Following a very successful 29er event at the Lough Ree Double Ree Championships, the newly established 29er fleet had three days in which to prepare for their next event, the inaugural Deutsche Leasing IRL 29er Nationals at Royal St George Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire. A schedule of five races per day on a windward-leeward course saw 9 sailors gearing up for an early first gun on Thursday morning.
With the forecast proving to be ‘unpredictable’ at best, the competitors were greeted by a firm southerly breeze, which, if following the same pattern from previous days, would increase throughout the day’s racing. From the outset, it was hard sailing into an ever-increasing swell and by the time the first few boats had crossed the finishing line, plans had already been made to call it a day, with hopes of friendlier weather to follow. The first-day of racing left the previous weeks winners, Atlee Kohl and Chris Bateman, in pole position with Erin and Luke McIlwaine following up in second, and Dawson Kohl and David Jones in third.
Friday morning greeted the sailors with an overcast lacklustre awakening, offering meagre wind conditions but as the sailors made it out to the start line, the breeze filled in sufficiently to enable a course to be set. With light and somewhat shifty conditions continuing throughout the first two races, the wind started to increase and by the end of the fourth race, with the inevitable increase in swell, it was decided to head for home and abandon any hope of having a fifth and final race.
Overall, honours again went to Atlee Kohl and Chris Bateman, with Dawson Kohl and David Jones in second place and Lola Kohl and Sophie Crosbie following up in third.
Thank you to the Race Officer, Pat Donnelly and Safety Officer, Richard Cullen, for running a superb event in quite challenging conditions; to Jarlath O’Leary for pulling the whole event together and to Royal St George Yacht Club members for support and help throughout the event. Finally, sincere thanks must be given to Deutsche Leasing for their generous sponsorship.
With more boats being delivered to waiting for sailors in September, and those absent from recent events due to holiday commitments now returning, the class moves forward to the last few events of the season with a rapidly growing fleet and even more exciting times ahead.