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Doyle's Freya Claims Kinsale's Top Spot

1st May 2012
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Doyle's Freya Claims Kinsale's Top Spot

#KINSALE – The weather gods were not shining on the crews for the final series of races of the KYC Spring Series, sponsored this week by Mamukko and Ron Holland writes Peadar Murphy. The morning dawned bright and still with a touch of ground frost, but the forecasted 20 knot+ north easterlies, accompanied by leaden clouds, had filled in by the time the first flight of races was underway.

In the Class Zero, One and Two fleet, a short windward leeward course with the beat up to the vicinity of the Sovereigns put an emphasis on crew work and boat handling in the testing conditions. In Class Zero, the series came to a premature end for Kieran Twomey's Gloves Off when her main halyard snapped on the first beat, forcing her to retire while leading the fleet. Conor Doyle's Freya was quick to capitalise and though most boats tried to fly a kite on the first run, a more prudent approach was taken for the remainder of the day, as the short legs, gusts and a building swell made kite-handling difficult. Freya claimed both bullets on the day in IRC Zero, with John Godkin's Godot and Tom Roche's Meridian swapping second and third place in the two races. On both occasions, Godot cut it tight, having just 4 seconds on corrected time over Meridian in the first race and 10 seconds on Tony O'Brien's White Tiger in the second race. Overall, Freya claimed top spot in IRC, with Gloves Off's retirement costing her dearly as she had to carry a 6 point score from the final race, in which she did not compete, and lost out to Freya by just 3.5 points. Godot was somewhat adrift of the pacesetters in third on 24.5 points. In ECHO Zero, Meridian scored two bullets on Saturday, to nail top spot overall on 16.5 points, while Freya's consistency on the day saw her rewarded with two second place finishes and second overall on 20.5 points. White Tiger came in third on 23 points, the same as Godot, but with a better record on the count back.

The anticipated battle between Dave Scott's Eos and the Nagle and O'Malley team on Jelly Baby failed to materialise as the rough conditions forced Jelly Baby to retire from the first race and she did not come to the start area for the second race. Eos delivered on the day but was kept honest by clubmate Dan Buckley's Justus who kept within a minute of the X-362 in both races. Overall, Eos comfortably claimed Class One IRC on 11 points from Jelly Baby on 16 points and Justus on 21 points. In ECHO One, Eos claimed top spot overall from Justus by a single point with Jelly Baby just 3 points further in arrears.

Underlining the dominance of Eos in the series, she claimed a clean sweep of top spots coming home first in IRC Restricted too, with 10 points to spare over Jelly Baby, which tied with Freya on 24 points, but which had a superior track record of placings on the count back. It almost came unstuck for Eos in the second race when during a typical snappy tack, one of her younger crew slipped out under the guardrails as she dived across the coachroof. Quick hands and thinking grabbed the drenched sailor and then tacked the boat back onto port tack to haul her clear of the cold water. Within minutes Eos was back mixing it up at the head of the fleet as usual!

Eos wasn't the only boat almost losing things overboard. In Class Two, Brian Goggin's Allure seemed determined to part company with her kites, having to go back and retrieve a kite in the first race, and shredding a kite in the second. However, in a performance worthy of appreciative praise from fellow competitors, she had a second kite ready for hoisting in the second race even while the remains of the first kite were being hauled below - and still won both races comfortably in IRC despite the best efforts of the Desmond, Ivers and Deasy team on Bad Company and Clem and Wendy McElligott on Sea Hawk. In ECHO Two as it stands, Sea Hawk appears to have pipped the O'Regan, Salter and Minehan team on The Main 4 by a single point for overall honours. Bad Company is tied with The Main 4 on points, but loses out on the count back to finish in third overall. However, the outcome of last week's protest has been appealed, so these results are most definitely provisional as we go to press.

Class Three and Class Four enjoyed two round the cans races, with OD Tony Ireson in charge. The Marron and O'Connell team on Bandit came home with a further two bullets in IRC Three to go with their five others and won handsomely overall on 9 points from Finbarr Dorgan's No Half Measures, which was not out on the water on Saturday, and ended up on 18 points. Padraig O'Donovan's Chameleon claimed third overall with 22 points after a series of consistent turnouts. In ECHO Three, overall Chameleon claimed the top spot on the podium, with a bullet and a second on the final day. No Half Measures was once again second, three points behind, with Bandit in the final podium position, a further point astern.

In Class Four, Alan Mulcahy's Sundancer also claimed an astonishing 7 bullets in IRC to win overall from Richard Hanley's Saoirse by six points. Saoirse's valiant efforts on the final day were in vain as Sundancer continued her rampant form with comprehensive winning margins in both races. Michael Murphy's Shelly D claimed third overall, though was well off the pace, having missed the last two days of racing. In ECHO, the same two boats featured in the top two slots, separated by 4 points, with the Higgins and Morrison partnership on La Maraquita a further eight points behind.

The White Sail fleets had a long day out for their final day and were unusually among the very last back to the marina after another refreshing outing. In White Sail One, John Dowing's Samba claimed her second bullet in a row, with Stephen Lysaght's Reavra four minutes in arrears in second place. Dave Akerlind's Paragon came home third on the day, but claimed second overall, with Reavra claiming top spot by 3 points and the Murphy, Hennessy and Dann team on Val Kriss being awarded third place, with a points tally 3 greater than Paragon's. The top two boats benefitted greatly from being able to discard their worst scores, which were significantly higher than the remainder of their results.

In White Sail Two, Billy Joyce's Windrose claimed the overall prize, after a solid second in the final day's racing. Kevin and Celia Murray's Objection! swooped in to claim second place overall with a fine bullet in the final race, while the ladies on Guiness Kann claimed third on the day, but were beaten into fourth place by Dave Cullinane's Delos, which had 2 points to spare, despite not being on the water on Saturday.

Thanks to all who supported this year's event, either by competing, doing OD and Committee Boat duty, mark layers and not forgetting the team in the Race Office! A special word of thanks goes to our sponsors for their ongoing support of this event. Finally, we must express our gratitude to visitors who brought their boats and crews to Kinsale for the series, despite the testing conditions. We look forward to renewing friendly rivalries up and down the coast over the summer months. Safe sailing for the rest of the year!

Published in Kinsale
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