#teamracing – Eight Leinster schools gathered at the Royal St George Yacht Club on Sunday to battle for provincial bragging rights and coveted places at the Irish Nationals in Schull writes Heather King. The sailors raced in two six-boat flights of Firefly dinghies owned by the RStGYC, including one flight just out of the wrappers!
Under the stewardship of Organiser John Sheehy and Racing John Downey, the racing was slick and very competitive. Conditions were fairly light and tricky though, with the finish line just yards away from the changeover point halfway down the East Pier. Great spectating for competitors, parents and strollers.
After the twenty eight race round robin with each team racing seven times, a clear divide emerged with 4 teams ahead on 5 or 6 wins. Kilkenny College and Gonzaga both had six and St Andrews and Belvedere College were both on five. In the second half of the table Mount Anville emerged top on 3 wins with a young team that very nearly took one or two big scalps along the way. The other teams – Gonzaga B, St Gerards and a selection from Bray schools - all had their finer moments and consistently displayed great teamwork and camaraderie.
Royal St. George organiser John Sheehy (left) with (top) Kilkenny College winners and (below) the third placed St. Andrews College team
By 1600 hours the harbour had become a glassy pond and despite an effort to run another round, the RO called a halt. The big round robin series decided the results with tie-breaks going the way of "who beat who" in individual matches.
This gave the title to Kilkenny College and their team of Heather O Connor, Conor O'Reilly, Scott Levie, Sean Landers, Douglas Elmes and Emily McGrath, with Gonzaga 2nd and St Andrews 3rd and Belvedere College 4th. Mount Anville in 5th took 1st all-girl team. It is top 5 that are guaranteed places at the All-Irelands in Schull on April 13,14.