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Show of Strength for Water Wags With 28–Boat Turnout for Dun Laoghaire Harbour Race

8th June 2018
28 Water Wags turned up for the race for the J.B. Stephens tankard in Dun Laoghaire Harbour. A 6-knot wind was blowing from the northeast, and the last hour of the flood tide was flowing into the harbour. 28 Water Wags turned up for the race for the J.B. Stephens tankard in Dun Laoghaire Harbour. A 6-knot wind was blowing from the northeast, and the last hour of the flood tide was flowing into the harbour.

In looking at the numbers of one design dinghies at National championships in Ireland, there are few enough adult classes which can muster a fleet of 25 competitors. However, the Water Wag Club in Dun Laoghaire does not hold a National Championships, because every race of the season contributes to a series incorporating the whole season.

On 6 June, 28 Water Wags turned up for the race for the J.B. Stephens tankard (division 1A), the Coffee Jug (Division 1B), and the Pavilion Gardens Trophy (division 2).

The 6-knot wind was blowing from the northeast, and the last hour of the flood tide was flowing into the harbour. On the first start, located at the west marina breakwater, many of the fleet reached the long start line when there was one minute fifteen seconds until the start. This produced some pushing which resulted in a general recall.

"A 6-knot wind was blowing from the northeast, and the last hour of the flood tide was flowing into the harbour"

On the second start, the fleet were better behaved, with only one boat recalled, Little Tern, whose starting strategy went awry when he found no space in which to dip line. Clear air was the requirement of the day, and those who didn’t start in clear air quickly found a snake. In the ladder department, Vincent Delany and Emma Webb in Pansy, Guy and Jackie Kilroy in Swift, Eva and Skee worked towards the west pier, and tacked as soon as they met choppy water or dirty air. At the first windward mark, in the harbour mouth, Pansy led from Swift and John Downey in Moosmie. However, once on the run, they all found that the foul air created by the fleet approaching the windward mark impeded their progress.

Further down the fleet there were battles galore, with plenty of place changing. Pansy headed into the middle of the harbour on each beat and managed to hold the lead to the end of the third beat at which point the race was curtailed due to failing wind. Results:

1.No.3 Pansy, winner div. 1A.
2.No.15, Moosmie.
3.No.38, Swift.
4.No.33, Eva.
5.No.45, Mariposa.
6. No.4, Vela.
7. No.32, Skee.
Winner div. 1B.
8. No.23,Maureen.
9. No.30, Sara.
10.No.44,
Scallywag.
Winner div.2.
11.No.14,Phyllis
12.No.42, Tortoise.
13.No.17,Coquette.
14. No. 43,Freddie.
15.No.36,Little Tern.
16.No.16,Penelope
17. No.41,Mollie.
18. No.31,Polly
19. No.10,Sprite.
20. No.46, Mademoiselle.
21.No.12,Alfa.
22.No.26, Nandor.
23. No.18, Good Hope.
24. No.6, Mary Kate.
25.No.40,Swallow.
26. No.1, Ethna.
No.24, Gavotte not recorded.
All others retired.

Published in Water Wag
Vincent Delany

About The Author

Vincent Delany

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Sailing historian Vincent Delany is a member of the Association of Yachting Historians, and an active sailor in Water Wag, SOD and Squib classes. He has written a thesis on 'Yachting and yachtsmen on the River Shannon 1830-1930.' He has lectured on the history of The Water Wag Club, Royal St.George Yacht Club, and the Killinure Yacht Club, He has written two sailing books 'The Water Wags 1887-2012' and 'The International 12 foot class in Ireland' both of which are available from blurb.com

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