The Afloat.ie “Sailor of the Month” process in October is normally self-selecting, as the Senior and Junior awards go to the new Irish Sailing All-Ireland Champions. But when Fionn Lyden of Baltimore demonstrated at Mullingar in 2017’s Championship of Champions on Lough Owel that he was well able to transfer his skills in the Laser and Olympic Finn to the venerable GP 14, it provided the adjudicators with a new choice option, as he was already August’s Sailor of the Month for winning Bronze at the U23 Finn Worlds in Hungary, and the All-Ireland title simply added to his laurels.
Happily, in some very neat choreography, the final weekend of October brought forth a star of equal status. Going into the first leg of the seven-boat Volvo Ocean Race from Alicante to Lisbon starting October 22nd, Vestas 11th Hour Racing was far from being rated the favourite. But from an early stage she steadily increased her lead in such a convincing style that it wouldn’t be fair to say who had in fact been the pre-race favourites. Even a mixture of local windlessness and an adverse tide approaching the finish line still left Vestas with a clear lead of more than two hours. And a key role in all this was played by Ireland’s own high seas superstar Damian Foxall, our “Sailor of the Month (Senior)” for October.
Listen to the Damian Foxall podcast from Lisbon here