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From an entry list of 30 sailing boats, 19 boats came to the line in Holyhead for the 3rd ISORA race – 75 miles to Dun Laoghaire. The fleet, that was missing many of their “regulars” had four newcomers to ISORA - “Mojito”, Peter Dunlop, “Poppy of St. Helier”, John Roberts (another John Roberts), “Intuiition” and “One Life”, both of Sailing West Sailing School.

There were two significant predicted factors affecting the race – the extremely strong Spring Tides and a wind shift from northwest to southwest during the race. As forecast the wind was 12knots northwest at the start and immediately the fleet split into two halves. The main fleet headed south plugging the north going tide while a small bunch headed north using the strong tide.

The wind followed its forecast and backed south-west although the north part of the fleet were lifted onto Rockabill, the wind was stronger for the south fleet who arrived under spinnaker.

Despite this the entire fleet, closely bunched met again at Rockabill. “Tsunami”, Vincent Farrell, who was part of the north fleet, round first, followed closely by “Raging Bull” Matt Davis and “Intuition”, Sailing West Sailing School, both of whom were part of the south fleet. The strong tide had just turned to go north as the fleet rounded and made their way to Kish.

The wind, that had been very fickle at Rockabill increased to 20 knots shortly after the leaders rounded Rockabill and it was a beat to Kish. The wind had not finished its gyrations and the fleet experienced a huge wind shift off Lambay. This shift enabled those who had gone towards the coast to crack off and reach to Kish while those who stayed out fetched to the mark.

Despite this the leader order of rounding the Kish was the same as rounding of Rockabill. The new wind direction produced a beat from Kish to the finish with the wind reducing to 7 knots at the finish. The first boat to cross the finish line was “Tsunami”, who only managed to take 2nd in Class 1. It was followed closely by Matt Davis’s “Raging Bull” who won Class 1. “Intuition”,

Sailing West Sailing School, crossed the line 3rd to take 3rd in Class 1. Class 2 was won by “Poppy” followed by “Mojito” and “Just Enough”, Stephen Tudor.

Class 2 boats dominated the overall results with the same boats winning the overall positions.

As newcomers to ISORA, “Poppy” and “Mojito” have really made a huge impact in their inaugural race and ISORA's hope is their presence can be repeated on the ISORA start line in the future. The next race is next weekend 5th June from Pwllheli to Wicklow. It is another 75- mile race. 

Published in ISORA

The Tacktick Suunto J/80 UK National Championship 2010 commences this week. The event will be hosted by the Cardiff Bay Yacht Club from Wednesday 5th May to Saturday 8th of May. Racing will take place in the Bristol Channel under the watchful eye of PRO David Cairncross and J/80 teams have travelled from all around the UK to comptete. The J/80 is the fastest selling sportsboat in Europe and the class is delighted that marine electronics specialists Tacktick Suunto are sponsoring the event. Ireland has 13 of these keelboats but sadly none are competing in Cardiff.


The competition in Cardiff will be hotly fought; alongside the travellers there will be a strong local field of five J/80 teams. J/80 International Class Chairman, Steve Cooper, will be competing in Junior High. Steve and his team are well travelled J/80 sailors and were part of the huge World Championship fleet at Santander last year. Local knowledge pays and we may see Junior High come of age this year. Scott Cole and his team on Purple Haze also from Cardiff, are known to be fast and both these boats know the sailing area well.

Toe In The Water, a charity that aims to encourage and rehabilitate injured servicemen and women through the sport of sailing, have four boats entered in the regatta. The relationship between the charity and the UK J/80 Class has been established for over three years now. Whilst these crews don’t get to sail with each other as frequently as many of the others at the Nationals, in the past the Toe In The Water teams have proved tactically strong and have shown skilful boat handling as well as pace.

The British Keelboat Academy will be represented at the Tacktick Suunto J/80 Nationals by Tom Phipps and Kelvin Matthews. These lads slotted in some really strong results at the championships in 2009 and will be well worth watching. The Britannia Royal Naval College will also be racing for the Championship title in J/80 Wave Warrior skippered by Joe Henry.

From the Solent, Thor Askeland makes his J/80 National Championship debut, racing  Elle S’Apelle. Thor won the Autumn Champs in Hamble last year and has shown more than a few moments of brilliance throughout the spring season. He will be looking for consistency at the Nationals and for a podium finish. Terry Palmer (J/80 UK Class Chairman) and Caroline Cooper slotted in a top three result in the 93 boat J/80 fleet at Spi Ouest earlier this year, racing Just Do It. They will perhaps be hoping for similar windy conditions in Wales this week; they know they are quick in the big breeze. Ian Atkins will also be making the trip to Cardiff; having won five out of seven races sailed last weekend in his local series, Ian and his crew on Boats.com will have silverware their sights next week.

Racing at the Tacktick Suunto J/80 UK National Championship 2010 starts on Thursday. A full programme is planned on and off the water. It will be and extremely exciting and lively week!
Published in Racing
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