Southerly gales put paid to racing on the final day of the WD-40 Autumn League, sponsored by Team PR Reilly, leaving the series to be decided on the results of the three races sailed on previous weekends. With one Sunday abandoned for lack of wind and the last day a complete blow-out, the League was, for the first time in many years, reduced to half of its schedule of races.
In some classes, it didn’t really matter a lot, with a number of three-wins-in-a-row crews on target to wrap up their particular series. In Class 1, for instance, ‘Storm’ (Pat Kelly) and ‘Tiger’ (Harris/Hughes) had treble successes on IRC and ECHO respectively so were clear winners in those categories while Anthony Gore-Grimes’ ‘Dux’ had the same score-sheet on IRC in Class 2. Nearest rival was ‘Indigo’ (Ritchie/Eadie) which had the satisfaction of reversing that order to win the ECHO prize.
Class 3 showed the best results for visitors, with Alfred Mayrs’ ‘Quickflash’ from Antrim securing the IRC title by a single point from Russell Camier and Colm Fitzpatrick’s ‘Goyave’ from Malahide, with the latter enjoying success on ECHO by winning that division, also by a point, from Ed Bourke’s Starlet.
Colm Bermingham’s ‘Bite the Bullet’ won Class 4 IRC by the narrowest of margins from ‘Changeling’ (Kieran Jameson), which had to settle for second again on ECHO, this time behind the impressive debutant ‘Sojourn’ (Lacy/Blandford). Harry Byrne and the crew of ‘Alphida’ retained their Class 5 IRC title, a point ahead of ‘Demelza’ (Ennis/Lauden), but the veteran Shamrock enjoyed a second successive series victory on ECHO.
Three straight wins gave the Etchells top prize to Jay Bourke in ‘Dirty Protest’ while despite missing the second race because he was competing in the All-Ireland Sailing Championship at Lough Derg, Flor O’Driscoll (‘Hard on Port’) took the J/24 title from Mossy Shanahan’s ‘Crazy Horse’ (on the same points) because of winning the other two races.
It was success on the double in the Puppeteers for the Walls/Browne partnership on ‘Gold Dust’, with a narrow win over ‘Mojo’ (Callen/Stanley) on scratch and a bigger four point gap on handicap over the same opposition.
It was a similar story in both the Squibs and 17s, with Kerfuffle (Craig/Ruane) winning the former and ‘Oona’ (Peter Courtney) the latter both on scratch and handicap.