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Masterclass by O'Driscoll earns J/24 national title

12th September 2010
Masterclass by O'Driscoll earns J/24 national title
 

An exhibition of how to win sailing races on the second day of the Irish J/24 Championships at Howth saw Flor O'Driscoll and his crew from the Royal St.George YC on 'Hard on Port' deservedly win the national title he has craved for several years, by the impressive margin of 19 points.

Three bullets on day two, including one which required coming from behind to outfox former champion Stefan Hyde by the final leeward mark, was sufficient to give the pre-event favourite the championship. O'Driscoll's cause was certainly helped when overnight leader and defending champion Mickey McCaldin on 'Murder Picture' (LEYC) was one of five boats 'black-flagged' on the first race start after PRO David Lovegrove imposed the penalty following a couple of general recalls.

 

That effectively ended the Ulster crew's challenge and it was followed by two other poor results which ultimately dropped them to 6th overall. The black flag decision also had a significant impact on other overall results, with another Lough Erne entry, Diarmuid O'Donovan's 'Sayonara' jumping four places to earn the runners-up spot, thanks to two second places and an 8th. It was enough to edge past clubmate and J/24 Class President Robin Eagleson who wasn't as effective as on the first day but did more enough to justify 3rd overall and also first in the silver fleet for the older boats.

 

Howth's 'Jibberish' (Fergus O'Kelly et al) was more than pleased with 4th overall, just one point away from a podium finish, an encouraging performance considering the crew did not have the benefit of a full season's practice as a result of serious collision damage back in June. One point further back was Andrew Mannion's 'Jeb Stuart', with three top six places on the second day lifting the Lough Ree boat two places in the overall standings.

 

That four points separated second from fifth places overall indicates the closeness of one-design racing while Gordon Davies on the Jury Boat was kept busy over the two days maintaining rule observation on the water. The full 8-race schedule was completed, generally in fresh westerlies, with the race management team complemented on their performance over both days, when strong tides were a significant factor.

 

The 17-boat fleet, one of the biggest J/24 fleets in recent years, augurs well for the J/24 Europeans at Howth next year, with around eight nations already confirming their intention to compete.

 

J/24 National Championship – final results after 8 races:

 

1. Hard on Port – Flor O'Driscoll (RStGYC) 13 points

2. Sayonara – Diarmuid O'Donovan (LEYC) 32 points

3. Luder Too – Robin Eagleson (LEYC) 34 points

4. Jibberish – Fergus O'Kelly (HYC) 35 points

5. Jeb Stuart – Andrew Mannion 36 points

6. Murder Picture – Mickey McCaldin (LEYC) 44 points

Published in J24
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