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Five Different Winners From Five Different Squib Races At Holyhead

22nd June 2017
Over the five races to date, there have been five different race winners, from northern, eastern, southern and western coasts of the UK, with three different sailmakers, and hulls which are both low numbers (under 150) and high numbers (over 750) Over the five races to date, there have been five different race winners, from northern, eastern, southern and western coasts of the UK, with three different sailmakers, and hulls which are both low numbers (under 150) and high numbers (over 750)

Today, Thursday, due to lack of wind in Church Bay, Holyhead, the Squib fleet had to wait more than an hour for the wind to settle writes Vincent Delany. Initially the wind was too light to start the fourth championship race, and then the wind direction was flicking between 300 and 320 degrees. When the wind had built to about seven knots, David Lovegrove, PRO for the 43 boat Squib Fleet, laid the course, signalled a start, and sent the fleet away. Remarkably there were no recalls.

On the first beat the boats which selected the north side of the course parallel to the cliff shore, appeared to be doing well, but as the approached the windward mark it was evident that those who had taken the southerly route were first to arrive at the windward mark of the two-lap windward-leeward course, led by Ian Gray, of Londen and Gray sails in ‘Chequemate’, who pulled out a great lead which he was able to hold for the run and he maintained a good margin from the fleet on the second beat. It appeared that tide at the start line was running north-east, while the tide at the windward mark was running south-west.

The race area was located in a tidal eddy created by the Skerries and the adjoining headland. The race concluded at the bottom of the second run. Second place went to David Lloyd and Mark Stones in ‘Incendio’ and third place to championship leader, ‘Squib’ sailed by Dick Batt and Pamela Phelan, in the 49 year old Squib, No. 11, which is the first production built Squib ever.

There was a short break before the fifth race with the same tidal conditions, but with a wind never exceeding eight knots and often dropping down to three knots.
On the first beat it was so difficult to maintain momentum on the Squibs in the light airs, that one competitor was heard afterward to say “I hope I was concentrating more when the Squib was going slowly, than it was when the Squib was moving well”. It was a day when concentration on boat speed was necessary. On the first beat, most of the fleet headed uptide towards the Holyhead breakwater, but at the end of the beat, it appeared that keeping the boats moving well in clear air was more important than strategy. On the first run, led by ‘Ric O’Shea’ and ‘Aquabat’ who were sailing a private Match Race, the fleet spread very wide. On the second beat, most of the fleet again headed towards the breakwater where there was a chance of a lee bow on the tide. However, they had little breeze, and the wind was stronger offshore which benefitted the Squibs which headed to the right. At the second windward mark, the order of competitors was turned upside down. The next run was in very light air and strengthening tide. It paid to sail straight down the rhumb line of the .7 mile leg, until the final 300m when the tide was reversed, and then it paid to point 15 degrees above the rhumb line to fight the tide. The second race was shortened to two laps, due to the declining wind. The finishing order was: 1st ‘Ric O’Shea’, 2nd, ‘Aquabat’, 3rd. ‘Chequemate’.

Over the five races to date, there have been five different race winners, from northern, eastern, southern and western coasts of the UK, with three different sailmakers, and hulls which are both low numbers (under 150) and high numbers (over 750). There is, therefore, no question but that the winners have won races in this elite fleet due to sailing skill, and not due to deep pockets, or the ‘right’ equipment.

Irish results to date:

Pamela Phelan- Squib- 2,6,3, 3, (15) - 2nd overall.

Periquin- Vincent Delany & Noel Colclough- 6,30, 21, (31) 11. - 19th overall. winners of silver fleet for race 4 and 'Dick of the Day'

Allegro- Colm Dunne & Colm Daly- 25, 21, (26), 26, 7- 25th overall

Volante- Simon Watson & Brian Kelly- 27, (31), 10, 28, 20- 27th Overall and winner of 28th place prize.

Overall Championship Results after five races:
1st. ‘Ric O’Shea’ Josh Metcalf and Mark Hogan, with 14 points.
2nd. ‘Squib’ Dick Batt and Pamela Phelan, with 14 points.
3rd. ‘Aquabat’ Mike Probert and Steve Warren-Smith.

Published in Squib
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