The rest of the Irish team are also to be commended for their finishes in a field comprising 255 young sailors: Sam Ledoux (National YC) was 70th overall, Luke Turkey (HYC) 100th and Ben O’Shaughnessy (RCYC) 159th.
In the glow of that achievement for the nation, the International Optimist Dinghy Association of Ireland (IODAI) has decamped to Waterford Harbour for the Optimist Munster Championships from today, Saturday 29 July.
The event is open to all boats of the IODAI across Regatta, Junior and Senior fleets, with the Notice of Race, Sailing Instructions and Supplementary Instructions available on the Waterford Harbour Sailing Club website.
Regatta, Junior and Senior fleets will race in the event which is open to all boats of the International Optimist Dinghy Association of Ireland.
The Notice of Race and Sailing Instructions, when made available from the IODAI, will be posted on the WHSC website.
Club co-ordinator for this event will be Rene Wubben and enquiries may be sent to [email protected] in the meantime.
The sailors enjoyed an excellent weekend of racing that started in bright sunshine with a breeze of 15-20–knots that moderated as the racing progressed.
Four races were completed on the Saturday with Geoff Power and James McCann winning all four races. The top dinghy pair previously finished in pair in the top ten at 420 Kiel Week Regatta in June.
Sunday's racing provided a contrast in weather with a constant drizzle and a switch in wind direction bringing a large swell into Dunmore East to add further excitement to the downwind legs with plenty of surfing in evidence. The speed of the 420 crews around the course, both upwind and downwind, provided an exciting spectacle for those watching from the harbour wall. Two races were completed on Sunday with Geoff Power and James McCann completing a perfect series in the Gold fleet by also winning the final two races.
Silver fleet was won by Sarah Levie and Emily Whitaker.
The results of the Gold and Silver fleets are as follows:
1st Geoff Power WHSC/ James Mc Cann RCYC
2nd Gemma Mc Dowell/Emma Gallagher MYC
3rd Nicola Ferguson. Fiona Ferguson NYC
1st Sarah Levie LRYC/ Emily Whitaker RCYC
2nd Lucy Bell SLYC/Emma Greer SLYC
3rd Dara Donnelly / Cliona Coyle NYC
Full results sheet is downloadable below
Strangford Lough brothers Rory and Andy Martin Martin of Strangford Lough Yacht Club were close winners coming out on top after some hard-fought racing.
The brothers were closely followed by Bryan Willis and John McPeake of County Antrim YC, just one point behind, with Brian McKee and Ian Smyth of Strangford Lough third, in a clean sweep for the Northern contingent.
Race one started in sunny and moderate winds with a tidal sweep from the river affecting the race course. Collisions proved costly for some eager to get a good start. The right hand side of the course paid throughout the day. Martin Bros and McLeery/Dougan of Killyleagh YC had a good tussle for the top spot throughout the race with the eventual race winners McLeery / Dougan making a nice move on one of the final reaches.
Race two in similar conditions saw the same four boats finish in a different order. This time Flying Fifteen Stalwarts McKee & Smith taking the bullet with McLeery & Dougan in second.
Race three saw a change in the pecking order. National YC duo Coleman & Quinn led from start to finish with come cool headed sailing throughout. Local sailors Statham & Paul finished second with McKee & Smith third to become leaders over night.
Sunday saw a change in wind direction and increased sea state, Crews found themselves hiking in the helmsman’s toe straps to avoid swamping. Willis & McPeake fought off challenges to retain their lead. With the Martin brothers second, and other contenders having a mediocre race, the championship would be decided in the final race.
The final race of the series saw a general recall and use of the U flag which would put some manners on the competitors. The race got off to a clean start second time round. The left hand side of the race course seemed to be paying.
Martin Bros rounded the windward mark first, but wouldn’t have it all their own way. Court & O’Leary took the lead on the first reach but lost it again at the gybe. Hot on their heels was Willis/McPeake who would battle it out with some tight covering throughout. The Martin Bros rounded the windward mark with a small lead which they managed to increase in the final triangle with some nice waves & gusts and take the bullet in the final race.
On receiving the prize, Andy Martin thanked the OOD, Race & Shore Teams and Volunteers for fantastic racing, great hospitality and good tidal tips.
Next up on the FFAI events calendar is the Championship of Ireland, to be held at County Antrim YC, September 8th to 10th.
The Under–18 championships is scheduled to race over two days in West Cork's own TR3.6 two handed dinghies but the weather forecast for the Schull venue shows winds topping 40–knots for Saturday and the same again on Sunday.
In a show of strength for Dublin's Royal St. George Yacht Club more than a third of the participants are drawn from the Dun Laoghaire club. RStGYC juniors are representing the RS200 (Toby Hudson Fowler), the RS Feva (Henry Start), Laser 4.7 (Peter Fagan), Optimist (Tom Higgins), Topper (Jack Fahy) and Kate Lyttle from the 420 class.
Royal Cork Yacht Club is the next biggest club on the water in Schull with four sailors involved. 29er skipper Harry Durcan and twin Johnny representing 29er and Laser Radials respectively. Harry Twomey represents the Optimist class and Sophie Crosby sails for the Toppers.
The 420 class is represented by Geoff Power of Waterford Harbour Sailing Club.
Full nominee list below
|RS200 Junior||Toby||Hudson Fowler||Royal StGeorge YC|
|RS Feva||Henry||Start||Royal St George YC|
|Laser 4.7||Peter||Fagan||Royal St George YC|
#420 – The 420 Munster Championships in Dunmore East was sailed with a fleet of nine boats. The sailors enjoyed a fantastic weekend sailing alongside Fireballs and Flying 15s under the watchful eye of Race Officers Con Murphy and Cathy McAleavey at Waterford Harbour Sailing Club.
Dougie Elmes/Colin O'Sullivan finished the series with six race wins to take first place in the gold fleet. Despite some close finishes Lizzy & Cara McDowell were unable to break the boys domination at thee front of the fleet, but they finished with five seconds to secure second place in the Gold Fleet. Bill Staunton sailing with James McCann from RCYC completed the podium places.
Shane McLaughlin/Tim Coyne saw all their hard work training over the winter pay off when they secured first place in the Silver fleet. They were followed home by the fast improving Alex & Jamie O'Grady in second place.
Howth Yacht Club was represented by nine sailors at the event.
#fireball – Barry McCartin & Conor Kinsella (15114) put together an almost flawless defence of their 2014 Irish Fireball Nationals title in Dunmore East over this past weekend writes Cormac Bradley. Almost flawless? They dropped one race in the nine-race event, finishing second in Race 7, but winning all other races.
International Race Officer Con Murphy (Dun Laoghaire) was given a set of challenging conditions to work with over the weekend. Due to the wind direction we had three days of big seas and waves, prompting a 2hr postponement on the Saturday morning when we were joined on the race course by Flying Fifteens and 420s. As he stated at the Saturday morning briefing, the wind strength (+ 20 knots) and sea conditions warranted holding back the fleet for safety reasons. As he admitted, tongue in cheek afterwards, the race committee team on board the 36-foot committee boat wanted some respite from the rolling seas as well.
McCartin & Kinsella made a clean sweep of Days 1 & 2, winning each of three Windward/Leeward races on both days. Kenny Rumball & Brian Byrne (15058) and the Clancy Brothers, Conor and James (15113) shared out the seconds and thirds between themselves, with the exception of Race 4 when Mick Creighton & Hugh Johnson (1506X) took third place. As my interim reports tried to convey, the first three boats were comfortable in their positions and one has to admit the racing among them was a bit processional.
Behind them there was a different story! Frank Miller & Ed Butler (14713), Neil Colin & Margaret Casey (14775) and Creighton & Johnson, were sharing the next raft of places on the water. Mike Murphy & Alex Voye (14908) had a poor first day when their centreboard gasket parted from the hull. This cost them two races on Day 1, but they finished with a flourish taking 4th place in the last race of the day. Louise McKenna & Hermine O'Keeffe (14691) had their best day on Friday counting a 6th and 2 x 8th, while Mary Chambers & Cormac Bradley (14865) after missing the first race due to a work commitment, entered the fray with a 7th and a retirement. The youngest combination on the water, Edward Coyne and Adrian Lee (14044) from Youghal, not Kinsale as previously reported, took eighth place in the first race.
On each of the first two days the wind was at its strongest early in the morning and eased as the day wore on. But the sea conditions made it a very physical sail and on the Friday evening some crews admitted to taking an early nap in order to sustain themselves for the rest of the evening.
On Sunday morning the fleet was greeted with a rain shower as they rigged up but this soon passed to give way to sunshine conditions again. Rather than wait for the Flying Fifteens to launch first, the Fireballs were encouraged to launch with them in order to get racing underway on time (10:30). For a change the wind was modest, but the seas were still there. This was reflected by the fact that the fleet rounded the first weather mark of the day in a bunch. Gybing immediately at the spreader mark paid dividends and as the fleet approached the leeward gate they were still in good company. A gust came through as the leeward gate loomed and this caused a number of capsizes under spinnaker, leading to two retirements – this correspondent being one of them. That means I can't tell you how Rumball & Byrne took the race win.
After the gust disappeared the wind stayed up but sunshine returned and order was restored with McCartin & Kinsella taking the last two races. Team Clancy fell off the pace a little, recording a 4th and a 5th in these last races but they were never in danger of losing their overall spot in the pecking order.
Brian Byrne, Kenneth Rumball
Conor Clancy, James Clancy
Adrian Lee, Edward Coyne
Mike Murphy, now with son James on board took full advantage of the conditions to record a 4, 3, 3, on Sunday, while Miller & Butler scored two fifths and a fourth.
Colin & Casey's regatta came to a premature end when the hook attaching the kicker to the base of the mast broke and McKenna & O'Keeffe's regatta was cut short by a loose gudgeon on the rudder.
The prize-giving was held in fantastic sunshine on the deck of the clubhouse and due thanks were given to all those who had contributed to a great weekend of racing. The hosting of three classes at a single venue over the same weekend is the only way that these events are viable for clubs. Our current fleet size does allow us to secure a venue by ourselves so we have to partner with other classes if we are to put a calendar together.
Another concern for the Irish Fireball Class must be the low numbers we are experiencing at present. Ten boats is a very poor turnout and means we have to really consider why the numbers are what they are? All events suffer from occasional absences but we no longer have the depth of numbers to accommodate occasional absences when our core fleet is so small.
The club distribution of the Nationals reads as follows:- Royal St George Yacht Club, Dun Laoghaire, 3, Irish National Sailing Club, Dun Laoghaire, 1, Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club, 3, Dun Laoghaire/Clontarf composite, 1, Waterford Harbour Sailing Club (hosts), 1 and Youghal Sailing Club, 1. Of these clubs, three had their full turn-out of known Fireballs at the club, INSC, WHSC and Youghal. Another Dun Laoghaire Fireballer stood at the top of the slipway on the one morning in Dunmore East curious as to why there were so few Fireballs racing.
We don't have an exhaustive calendar with a plethora of events – 5 regattas spread over six months – Open in May, Ulsters in June, Nationals in July, Munsters in September and Leinsters in October. We had a training event in April and the Worlds, organised by others, are in August in Wales.
Of the other clubs where we know there are Fireballs – Skerries (1), Killaloe (4/5), Clontarf (4/5), East Down Yacht Club (2/3) – none were available. On Tuesday of last week, six boats contested the Tuesday race of Dublin Bay Sailing Club and this forthcoming weekend (9th – 12th July), eight Fireballs are registered to contest the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta, even with other Fireball commitments to big boat racing.
The Fireball Worlds take place in Pwllheli, Wales, in the second half of August and it would appear at this stage as if our involvement there will be disproportionately high relative to the size of our domestic fleet size. It is an interesting contrast!
Dunmore East were exceptional hosts again – fresh scones with jam and cream available every morning in the clubhouse, at no charge, an excellent BBQ on the Saturday night and bar staff who kept the drinks flowing until a good hour. Volunteer members cooked and served the meal on Saturday night. Two parties of Fireballers ended up in the same post-mortem venue on the Friday evening – The Spinnaker Bar & Restaurant – before adjourning back to the clubhouse.
Con Murphy espoused punctuality on the race course, starting races on time, turning them around very quickly and starting Fireball races while the "Fifteens" and 420s were still racing.
2015 Irish Fireball Nationals, Waterford Harbour Sailing Club, Overall Results.
1 Barry McCartin & Conor Kinsella 15114 RStGYC 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 1 1 7pts
2 Kenneth Rumball & Brian Byrne 15058 INSC 2 2 3 5 2 2 1 2 2 13pts
3 Conor & James Clancy 15113 RStGYC 3 3 2 2 3 3 3 4 5 19pts
4 Mike Murphy & Alex Voye/James Murphy 14908 WHSC 11 11 4 11 4 4 4 3 3 33pts
5 Mick Creighton & Hugh Johnson 1506X GBC 5 6 7 3 5 5 8 6 6 36pts
The Classic Trophy and the Silver Fleet Prize were won by Edward Coyne and Adrian Lee of Youghal Sailing Club.The regatta prizes and the event overall enjoyed support from sponsors Ernest & Young and the Club Commodore presented the prizes to the three fleets.
For some Irish Fireballers, their next event is across the pond in Wales. For the balance, there is a hiatus until we reconvene at Lough Derg Sailing Club in September for the Munsters. This again will be a shared venue with Wayfarers and 420s.
#fireballl – After a 2hr postponement due to the sea condition, Race Officer Con Murphy got three Fireball races completed in Dunmore East today writes Cormac Bradley. In wind conditions that peaked at just over 20 knots and receded to 15 knots at the end of racing, we enjoyed sparkling conditions with sunshine, moderate water temperatures and breeze for three Windward/Leeward courses of 3,3 and 2 laps respectively.
Barry McCartin & Conor Kinsella continued their march to the title with another 3 first places. Kenny Rumball & Teddy Byrne remain in second place despite a 5th in the first race of the day. The "blip" was eradicated with two seconds. Conor & James Clancy took the first race and two thirds. Race 1 saw some of the front runners go swimming and a sub-par performance by Rumball resulted in a third place for Mick Creighton and a fourth for Mary Chambers & Cormac Bradley.
Races three and four returned to standard running order.
With 6 races complete and a discard in force the overall result is as follows;
1. McCartin & Kinsella (6), 5.
2. Rumball & Byrne (16), 11.
3. Clancy & Clancy (16), 13.
4. Creighton & Johnson (31), 24.
5. Miller & Butler (40), 29.
The deck of WHSC is bathed in sunshine and the BBQ is on the go.
#flyingfifteens – Ireland's Flying Fifteen man in Waterford, Charlie Boland, has organised an information session on Tuesday next week for those interested in taking up sailing or switching into the 20–foot keelboat class.
Boland, of Waterford Harbour Sailing Club in Dunmore East says: "Sailing a Flying Fifteen is an affordable way to learn the ropes and have great fun on the water. Next season will see several new boats arrive at the club."
He adds that he is actively on the lookout for entry-level boats for the club's new Fifteeners to purchase.
The information meeting takes place on Tuesday at 19:30 the Haven Hotel, Dunmore East. Contact Charlie at 087 2224475 for more details.
#lasersailing – In what is building to a thrilling 2016 Olympic trial, youngster Finn Lynch, the latest addition to the Irish Olympic Laser squad, threw down the gauntlet to London 2012's James Espey when he won the Laser Leinster honours at Waterford Harbour Sailing Club at the weekend. Lynch, who earned his place for Olympic Qualification in Croatia in June, produced four race wins to beat Royal Ulster's Espey by 1.6 points in the 19–boat fleet. It's the 17–year–old's third provincial title on the trot, winning the Munsters at Baltimore in May and the Ulsters at East Antrim in June. Ballyholme's Colin Leonard was third.
Lynch and Espey meet again in September in Santander at ISAF World Champs which doubles as a nation qualifier for the Rio Olympics.
Full rig, radial and 4.7 overall results from Waterford are downloadable below.
Waterford Harbour Sailing Club, Dunmore East, hosted an excellent Laser Leinsters last weekend.
Saturday dawned with grey clouds, a chilly breeze and the confident statement by OOD Con Murphy, that "if the rain storm over the middle of the country comes this way, it won't be 12 knots from the NW." We had a cracking broad reach in 15 - 20 knots out to the start, where after a few shifts of course as a rain cloud came through and a few attempts for the Full rigs to get off the line cleanly, we got away. Whilst Ronan Cull and I traded a few crosses, James Espey came out of the left to commence what for a generation of Irish laser sailors has been normal service watching him sail off into the distance. I got out to the left and managed to come into the mark second, with a tight bunch of Finn Lynch, Conor Byrne (before he got tired), Stephen Penney and Ronan hot on my heals. Finn rapidly pulled upto me, and for what must have been a matter of minutes he was behind me. However the inevitable happened at the bottom of the second run when just as if I wasn't there Finn was past me and away. Top 3 finished that way, with Conor, Stephen making up the top 5.
Race 2 saw similar breezy conditions but a slight right shift at the top meant I led from James, Finn and the pack. Despite James Espey Sailing, becoming James Espey Coaching, half way up the second beat James was away. Superior technique in the chop was awesome to see. In fact, it was pretty awesome watching Finn do the same! However Finn kindly took part in the Leinster sailing/swimming biathlon allowing me to slip home in second, finn in third. Ronan came in 4th and Dougie Power new into the fullrig showed good speed to fight off Darragh O Sullivan! Conor Byrne was last seen stretching his hamstrings down the run...mars bars are not electrolye drinks.
Race 3 the breeze was up, James had some unintentional equipment failure and again I led from Finn for as long as I could muster but age, not enough food, and a lack of talent saw Finn demolish me up the last beat. I can't help but feel this will become as common a feeling as watching James demolish us all! Darragh used good speed downwind to close up the 3rd. I suspect that this was the only time he was firing on all cylinders and with a 2 hour recovery cycle after sailing Darragh looks sure to join Finn and James in being recognisable to the rest of us by the back of their heads! Ronan came in fourth, with Ronan Kenneally finishing his day with a 5th. Full marks to him for taking one day of his weekend to sail before returning to the family man duties!
So a good first day came to and end with everyone wondering how James had got redress, how Finn was so bloody quick downwind, just how heavy do you need to be to drop sheet and go bow down, and will Conor be able to walk tomorrow!
Sunday was sunny, and the breeze had swung round to provide big waves and the scene was set for James and Finn to battle it out, and for the rest of us to enjoy some top notch sailing conditions. Race 1 saw the main protagonists and their training partners past and present have a speed contest to the left aka wrong corner of the race track. Young Ryan Glynn defied his size to lead at the first mark, with myself James and Finn hot on his heels. He flew downwind and held on valiantly before charging back to almost take the lead again but instead rolling me like I was sinking on the last reach to come 3rd behind Finn and James. Probably one of the best races I've had in ages - great fun! Ronan Cull started his roll as must unlucky sailer of the weekend by joining the Biathlon club, and as much to his surprise as everyone else's conor not only sailed - he sailed fast into 6th.
Race 5 and, it was my turn to start badly (turns out James and Finn are high and fast) before competing in the windward capsize biathlon and retiring. Ronan showed some of his top speed to come 3rd, whilst Finn was lightening fast downwind and won from James. Dan O'Beirne had a good race in 4th, from Conor and Darragh.
At this stage it was winner takes all for Finn and James, barring a disaster I would finish third, and Stephen Penney all but had his hands on the Masters trophy! Still race 6 was a cracker and James and Finn put it all on show, close crosses at the start, Ronan closing the door on finn. Shouting matches between Finn and James at the windward mark. Finn having an angle down the waves that was unmatchable...fast. Poor Ronan had his mast snap and Dougie Power flew the home flag hard to get another 5th. Finn won, from James, myself, and Darragh (the final finishing order overall.)
Great to see so many old faces back for a play, and a privilege to see how the Pros do it. The main protagonists traded days as the quickest over the water and as they head to Schull/ U21 worlds/ Santander we all wish them well! The rest of us back at work can only know that the nationals at Ballyholme Yacht Club in late August will be as fun and good racing. See you all there!