In his first event sailing in the full rig boat Rush Sailing Club's Alan Ruigrock won the Laser Leinster Championships at the Royal St. George Yacht Club yesterday in some of the finest sailing conditions of the summer so far.
In a combined fleet of 110 boats and southerly winds of 10-15 knots, Ruigrock beat Howth's Ronan Cull and the host club's Conor Byrne who finished second and third respectively.
Annalise Murphy lived up to her billing as top Radial sailor in the country when, in a mixed 40 boat division, she beat Tiffany Brien for the Leinster title. In third place was next week's Irish Youth world's representative Philip Doran of Wexford.
The first 4.7 sailor was Royal Cork's Seafra Guilfoyle. The first master was Gareth Flannigan.
The following from the Class Association:
One hundred and ten sailors competed in the 2011 Laser Leinster Championships which were held in superb summer conditions on July 2nd & 3rd, and were hosted by the Royal St George Yacht Club. The weather did its part to show off Dublin Bay at its best with bright sunshine and a light sea breeze contributing to the regatta atmosphere for the sailors and their families alike.
The sailors needed to display all their skills to achieve a top end result. The wind peaked each day at 10 or 11 knots, with even pressure across the course and only a small number of wind shifts to take advantage of. Wind against tide meant the competitors needed good speed through the light chop. Equally important was a good start, made more difficult by the tide carrying the competitors over the line.
The principal race officer for the weekend was Con Murphy. At the prize giving, Con remarked that although he used a black flag for a number of the races it was great to see the high standard of the sailors meant that not a single person was OCS for the entire regatta.
Seafra Guilfoyle, with four bullets won the Laser 4.7 fleet, adding the Leinsters title to his Munsters and Ulsters trophies. John Durcan was 2nd and Cian Byrne third giving all three top spots to the Royal Cork Yacht Club. Emma Cooney from the NYC won the first lady prize.
The Laser Radial class is where many of Ireland's future Olympic hopefuls race and the Leinsters was no exception. Annalise Murphy of the NYC, "Afloat's May Sailor of the Month" and one of Ireland's strongest medal prospects in the 2012 Olympics won the event in compelling fashion with two firsts and three seconds. Tiffany Brien of Ballyholme YC, fresh from her recent Olympic campaign came in second. Philip Doran of Courtown YC claimed third prize. The prize for the first lady youth went to Sophie Murphy of the home club.
The Laser Standard fleet saw the most intense completion with the last race deciding all three top spots. On the Saturday, Ronan Cull clearly set himself apart winning all three races. At the end of the regatta only three points separated the leaders. Alan Ruigrok of Rush SC won the event, with Ronan Cull of HYC coming second and Conor Byrne claiming third prize for the RSGYC. Ballyholme yacht club also took home some silverware in this fleet with Oliver Loughhead taking the youth prize in fourth place overall and Gareth Flannigan taking the masters prize in 5th place.