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Sunday 7th of August saw the 3rd Annual Ladies Helm Championship 2011 take place in Swords Sailing Club. The event was sponsored once again by RV Pharmacy in Swords and is part of the series of activities in the club
under the ISA WOW (Women on the Water) initiative . This year the event was opened up to visitors from Blessington Sailing Club making a total of 15 competitors.

With light airs forecast for the day the race officials took to the water lead by OOD Peter Smyth at 11.30am followed by race 1 sailors on Topaz and all the other ladies on ribs.

After a 20 minute delay due to wind direction shifting wildly, racing began with a series of six races on a windward leeward course with short loop inside. All ladies competed in two races each although the constant wind shifts made for some interesting viewing and some difficult choices for the ladies; should I go port or starboard?
With the first round complete three sailors qualified for the final, Jackie Malone, Rosena Cuddy and Louise Fitzsimmons.

In round two the remaining 12 took part in two races with the winner of each going through to the final.
The first race saw Bernie Grogan take the line in 1st and in the second race Siobhan Broaders grabbed the bullet to clinch a place in the final.

So after a short delay to turn the course 90 degrees, shifty winds again, the three race final commenced.
Race 1 got underway, all five boats got off the line in a tight group.  Jackie Malone eventually got out in front and crossed in 1st with pressure till the last beat from Rosena Cuddy 2nd, Louise Fitzsimmons coming in 3rd.

In race 2 an even tighter group got off the line with 2 boats OCS, Siobhan Broaders and Louise Fitzsimmons rounded the pin and sailed on again but didn’t appear to suffer too much as they got a lift in a wind shift bringing them up above the rest of the fleet.  Siobhan battled with Bernie for poll position but Bernie held til the finish so Bernie Grogan 1st Siobhan Broaders 2nd  and Louise Fitzsimmons came in 3rd despite falling off her boat, a good recovery.

Going in to race 3 all five sailors could still win the title with Bernie on 5 points, Jackie, Rosena and Louise on 6 points and Siobhan on 7 points. Off the line again for the last race all boats battling hard swapping places frequently in the shifty airs, eventually Bernie Grogan crossed for 1st, Louise 2nd and Siobhan 3rd.
So Bernie Grogan clinched the SSBC Ladies Championship 2011 title on 6 points, well done Bernie!
Louise Fitzsimons came 2nd on 8 points and Siobhan Broaders 3rd on 10 points.
 
This was once again a fantastic event and is going from strength to strength each year. Jackie Malone has made this happen and deserves great applause for her efforts, Well done Jackie!     

See here for full results. 

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