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Wexford Harbour Boat & Tennis Club Host ILCA 'Connaught' Championships

11th September 2023
A healthy turnout of 60 ILCAs were in Wexford Harbour Boat and Tennis Club for the ILCA Connaught Championships
A healthy turnout of 60 ILCAs were in Wexford Harbour Boat and Tennis Club for the ILCA Connaught Championships

Wexford Harbour Boat and Tennis Club played host to the ILCA Connaught Championships last weekend, with a healthy turnout of 60 ILCAs descending on the location for what was a spectacular weekend on and off the water. Although entries were down somewhat with theICRA Champs running in parallel in Howth, organisers managed to provide a perfect trapezoid course under the expert eye of Race Officer Captain Michael Doyle and his team.

Due to the light wind forecasted, the launch on Saturday was delayed until a steady 8-knot sea breeze filled in from the southeast in a gradually warming day. In the ILCA 7s, Sam Ledoux from RStGYC showed a clean pair of heels, only to discover an OCS was waiting for him at the finish. Clubmate, Oisin Hughes took advantage, with another newly converted ILCA 6 squad member, Jonathan O’Shaughnessy, in second, followed by Conor Byrne in third. 

In the twenty-two boat ILCA 6 fleet, Irish Sailing squad member, Sophie Kilmartin from RSGYC & MYC was lying just one point ahead of Charlie Keating from HYC after two races. Andrew Kingston of RCYC showed some great boat speed with a well-earned win in the second race of the day, which left him just one point behind Daniel O’Connor and Keating after two races.

In the twenty-nine-strong ILCA 4 fleet, Thea Daly from RSGYC was the overnight leader, with recent Optimist Class converts and clubmates Caoilinn McDonnell and Marcus Shelley on joint points in second and third respectively.

Due to a continued dying breeze, sailors were ushered ashore after race two of the day to be greeted by a warm welcome, cold drinks, and rugby in the bar. 

On Sunday, organisers were keen to get sailors on the water early for a 10:25 am start. In an overcast and thunder-threatening sky, the breeze was slow to build, but finally settled in a 5-knot north-easterly for the first race of the day. In the ILCA 7 fleet, Sam Ledoux yet again took advantage of the light winds with two first-place finishes, with clubmate Oisin Hughes finishing with two-second places. Jonathan O’Shaughnessy held onto his overnight third place, but not without drama, as Conor Byrne was pipped in separate match-racing duels with Ledoux and Hughes, forcing him into a third-place finish and fourth overall.

In the ILCA 6 fleet, Charlie Keating came out of the blocks like a bullet with two first-place finishes on Sunday, pipping Sophie Kilmartin by just one point, with Daniel O’Connor in third place overall. In the ILCA 4 fleet, Thea Daly held onto her overnight lead to finish first overall and one point ahead of Caoileann McDonnell in second and Lucy Ives in third.

The event was sponsored by Rooster and Viking Marine, who provided prize-giving prizes that were thankfully received by all winners on the day. It was a challenging weather condition, but the organisers, Don Ryan, Joe Corrigan and Eoin Thompson, along with Race Officer, Captain Doyle, and his extended team, managed to get a full race series completed. It was a successful weekend, and the participants had a great time both on and off the water.

Published in Laser
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About the ILCA/Laser Dinghy

The ILCA, formerly known as the Laser, is the most produced boat in the world, with 220,000 units built since 1971.

It's easy to see why the single-handed dinghy has won the title of the most widely distributed boat of all time.

The Laser is a one-design dinghy, the hulls being identical but three rigs that can be used according to the size and weight of the sailor.

The class is international, with sailors from 120 countries. The boat has also been an Olympic class since 1996, being both the men's and women's singlehanded dinghy.

Three rigs are recognised by the International Laser Class Association (ILCA):

  • ILCA 4: sail of 4.70m2
  • ILCA 6: sail of 5.76 m2
  • ILCA 7: sail of 7.06 m2

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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