#rayc – Despite a very gentle forecast of barely a few knots, 18 Lasers launched at Poolbeg Yacht and Boat Club and sailed up through the lifted toll bridge for Saturday's Royal Alfred fixture on the river Liffey. Once into the rectangular amphitheatre formed on the stretch up to the spectacular Samuel Beckett Bridge, the fleet were delighted to find a decent enough 5 to 8 knots blowing straight downstream. It was game on for the first ever Royal Alfred Yacht Club Laser Challenge with many spectators and supporters watching, on a truly glorious Autumn day in the capital.
Race Officer Barry MacNeaney and his team wasted no team and quickly got the races underway on, not surprisingly, a windward leeward course. Typically in Lasers there was a great spread of ages with plenty of interest in how a couple of hot young Radial helms would adapt to the Full rig. One of these, Luke Murphy, drew first blood with a great win in Race one. However, another Radial star Conor O'Beirne (2013 British 4.7 Champion) made his presence felt with the next bullet. Not many problems adapting so ! After a slowish start, Paul MacMahon struck back for the older fraternity and came through with the next two wins, before O'Beirne took the last race. After leading into the decider on points, this was more than enough to make the RStGYC Laser ace the first ever RAYC Laser King of the River O'Beirne took home the fine Royal Alfred Liffey Challenge Trophy which has been presented in previous years for 1720 and SB20 racing up in the heart of the city.
MacMahon took second overall and an improving Sean Craig popped out in 3rd overall, a couple of points ahead of Murphy who edged Theo Lyttle on the tie break. Other podium race results were posted by Ross O'Leary and Rob Cahill. Amanda Relph was first Radial and Daniel Hopkins was first 4.7.
Top 5 overall in largest 'Full Rig' division
1 Conor O'Beirne RStGYC 6 pts
2 Paul MacMahon HYC 9 pts
3 Sean Craig RStGYC 12 pts
4 Luke Murphy RStGYC 14 pts
5 Theo Lyttle RStGYC 14 pts
The Laser fleet were treated to great conditions on the river
A huge thanks to the Royal Alfred Yacht Club (especially Barry MacNeaney), the highly hospitable Poolbeg Yacht Club, RIB support Frank Heath and also to Richard Tate who managed to mobilise a great turnout. This was the first but almost definitely not the last RAYC Laser Liffey regatta...