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Light airs frustrate Autumn League crews at Howth Yacht Club

27th September 2010
Light airs frustrate Autumn League crews at Howth Yacht Club

In total contrast to the opening day's race, the second race in the Howth YC Autumn League was sailed in light airs of less than 10 knots and massive wind shifts which caused headaches for crews and messed up the race officers' best laid plans to have several good windward legs on both courses. Starting in light westerly winds and finishing in an even lighter easterly and an ebb tide illustrates how frustrating the conditions were for the 123 boats participating, reducing some races into a procession and forcing a number of DNFs.

 

On the offshore course, a second successive win for 'Storm' (P.Kelly), beating 'Crazy Horse' (Chambers/Reilly) by 20 seconds on the water but even more impressively on both handicaps, has helped them to extend their overall IRC lead over 'Equinox' (R.McDonald). The double victory also gives 'Storm' a share of the ECHO leadership with Equinox after two races.

 

Twenty-one boats made the start of Class 2 and all bar one completed the course, although there was a sizeable spread between first – 'Kinetic' (Colwell/Murphy) – and last. 'King One' (Dave Cullen) took line honours but Kinetic was less than a minute behind and that was enough to secure the IRC win and also the ECHO one too. As a result, the two rivals share the overall lead on IRC while 'Kinetic' has a one point advantage on ECHO over 'Maximus' (P.Kyne).

 

Vince Gaffney's 'Alliance' continues to live up to the pre-event favourites tag with a second win in a row to head Class 3 on IRC, this time ahead of 'Gecko' (Kevin Darmody) and 'Holly' (Basil MacMahon), the latter lying 2nd overall. Gecko, now 3rd overall on IRC, won on ECHO and now trails division leader 'Rossinver' (C.Scott) by just two points.

 

An emphatic win in Class 4 for 'Flashback' (Hogg & Others) on IRC (and 2nd on ECHO) has seen her move into 2nd overall behind 'Bite the Bullet' (Colm Bermingham – 2nd in race 2). Winner of ECHO was Charlie Boyle's 'On the Rox', a win which gives them equal first overall with 'Bite the Bullet'.

 

In the other White Sail division, Class 5, a boat which made a habit of winning races in the past returned to those winning ways when 'Demelza', now under the ownership of the Ennis/Laudan partnership, came up trumps on ECHO ahead of Joe Carton's 'Voyager' who won on IRC. 'Demelza' now ties with 'Harmony' (D&H Toomey) on ECHO while Harry Byrne's 'Alphida' has one point to spare overall on 'Voyager'.

 

On the inshore course, the Etchells led the way as always and in the true style of one-design racing, only 6 minutes separated first from ninth in the 9-boat fleet. Much to the chagrin of the class regulars, Brian O'Neill, who has barely sailed an Etchells in two years, won the race by a minute on 'Fuzzy Duck' from 'Kootamundra Wattle' (O'Grady/Reilly), with last week's winner 'Northside Dragon' (Jay Bourke, RStGYC) in third. The Dun Laoghaire visitor heads the rankings after two races, two points ahead of Simon Knowles' 'Jabberwocky'.

 

Half way through the J24 race, the four boats competing were within spitting distance of one another but getting around the West Mark first and benefitting from the ebb tide gave Fergus O'Kelly and the crew of 'Jibberish' the extra momentum to open out a good lead over second-placed 'Scandal' (Mossy Shanahan on the helm). The result was identical to the first Sunday so the overall standings stay the same.

 

'Harlequin' (Clarke/Egan) notched their second win on the trot but they were pushed all the way by Neil Murphy's 'Yellow Peril', so much so that only 7 seconds separated them on the line. That was good enough for Murphy to claim the handicap honours and move up to sharing second overall with 'Gold Dust' (Walls/Browne). 'Gepetto' (E.O'Reilly) now has a single point margin over 'Ghosty Ned' (D.Harkin) overall on handicap.

 

It was a case of a second successive win in the Squibs too, with the Craig/Raune partnership in 'Kerfuffle' enjoying a 5-minute lead over 'Klipbok' (Emmet Dalton), with the rest of the fleet a long way back. The result was the same on handicap, and on the overall rankings, 'Kerfuffle' leads on both scratch and handicap from 'Shadowfax' (P.Merry).

 

Ian Malcolm and the crew of 'Aura' were so far ahead of the Seventeens fleet – 14 minutes to be precise – that it was no surprise that they also took the handicap honours. 'Rita' (Lynch/Curley) and 'Deilginis' (Deilginis Group) took the next two places on scratch respectively, with the order reversed on handicap. 'Aura' now shares the overall lead with 'Rita' but has a 4 point gap over the same boat on handicap.

 

The Autumn League, sponsored by WD-40, Crystal Holidays and The Food Room, continues next Sunday with race 3 in the 6-race series.

Published in Howth YC
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Howth Yacht Club is the largest members sailing club in Ireland, with over 1,700 members. The club welcomes inquiries about membership - see top of this page for contact details.

Howth Yacht Club (HYC) is 125 years old. It operates from its award-winning building overlooking Howth Harbour that houses office, bar, dining, and changing facilities. Apart from the Clubhouse, HYC has a 250-berth marina, two cranes and a boat storage area. In addition. its moorings in the harbour are serviced by launch.

The Club employs up to 31 staff during the summer and is the largest employer in Howth village and has a turnover of €2.2m.

HYC normally provides an annual programme of club racing on a year-round basis as well as hosting a full calendar of International, National and Regional competitive events. It operates a fleet of two large committee boats, 9 RIBs, 5 J80 Sportboats, a J24 and a variety of sailing dinghies that are available for members and training. The Club is also growing its commercial activities afloat using its QUEST sail and power boat training operation while ashore it hosts a wide range of functions each year, including conferences, weddings, parties and the like.

Howth Yacht Club originated as Howth Sailing Club in 1895. In 1968 Howth Sailing Club combined with Howth Motor Yacht Club, which had operated from the West Pier since 1935, to form Howth Yacht Club. The new clubhouse was opened in 1987 with further extensions carried out and more planned for the future including dredging and expanded marina facilities.

HYC caters for sailors of all ages and run sailing courses throughout the year as part of being an Irish Sailing accredited training facility with its own sailing school.

The club has a fully serviced marina with berthing for 250 yachts and HYC is delighted to be able to welcome visitors to this famous and scenic area of Dublin.

New applications for membership are always welcome and can be accessed through its official website.

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