Royal St. George Yacht Club Pair Barry McCartin and Conor Kinsella counted five straight race wins to be winners of the 11-boat Fireball Leinster Championships at the National Yacht Club today. The host club's Noel Butler and Stephen Oram were second. Niall McCrotty and Neil Cramer of Skerries Sailing Club were third overall. Full results are downloadable below.
The event was hosted by the National Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire in tandem with the Flying Fifteen East Coast Championships and the SB20 Combined Southern event.
Any concerns sailors may have had about mixing somewhat disparate fleets were banished by excellent race management.
On the Saturday the forecast moderate Northerly winds turned out (for once) to be overly modest - sailors faced an increasing breeze which according to the DLH site at times touched 30 knots. On Saturday windward- leeward courses were set for all races, and in the strong breeze this was generally welcomed, with good surfing conditions downwind in waves not often seen in the bay. The first race was won by Noel Butler & Stephen Oram but after an initial wobble McCartin/Kinsella established their dominance. Behind them Niall McGrotty and Neil Cramer sailed consistently well and were ultimately rewarded with third place overall. Also sailing extremely well despite a bug and a shoulder injury veteran Louis Smyth, with Joe O’Reilly on the wire punched in solid results. Phil Lawton, sailing a borrowed boat with Neil O’Toole, returned to the fleet but struggled to make top placings. Visitors to Dublin included John Bolger & James Dalton from Killaloe who enjoyed the experience of the waves and took home the silver trophy as a bonus. Brian O’Neill from East Down make the trek south to team up with Michael Keegan. Sunday saw a totally different type of day, starting cool crisp and sunny but without a zephyr.
The fleet were wisely kept ashore until an easterly filled in and again excellent race management achieved three races within a tight time frame in a building breeze. Overall kudos must go to the National Yacht Club and organiser Olivier Prouvier for putting together a brave combined event that may well point the way forward for our sport and proving that combination events with good management can work extremely well for everyone.