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University College Cork Crowned Irish Team Racing National Champions

23rd November 2017
Team Racing at Baltimore, West Cork Team Racing at Baltimore, West Cork Photo: Facebook/Baltimore Sailing Club

For the first time ever Baltimore Sailing Club welcomed the Irish Team Racing Associations National Championships. It proved to be one of the most exciting Team Racing finals of recent years. With a high quality entry of teams in the event there was not a dull moment as the event unfolded. The organisers and umpires had their work cut out as this was an intensely competitive event in which every race was closely fought..

The Irish Team Racing Nationals featured top teams from the Irish Team Racing scene, with sailors such as Fionn Lyden, Scott Flanigan, Philip Doran, Mark Hassett and Fynn Lynch amongst others.

The championship consisted of two full round robins and a knock-out series with semi-finals and finals. With beautiful wind conditions, but a bit overcast, the first day saw an early lead from University College Cork lead by Mark Hassett leading a comfortably, but chased by second pack of 6 teams within 4 points of each other.

Team racing UCCTeam racing champions UCC1 celebrate at Baltimore Sailing Club. Photo: Facebook/BSC

The second round robin, was completed in the early part of Sunday morning, again with beautiful wind conditions. The excitement did not diminish during day two, which saw again an action-packed day of aggressive and tactically charged races by all teams. University College Cork senior team managed to come on top winning all their races. A young team from UCD lead by Johnny Durcan - with Fynn Lynch as second followed closely. In third place was a Trinity based team, Mr March 2017, lead by Scott Flanigan, who had taken the IUSA Championship earlier in the year. Finally, in fourth place after the two round robins was the junior team from UCC, rapidly emerging as one of the most competitive teams on the circuit. The surprise came from REYS, a top team with UCD alumni lead by Philip Doran, that could not make the final cut to the knock-out round

The semi-final saw the senior UCC team confidently win their first two races against the young UCD team, but the second semi-final was fought out fiercely by the young UCC team and Mr March, who put all their effort into eliminating the younger team.

The final between UCC and Mr. March was a repeat of previous encounters of two teams that know each other well. Needing three wins out of five races each team displayed great sailing skill, boat control, tactical expertise and knowledge of the rules by both teams. Level after four tight races, the last race saw UCC get a perfect start winning all their pairs at the line. Mr March could not recover.

The next Irish Team Racing Assocoation Nationals will take place in November 17-18 2018 at the Royal St George Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire. The Notice of Race and pre-entry will be open shortly. 

Leaders:

1- UCC1 (Mark Hassett, Fion Lyden, Cian O’Regan, Liam Manning (capt.), Eoin Lyden, Lisa Smith)
2- Mr March 2017 (Richard Roberts, Scott Flanagan, Dan Gill, Emma Geary(capt.), Lucy Bolger, Kate O’Reilly)
3- UCD eez Nuts
4- UCC3
5- REYS

Team racing is an exciting and sociable sailing format in which a team of sailors work together to try and establish an overall winning combination for their team over their opposition. Team races are fast and furious and reward good starting, boat speed, boat handling, rules knowledge and team work skills. Racing is umpired, incidents are resolved on the water, with boats taking one or two turn penalties.

Team Racing has become a recognised discipline for improvement of close racing tactics and is used by a great number of Olympic and top sailors to hone their close quarter boat handling skills and rules knowledge.

Team Racing is organised in Optimist dinghies, two-handed dinghies (often Fireflies) and small keelboats. There is active school circuit and team racing is the basis of college sailing in Ireland, UK and USA.

ITRA is actively seeking experienced sailors who would like to taste the joys of umpiring team racing. On the water training will be provided. The minimum time commitment would be about three or four weekends a year.

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