With no visible wind this morning OOD Derek Bothwell issued a two-hour postponement to the start of day two of the J24 National Championships at Foynes Yacht Club on the Shannon Estuary. A perfectly timed postponement for many competitors who wished to watch the Ireland v Australia match. And just as the final whistle in the match blew the AP came down to head to the race area with the prospect of wind!
However, wind did not fill in as expected and a further AP was signalled afloat which resulted in some swimming and more ice cream and a lot of moving of marks to find the right race course in a fickle and patchy wind and baking sunshine. With time running out and at least one more race needed to complete the championship the first gun for race one was finally signalled at 1730hrs in a freshening westerly breeze.
As the race one start counted down the OOD drew competitor’s attention to the ebbing tide pushing competitors over the line and urged caution and a clear start was had. Two leaders emerged by the first windward mark with Martin Reilly’s Crazyhorse leading ahead of Darragh McCormack’s Stouche who held those positions to the finish.
In a day when even one race looked unlikely the fleet were delighted to be able to compete in a second race however as the tide increased in strength less caution was used at the start of race two resulting in a general recall and the U flag being raised and a number of boats still caught OCS on the second attempt. The breeze was up again which made for some spectacular close racing and numerous position changes throughout the race. Jibe, helmed by Fergus Kelliher from Tralee Bay Sailing Club, took his first win of the event followed Stefan Hyde in 2nd.
A championship dinner took place in the clubhouse that evening with a few short speeches from Foynes Commodore James McCormack and J24 President Brian McDowell both complimenting the race committee on getting in five race thus far and expressing their delight in the seeing the seven u25 teams taking part and highlighting the importance of bringing our young sailors from dinghies into keelboat racing.
A successful championship to date and hopeful of more sailing on today!