to popularity which has to be welcomed. In the current economic environment the cost of running a 1720 is attractive as boats can be purchased for as little as €10,000 and the running costs have also been restricted by the fleet themselves.
This year the Thursday race was lost due to strong winds; however on the Friday Race Officer David O’Brien took the fleet into Baltimore Harbour in 25/30 knots and completed three races. Some broken boats and tired bodies were on the agenda at the end of the day with speeds being registered up to 20 knots in fantastic sailing conditions. Three 1st places for Anthony O’Leary saw him with a comfortable lead going into Saturday with Mel Collins in 2nd and Nicholas O’Leary in 3rd overall.
Saturday saw contrasting conditions with the fleet going outside the harbour between Cape Clear and Sherkin Island for three further races. Nicholas O’Leary turned the tables on the fleet, registering three 1st places to take the championship overall by one point from his father with Mel Collins coming in 3rd place and new boys to the fleet Ben Cooke and Jim Griffiths taking 4th overall.