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Howth Yacht Club's Aoife Hopkins Takes Three Wins Before Rio Encounter

7th December 2015
Aoife Hopkins takes a race win at the Howth Laser league Neil Murphy

Howth Yacht Club's Aoife Hopkins got in her final race practice at the local frostbite racing before heading off to Rio this week for the first Olympic Laser trial event to decide whether she or Annalise Murphy represents Ireland at the 2016 Olympics. 

Storm Desmond finally moved away and left behind a perfect Sunday morning for Laser racing in Howth YC. The 14 knot westerly made it the most benign sailing day of the entire series to date and, with only three of the scheduled ten races completed, three starts were planned to try and catch up.

Hopkins demonstrated her current good form with three emphatic wins, during which she kept pace with the Standard Rigs and challenged for the overall lead. 

21 Lasers were at the starting line well before the 10.45 first gun and race 1 got away on the first attempt, helped by the ebb tide in Howth Sound holding the fleet back from the line. Dan O’Connell (173184) found the front of the Full Rig fleet by the first mark and then held the lead until the end. The race was sailed over a course consisting of a single triangle and a WL lap, with the usual third lap dropped to ensure that the three race schedule would not delay the sailors from theirSunday dinners or domestic duties.

With an immediate turnaround after the last finisher of each race, the second and third races started cleanly with only a single individual recall to mar proceedings. After being runner-up in the opening two races, Stephen Quinn (90)started getting to grips with his new radial cut Standard Rigmainsail, the first in the Howth fleet, and lead for the first four and a half legs of the third race. However Dan was never far behind and manoeuvred into the lead on the last run to take the gun and achieve his hat trick for the day.

In the Radials, Aoife Hopkins (205770) got in her final race practice before heading off to Rio this week for the first trial event to decide whether she or Annalise Murphy representsIreland at the 2016 Olympics. Aoife demonstrated her current good form with three emphatic wins, during which she kept pace with the Standard Rigs and challenged for the overall lead. The fleet wishes her well in Rio.

The 4.7 fleet saw very close racing but Shane O’Brien(201566) showed his superiority in the conditions on the day to take all three wins. Shane completed the pattern of the same winner over the three races in the Standard Rig, Radial and 4.7 classes.

The fleet were back ashore at 12.30 with the three races bringing the number sailed to date in the Winter Series up to six. Three more are planned for next Sunday, Dec 13th, to bring the weather challenged 2015 season to a close.

The fleet will not be resting for long and racing will resumeafter the Christmas festivities on January 1st. The long running New Year’s Day race will get 2016 underway, firstgun at 12.00 noon, before the Spring Series kicks off on January 3rd.

Published in Howth YC Team

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Howth Yacht Club is the largest members sailing club in Ireland, with almost 2,000 members. The club welcomes inquiries about membership - see top of this page for contact details.

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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