The morning was promising with patches of blue sky and a cool breeze blowing over DeVesci Place from the west. The threat of the ice-cold sea was not enough to put the eager laser sailors off from taking to the waters of Monkstown Bay.
It was an early start for the competitors. Sails could be seen on the Sandquay as early as nine o’clock. Race Officer Alan Fehily cast off in good time to set a windward/leeward course off Blackpoint, in perfect time for the 10:15 start.
The first day of the league attracted an excellent entry of 15 boats, 12 of which were standard rig lasers. The three radial entrants were welcome participants; inclusion of the radial rig is a new departure for the league.
The start sequence began for the first race, the sailors jostling for position on the line. It was an all-in start and the sailors got away cleanly to begin the first upwind leg. The competitors had been instructed to do three rounds of the course. Each upwind leg was a struggle against the strong ebb tide that Monkstown Bay is well known for. It was a battle between RCYC’s Johnny Durcan, and MBSC’s Charles Dwyer. Durcan held the lead until he was safely across the finish line, securing first. Dwyer finished just behind, putting pressure on the laser ace. Ronan Kenneally of MBSC finished third in hot pursuit.
In the radial fleet, MBSC’s Alex Barry was the first to cross the finish line after a tough race.
The second race proved equally challenging with winds gusting up to 15 knots and shifting through 30 degrees. Dwyer led off, keeping Kenneally and Durcan at bay. But it was not to be and on the downwind leg Durcan sailed through to take the lead at the finish. Dwyer came in second with Kenneally snapping at his heels in third.
Alex Barry proved to be quick once again, holding off RCYC’s Sophie Crosbie and MBSC’s Harry Pritchard up to the finish line.
The wind had eased by Race 3. Kenneally was first off the start line, covering the fleet out to the right-hand side of the course. Johnny Durcan played the left side of the course, battling against the tide in the deep water of the shipping channel. Dwyer overtook Kenneally and a rogue wind shift saw Kenneally slip back to fourth. Meanwhile, MBSC’s former UK Olympic Squad member Rob Howe sailed into third place. Charles Dwyer finished first in the standard fleet, holding off Durcan. Howe finished close behind in third.
Alex Barry sailed exceptionally well, as having not only come first in the radial category once again, he took line honours and finished ahead of Dwyer in the standard category. Sophie Crosbie finished second, holding off local Harry Pritchard who finished close behind in third.
All the happy competitors sailed to shore, many gathering in The Bosun to converse and reminisce over what was indeed a great day’s sailing.