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'Double Ree'– Lough Ree Yacht Club's Youth Double–Handed Regatta Success Story

24th July 2018
Double Ree regatta was made up with 8 29ers, 16 420s, 15 RS Fevas and 18 Mirrors Double Ree regatta was made up with 8 29ers, 16 420s, 15 RS Fevas and 18 Mirrors Photo: Simon McIlwaine

Lough Ree Yacht Club (LRYC) have created an event that brings all competitive youth double-handers to one location for a weekend of fun and racing. Now, after the inaugural success of 'Double Ree' last weekend, the only question for the County Westmeath sailing club is whether 'Double Ree' should be held every double year? LRYC Commodore Garrett Leech reports. 

What a showcase for double handed boats it was! 58 boats entered the event with 57 actively competing, this translated to 114 sailors on the start line; 8 29ers, 16 420s, 15 RS Fevas and 18 Mirrors.

RS Revas racing at Double ReeRS Revas racing at Double Ree Photo: Simon McIlwaine

It was a sight to behold to see such numbers of boats but also such mixture of colour on Lough Ree, a celebration of double-handed sailing. It was also a great opportunity for each of the fleets to gather together, have fun and hopefully appreciate the merits of each other’s class. It would be great to see the culture of more double-handed boats travelling to events, participation in outside events is key to success.

Many of the Sailors and of course their Parents camped at Lough Ree Yacht Club which produced a festival like atmosphere more akin to Electric Picnic! The weather held out well with no rain and some probably slept, facilitated more by the fine wining and dining that was provided by Fidelma Reid and her fabulous team!

Mirrors Double ree18 Mirrors competed at Double Ree Photo: Simon McIlwaine

However, it wasn’t all just Swallows & Amazons! Though the fun factor was high, the racing too was of a high standard and very competitive. Lake sailing for some can be a challenge but often this is perception, though when wind shifts happen, they can do so in style!

"Though the fun factor was high, the racing too was of a high standard and very competitive"

Race Officer David Dickson provided 4 great races on Saturday made tricky by the light conditions that prevailed with plenty of generous wind shifts. Running the four fleets on the same race area was always going to be adventurous as they were all started from the same line and on same race area but had two separate trapezoid courses with the 29ers & 420’s sailing on a longer course and the Mirrors & Fevas on a slightly shorter course. But Dickson ran the races off efficiently, quickly learning to adapt to ensure minimal crossover of the fleets. By Sunday it was down to a fine art with an additional three races executed in relatively quick succession. Highlight results for all four fleets can be downloaded below.

420 double ree420s racing at Double Ree Photo: Simon McIlwaine

A big thanks to Lough Ree Yacht Club and the many volunteers it took to run such an event, it was clear that the stops were well and truly pulled out both on and off the water. The question now is whether Double Ree should be held every Double year! Have your say in our reader poll below.

29erEight 29ers raced on Lough Ree Photo: Simon McIllwaine

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Published in Youth Sailing Team

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