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19 Boats for February's Howth Yacht Club Laser Racing

4th February 2019
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Laser racing in Howth Laser racing in Howth Photo: Neil Murphy

January was very disappointing with Howth Yacht Club racing held on only one weekend out of four during the month. Hopefully, February will be different as yesterday gave us excellent conditions for Laser racing. 19 boats competed in breeze that varied from 10 to 19 knots, generally from 230. I’m not sure whether it was the match the previous evening, or the break in sailing in January, but there were definitely some rusty sailors this Sunday morning. Tide was a key factor yet again, with a strong ebb pushing boats fast towards the pin end of the starting line. Anyone more than halfway down the line with a minute to go found it hard not to be swept by the pin end. Dan O’Connell sailed an excellent first beat to lead at the top mark, followed very closely by Ronan Wallace and a big group including Daragh Kelleher, Mike Evans, Simon Reville, Conor Costello, Stephen Quinn and Dave Kirwan. The tide was proving tricky with a number of sailors hitting marks, including Kelleher at the first windward. Dan showed impressive speed on the first 2 reaches to extend his lead. Wallace finally got past him though at the bottom of the first run, with Dan hitting the leeward mark. Wallace went on to win, from O’Connell in second and Mike Evans in third. Peter Hassett curtailed Tom Fox’s dominance in the Radial Fleet by taking the first race of the day, but Sophie Kilmartin continued her winning ways in the 4.7.

Two boats were OCS at the start of the second race, Dave Kirwan and Dave Quinn, both of whom were spotted drowning their sorrows in the Aviva stadium the previous evening, so may not have been at their best. Ronan Wallace started conservatively mid-line and tacked off whereas the rest of the fleet went hard left to get out of the tide. This proved to be decisive as most of the leaders significantly overstood the port layline and left Wallace with a big lead at the first mark, which he held to the finish. Dan O’Connell finished second and Daragh Kelleher third, with very little place changing. Tom Fox won the second radial race, with Sophie Kilmartin winning again in the 4.7.

Published in Laser, Howth YC
Dave Quinn

About The Author

Dave Quinn

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David Quinn Started sailing Mirrors in Sutton on Dublin Bay aged 15, before moving on to Lasers. He campaigned the Laser for eight years, including European Championships and Grade One Regattas. He was Chairman of the Laser Class in 2001, coinciding with the Laser World Championships in Royal Cork. After a short time working as the Racing Manager for the Irish Sailing Association in 2004-2005, he bought an SB20 in 2006, and raced that on the Irish circuit with some success for a number of years. He also competed in UK IRC Nationals and Commodores Cup around that time with Tiamat. After a break from sailing when his first child was born in 2011, he recently started racing Lasers again in late 2017, inspired by the upcoming Laser Master Worlds which was held in September of this year.

At A Glance – Laser Dinghy Specifications

Designer Bruce Kirby & Ian Bruce

Year 1969

Crew 1
Draft 0.787 m (2 ft 7.0 in)
Hull weight 58.97 kg (130.0 lb)
LOA 4.2 m (13 ft 9 in)
LWL 3.81 m (12 ft 6 in)
Beam 1.39 m (4 ft 7 in)
Mainsail area 7.06 m2 (76.0 sq ft)

Racing D-PN 91.1 RYA PN 1088 PHRF 217

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