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UCD Are Platinum Winners at IUSA Eastern Team Racing Championship 2021 Hosted by Carlingford Sailing Club

28th October 2021
Carlingford College Combat - This was one of the biggest sporting events run on the water in 2021, and probably the biggest on Carlingford Lough since the fabled Oyster Festival series.
Carlingford College Combat - This was one of the biggest sporting events run on the water in 2021, and probably the biggest on Carlingford Lough since the fabled Oyster Festival series

Carlingford Sailing Club, in conjunction with Dublin University Sailing Club, hosted the IUSA Eastern Team Racing Championship on the weekend of 23rd/24th of October, with 24 teams from nine universities, 144 competitors in total fighting it out to see who would be crowned champions after a 19-month delay in competitions. It was worth waiting for as the combined energy of the competitors and volunteers pulled off one of the most spectacular team racing events witnessed on these waters for some considerable time.

This was one of the biggest sporting events run on the water in 2021, and probably the biggest on Carlingford Lough since the fabled Oyster Festival series.

 IUSA Eastern Team Racing Championship

The Carlingford Sailing Club organisation, spearheaded by Commodore Áine Gorman, Sailing Secretary Ross McEntegart, and Committee Member Diarmuid Gorman, supported by the club members, was a spectacular success. This is a continuation of the strong growth that has taken root in the club over the last 18 months. In particular, the membership volunteers came from all categories, from junior/youth to adult and family. Carlingford Sailing Clubs fleet of ribs and support boats was supplemented by the generous loan of ribs from The Lough's agency (driven by Dave Clarke of the LA), Barnarde and Gerard Kilgallon, and James Ives, tenders from Carlingford Swimmers and NUI Galway, as well as the pontoon for excess changeovers from Carlingford Adventure Centre. The IUSA, their umpires, and supporting staff, again spread across generations, hit the ground running and dove-tailed with the CSC organisation so that the event ran without a hitch to the finals on the Sunday afternoon.

team racing carlingford

The planning for the event started in 2020, but the set up on the water commenced on Friday afternoon as the committee boat was launched, and ribs and support boats were made ready to be parked in the Marina to counter any problems with low tides. The clubhouse was made ready to provide competitors with butties, burgers and refreshments over the weekend, and the competitor boats arrived to be set up in the dinghy park. IUSA organisers and umpires met with CSC to walk over the plans, and then we were ready for the start on Saturday. The weather forecast worryingly, for the Saturday was Force 5, gusting to 7 which would risk equipment damage.

On the Saturday morning, it was clear, thanks to the shelter of the Cooley Peninsula, that the conditions were ideal with a steady Force 3 wind. CSC volunteers were ready cooking breakfast butties at 8am, and the competitors arrived to get their boats ready. The event had to be run under Covid 19 restrictions, with limits on changing facilities. From the first arrivals it was clear that all the participants were keen to comply, and this was the case through the full duration of the event. Chief Umpire Eunice Kennedy gave the fleet briefing at 9 am, accompanied by DUSC Captain Kate Lyttle.

Then it was all systems go, at a blistering pace, with Umpire ribs, safety boat and ferries on the water at 9.30, the committee boat, course, and finish boat in position at 10 am, ready for the first race which started at 10.30am. The competitors, who were waiting to be ferried out for their races congregated at the end of the pier, many of them sitting on the wall which provided a grandstand view of the racing, with up to 3 matches ongoing at any one time. Down at the steps, where the ferries were shuttling competitors back and forth, the rest of the students congregated, most chatting, some sleeping, some readying themselves for the challenge on the water. Music was playing, there was serious competition, but there was also a bit of a celebration as competitors and friends were re-united after over a year's distance.

Ross McEntegart CSC, ferried competitorsRoss McEntegart CSC, ferried competitors

The ferries kept moved competitors without delay, crews changed over, matches were close fought, the umpires criss-crossed the matches in ribs driven by CSC members, handing out rule decisions. On the water, there was much flag waving to signal penalties or compliance with rules by umpires, shouting of messages across boats to co-ordinate their teams, and manoeuvring of competitors to gain team advantage, followed intently by the crowd on the harbour wall as they worked out how their comrades and competitors were faring against each other as the day went on. The wind freshened at about 2 pm and there were a few capsizes, but there was no disruption to the sequence of matches which continued unabated. By 5.30pm 73 out of the 84 round robin matches had been sailed, the progress had been above expectations, as normally only about 60 matches are sailed on the first day. The IUSA team put this down to the extremely slick operation by CSC on the water, and, in particular, the efficiency of the ferry service which had kept crew changeover times to an absolute minimum. The competitors went away happy, expectant of another day's wonderful sailing, and we all knew that the event was already a roaring success.

Ruth Browne, Áine Gorman, Deirdre Williams, Lara DuPlessis, Denise and Duncan Foster take a break while the action is on the waterRuth Browne, Áine Gorman, Deirdre Williams, Lara DuPlessis, Denise and Duncan Foster take a break while the action is on the water

Sunday came, and the weather held. The sun even came out to add sparkle to the champagne sailing. The round robin was concluded enabling the Quarter, Semi, and Finals to proceed for the Platinum, Gold and Silver Fleets from lunchtime onwards. There was a major shock in the Platinum Fleet when 8th seed TCD3 knocked out 1st seed UCC1. However, they in turn were knocked out by UCD1 in their semi-final, who went on to beat TCD1 in a best of 5 final 3-1.

The final results were, Platinum: UCD 1, Gold: UCD 3, Silver: UL 1

In the fleet divisions, TCD3 were promoted to Platinum, UCD4 were promoted to Gold, UCC2 were relegated to Gold, and NUIG2 were relegated to Silver.

The umpires and the IUSA team were full of praise for the event organisation and expressed their wish that they could come back to Carlingford Sailing Club again. Kate Lyttle Captain of Dublin University Sailing Club commented "On behalf of Trinity Sailing and the Irish University Sailing Association I want to thank the team at Carlingford Sailing Club for their help in running a fantastic event. The team at Carlingford Sailing Club were extremely accommodating. We had a full round robin of 84 races and completed quarters, semis, and finals for all three fleets. The event was a great success and enjoyed by all."

 IUSA Eastern Team Racing Championship Carlingfrod

This event could not have happened without a considerable amount of voluntary effort. They were:

Carlingford SC

  • Umpire Drivers – Pat McCormick, Jim Garvey, Gerard Kilgallon, Miriam Donnelly, Áine Gorman, and Justin Blake
  • Safety and Mark Laying – Francis Donnelly, Diarmuid Gorman, Ross McEntegart, and Fiachra McCormick
  • Ferries – Dave Clarke (Loughs Agency), Ruth Browne, Terry Lenehan, Torin Fleming, Shane Mulligan, Maxi Sochor, Fiachra McCormick
  • Clubhouse/Facilities – Áine Gorman, Barnarde Kilgallon, Donal McCormick, Miriam Donnelly, Peter Bastible, Eddie Conway, Deirdre Williams, Lara Du Plessis, Brenda McGoey, Denise Foster, Gearóid O'Sullivan

CSC Commodore Áine Gorman at the helm as competitors get ready to sailCSC Commodore Áine Gorman at the helm as competitors get ready to sail

DUSC/IUSA

  • Umpires – Eunice Kennedy, Dave Sheehan, Ailbe Millerick
  • DUSC Captain Kate Lyttle 
  • DUSC Events Secretary: Emily Arrowsmith 
  • DUSC Sailing Secretary: Issy Larkin 
  • USA President: Niamh Doran
  • IUSA Vice President: Johnny Durcan
  • Race Officers: Sandy Aplin and Ciaran Finnegan
  • Finish boat: Sarah MacFeely and Rachel Carr
  • Race Office: Toby Hudson Fowler
  • Beachmaster: Robbie Dix
Published in Team Racing
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