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Displaying items by tag: Irish Fireball Nationals

#Fireball - As previously reported on Afloat.ie, Royal St George pair Barry McCartin and Conor Kinsella were triumphant at the Irish Fireball Nationals on Lough Ree yesterday (14 September), needing two win only one of two races sailed on the day to claim the title after a dominant weekend. Below, Cormac Bradley gives us an extended report on all the action over the three days' sailing:

The 2014 Irish Fireball Nationals were sailed at Lough Ree Yacht Club this past Friday, Saturday and Sunday, involving nine races in very challenging conditions – not heavy duty sailing but light conditions that on a freshwater lake made picking the right way to go all the more challenging.

The forecast for the weekend was for lightish winds but on Friday we started proceedings in slightly more than 12 knots, though race officer John Leech was not convinced that the wind would stay long enough at that strength to warrant flying the 'pumping flag'. He was correct in his assumption as the wind progressively dropped off as the afternoon wore on. However, we did get three good races in.

On Saturday we were joined by the Wayfarers who were sailing a two-day Nationals with six races. On arrival at the club, what wind there was appeared to be coming from the opposite direction and was very fickle. Nevertheless, it was better than we had been expecting so both fleets took to the water for what turned out to be a long sail to the start area where we were greeted – understandably – with a postponement flag.

Four races were sailed on Saturday, the last of which saw the leading bunch stay in what breeze there was all the way round. The middle and back of the fleet weren’t so lucky in that their wind supply was temporarily reduced. This led to a very strung out fleet.

By Saturday evening, the die seemed to be cast as far as the overall 1-2-3 was concerned and had this been a betting event, the bookies’ money would have been safe. The predicted and usual suspects were at the head of the fleet – McCartin and Kinsella, Butler and Oram and Rumball and Bradley (Finn). McCartin had a four-point cushion on Butler, who had a point on Rumball, so the real action on Sunday would be between Butler and Rumball for the secondary placings on the podium. Could/would McCartin stuff it up?

Sunday appeared to give better breeze initially after a one-hour postponement posted the evening before – John Leech using his knowledge of the venue to very good effect. Yes there was trapezing to be had but it was an on-and-off exercise.

Race 8 got off cleanly with McCartin initially further back than he would have wanted but ultimately coming back to take the race win and therefore the regatta. Rumball finished second and with McGrotty getting into third to Butler’s fourth, Rumball now had the one-point advantage.

An impeccably behaved fleet then went 'off the radar' for the final race of the regatta with three attempts at a start before we got away. First the 'I' flag came out, then we had two starts under the 'U' flag regime. The suggestion post the race was that the leading three were involved in mind games, providing great entertainment for the committee boat crew.

Having secured the overall win, McCartin donned the trapeze harness to allow Kinsella an opportunity to drive. However, by the second leeward mark, after a modest transgression of the 'water at the mark' rule, they retired ashore for an early celebratory shower.

On the water, Rumball and Bradley stormed away to a very convincing win while Neil Colin and Margaret Casey 'slummed it with the upper echelons' by recording a second place, following another 'trek' to the right hand side of the course. (Their first had resulted in a win on the Saturday.) Butler and Oram finished third.

This was the penultimate event of the Irish Fireball Regatta season. In three weeks’ time we sail our final event of the season, the Leinsters out of the National Yacht Club, sharing with the Flying Fifteens. The AGM of the Class will take place on the Saturday night of this event.

The weekend before, on Saturday 27 September, Dublin Bay Sailing Club celebrates its 130th year of operation with a dinner in the National Yacht Club. As a member Class of DBSC, Irish Fireballers are encouraged to attend.

Irish Fireball Nationals 2014

Overall Results:
1 Barry McCartin & Conor Kinsella (RStGYC; IRL 15114)
2 Kenneth Rumball & Finn Bradley (INSC; IRL 15058)
3 Noel Butler & Stephen Oram (NYC/DMYC; IRL 15061)

Silver Fleet:
1 Mary Chambers & Brenda McGuire (DMYC; IRL 14865)
2 Pat O’Neill & Tiarnan Dickson (CYBC/LRYC; IRL 14849)

Classic Trophy:
Owen Clarkin & Tim (CYBC: IRL 14244)

Published in Fireball

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