With Junior and Leaving Cert exams coming shortly a smaller than expected fleet of 11 Mirrors arrived in Sutton for the second regional event of the season. While the field was small it included rising Sutton talent Shane McLoughlin and Conor Twohig, current National Champion Cian Hickey from Skerries as well as top Irish Mirror sailors Tiernan Dickson (L Ree) and Jack Maye (Sligo). With local sailor Sinead Dickson preparing for exams, brother Robert teamed up with her young crew Meisha Johnston.
The fleet launched in gusty 15-20kts conditions late Saturday morning and PRO Richard Kissane got 3 great races completed in the Dublin Bay in windy and lumpy conditions.
In Race 1, Mcloughlin/Langan took a very close race from Hickey/Hickey with T.Dickson/Leech in 3rd. Race 2 saw R.Dickson/Johnston get into their stride and eventually take the gun in a close finish from Club mate McLoughlin/Langan with Sligo's Maye/White in 3rd.
In the final race of the day locals Twohig/Gibney had a super start and led for 3 legs holding off R.Dickson/Johnston and Hickey/Hickey. A broken main-sheet block on the second last leg allowed Dickson/Johnston the chance to ease themselves in front. Twohig/Gibney did ever so well to hold off the Hickey brothers from Skerries and take a superb 2nd.
On Sunday with a later tide and 15kts mainly from the South, PRO Richard Kissane had to shift the courses a number of times over the day as the wind shifted left and right throughout the afternoon.
With the gybe mark right in under Red Rock, Howth the fleet had an ongoing audience up close on the cliff walk throughout the afternoon. With 4 boats within 3 points at the start of the day and only a quarter of a point between Dickson/Johnston in 1st and McLoughlin/Langan 2nd the first race was always going to be a marker for the rest of the day.
In Race 4, Mcloughlin/Langan got a super start and developed a substantial lead. But Robert Dickson, the recently crowned 420 National Champion was never going to let the lead boat have it all there own way. Leg after leg Dickson/Johnston gradually worked there way back up till they were no more than a boat length behind at the final leeward mark. On the line Mcloughlin/Langan held off the challenge only to discover they had been OCS. Despite the disappointment, this was a superb race from McLoughlin/Langan pairing. The minor places went to Maye/White (Sligo YC) and Hickey/Hickey (SkerriesSC).
Race 5 continued where the earlier races had left off with McLoughlin/Langan never far from Dickson/Johnston. These 2 boats kept ahead of a tight tussle between Sligos Jack Maye and Skerries Cian Hickey. In the end the Dickson/Johnston team put some distance between themselves and fellow Club mates McLoughlin/Langan to take a second victory on the day. Jack Maye took 3rd and fast finishing and former event winner Tiarnan Dickson from Lough Ree took 4th from Cian Hickey.
With 4 race wins from 5, any finish bar a disqualification in the 6th and last race and Dickson/Johnston would be assured of victory. The chase for runner up spot was still very much on between former event winner Cian Hickey and Shane McLoughlin from the host Club. The final race of the day saw the top 5 or 6 boats battle it out in by now a very steady 15kts. By the gybe mark it was Dickson/Johnston who held the lead closely followed by McLoughlin/Langan. The chasing pack could make no inroads into the leading pair on the concluding legs which meant victory for Robert Dickson and his young crew Meisha Johnston. Shane McLoughlin and his crew Oscar Langan held off the fast chasing National Champion Cian Hickey to take a well deserved 2nd place in this the second regional event of the season.
The leading Silver fleet boat in the series in only their second event were Samuel & Imogen Wray from Sligo YC. The next event is the Mirror Northern Championship in Royal North of Ireland YC, Cultra on June 21st.
Place Helm/Crew Club
9 R.McAllister/L.CroasdelSchull Harbour