#hyc – Big westerly winds and a flat sea were the features of the third race of Howth Yacht Club's Autumn League this Sunday. Many of the crews decided to stay ashore this week, following forecasts giving varying wind strengths of between 18 and 30 knots.
The results of this week mean that many classes now have an assortment of boats competing for the top places and the extensive array of silverware while a select few competitors managed to consolidate their leads in their respective divisions.
A 70 degree wind-veer in the middle of the races meant that most crews were spared the decision to hoist spinnakers from that moment, but the remainder of the 'round-the-cans' courses provided few opportunities for boats to gain and lose places.
The forecasted wind took its toll in the early part of the day and might have had its part to play in an incident involving 'Arctutus' and 'Xebec' before their Class 5 start, which saw both boats disqualified after a lengthy protest hearing. Meanwhile in the Etchells class, Simon Knowles and his crew on 'Jabberwocky' had to deal with a de-masting when their backstay gave way under the pressure of the gusting conditions.
Following the completion of their fourth race next week, boats may discard their worst result and a clearer picture will emerge of the overall standings in this jointly sponsored event (Beshoff Motors - Bloody Stream), albeit still with plenty of racing left to complete in this six-race series