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Skerries Sailor Daragh Kelleher Wins Irish Laser Master Title at Royal St. George Yacht Club

20th May 2018
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Ross O'Leary of the Royal St. George Yacht Club in action at the Irish Laser Masters Championships on Dublin Bay Ross O'Leary of the Royal St. George Yacht Club in action at the Irish Laser Masters Championships on Dublin Bay Photo: Afloat.ie

RYA Master Laser Sailor Mike Matan made clear his intentions for September's World Championships on Dublin Bay taking a clean sweep of the Irish Masters Open at the Royal St George Yacht Club at the weekend. In a fleet of 31, Matan counted three wins in a range of conditions from 30–knots on Saturday to 12 knots or less on Sunday. 

In a show of strength for the 2018 World Championship race track, Dublin Bay produced true championship conditions, if not a little too tough for local sailors at times.

Laser Masters start Dublin Bay 2189A fine turnout of 44 boats in two fleets for the Irish Laser Masters on Dublin Bay Photo: Afloat.ie

Laser Masters Dublin Bay irelandMalahide's Dave Kirwan (419), Howth Yacht Club's Mark Kennedy (590) and Ballyholme's Francis Kennedy (885) neck and neck in breeze during the first reach  of race three of the Laser Masters Championships on Dublin Bay Photo: Afloat.ie 

"Dublin Bay produced true championship conditions"

Finishing second to Matan in the full rig division – to claim the Irish Masters Champion title – was Daragh Kelleher of Skerries Sailing Club who outwitted some favourites (previewed here) to take the overall win in the Lennon Racewear sponsored event. 

Laser Theo Lyttle 2380Royal St. George's Theo Lyttle Photo: Afloat.ie

Laser Radial Masters start Dublin Bay 2412Conor O'Leary of the Royal St George YC

Laser Mike Matan 2215Irish Masters Open Champion Mike Matan on his way to victory on Dublin Bay (above) and below collecting his trophy from Royal St. George's Peter Bowring (below)

Laser Matan

Laser KelleherDarragh Kelleher (left) was the second in the full rig overall and winner of the Irish Masters Championships

In the Radial division, Sean Craig of the Royal St George YC  had four wins to easily claim the Irish title ahead of Chris Boyd of Ballyholme Yacht Club. Third was Craig's clubmate Marco Sorgassi.

Laser Radial Masters start Dublin Bay 2447Howth's Troy Hopkins leads Ballyholme's Chris Boyd by a boat length into the top mark of Race three in the Radials Photo: Afloat.ie

Additional reporting via Laser Class:

After a season of mainly light winds so far, competitors gathered in gorgeous sunshine on Saturday morning, buoyed by a promising forecast that did not disappoint over the two days. While the sunshine gave way to grey skies on Sunday, a fresh Southerly provided wind and wave to give challenging conditions, ranging from 12-25 knots throughout.

In the Full rigs after Day One, a breakaway group of three sailors threatened to sew up the podium early, despite intense competition throughout a home fleet literally chomping at the bit for the Worlds in September. Manhattan-based Mike Matan, sailing under the burgee of the RYA, claimed the second and third bullets of the day. Whether starting at the pin or the Committee Boat, Matan often seemed quickest away early on port, which was favoured all day as the starboard layline offered up good gains versus those tucked in just below or approaching on port. Daragh Kelleher from Skerries Sailing Club had taken Race One after diving early to that favoured side of the first beat. Corkman Nick Walsh also sat pretty overnight with 4,2,2. Only Gareth Flannigan (Ballyholme Yacht Club, reigning champion) and Howth’s Dave Quinn managed individual races in the top three.

Day Two dawned with a similar forecast and the fleet moved to a different track. The Race Officer made good on his promise to use both of the general race areas that will be employed at the Worlds, where the turnout of 350+ will require two race courses.

More lessons were learnt on flatter, less confused water but again with thrilling offwind legs as the breeze touched 20 knots once more. Up front in the Standards, however, it was business as usual as the same three dominated. Matan took his third win in the final, fifth race to take the overall win and First Master (45-55). Taking the silver medal was Apprentice Master Kelleher, just ahead of Walsh. This made Daragh Kelleher First Irish Master, well-deserved after taking two race wins and using up his discard with a DNC when feeling unwell for Race 3. John Simms from Ballyholme Yacht Club showed he’s lost none of his heavy weather prowess and took the top Grand Master award, finishing a highly creditable 5th overall. Sweden’s David Bourghardt from Kullavik KK rounded off the top 10, just ahead of David Hillmyer from Sarasota in Florida, competing in his second Irish Nationals (he took a race win in 2016).

The Irish Laser Masters scene has finally woken up to the attraction of the Radial rig for older and/or lighter racers. It was great to see 15 entries here after also getting good Master turnouts of a dozen boats with the smaller sail, joining in with our youth sailors at early season regional events. The potential for further growth here looks promising.

Sean Craig of the host club tended to pop out in front and ended up with five bullets but on Sunday he was pushed and headed for long periods by Chris Boyd from Ballyhome Yacht Club, ex Finn Olympian who, like Craig, has recently transitioned to Radial rig. Also new in the division is Dublin-based Italian Marco Sorgassi, from RStGYC, who came 3 rd overall behind Boyd after a consistent showing, holding off the likes of Troy Hopkins (Howth Yacht Club), Ian Magowan (Tralee Bay Sailing Club) and Dragon Champion sailor Neil Hegarty of RStGYC/Baltimore SC. Shirley Gilmore (RStGYC/Kinsale YC) defied her light stature in the strong winds and placed a very respectable 7 th overall, claiming the Top Lady award amongst four female sailors in total.

Sailors enjoyed an excellent three course Regatta dinner on Saturday, after which Irish Sailing High Performance coach Rory Fitzpatrick spoke for almost 90 minutes. A Laser Olympian himself (Athens, 2004) he focused mainly on his role as Coach to our “Radial Queen” Annalise Murphy, chronicling all the highs and lows. We heard about the lows and the soul-searching debrief after the London Olympics and that heartbreaking 4th place finish.

Then on to the next Quadrennial and a fascinating insight into the meticulous preparations that brought Annalise her silver medal in Rio, a period which also included a glorious win at the European Championships in Dun Laoghaire in 2013.

This Masters regatta was run faultlessly on the water by Race Officer Harry Gallagher, supported by his usual Flagship team and a hardworking team of Dun Laoghaire mark layers and RIB drivers. Start lines were square, courses were fair and race turnaround time was instant. Onshore, a compact but very able team kept the show on the road and we would like to thank the Royal St George Yacht Club for looking after the class so well. It augurs well for the Worlds when the neighbouring National Yacht Club comes onboard as co-host.

Thanks also to Open Full rig Champion Mike Matan for his kind words at the Prizegiving. He got his gold medal and Lennon voucher, but that Irish Masters trophy stays in the country with top Irish finisher. 

Radial Fleet

Sailed: 5, Discards: 1, To count: 4, Entries: 15, Scoring system: Appendix A
Rank Fleet Class SailNo HelmName Club R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 Total Nett
1st Radial Master 206943 Sean Craig Royal St George YC (1.0) 1.0 1.0 1.0 1.0 5.0 4.0
2nd Radial Great GM 200435 Chris Boyd Ballyholme Y C 2.0 (4.0) 2.0 2.0 2.0 12.0 8.0
3rd Radial Master 211811 Marco Sorgassi Royal St.George 3.0 2.0 3.0 (4.0) 3.0 15.0 11.0
4th Radial Master 211115 Troy Hopkins Howth Yacht Club (5.0) 3.0 4.0 3.0 4.0 19.0 14.0
5th Radial Grand Master 173059 Ian Magowan Tralee Bay Sailing Club/RIYC/CHSC 4.0 6.0 (7.0) 5.0 6.0 28.0 21.0
6th Radial Master 188347 Neil Hegarty Royal St George YC/BSC (7.0) 5.0 5.0 6.0 5.0 28.0 21.0
7th Radial Master 204762 Shirley Gilmore Royal St George YC/Kinsale YC 9.0 (16.0 DNC) 8.0 8.0 7.0 48.0 32.0
8th Radial Grand Master 213957 Paul Ebrill WHBTC 6.0 (16.0 DNC) 16.0 DNC 7.0 8.0 53.0 37.0
9th Radial Master 21010 Glen Fisher None 10.0 (16.0 DNC) 9.0 9.0 9.0 53.0 37.0
10th Radial Grand Master 155919 David Cahill National Yacht Club/Dublin Bay SC 8.0 (16.0 DNC) 6.0 16.0 DNC 16.0 DNC 62.0 46.0
11th Radial Master 198518 John Sisk RIYC 11.0 (16.0 DNF) 16.0 DNC 16.0 DNC 16.0 DNC 75.0 59.0
12th Radial Grand Master 202051 Mary Chambers DMYC 12.0 (16.0 DNC) 16.0 DNC 16.0 DNC 16.0 DNC 76.0 60.0
13th Radial Apprentice 179037 Patricia Kelly INSC 13.0 (16.0 DNC) 16.0 DNC 16.0 DNC 16.0 DNC 77.0 61.0
14th Radial Legend 178148 Denis O’ Sullivan Monkstown Bay Sailing Club (16.0 DNC) 16.0 DNC 16.0 DNC 16.0 DNC 16.0 DNC 80.0 64.0
14th Radial Grand Master 171911 Joan Sheffield INSC (16.0 DNF) 16.0 DNS 16.0 DNC 16.0 DNC 16.0 DNC 80.0 64.0

Standard Fleet

Sailed: 5, Discards: 1, To count: 4, Entries: 31, Scoring system: Appendix A
Rank Fleet Class SailNo HelmName Club R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 Total Nett
1st Standard Master 208838 Mike Matan RYA (3.0) 1.0 1.0 2.0 1.0 8.0 5.0
2nd Standard Apprentice 213141 Daragh Kelleher Skerries SC 1.0 3.0 (32.0 DNC) 1.0 3.0 40.0 8.0
3rd Standard Master 210258 Nick Walsh Royal Cork YC (4.0) 2.0 2.0 3.0 2.0 13.0 9.0
4th Standard Apprentice 208319 David Quinn Howth Yacht Club 2.0 9.0 (32.0 DNC) 4.0 4.0 51.0 19.0
5th Standard Grand Master 198554 John Simms Ballyholme YC/Royal Ulster YC 5.0 6.0 (11.0) 5.0 6.0 33.0 22.0
6th Standard Apprentice 201365 Damian Maloney Lough Derg Yacht Club/ RSGYC 9.0 4.0 4.0 6.0 (10.0) 33.0 23.0
7th Standard Master 208855 Gareth Flannigan Ballyholme YC/Royal Ulster YC 6.0 5.0 3.0 12.0 (16.0) 42.0 26.0
8th Standard Grand Master 185032 Charles Taylor Ballyholme Yacht Club/RUYC 10.0 8.0 5.0 (13.0) 5.0 41.0 28.0
9th Standard Master 211463 Edward Rice Royal Cork YC (11.0) 10.0 7.0 10.0 8.0 46.0 35.0
10th Standard Master 210351 David Bourghardt Kullavik KKK 7.0 12.0 (32.0 DNC) 7.0 11.0 69.0 37.0
11th Standard Apprentice 210648 David Hillmyer Sarasota Sailing Sqaudron 14.0 (18.0) 9.0 8.0 9.0 58.0 40.0
12th Standard Master 211129 Theo Lyttle Royal St George YC 12.0 11.0 8.0 9.0 (15.0) 55.0 40.0
13th Standard Grand Master 201829 Chris Arrowsmith Royal St George YC 13.0 17.0 (32.0 RET) 15.0 7.0 84.0 52.0
14th Standard Master 174419 Dave Kirwan Malahide YC/HYC (24.0) 16.0 10.0 14.0 13.0 77.0 53.0
15th Standard Grand Master 201364 Gary O’ Hare Royal St George YC (20.0) 14.0 14.0 11.0 17.0 76.0 56.0
16th Standard Master 171885 Francis Kennedy Ballyholme YC/Baltimore SC 19.0 (23.0) 15.0 18.0 12.0 87.0 64.0
17th Standard Master 181670 John Marmelstein National Yacht Club (28.0) 20.0 13.0 17.0 14.0 92.0 64.0
18th Standard Apprentice 212521 Ross O’ Leary Royal St George YC/ Courtown SC 15.0 13.0 6.0 (32.0 DNC) 32.0 DNC 98.0 66.0
19th Standard Master 204187 Dan O’ Connell ISA 8.0 7.0 19.0 (32.0 DNC) 32.0 DNC 98.0 66.0
20th Standard Grand Master 194648 Conor Costello Malahide Yacht Club 17.0 15.0 16.0 (32.0 DNC) 19.0 99.0 67.0
21st Standard Master 187590 Mark Kennedy Howth YC 23.0 19.0 12.0 (32.0 DNC) 18.0 104.0 72.0
22nd Standard Grand Master 192324 Richard Tate Royal St George YC 16.0 (32.0 DNF) 18.0 20.0 21.0 107.0 75.0
23rd Standard Grand Master 210334 Marc Coakley Royal St George YC/RVYC 22.0 22.0 20.0 16.0 (32.0 DNC) 112.0 80.0
24th Standard Master 177844 Alex Fernie Galway Bay SC (27.0) 24.0 17.0 21.0 22.0 111.0 84.0
25th Standard Grand Master 190745 Conor O’ Leary Royal St George YC (26.0) 21.0 21.0 22.0 20.0 110.0 84.0
26th Standard Master 173110 Ian Simmington Royal St George YC 25.0 25.0 (32.0 DNC) 19.0 23.0 124.0 92.0
27th Standard Apprentice 151399 Marius Fedotovas Kauno Zalgirio Yacht Club, Lithuania/Roy (32.0 DNC) 32.0 DNF 32.0 DNC 23.0 24.0 143.0 111.0
28th Standard Master 193264 Paul Keane Royal Irish YC 18.0 (32.0 DNF) 32.0 DNC 32.0 DNC 32.0 DNC 146.0 114.0
29th Standard Master 172297 Emmett O’ Sullivan Monkstown Bay Sailing Club/RCYC 21.0 (32.0 DNC) 32.0 DNC 32.0 DNC 32.0 DNC 149.0 117.0
30th Standard Master 201375 Aidan Geraghty Greystones Sailing club (32.0 DNC) 32.0 DNC 32.0 DNC 32.0 DNC 32.0 DNC 160.0 128.0
30th Standard Apprentice 173062 Gavan Murphy Royal St George YC (32.0 DNC) 32.0 DNC 32.0 DNC 32.0 DNC 32.0 DNC 160.0 128.0

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