After the Etchells Worlds and SB3 Nationals in successive weeks, Howth Yacht Club's championship trilogy concludes this weekend with the J/24 National Championship which is expected to attract up to 18 entries from half a dozen clubs for the 8-race series.
The out-and-out favourite for the title is Flor O'Driscoll and his crew on 'Hard on Port' from the Royal St.George YC who have dominated the class this year, with comfortable wins in the Western and Northern Championships already. In addition, second place in Class 3 in the ICRA Nationals behind a very fast quarter-tonner is a clear indication of how well the boat is being sailed this season.
Defending champions are the veteran crew on Mickey McCaldin's 'Murder Picture' from Lough Erne YC while the younger McCaldin, JP, will hope to improve on his 2nd place on 'Jamais Encore' at last month's Northerns on home waters.
Lough Ree YC supplies a number of entries and the leading contender from the Shannon region is likely to be Stan Bradbury on 'Javlin' who sailed well at Lough Erne but lost out with two OCS infringements.
The north Dublin challenge could be led by Brian McDowell's 'Scandal' from Malahide while the host club's Fergus O'Kelly returns to action after repairs to 'Jibberish' following a serious collision before the Lambay Race back in June.
With HYC hosting the J/24 European Championships next year, this weekend's event is an ideal opportunity for the inland lake sailors in particular to familiarise themselves with Howth's tidal conditions.