#national18 – Colin Chapman and his team on "Aquaholics" No 370, with a lead of 7 points after discard, have comfortably won the 2013 Irish National 18 Championships hosted by the National Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire over the weekend.
Full results are available to download below as a jpeg file.
15 teams competed. 2nd was Nick Walsh in "Three Blind Mice" No 372 followed closely in 3rd place by Andrew Moynihan in "Happy Days" No 358.
It is the first time since the 1960's that the National 18s have hosted their Championships in Dublin and they enjoyed boisterous conditions on both days with superb race management lead by Jack Roy and his very able team. 3 races were held on Saturday in demanding conditions, which included gusts from the North West up to 30 Knots, which caused multiple capsizes for most of the teams and a shortening of race 3.
After a day of exhilarating close racing, Colin Chapman and Bryan Hassett in "Cleo" No 342 were tied on 8 points. Despite the exhausting conditions and resultant weary bodies, the National 18 Fleet enjoyed its usual vibrant evening's entertainment on Saturday evening which continued into the early hours of Sunday morning.
The expected lighter conditions on Sunday quickly changed to more of the same blustery and shifty winds but now blowing 15 to 20 Knots from the South East with a spring flood tide creating the usual awkward Dublin Bay chop. Jack Roy elected to race in Scotsman's Bay using a traditional triangular Olympic course format which provided reaches which were unbelievably fast resulting in several high-speed capsizes.
Nick Walsh played a blinder to win the first race and followed this up with 2 second places in race 5 and 6. Colin Chapman score a second which he then followed up with 2 close wins in a great demonstration of skilful boat handling in the tough conditions. Peter O' Donovan, in "Muchadoo" No 350, after a good 3rd in race 4 to put him in contention suffered a snapped rudder whilst in the leading bunch during race 5 putting an end to his late charge. Bryan Hasset slipped out of contention with a capsize in race 4 when a severe 25 Knot gust materialised whilst executing a gybe on the first run..
Throughout the weekend, despite the conditions, racing between all the boats was very close with often 3 and 4 boats simultaneously arriving at marks at speed.
The consensus amongst the competitors was that it was an outstanding event and they looked forward to returning in the near future to once again enjoy the hospitality of the National Yacht Club.