The morning began with a golden sunrise overlooking the eastern end of the bay. Beautiful beams of light reflected on the glassy water but alas not a breath of wind was in the air. A canvas of cloudless blue sky gave no signs of breeze.
Sub Zero temperatures were in store for the competitors. Regardless of the cold, twelve enthusiastic sailors arrived at the Sand quay bright and early to prepare for the mornings racing. Ice ridden covers were separated from the decks and ropes were unstuck from cockpit floors.
One by one the sailors launched into the glassy waters. As the hustle and bustle of rigging diminished, a light breeze filled in from the north-west. Race officer Alan Fehily sprung into action, setting a windward/leeward course off Blackpoint.
The start sequence for the first race began right on time at 10:15 am. The competitors lined up, holding their positions until the gun went. The race began and it was an immediate search for clear breeze. The wind was uncertain, shifting through 30 degrees and occasionally easing away to nothing. The sailors persevered, suffering big gains and losses. MBSC sailors Charles Dwyer and Rob Howe led the race from the windward mark. However, on the first downwind leg the boats behind got hit by a gust of wind and overtook the leaders. For the rest of the race, MBSC’s Ronan Kenneally led the pack, with Paul O’Sullivan and William O’Brien in close pursuit. Local Monkstown sailors William O’Brien and your correspondent overtook Kenneally on the last downwind leg. Bateman finished in first with O’Brien close behind in second. Kenneally finished in third place right behind O’Brien.
In the Radial fleet, MBSC’s Harry Pritchard sailed fast and was heavily contesting the standard fleet. He finished in first place, staying ahead of RCYC’s Sophie Crosbie and Innascarra’s Robert McGarvey.
The competitors had every confidence in the wind for the second race of the day. A settled eight-knot breeze blew down the course. A strong flood tide swept up the bay, giving the sailors cause for concern as they made their way to the windward mark. The competitors were careful to avoid two sizeable container ships passing through the course on each downwind leg. Howe and Bateman led the fleet, holding their positions for the majority of the race. Bateman finished in first, with Howe right behind in second. Sundays Well SC sailor Paul O’Sullivan crossed the line in a close third place.
In the Radial fleet, Harry Pritchard held his lead to finish in first position.
"In a nail-biting finish, your correspondent took first place"
The last race of the day began in a solid ten knots with gusts of up to fifteen. Kenneally led the race from the start and rounded the mark in front of O’Brien and Howe. Kenneally held his lead until the last downwind leg, where he battled it out with Bateman. In a nail-biting finish, your correspondent took first place with Kenneally finishing no less than a metre away. Howe sailed across the finish line to secure third position.
In the Radial fleet, RCYC’s Sophie Crosbie finished in first place, holding off Pritchard and McGarvey for the majority of the race.
Despite the difficult conditions, three successful races were completed. All of the sailors had braved the cold. Arriving ashore, the sailors put their boats to bed and tucked them away on the Sand quay, where they would be taken out once again for next weekend's racing.