John Sheehy of Dun Laoghaire is the latest Afloat.ie/Irish Independent "Sailor of the Month" after his convincing recovery to retain his title as National Match Racing Champion in Kinsale on October 24th.
Recovery and retention became the theme of a hotly-fought series, as Sheehy had seemed to be off form on the opening day, far from overnight leader, in the doldrums way back in fourth. Things were still rocky on the second day as they battled on all fronts to stay in contention after taking a beating from Ben Duncan of Howth, who seemed on track to be the new champion.
But Sheehy and his crew sailed off on their own for a brief onboard motivation session. He had a crew of all the talents in Darragh O'Connor, Paddy Kirwan and Marty O'Leary and they returned to the fray fired up on all cylinders to go into the final series with eight wins, while Duncan had nine.
However, by this stage there was no stopping the John Sheehy onslaught. He clinched two more excellent starts and retained the lead despite ferocious pressure in both matches from Ben Duncan, who was clear second overall, while Sam Hunt was third, narrowly ahead of Prof O'Connell.