#sailorofthemonth – The comprehensive overall victory in the 280-mile Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Race by Liam Shanahan in his family's J/109 Ruth was the highlight of a busy month of Irish sailing in June, with Ruth emerging as winner in the last fifty miles of racing after a head-to-head all round the course on three coasts of Ireland with sister-ship Mojito.
When Ruth finally crossed the finish line at the entrance to Dingle Harbour at 1945hrs on the summery evening of Sunday June 14th, she and her crew had been racing at a high level of sustained intensity for forty-seven and three-quarter hours. Their reward was in knowing that they'd beaten all four larger boats already in port on corrected time, while their closest rival Mojito was a clear two miles astern, and any lower-rated boats still at sea would have to struggle against an easing and veering wind which would later provide a slow beat to the finish from Skellig Michael.
In a text-book staging of this great biennial offshore classic, the likelihood was that a J/109 would certainly be on the podium, as there were six of them racing in the 30-strong fleet. But in the final results, it's significant that their placings were spread out between 1st overall and 19th overall. It was the duel between Ruth and Mojito (Peter Dunlop & Vicky Cox, Pwllheli SC) which set them apart in every sense, and the heightened performance it provided makes Liam Shanahan a very worthy Afloat.ie Sailor of the Month for June 2015.