#sailforjack – 22 year old Pharmacy student Jack Kavanagh's life changed completely two years ago when he had an accident which resulted in him being paralysed from the armpits down. Orla Callender supported by Rosemary Dawson organised a pursuit sailing race, hosted by the Royal St. George Yacht Club, on 29th August to raise funds to support the specialised supports and treatments which Jack requires.
On the evening of the race there was quite a lot of weather. At 16.00hrs. it was sunny with a breeze of about 12 knots gusting to 21 knots. By 17.30hrs there was steady drizzle, with only 100m. visibility, and average wind speed of 25 knots with gusts of 27knots. 'Terriblee' the committee boat was stationed by Vincent Delany, officer-of-the-day, off the harbour mouth. First competitor on the course was Margaret Hannan's Squib, 'Free Trader'. She was quickly followed by the Sailing-in-Dublin's 'Vago' who found the conditions challenging. A decision was made immediately to abandon the dinghy element of the race. The dinghies sailed back to the safety of the harbour and 'blemmed' around at high speed. The Glens all decided that the conditions were not appropriate to an enjoyable race, and returned to their moorings. However the race started soon after 18.30hrs. with Squib 'Sidewinder' with special athlete Tomas on board as lead boat. They were followed by a variety of day boats and cruisers. One hour later, having navigated the mist to Middle, New Ross, and East Marks, three boats approached the finish line together. The rain was clearing and a rainbow appeared to the east. The leaders were 'Sidewinder', Rupert Bowen, Rupert Westrup and Tomas, Squib 'Perfection' with Jill Fleming, Conor O'Leary and special athlete Declan, 'Wow' George Sisk's 42 footer which charged through the fleet with fabulous efficiency. 'Sidewinder' finished at 19.28.12hrs followed by 'Wow' at 19.28.30, only 18 seconds later. What a close finish for two boats so different in style!
At the prize giving, Vice-Commodore Justin Mc.Kenna presented many valuable prizes which had been provided by generous sponsors:
1st. Boat- 'Sidewinder' Rupert Bowen, Rupert Westrup and Tomas- A tidal Clock.
1st Special athlete- Tomas in 'Sidewinder'- Theatre tickets for the Pavilion Theatre.
1st. Cruiser- 'Wow' George Sisk and crew- Golfing voucher.
2nd. Cruiser- 'September Song' – Stephanie Burke and family who managed to sail the entire course without putting up their Sigma 33 mainsail.- Voucher for David Lloyd gym.
3rd. Cruiser- 'Sarnia' – A voucher for the Royal Marine Hotel.
4th. Cruiser- 'Bendemeer' Gerry Kinsella and crew- Voucher for The Butler's Pantry.
2nd. Day boat- RIYC 1720- Voucher for Fingal Sailing School.
Special award for bravery despite sailing the wrong course- 'Perfection' Jill Fleming with Conor O'Leary and Declan Johnston- A holistic wellness voucher.
2nd. Special athlete- Declan Johnston- Theatre tickets for the Pavilion Theatre.
Special award for surviving such tough conditions- 'Free Trader' Margaret Hannan and Ray Greene- A hairdresser voucher.