The 2018 Dublin Bay Mermaid National Championship came to a close today following four great days of racing at Foynes Yacht Club on the Shannon Estuary. With 22 boats competing in what proved to be an extremely competitive fleet, Race Officer for the event, Scorie Walls perfectly executed the scheduled racing with 10 races and 1 crew race all in the bag as planned.
The leaderboard changed daily with local Foynes boat 188, Innocence helmed by Darragh Mc Cormack and crew Mark Mc Cormack and Johnny Dillon coming out of day 1 with an 8-point lead. Day 2 saw National Yacht Club boat, number 77 Tiller Girl helmed by Jonathan O’Rourke with crew Carol O’Rourke and Dermot O’Neill moving into the top spot. The lead moved back again to Darragh after day 3 of racing and 9 Championship races in the bag.
Going into the final day of racing today, Darragh Mc Cormack had a 4-point lead on 77 Tiller Girl. The day started with a very shifty breeze that kept clocking left and right, tough work for the mark boat and patience required from the Race Committee! Eventually, the course was laid and a clear start saw the fleet underway. The first windward mark saw 77 out in the lead, and this extended as the race went on securing them a perfect bullet for the last race of the Championship. The pressure was on for 188 Innocence who needed to finish 4th or better to claim the title. With Jonathan out in the lead, Darragh rounded the first weather mark in 7th place and work to do! He kept his cool working his way up and secured a comfortable 4th on the 2nd last leg of the race. On the final tack to the finish line, he did one better just pipping 189, reigning National Champion Sam Shiels on the line to secure 3rd place and the National title.
"The club is now setting up for a huge prizegiving dinner this evening with over 100 people"
This is the first time since the Dublin Bay Mermaid National Championship event started in 1953 that a Foynes boat has claimed the title. Needless to say, the onshore welcome party didn’t hold back with hooters, champagne and friends and family coming to greet the new Champions as Innocence came back into the slip! The club is now setting up for a huge prizegiving dinner this evening with over 100 people booked in and a lot more expected to join afterwards for the brilliant live ‘Comic Book Heroes’ band who are no strangers to the Mermaid fleet.
Overall it was a very enjoyable Championship with great, close racing. A number of new boats, in particular, young helms did an excellent job. A brand new uUnder–25 trophy was also won by a local Foynes boat, 165 Sea Fox helmed by Oisin Finucane with crew Sean Finucane and Chris McDaid. The overall Daphne went to 185 The Message, helmed by Ross Galbraith with crew Mary Whitty and Conor Magner. Well done to 2nd place Daphne finishers 179 Bean Adhmaid and 3rd place 190 Mayhem. The overall Designer goes to 121 Red Seal helmed by Darrach Dineen with 2nd place going to 90 Deirdre and 3rd to 191 Maybe. In the overall Championship, 2nd place went very deservedly to 77 Tiller Girl with only 2 points in the difference between them and first. Third overall went to 177 This Is It, Mark Boylan who sailed a great championship getting the most bullets (3). A special mention to Race Officer Scorie Walls who everyone complemented throughout the event for her excellent race management and fantastic attitude and support of the class. Congratulations to all competitors on a highly successful event and host club Foynes Yacht Club who pulled out all the stops on and off the water.