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Irish Boats Up Against it in SB20 Worlds

10th January 2018
SB20s jostle for room on the start line SB20s jostle for room on the start line Photo: Jane Austin

“Blow the froth off one mate. Sun is shining, you could be back home in the s**t” – Honda, Mind Games, AUS

As with any competitive sailing crew, we all consciously agree to the ups and downs of this sport. Today was a definite downer for the Irish fleet as we collectively hurt on the easterly side of the Derwent Estuary writes Ted Laverty. Mind you, we’re not alone (and conscious of the weather at home) – but there are still two races left to regain our footing.

If ever we could live in a fantasy land, it’s easy to believe that Puff the Magic dragon hails from these parts, reigning down bands of wind that favour one boat over another within scarily short distance of each other. No excuses, but I have seen boats sailing 2 knots faster and 20 degrees higher within 5 boat lengths all regatta. It’s been hard but to take, but in the end it’s a fact and we’re all sailing in the same conditions.

Yesterday I wrote about the French, and today they scored under the posts. With 34 points in total and a 9,1 in 2 Races today Robin Follin (2015 world champion) and his crew hold a 6 point net advantage over the local favourite Michael cooper in Export Roo in second. One point further afield we have Achille Nebout in third. The top 5 has changed significantly today after 9 races as the second discard kicked in, with overnight leader John Pollard and crew from the UK on 55 points dropping back to 5th overall. It’s fluid down under and it’s still a hard one to call for the crown just one day out.

Mick O’Connor, John Malone and Ed Cook in (Sin Bin) lead the Irish charge overnight in 15th place overall. Rounding in 4th place at the first windward mark in race 1, a localised band of wind at the spreader mark forced them into an early jibe and the guys struggled to regain their position thereafter. This place sucks you in and spits you out - regardless of how good you are.

The crew of Bin Eadair (Cillian Dickson, Sam O’Byrne, Gordon Stirling, Diana Kissane) didn’t fare any better today with a 31, 41. Dropping to 18th overall tonight, I do get the sense that they will relish the chance to shine again tomorrow and show their quality against the leaders of this regatta.
Worth noting that race 2 was abandoned today after a 70 degree wind shift with all Irish boats in the top 10 on the last upwind leg. We were all understandably disappointed with the recall and are now ready to slay said dragon.

On (Ger Dempsey, Ted Laverty, Emily Pollard, Chris Nolan) we struggled a bit today and notched up a 33,44. We know we can do a lot better but at the same time we’re lacking that ‘intuitiveness’ that comes from sailing together as a practised team. By the time we finish this regatta together, we’ll actually be ready for a worlds!

Tomorrow we have 2 races, a boat pack and a post world’s dinner. I’ll try my best to fill you in on the rest of ‘Team Ireland’s’ adventure together down under, but if you want to track the races or see the results in the meantime click here

Published in SB20 Team

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