The final day of what was a superbly run event concluded on Sunday. The event organisers did an immense job considering it includes over 30 different classes including both dinghies and keelboats. With over 400 boats and well over a 1000 sailors it is rightly now a major calendar sailing event that highlights Ireland organisational as well as social capabilities.
As a dinghy club, Sutton Dinghy Club would like to thank the VDLR15 organisers for providing such a superb event in which to showcase some of the strongest, most competitive as well as the oldest surviving dinghy classes in Ireland.
On the racing side, the intrigue and surprises went all the way to the final prize-giving for the Sutton Dinghy Club crews.
The rain that held off till prize-giving did not dampen the enthusiasm of the crowd and the support for all the events winners as they walked on stage to receive their prizes from event Chairman Tim Goodbody. In the IDRA14 class there was to be no surprises however as into the final day Alan Carr and Dana KIlroy knew they has the series wrapped up with victories in 5 of the 6 races. Two further victories capped a super event and helped Alan retain the trophy he had won back in 2013.
Sutton Dinghy Club interest extended also to the GP14 fleet. The event was also the 2015 GP14 leinster Championships and had attracted the largest fleet to the Volvo sponsored regatta. With 36 entries including multiple Olympians as well as World Championship winners, the GP14 had made their mark duringthe week. An exceptionally friendly and social group of sailors did not mean any less competiton on the water. As well as that, the quality and beauty of these racing dinghies with many still being built in wood attracted a large number of visitors on the hard and many positive comments from sailors and spectators alike.
Into the final day, the GP14 fleet was led by Olympian and National Champion Ger Owens and Melanie Morris, with World Championship winning crew Andy Tunnicliffe seemingly having 2nd spot tied up. Alan Blay & David Johnton lay 3rd a few points ahead of Niall Henry from Sligo. With 2 victories from 6 races, the young Sutton pair have confirmed their arrival at the top end of this great fleet and were looking to claim a super podium placing. Former National Champion Hugh Gill with new crew Eanna Molony-Lawless lay 10th and were looking to consolidate a top 10 position.
Class Captain Katie Dwyer and Michelle Rowley and up and coming young junior Peter Boyle crewed by his father Stephen were comfortably in top half of the fleet and looking to make some improvements in final 2 races.
In the lightest conditions of the event Alan and David produced excellent speed and tactics to take the gun and victory in the concluding 2 races ahead of Ger Owens in both cases. These victories meant they leap-frogged Andy Tunnicliffe into 2nd spot. However on the way to prize-giving the lads discovered that the final race had seen them recorded as OCS, which although discarded meant they dropped to 3rd a point off 2nd spot. However despite some disappointment, a podium spot was a huge achievement.
Hugh and Eanna placed well in final 2 races and moved to 9th overall. Peter and Stephen Boyle finally finished 13th which augurs well for the rest of the season. Katie and Michelle finished the event in 17th.
A big thanks you was also extended to all supporting Clubs and volunteers by VDLR Chairman Tim Goodbody and we would like to thank our Committee boat crew of Billy, Padraic, Scorie and Jim for their time over the 4 days. Also we had some junior volunteers in Saoirse Kelly and Alex Hynes manning mark and safety boats. Harry Gallagher who took charge of the 2nd dinghy fleet, that included IDRA14 as well as International Moths, Flying Fifteens, Water Wags and Lasers was also highly commended for his efforts over the what at times was a difficult 4 days.
Till the next one in 2017.
[whohit]-Final Day VDLR 2015-[/whohit]