It was third time lucky on Sunday. With weather forcing postponement of racing the previous 2 weekends, everyone was delighted to get on the water and get the series underway. Not that the weather was easy. Gusts to 22 knots and very low temperatures made for a challenging afternoons racing.
With 2 days racing and 4 races postponed in the series, PRO Scorie Walls and her team including Terry Harvey had indicated to sailors that they would attempt to get in 3 races rather than the scheduled 2. So first gun was targeted at 2pm rather than 3pm.
With forecast for wind to rise over the afternoon, it was great to see the senior sailors on the line following their absence on Day 1. The 7 mirrors and 4 Lasers were joined by 2 IDRA14’s and 7 GP14. Great to see Graham Elmes, Shane McCarthy, Katie Dwyer and Philip McDowell on the line joining Sutton regulars Alan Blay, Sam McConkey and Stephen Boyle.
With 3 races the aim, the Race Management team wasted no time in getting windward -leeward course set and senior fleets away. In GP14 Race 1 was dominated from the start by Shane McCarthy/Damian Bracken with a close battle behind between Stephen Boyle, Graham Elmes and Alan Blay. However Shane McCarthy was deemed to be OCS and victory went to Graham Elmes followed by Stephen Boyle and Alan Blay. In the IDRA14 Alan Carr/Ian McCormack dominated the first race in building conditions.
The Laser 4.7 and Mirrors started together with Darragh Kelly leading the 4 Lasers from the very start. Alex Hynes finishing in 2nd. The 7 Mirrors included a few novices experiencing frostbites for the first time. At the front of the fleet Shane McLoughlin/Sean Doyle got the better of Sinead Dickson racing with first time crew Meisha Johnston. Conor Twohig also with a new crew Max Nolan was 3rd.
Race 2 got under way immediately as wind began to pick up. In GP14 Stephen Boyle took an early lead after Shane McCarthy’s crew went over the side. However a quick recovery and some incredible speed saw Shane McCarthy recover and take the gun ahead of Boyle, Blay and Elmes. In IDRA14 a far closer race between Carr and Dun Laoghaire visiton Stephen Harrison still resulted in vistory for Carr/McCormack.
With wind now gusting to 20 knots the novice Mirrors were struggling. The 2nd Race was dominated by the McLoughlin and Dickson pairings with the rest of the fleet retiring. In Lasers Darragh Kelly took the gun again from Alex Hynes with Rory Murdoch taking 3rd from Saoirse White. With wind freshening and day getting colder PRO Scorie Walls decided that 2 races would all the junior fleets would have to endure.
The senior fleet returned to the line for a 3rd race with wind now consistently 18 knots and gusting to 22 knots. This 3rd race would make some inroads into recovering races lost over previous 2 blown-out weekends. Following some very close racing on the first lap between McCarthy, Boyle and Blay, lap 2 saw the fleet split firstly with McCarthy opening a decent lead and Blay/Johnston getting into a spot of bother in a gybe and ending up in the water. With Elmes a retiree, Sam McConkey took 3rd behind Boyle/Lawless.
In the IDRA14, another close race in building conditions saw some great trapeze work from Ian McCormack and Stephen Johnston. The Carr/McCormack pairing took their 3rd straight victory but while cold and wet both crews had enjoyed some exhilarating racing.
Despite the cold conditions everybody enjoyed the racing and were looking forward to another 3 races next week. [whohit]-Kanoodle Frostbite Day 4-[/whohit]