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Ireland Will Be Represented by UCD in Student Sailing Worlds

30th April 2017
UCD Winners led By Will Byrne (with trophy) in Howth. Despite bits of blue sky, conditions in the Irish Sea were steadily deteriorating as Howth YC’s flotilla of J/80s did the business to see UCD become Ireland’s representatives in the 2017 Student Yachting Worlds this Autumn in Marseiles, to be raced in J/80s UCD Winners led By Will Byrne (with trophy) in Howth. Despite bits of blue sky, conditions in the Irish Sea were steadily deteriorating as Howth YC’s flotilla of J/80s did the business to see UCD become Ireland’s representatives in the 2017 Student Yachting Worlds this Autumn in Marseiles, to be raced in J/80s

University College Dublin, led by Will Byrne, won through in an increasingly challenging national selection trials at Howth YC yesterday to take the honour of representing Ireland in the 37th Annual Student Yachting Worlds, which this year will be staged in the Mediterranean in the Autumn at Marseilles, and raced in J/80s.

Howth’s ready-to-go flotilla of club-owned J/80s thereby provided double value, and they provided much whoop-inducing sailing as the south’easterly built steadily during the day. This deteriorating weather was to mean that the usual club Saturday afternoon racing at both Howth and Dun Laoghaire was cancelled. But by that stage, thanks to a tight programme set in train by Race Officer Scorie Walls with the briefing in HYC at 0830 and the first gun at 1000hrs, the Intervarsity programme was already well on its way.

Although today (Sunday) had been pencilled in as a fallback day, the mood of the fleet was very strongly in favour of having it all done and dusted by the time the forecast even stronger winds were expected to arrive late on Saturday afternoon, and Scorie and her team were able to oblige.

By using Howth’s clear water race area between the protecting island of Ireland’s Eye and Portmarnock, the racing could continue as the wind shunted upwards towards the 27 knots-plus level, prompting the Race Team to quip that if Ireland’s Eye didn’t exist, then they’d have had to invent it.

Nevertheless even this shelter could only do so much in the very dense and increasingly fast moving air, and with some damage being sustained, the final had to be based on two races sailed between Cork IT Sailing, Trinity CD Sailing, NUI Galway, and UCD.

UCD were on a roll as they’d notched three wins and a second in the four qualifying races, and they maintained this pace into the two final contests, with Trinity as runners-up and NUI Galway placing third overall. Now Marseilles calls, and UCD have an entire summer for further training in J/80s racing. But meanwhile, extraneous matters like exams have to be dealt with....

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