Royal St. Geroge Boat wins Class Two with a Race to Spare
Light winds brought changes to the leader board in the penultimate day of Ireland’s biggest sailing regatta, the Volvo Dun Laoghaire regatta on Dublin Bay today. A contender for tomorrow’s (Sunday) top prize of the Volvo boat of the regatta trophy is Checkmate XV, the Nigel Biggs skippered vintage half tonner that has a perfect score line of five wins from five races in IRC class two.
A promising 6 to 8 knots of winds got racing for all 393 boats in 25 classes off to a solid start this morning and the hope was that the breeze, like the sunshine, would build during the day but instead the wind had died across most of the eight courses by lunchtime. Racing in one of the regatta’s biggest fleets, Checkmate XV mastered some of the trickiest conditions of the event so far to take the 26-boat Volvo class 2 title with a race to spare. ‘The winds have been light but reasonably steady on the race track. I think race officials have done very well to get races away’, said Biggs, who has given the biennial regatta a big thumbs up. The Class 2 Irish National Champion from the Royal St. George Yacht Club finishes on 4 points with another Humphrey’s design, the Welsh three quarter?tonner Scenario Encore (Stuart/Julie Fitton) five points adrift. Class 2 has one race left to sail tomorrow morning on the Killiney course, to the South of Dublin Bay.
In Class one, one Royal Irish entry replaces another at the top of the leader board as Paul O’Higgin’s Rockabill V scored two firsts this afternoon to unseat the recently crowned national champion, Bon Exemple, an Xp33, skippered by Colin Byrne. Rockabill goes into the final race tomorrow in Killiney with a two point cushion. In the J109 class, Rush Sailing Club’s Storm II has overhauled John Maybury’s Joker II for the first time in the series. With one race left to sail tomorrow and both boats on 11 nett points, the Volvo and Irish title will be decided on Killiney Bay. Scottish entry Zephyr (Steven Cowie) replaced Crazy Horse as overall leader in class zero, the latter having withdrawn following a collision on Friday afternoon. The First 40.7 Grand Cru II skippered by Jamie McGarry is on one point behind their Clyde club mates.
In the one design divisions, four wins out of five races is good enough for Tim Goodbody to lift the Sigma 33 cup. Second is Cove Sailing Club’s Leaky Roof 2 (A.Harper/E.Robertson). In what must be an indicator of form for next month’s national championships at the same venue, the Royal St. George’s Jean Mitton keeps her lead in the Beneteau 31.7s but is still under pressure from Isle of Man entry Eauvation.
In general, winds were lightest on the southside in Scotsman’s Bay today and strongest on the Northside on the Sutton and Howth courses. It meant a big gap between races for some but most classes completed their two race programmes, a notable exception being the SB20s, Dragons, Elties and Beneteau 21s who waited an hour for a second race only for it to be abandoned late in the afternoon. Others, like the Fireball dinghies in Seapoint Bay, got all three races finished even if it meant a fair amount of course rotation as the wind tracked left. Leading the Fireballs is Brian Byrne and Steven Campion. Olympic sailor Annalise Murphy together with her coach Rory Fitzpatrick are racing in the fast PY class of the Volvo Dun Laoghaire regatta, the first time the foiling craft have raced in the biennial event.