The PRO team of Jim Lambkin and Harry Gallagher had an excellent turnout of boats and sailors in the bay for the 2013 Annual Regatta. And with over 75 boats, across 11 classes, the PRO team elected to race off 2 lines either aide of the Club committee boat ‘Saoirse’.
With visiting boats from Clontarf, Howth, Malahide, Skerries, Lough Ree and Royal Cork to add to the Sutton crews, the standard of racing across the main fleets of IDRA14, GP14, Lasers, Optimists, Mirrors and Toppers was excellent.
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With the IDRA14, GP14 and Optimist Nationals all coming up in next couple of weeks there were plenty using the day as an opportunity for some final tune up and time on the water. With a late tide, 2 races were the order of the day and with a north westerly 15 knots wind gusting to over 20 knots at times it was exciting if not tiring for all involved.
For Alan Henry and Simon Revill in their borrowed IDRA14, the efforts of the previous 2 weeks were clearly paying off as they showed a clean pair of heels to everyone in the strong conditions and with their Nationals starting on Thursday 15th, they will be one to watch. Former National Champion Alan Carr with Ian McCormack on trapeze took second place and were delighted to get a tough day as they completed their preparations for next weeks Nationals in Lough Ree.
With the GP14 Sailing Championship of Ireland in Sutton at the end of the month, there were some new faces to the Sutton fleet along with stalwart pairings of Hugh Gill/Dan Gill and Dick Dunne/Tom Burke. The experienced Graham Elmes with crew Michelle Rowley was racing under SDC burgee for the first time since recently acquiring his new boat. The event also saw SDC junior David Johnston enter his first GP14 event since his introduction last September at the GP14 Youth Nationals in Sligo. David had the experience up front of Eanna Lawless who is Stephen Boyle’s regular crew up front.
The Dunne/Burke team were the sharpest in the 1st race and took the gun, following some great pace early on from Elmes/Rowley before a lost spinnaker pole caused them problems. The Johnston/Lawless newbies kept themselves in-touch to record an encouraging 2nd. The second race saw the Gill/Gill partnership revel in the conditions and despite a damaged tiller had too much on the quickening Elmes/Rowley pairing to take the gun. The inexperienced Johnston/Lawless suffered a capsize on first beat but recovered well to get back in touch and take 3rd and an encouraging 2nd overall behind the experienced Gill/Gill partnership.
It was great to see a big Laser fleet and especially to see such a great turnout of juniors from SDC. It was clear that the all the laser coaching with HYC’s Ronan Cull has brought our juniors a long way since the start of the season and all will have come away from Sundays conditions with great confidence and augurs well for the SDC frostbites and the famous Howth Winter series later in the year. SDC’s Darragh Kelly had 2 wins to take the 4.7 prize with Clontarfs Oisin O’Connor in second and another SDC sailor Aideen McNamara taking 3rd. Regular visitor from Malahide Sean Anglim took the main Radial prize from fellow MYC sailor Conor Roche.
With the Optimist Nationals in Dublin Bay next week there was always going to be an added interest in our regatta from the experienced Howth Optimist fleet. But with some of the best sailors from Royal Cork arriving in Dublin early for the Nationals we saw an exceptionally talented Optimist field for SDC Regatta.
The Durcan brothers Harry and Johnny from Cork were joined by a large contingent from Howth including O’GRady brothers, Max Kavanagh, and recent Crosbie Cup winner Daniel Hopkins. In addition we had Ros Morgan and Emma Parker from Skerries. The Durcan brothers along with local lads Jamie and Alex O’Grady, Max Kavanagh and Ros Morgan were all on Optimist representative teams this summer. And with tough conditions those lucky enough to see the racing at close hand were mightily impressed with both skill levels and indeed tactics on show.
In the end the Durcan brothers each took a victory and top 2 places with Harry taking top spot. The minor placings were a close fought thing with 5 boats within 6 points and Daniel Hopkins and Jamie O’Grady taking 3rd and 4th place respectively.
Following the Mirror World Championship in Lough Derg a few weeks ago it was great to see a large number of Mirrors in the Creek once again for the Regatta. Congratulations to Cian Hickey (Skerries) who won the regatta to add to the Mirror National title won in Lough Derg the week before the Mirror Worlds. It was great that Cian and his crew Caolan Craosdal from Lough Ree took the time to take part, especially with Cian’s connection as crew for SDC’s last Mirror National Champion Alan Blay back in 2006. Sinead Dickson/Eve McMahon (SDC) took runner up spot.
An interesting addition to the bay fleet were the Kona Windsurfers from Malahide Yacht Club. In what were very difficult conditions the 4 board sailors launched from the beach for probably their toughest engagement of the season. MYC have now over 15 Kona sailors regularly taking part in club racing but Broadmeadows I am sure is a different animal than a choppy Dublin Bay with 20 knots of breeze. Hats off to Cormac O’Brien for completing 2 grueling races, but I have been assured all 4 sailors enjoyed the day as much as our regular Malahide visitors.
Last but by no means least were our novice Optimist and Mirror fleet, racing off the Club line. 18 boats took to the water and even with a pathfinder some of the boats found the conditions difficult. However the tenacity and desire to complete a course especially those who were on a racing line for the very first time was to be commended. The leading 6 Optimists were Jack Corcoran, Dylan McEvoy, Alannah Carroll McGeehan, Peter Boyle, Aoife Harpur and Michael Fitzgibbon. A couple of capsizes had to be dealt with and a few retirees. Aside from some help bailing the remaining youngsters were keen to complete a course if not the right course. Emma Doyle and Sarah Dowling (SDC) was the lead Mirror from Ruth and Luke Abbot sailing in their first ever event.
Full results will be available on website along with some prize-giving photos.