Sixty five Laser Standards, Radials and 4.7’s from all four corners of Ireland gathered at the beautifully picturesque and recently refurbished Rush Sailing Club for what was a fantastically enjoyable weekend, both on and off the water writes Gavan Murphy
OOD, David Lovegrove and his capable crew had made the very wise decision to postpone racing on the Saturday by one hour to 12:30 pm to ensure boats were launching into a significantly weaker tide and deeper estuary.
Saturday started as an overcast, damp day with 3-4 knots out on the racecourse. George Kingston (RSGYC) showed superb race skills and consistency to take the overnight lead in the Standard fleet with two first’s and a second. Sean Craig (RSGYC), who wisely opted for the Standard rig in the lighter conditions, proved his mettle with a second and two thirds to take second overall going into the Sunday. Ronan Wallace, following his recent success in East Antrim at the Laser Northern Championships, continued his fantastic run of form going into Sunday just one point behind Craig in third place. Local Rush sailor, Aaron Rogers, was never too far behind the leading pack and was sure to cause an upset come Sunday based on Saturday’s form following a second-place result to his name.
In the Radial fleet, recently returned 29er Nationals sailors, Chris Bateman (MBSC) and Atlee Kohl (RCYC) showed superb form with two top three results amongst them on the Saturday, leaving them in first and third overnight. However, French sailor Martin Kowalsaki (Usamvoile Brest SC) showed he wasn’t visiting as a spectator following a first and third in day one, which put him in second place going into the Sunday.
In the 4.7 fleet, Iseult Hogan (RSGYC), showed her class with a second, third and first on day one taking her into top spot going into the Sunday. However, with Michael Crosbie (RCYC), just one point behind Hogan, Sunday would prove to be a very competitive affair. Hugh O’Connor (NYC) was also biting at their heels with a first and third on day one, leaving him in third place overnight.
On Sunday, Rush turned on its charm as sailors were greeted to wonderful conditions with a 6-8 knots northwesterly in glorious sunshine. Again, the race committee had opted to start the fleets an hour later at 1:30 pm on account of the strong tidal streams and water depth launching into the estuary.
In the Standard fleet, George Kingston showed his superb race management and match racing experience to cover and keep the challengers at bay with a fourth, and two seconds, finishing first overall. Aaron Rogers came to the fore on Sunday with a second and first to his name and squeezed Sean Craig out by just one point to take second place. Craig took third, just one point ahead of Ronan Wallace in fourth.
With just 4 points between them, the twenty-nine strong Radial fleet went unchanged on the Sunday following a superb set of results from Bateman (first), Kowalsaki (second) and Kohl (third).
The 4.7 fleet turned out to be a major reversal of results and fortune for some on the Sunday. Michael Crosbie showed some serious class with three firsts to take a very well-deserved first overall. Hugh O’Connor continued on from his success on the Saturday with two seconds and a fourth to take second overall. Alana Coakley continued her recent run of form to take third overall following a third and fifth on day two.
Many thanks to David Lovegrove and his team for their race stewardship and to Austin Hughes and his team for their hospitality in what was a most enjoyable weekend in a superb venue.
Gavan Murphy is Dun Laoghaire Laser Class Captain