Hayling Island Sailing Club's Richard Lovering and Matt Alvarado lead the Subaru Flying Fifteen Championship of Ireland and Pre-Worlds
contest after two races sailed in blustery westerlies on Dublin Bay yesterday writes Cormac Bradley.
The six-race series which precedes this Friday's World Championships got off to a prompt start in breezes ranging from 10 to 20 knots with big shifts on a race track in the northwest of Dublin Bay under International Race Officer Jack Roy who is also Irish Sailing President.
The former UK Flying Fifteen champion Lovering scored a 1 and a 3 in the 56-boat fleet to be two points clear of another former UK champion, Steve Goacher sailing with Tim Harper of Royal Windermere Yacht Club. Third is Australia's Firefly sailed by Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club's Mike Hart and Dean McAullay
The top ten in the 55-boat fleet is dominated by the strong British team but South Africa's Campbell Alexander and Dave Herridge are ninth. The top Irish is Strangford Lough's Andy Martin and Rory Martin in tenth place.
Race Officer Roy gave the fleet two of the sausage-triangle-sausage courses to stretch their limbs and sinews!
With a declared wind direction of 240° and a flooding tide, the on the water conditions were quite comfortable. At his briefing in the morning, the Race Officer declared that a U flag start would be used after an aborted start if he deemed the fleet to be at fault - it didn't take long for the U-flag to be broken out and the black flag got some usage as well.
The Race Officer on coming ashore after the day's proceedings advised that wind strengths in the first race were of the order of 12 knots gusting to nineteen and in the second 13 gusting to the low twenties. It felt more than that! There was some relief in the lulls but they were short-lived.
The overall scoreboard is dominated by the British entries with seven boats in the top ten. They are led by Lovering & Alvarado, GBR 4002 counting a 1,3. Next is Goacher & Harper GBR 4021 with a 4,2 and Hart & McAullay AUS 4063 with a 3,7. Graham Vials & Chris Turner GBR 4071 claimed the second race and added a 10 from Race 1 to close out the top five.
South Africans Campbell Alexander & Dave Herridge RSA 4009 lie 9th with a 11 & 9 and the Martin Brothers, Andy & Rory IRL 3974 close out the top ten with a 18, 12.
Three Irish boats occupy 10th, 11th and 13th overall with Hammy Baker & Peter Chamberlain IRL 3756 sandwiched between the Martins and the leading boat from the host club, David Gorman & Chris Doorly who are counting a 19, 15. Bryan Willis & John McPeake from Whitehead and registered as GBR occupy 12th.
A briefing is scheduled for 11:00 today where the word is we will be having a three-race programme due to an adverse weather forecast for Wednesday.
Results are here.
Racing continues at the National Yacht Club hosted event today.