There were by no means full fleet affairs, but the 2020 racing season has definitely got underway at Howth where the One Designs raced in a good breeze on Tuesday evening, while last night (Wednesday) the cruisers found themselves battling with a floatathon, gliding along under barely-filling spinnaker with a change of tide at mid-race to add to the sport. Those who may have amused themselves since March with games of snakes and ladders were probably best prepared for the evening's racing, with the light south easterly breeze and a tide that changed from flood to ebb set plenty of challenges for those hoping for a straightforward intro to the 2020 calendar with pier starts.
The early cruiser leaders, reaching up the middle of Howth Sound ahead of a fleet of 20 to take advantage of the tide, found themselves in snake mode as the flow reversed and the wind faded. The canny chasers headed for the East Pier, daring each other as close to the evening strollers as their depth sounder alarms and willingness to risk fresh antifouling allowed. The shortened course signal after a single lap of the Sound ensured a finish for most before the wind disappeared and the mist rolled down off Howth Head.
Maximus, Paddy Kyne's X302, took best advantage of the conditions, to grab line honours. Regardless of result, just being afloat.and having their first race sailed was success for everyone and good reason to head ashore for socially-distanced food and refreshments, along with tales of what might have been.