#laser – Almost 100 Lasers enjoyed extraordinary sailing conditions on glorious Lough Ree. FULL RESULTS DOWLOADABLE BELOW. Temperatures over 30 degrees, sailing in rash vest only and shifty F 2-4 were the order of the day. The event combined the Connaught Championships and Irish Laser Youth Championships for all three rigs. The fleet was under the stewardship of International Race Officer Con Murphy who made light work of the tricky conditions.
In the full rigs, a 25 boat fleet had very close racing. In the end, Chris Penney followed up his Leinsters win by running away with it on Sunday following 3 straight wins, an impressive performance on such a streaky and shifty race track. Conor Byrne and Paul MacMahon completed the podium and were always pushing Penney hard. Irish Full Rig youth Champion for 2013 is Cian Cahill from RstGYC/RCYC who rose through the ranks to finish an impressive 5th overall on his first outing with the big sail. Sean Craig took top Master overall.
As usual, the biggest fleet was the Radials. Seafra Guilfoyle, honed from some good international performances recently, had a brief wobble with a black flag Saturday, but a string of bullets gave him both the Connaught and Irish Youth Laser titles. Cian Byrne was comfortable in second and always there or thereabouts while recent winner at Wexford Ryan Glynn emerged from the pack to claim third overall. Erica Ruigrok was first girl overall. The competition in this fleet is incredible these days and it was fantastic to see Annalise Murphy taking time out to sail the first three races, before jetting out to Rio for a few weeks. It was a huge boost to the regatta and the club and campsite were alive Saturday night with tales of "I lee-bow tacked Annalise", "I beat Annalise to the top mark", etc, etc !!! To put the standard of this fleet in perspective, Annalise found herself outside the top ten overall after the first day's racing.
The smaller rig had a fantastic regatta too with almost 20 boats and great conditions for a number of newcomers. Cliodhna O'Regan continued her recent fine form with another overall win to take the Connaught and Youth crowns, with the fast improving Dougie Elmes (Optimist National Champion 2012) taking runner-up.
The Laser action is building up to an exciting peak later next month. On Aug 22-25 RCYC hosts the Vodafone Irish Nationals and then the Laser Europeans/Worlds takes place in Dun Laoghaire Aug 30-Sep 6.
Indeed the organisers for the big international event are appealing for private charter boats amid very tight supply for visiting sailors who, in a big boost for the regatta, will include the famous Robert Scheidt from Brazil. Go to the event website above, to "Racing", "Boat Charter" and top rates of up to € 500 can be your's if you offer up your boat for charter.