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Charles Dwyer's Shark II Triumphs at National 18 Cock O'the North UK & Ireland Champs

8th August 2019
The Cock O'the North fleet The Cock O'the North fleet

National 18 sailors converged in usual strong spirit at the Royal Findhorn Yacht Club, to compete in their annual UK and Ireland Championships that were held last week writes Chris Bateman

With the event officially kicking off on Sunday (28th July), a week of good racing was in store for the competitors.

It was a fresh start for day one, with a solid 10-15 knots from the north blowing down the bay. Still on form from his win at the National 18 Southerns, Charles Dwyer on the helm of the ultra ‘Shark 11’ took the win for the first race of the day.

NAt 18 findhornThe National 18s at Royal Findhorn Yacht Club

Light winds were on the menu for the next couple of days. The breeze took some time to find itself each morning, and the sailors had to wait about an hour (average) each day for it to settle. Once filled in, a fickle 5-8 knot breeze was the maximum.

Colin Chapman helming the ultra ‘Aquadisiac’ was on form, sailing well and leading the fleet for the first half of the week. This meant that he won the prestigious ‘Cock of the North’ trophy.

A lay-day on Wednesday marked the halfway point of the week, giving the competitors an opportunity to get a lie-in and enjoy Scotland for a day.

Racing in the ‘Ultimate’ fleet, the dominant force was ‘Fat Girl Racer’ who took seven bullets out of ten races. The numbers may have been lower in the Ultimate fleet, but the racing was as tight as any. Thirteen boats made up the ‘Ultra’ fleet, which made the event very competitive.

Nat 18 winnersWinners - Charles Dwyer, John Coakley and Harry Pritchard

The second half of the week in progress, and in the Ultra fleet ‘Shark 11’ was back on form, with several bullets under their belt. The 18’s were now competing for the overall championship trophy, but the points were tight. Leading up to the last day, any five teams could have won.

The final day of the championships rolled around. Five teams had a chance at the title, the best performing one would take the lead. Light winds made the racing tricky, but ‘Shark 11’ secured two bullets.

The winners of the UK/Ireland championships with a comfortable 10 point lead were Charles Dwyer, John Coakley and Harry Pritchard, sailing ‘Shark 11’. Charles is the third generation of Dwyers to win the championships, with Tom, his father and Charlie, his grandfather having won on a few occasions over the last 70 years. It is a testament to the long history of the class.

Next years championships will be hosted by the Royal Cork Yacht Club, to celebrate the 300th anniversary of the club.

Published in National 18
Chris Bateman

About The Author

Chris Bateman

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Chris Bateman is a Cork Harbour based skiff, catamaran and Laser sailor

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