After 2 weeks cancelled due to gales, we were expecting a bunch of motivated sailors crowding the start line on Sunday – for the first racing in a long while. Instead all the fleets saw rather low numbers with only 7 boats starting in the PY fleet. No 470. Only one RS400. No RS200 or K1, etc., etc. The Lasers were similarly affected.
Mind you, it was a miserable day. Not as cold as recently, nor as windy, but it was still only about 6 Deg C and raining and blowing a force 5-6 too. Oh, and the Ireland/England rugby match was on so perhaps some people had other priorities! The weather did bring out a wide and wild variety of hats – to the extent that it was sometimes hard to tell who you were looking at.
The wind was from the west and the committee set up a pretty square line with the gybe mark close (perhaps uncomfortably close) to the ferry pier and the leeward mark close (perhaps too close) to the east pier.
The OK Dinghy, O’Hare’s RS400, one of the IDRA14s and the Vagos started at the boat end, with the GP14 and the other IDRA14 down towards the pin. With a right-hand shift just at the start the boat end seemed favored and the OK Dinghy probably got the best start with the RS400 clear to windward and with an IDRA14 just behind. Further down the line the other IDRA14 and GP14 were pretty even.
The first beat was straightforward with just a few tacks from most boats. The RS400 led around the windward mark, followed by the OK Dinghy, GP14, IDRAs and then the Vagos – all arriving in order of their handicap except the Vagos, which were falling behind.
The first excitement in the race came at the first leeward mark, where O’Hare’s RS400 suffered equipment failure (a €0.50 piece of shockcord) and couldn’t drop their spi. The granite walls of the east pier were only 50m to leeward and O’Hare had to capsize quickly to stay off the wall. It took the rescue boats and O’Hare quite a while to get the spi down and boat rescued safely, but they did it. It looked scary for a while!
Meantime the race continued with reasonably predictable tactics. The progressive right shift generally favored a punt up the right-hand side of the course although there were lefties buried in the trend too so you had to keep an eye out. The OK Dinghy was sailing with its spare sail and it took a while to get the trim right, but had the luxury of clear air while figuring it out.
The wind direction meant that the reaches were quite broad, giving the spinnaker boats a chance to use their power. With O’Hare out of the race and the Vagos well back, the OK Dinghy was the only one suffering from the broad angle but it was windy enough to keep average speeds high.
The GP14 made an error at the start of lap 3 and lost about 30m, but other than that it and the IDRA14s kept the pressure on with a steady chase. Despite their efforts the OK Dinghy held the lead on the water and on corrected time, finally winning by nearly 2 minutes. The GP14 came in 2nd and the two IDRAs in 3rd and 4th, with only 30 seconds covering these three boats. Tight!
The overall ranking for series 2 is now also very tight, with two boats on 10 points, one on 12 and another on 14 points. There’s a long way to go and not a lot in it!
Full results are here. Results