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49 Squibs Start Nationals At Howth In Shifty Breeze

28th June 2015
49 Squibs Start Nationals At Howth In Shifty Breeze

#squib – Despite a weather forecast of 30 km/hr winds, the National Squib Championship started today in Howth, County Dublin, Ireland, in ideal sailing conditions with sunshine and 10-16 knots of offshore wind blowing off Portmarnock beach. Having enjoyed several practice starts with a favourable flood tide, the fleet of 49 Squibs got away cleanly without any OCS victims.

The wind held plenty of surprises for the competitors. On the first beat which was more than a mile long, and the wind at the stronger end of the cycle, the wind flicked left which provided a 'get out of jail free' card to the competitors who headed to the port side of the windward leeward course. Some competitors took on board the information 'left is good'. This turned out to be a flawed piece of information. At the fist windward mark many of the top boats found themselves to be placed in the late teens or early twenties, this included David Jones and Mark Hogan from South Caernarvonshire Yacht Club in the immaculately prepared 'Ric-O-Shea', and Gerard Dyson and Tony Saltonstall from Royal Yorkshire Yacht Club in 'Alchemy'. Were they destined to remain in the mid- fleet? The answer was no.

On the first run there were very few place changes, behind Nigel and Jack Grogan from Royal Corinthian Yacht Club in 'Helmut Shoing II' who held a short lead from a tightly bunched group of Squibs behind. On the second beat the 'left option' was again good, and resulted in a shake up of the mid-placings. Again the offwind leg produced few changes.

By the third beat David Lovegrove the experienced Howth based O.O.D. had moved the windward mark to towards south. The wind continued to flick back and forth and to produce changes in strength. This time the wind favoured the boats which went right on the beat. Was it a tide issue or a wind issue. Popular opinion says that everything hinged on the changes in the wind direction. At this stage the competitors knew which way to go! Or did they?

On the final beat with the ebb tide decreasing in strength it paid to go hard right.

This left the Squibs only a run back to the leeward gate and a sharp turn to the finish line. 'Helmut Shoing II' had built up a 5 boat-length lead. All they had to do was sail the course and finish. Unfortunately, in the belief that they had another lap to complete, they gybed towards the right hand leeward mark, only to find that the other competitors had taken the left hand mark and crossed the finish line ahead of them.

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The results were:
1st. 'Ric O Shea', 136, Davy Jones and Mark Hogan.
2nd. 'Lady Penelope', 819, Malcolm Hutchings and Andy Ramsay.
3rd. 'Pani Munta' 128, Mike Probert and Richard Delves.

First Irish boat: 8th. 'Afficianado', 78, John Driscoll and David Cagney, Royal North of Ireland YC.
11th. 'Anemos', 832, Pete Evans and Conor O'Leary, Royal St. George Y.C.

First lady: 23rd. Sarah Holdstock crewing in 'Aquabats'

Published in Squib
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