After the perfect weather of the sunlit two-race programme on Saturday, October 12th in the Beshoff Motor Autumn League in Howth, there were those who suggested the series should have been declared finished there and then, as it just couldn’t get any better as far as idyllic conditions were concerned, and didn’t they have seven good races already in the bag, with a handful of boats in the 18 racing categories already secure in a place in the Winners’ Enclosure?
How right they were…..For last Saturday’s final day, a particularly unpleasant low-pressure area, which was going to bring both calm and gales and lots of rain and poor visibility, squatted down in potentially deepening mode over the western Irish Sea. And as the Day 6 start time had been deferred to allow the sailors to watch the Rugby World Cup quarter-finals, while Ireland’s chances faded in Tokyo, the wind had time to strengthen.
By the full-time whistle, a cold and rising northerly had built an angry-looking sea and it was raining heavily with the forecast emphasising the volatility of expected conditions. When the N over A was displayed at the Clubhouse, even those with aspirations of a good final race bringing them up the results table were muted about their disappointment at not going afloat to get cold and wet as they returned to the comfort of the warm bar to resume their analysis of that quarter-final.
At the well-attended prizegiving, Commodore Ian Byrne thanked the competitors, the race management and particularly the sponsors, Beshoff Motors, for making the 2019 Autumn League a resounding success before Jeremy Beshoff distributed the prizes. Results here
Trick or Treat, the Puppeteer 22 of Alan Pearson and Alan Blay, was crowned the overall winner of the event and thereby retained their 2018 title, a noteworthy achievement for a boat racing in the Class with the biggest entry – clearly the imminent arrival of Hallowe’en has something to do with it. In seven races they were only once outside the top two places despite the variety of conditions experienced.
The winner of the team prize was the ‘Harlequin Bites Isobel’ combo composed of a Howth 17 (Isobel – Brian & Conor Turvey), Puppeteer 22 Harlequin (David Clarke), and Cruiser 4 Bite the Bullet (Colm Bermingham). Their individual consistency within their respective Classes left the opposing teams struggling in their collective wakes.
The conclusion of the Autumn League leaves only the long-running HYC Brass Monkeys keelboat series and the even-longer running Laser Frostbites – first race Nov 3rd - to complete before 2019 is put to bed and the new one arrives.
The 2020 keelboat season at Howth YC will kick off with the Spring Warmers in April and then lead on quickly to the WAVE Regatta over the weekend of May 29th – 31st. WAVE promises to build on the fantastic success of the 2018 event and plans are already well advanced for what promises to be the ‘must do’ regatta of the 2020 season.