The tide pushed many boats over the line in the first start but once the black flag was hoisted the fleet were on their best behaviour. Ronan Cull took an early lead on the first beat and extended throughout the race to win easily. Paul McMahon made a strong recovery to finish second and take the series with a race to spare. Second to sixth in the series were all separated by only a couple of points going into the two race final and all were in contention at the end of the first race. Conor Greagsbey from Greystones, a newcomer to the Howth Series sailed a very fast final lap to take fourth and move into contention for second in the series, with Stephen Quinn maintaining his place overall with a fifth place. The other podium contenders were David Quinn in sixth and Daragh Sheridan in seventh. In the Radial fleet Mark Condy and Darragh Peelo continued their close battle with Darragh winning out to take a slender 2 point lead into the last race.
The second race was started in lighter winds of about 8kts with the tide not as much of a factor. Ronan Cull again showed excellent speed to lead up the first beat, a lead he maintained to the finish. There was only one point separating Stephen Quinn, David Quinn (pictured left), Conor Greagsbey and Daragh Sheridan, all fighting for second place going into the last race The first weather mark was very busy with almost the whole 30 boat full rig fleet arriving together. David Quinn and Colm Cunningham managed to sneak around ahead of the pack and create a small gap. David Quinn maintained second place for the rest of the race with the chasing group all fighting hard to get clear. With David Quinn in a clear second, Stephen, Daragh and Conor needed to finish third to catch him overall. Daragh Sheridan capsized on the second lap and slipped out of the top ten. This left Stephen Quinn to race Colm Cunningham and Daragh Kelleher, who he needed to pass on the last beat to get third overall. All three finished together with Colm beating Stephen by half a boat length at the pin end to take fourth in the race. Stephen Quinn finished fifth in the race but a better discard gave Conor Greagsbey third place overall. In the Radial Fleet, Mark Condy took the final race but Darragh Peelo’s second place was enough to clinch the series by a point.
The next race in the Howth Laser Calendar is the New Years Day race, a standalone race starting at 12pm. The second series starts almost straight after on Sunday 3rd January. Happy Christmas!