Saturday, August 9, 2014

HARD ON PORT Tops Sportsboat Cup

J/24 one-design sailboatIrish J/24 Easterns & Westerns Report
(Howth, Ireland)- Flor O’Driscoll and the crew of his J/24 HARD ON PORT were the deserving overall Sportsboat Cup winners for 2014 and were awarded the Romaine Cagney Trophy. Impressively, they did not count a result worse than second for the regatta and won half of the races. The popular winners have been stalwarts of the J24 class in Ireland who also have won several IRC titles in the well-campaigned boat. They were only delighted to be taking another piece of silverware out of the Pale to Munster. When Flor was awarded the title, he was overcome and went into a state of delirium and started repeatedly chanting “Mumhan AbĂș” clenching his fists above his head.

When the wind dropped on Saturday for the J/24s and J/80s racing was as rapid as “Elephant Polo”. The wind direction chopped and changed to the point where PRO Richard Kissane decided to abandon and restart Race 2. Whereas it didn't suit those doing nicely at the time, it was the sensible decision. The restarted race got away smartly in a bit more breeze allowing the fleet to get all scheduled races under their belts and home in time for tea and tiffin....and after-sun!

Sunday's racing was brought forward an hour to test those who were out the night before. A few cups of Blue Nun did nothing to slow up Flor O'Driscoll and his team who put in a stellar Sunday performance.

Lough Swilly's "Bandit" lived up to its name by putting in a sweet port tack start in Race 5. Open-jawed, the rest of the fleet took some time catching!

J/24 Ireland- Easterns championsOvernight leader Stefan Hyde on Hamilton Bear had a wobbly start to the day but finished off the weekend with a well-deserved bullet. In the last, they weren’t able to push Hard On Port down the fleet enough in the last to snatch the overall title at the death, so it was second overall for them. Howth Yacht Club’s Under 25 Keelboat Team on Eurocarparks Kilcullen rounded out the podium in third place.

In the Sailfleet J/80 class, Gillian Guinness and her ladies team took the title ahead of Mossy Shanahan. In the closely fought class, young Ewan McMahon finished a close third. With most of the fleet trading blows Gillian and her crew were very consistent and eked out a lead which meant they had the series wrapped up with a race to spare. There were even sightings of wine and other delights on the sail home each day on board. The bulk of the fleet from second to fifth place were separated by only four points. Exactly what you want and expect from such evenly matched one design racing.

J/24 Westerns
Light airs and large shifts were the order of the day at the J/24 Western Championships in Iniscealtra Sailing Club.   14 teams battled it out over 6 closely fought races. In the end it was local boat Scorpio Jnr, skippered by Andrew Deakin who emerged out of a 6 boat leading pack, to take the title with the K25 squad just behind in 2nd. Four races on Saturday left the team in 4th place but it was our consistency over the event that saw us finish 2nd overall. We were the only team to have all results in the top five. This result builds on a strong performance in the Eastern Championships as we look forward to represent Howth YC in the Dennis Conner Challenge at Manhattan Yacht Club next month before heading to Lough Erne to defend our National title.   For Howth YC J/24 sailing information