Martin Byrne’s Dragon Jaguar Sailing Team of Adam Winkelmann and Pedro Andrade of the Royal St. George Yacht Club finished second overall and top Irish boat after six races sailed at the Cup in Abersoch, North Wales yesterday.
As Afloat reported earlier, The Royal St. George trio came from fifth overall on the final day to be on the podium and within five-points of winners Mike Budd, Mark Greaves and Adam Bowers in the 33-boat fleet.
The Irish Phantom team led by Peter Bowring, Commodore of the Royal St George Yacht Club finished eighth overall.
Two full races completed a series that was scheduled to run until Friday but a weather forecast prompted the race team to adjust the schedule to complete all races one day early.
Day 3 report here
An overnight change in the weather forecast pre-empted an adjustment to the sailing schedule for the 33 Dragons and over 100 sailors.
With very heavy weather and strong winds predicted for Friday it was confirmed that the crew’s race would be abandoned, and two races would be run to finish the championship.
A strengthening 10-15 knot SW breeze and rollers were present for the start of race five along with a lot of ebb tide. A general recall under flag U led to a black flag start that saw four boats over the line and another recall.
Start three was successful and 29 Dragons sailed up the bay with Martin Byrne’s Jaguar, Mike Budd’s Harry, Paddy Atkinson’s Seafire, Mike Breivik’s Mars and Gavia Wilkinson-Cox’s Jerboa leading into the windward mark.
Fast sailing downwind resulted in Martin Payne’s Bear and Rob Campbell’s Quicksilver VI pulling back up to the leaders over taking Jerboa and Mars.
After a final 2nm beat the course was shortened to finish at the final downwind gate with Jaguar and Harry finishing seconds apart followed by Bear and Quicksilver VI.
Race six and the final race to count started with a general recall, but an all clear second start saw the fleet split with Graham Bailey’s Aimee and Bear taking the pin-end and a left-hand lane up the beat. Aimee held out longer on the left and this paid hugely for them coming out at the windward mark in the top six. Joining them at the mark was current leaders, Harry along with Mars, Avalanche, Tim Pearson’s ZU and Patrick Lomax’s Good Grief.
A packed windward spreader resulted in many Dragons gybing off to get away from the tide. Holding on to the lead and taking an inner lane downwind was Harry followed by Aimee, Avalanche, David William’s Phantom, Richard Leask’s Kestra and ZU.
Going into the gate and taking the right-hand mark Mike Budd was having some serious issues with his genoa halyard and it looked like the end of his race! Avalanche tacked off to clear their air behind Harry and sailed out towards the right and the shoreline along with Harryot.
The majority of the fleet chose the right taking the land breeze close to SCYC that saw Jaguar and Seafire pull ahead. A long run down to the final leeward gate had Harry, Seafire, Aimee and Jaguar in the leading pack followed by a fast running Bear.
The four top boats ran to the right and middle for a very close finish. Martin Payne spotted another breeze on the left coming from the island with more tide so chose the last of the ebb tide to take him to the finish right behind Seafire.