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Squib Title Settled in Howth After Three–Way Tie

5th July 2015
Squib Title Settled in Howth After Three–Way Tie

#squib – A three-way tie at the top of the 2015 Squib Nationals leaderboard was settled in favour of David Jones and Mark Hogan from South Caernarvonshire Yacht Club writes Emmet Dalton. Saturday's final race was led from start to finish by the duo. That race saw the second overall going to their clubmates Nigel Harris and John Stephenson. The champagne-splashed podium was completed by Malcolm Hutchings and Andy Ramsey from Royal Corinthian Yacht Club.

On the final day, Principal Race Officer, David Lovegrove, set the fleet off under the U-Flag penalty system after some misbehaving during the first attempt. The 20kt southeasterly breeze in glorious Howth sunshine, with five 1,700m windward legs, made sure that the crews got their bang for buck. Without exception, "Squib Arse" was suffered by hard-hiking sailors! The visiting sailors would later express their gratitude to David for his skill and engagement with a fleet that enjoyed his communicative banter on the VHF all during the week.

The event was made all the more epic by the championship dinner. Even the traditional Howth Seventeen Footer Class would have been impressed by the array of precious metals and rare timbers presented. Top Irish boat was "Aficionado" (RNIYC), hard driven by John Driscoll and David Cagney to 9th place. The leading HYC Squib was the super-slippery "Kerfuffle" in the hands of Emmet Dalton and Neal Merry which ended the week in 22nd place.

Woe betide anyone who thinks that grey (or no) hair indicates an easy crew to pass. Such was the quality of the fleet that one previous champion noted that he would have been happy to end up in the top ten at the end of the week!

Howth looked fabulous in a week of sun and the competitors enjoyed a warm welcome from the members and fabulous food and service. So good was the championship dinner that the Squib Association Chairman announced that it was the best meal at any Squib Championships in 40 years! That opinion was roundly applauded by the 130 guests.

Thanks was also expressed to the Race Office team, Orla Sweeney, Dara and Lara Jameson, Emma Inglis and Alice Kissane and to the ever-watchful Fergus O'Kelly and his group of friendly tape-wielding equipment inspectors for ensuring that each boat complied with the rules.

Launching, berthing and retrieval of the boats was coordinated like a North Korean political rally by Pat McCaughey. Slick!

Finally, the top speed of the week was shared by "Alchemy" from Royal Yorkshire Yacht Club and Howth's "Kerfuffle" both hitting 10.2kts during Monday's screaming reaches. 

Additional reporting Vincent Delany

SQUIB NATIONALS 2015- day 6- Final Day.

The level and depth of talent in the 49 boat National Squib fleet was seen in today's race off Ireland's Eye at Howth. The wind was between 15 and 20 knots from the south-east. The outcome of the Squib Championship 2015 was yet to be decided. The three leading contenders being Malcolm Hutchings and Andy Ramsay from R.C.Y.C. in 'Lady Penelope', on 12 points, Nigel Harris and John Stephenson. S.C.Y.C., in 'Banshee', on 14 points, and David Jones and Mark Hogan, from S.C.Y.C. in 'Ric O'Shea', on 20 points. Which of these talented sailors had the ability to pull the championship out of the bag?
Unusually, the scoring system used allowed for two discards in eight race series. Would the winner be an older boat such as 'Banshee', no.65, or 'Ric O'Shea', no.136, or would it be the newer boat, 'Lady Penelope', no. 819? There was another significant variable in the mix, would the winner use Batt Sails or Hyde Sails? 'Ric O'Shea' is the only one of the three to use a complete wardrobe of Batt Sails the others only use Hyde Sails.
The course selected by race officer Dick Lovegrove was Course Number Two, a windward-leeward race of with five beats of 1.7km. each. The sea conditions were a little 'lumpy', and the tide was due to change mid-race.
On the start line the tide was flowing against the Squibs, which enabled the fleet to start on their first attempt, without recourse to the 'U' flag, which had been used for most of the races earlier in the week. The race officer did not use the dreaded 'black flag' at any race this week.
On the first beat against the tide it was 'Ric O'Shea' which appeared to get the bit between their teeth. The wind was steady in strength and direction, so it was a boatspeed race. At the first windward mark 'Ric-O-Shea' led from Gerard Dyson and Tony Saltonstall in 'Alchemy'. The locally Howth based 'Too Dee' sailed by Dave and Simon Sheahan rounded the mark within the top six boats. 'Banshee' rounded in about eighth place and 'Lady Penelope' about five places behind. These two had a lot of work to do, it was going to be a long nine mile race. On each round 'Ric O'Shea' sailed to her pre-determined tactical plan, and increased her lead until she was more than 100m. ahead of the bunch of Squibs following. 'Crossfire' sailed by Dave Best and Pete Richards worked their way into second place.
At the last leeward gate marks it appeared that 'Lady Penelope' had done enough to take her place on the podium and lift the championship trophy. But there was still one more beat to be completed, and the tide had turned. 'Lady Penelope' and 'Banshee' rounded different leeward gate marks, and by the end of the beat at the finish line, 'Banshee' had overhauled her opponent. As they passed the finish line the order was:
1st. 'Ric O'Shea', 136, David Jones and Mark Hogan, S.C.Y.C.
2nd. 'Crossfire' 797, Dave Best and Pete Richards, S.C.Y.C.
3rd. 'Alchemy', 800, Gerard Dyson and Tony Saltonstall, R.Y.Y.C.
4th.'Helmut Shoing II', Nigel and Jack Grogan, R.C.Y.C.
5th. 'White Magic', David Wines and Keith Davies, W.H.S.C.
6th. 'Moonstone', Malcolm Blackburn and David Shiel, S.C.Y.C.
7th. 'Pani-Munta', Mike Probert and Richard Delves, R.C.Y.C.
8th. 'Banshee', Nigel Harris and John Stephenson. S.C.Y.C.
9th. 'Lady Penelope', Malcolm Hutchings and Andy Ramsay. R.C.Y.C.,

So, who had won the championship?
Remarkably after eight races and two discards, 'Ric O'Shea', 'Banshee', and 'Lady Penelope' were all on equal points. Each had 21 points after discards.
'Ric O'Shea' discarded a 15th. and 21st. place. 'Lady Penelope' discarded 25th. and 26th. places. 'Banshee' discarded an 8th. and 29th. These figures are not relevant under the current scoring system, where a draw is resolved by the highest place boat in the last race which, as noted above, was won by 'Ric O'Shea.

RESULTS OF THE NATIONAL SQUIB CHAMPIONSHIP 2015.

1st. 1st. 'Ric O'Shea', 136, David Jones and Mark Hogan, S.C.Y.C.
2nd. 'Banshee', 65, Nigel Harris and John Stephenson. S.C.Y.C.
3rd. 'Lady Penelope', 819, Malcolm Hutchings and Andy Ramsay. R.C.Y.C.,

The top Irish Squib is 'Aficionado', 78, John Driscoll and David Cagney in 9th place.

Of the top ten places overall, 4 were from South Caernarvonshire Y.C., 4 were from Royal Corinthian Y.C., one from Royal North of Ireland Y.C., and one from Royal Yorkshire Yacht Club, which indicates that strong fleets at the local clubs are significant to developing the boatspeed necessary to win championship races under all conditions.

The top lady helmsman is Megan Pascoe with crew Hannah Stodel in 'Squibble' from Weymouth who finished in 31st. place. Their performance in this fleet is commendable. The also won the trophy for the top 'ParaSquibbers'. They were thrilled by the friendly and welcoming atmosphere which exists in the Squib fleet. They are newcomers in this fleet, and are more accustomed to the 2.4m. class, and Sonar parolympic circuits.

Published in Squib
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