After three days racing in very light conditions, the Fastnet International Schools’ Regatta concluded in Schull with four races sailed in the Silver / Bronze Fleets. The curtailment of sailing due to lack of wind affected morning sailing with abandonment of Races 5 and 6 in the Silver / Bronze Fleets.
With this series completed, the overnight standing of Eoghan Neary, Colaiste Eoin, Dublin in his Laser Radial overall winner of the Silver Fleet, followed by Jessica Rutherford, Sullivan Upper School, Bangor also in a Laser Radial and in 3rd place Aaron Griffin / Tolly Franklin, Schull Community College in a TR4.2 remained unchanged. Also within this fleet was the very competitive class of Laser 4.7’s. Here Rebekah Rutherford, Glenlola Collegiate, Bangor was winner ahead of Sam Kennedy, CBC, Cork and another CBC sailor, Thomas Tracey finishing in 3rd position.
As the afternoon progressed, the breeze picked up somewhat to provide a consistent westerly, thus allowing sailing to take place close to Long Island Channel. As Gold Fleet competitors welcomed the improved conditions, in Race 3 of the series, Fionn Lyden / Anna O’Regan, Schull Community College took line honours from Oisin O’Driscoll / Katie Moynihan, Schull Community College with Dermot Lyden / Brian Stokes, Rochestown College finishing in 3rd place. Best of the overseas visitors were Charles Talbot / Tom Gosling, Norwich School.
Race 4 of the series was sailed under ever improving conditions but unfortunately 5 boats were over the start line and disqualified as OCS. After approximately 1 hour’s racing the winning crew of O’Driscoll / Moynihan were ahead of the Lyden / Stokes team with Mark Hassett / Liam Manning, Schull Community College in 3rd place. The final race of the Regatta will ultimately be the decider in overall honours and O’Driscoll / Moynihan showed their superiority in winning a very closely contested race. Second place went to Italian pair of Oliver Contato and Ricardo Mancini while the Lyden / O’Regan pairing were again on the podium in 3rd place.
The overall placings were confirmed as O’Driscoll / Moynihan, Lyden / O’Regan and Lyden / Stokes in 3rd place. The Best Overseas crew were Alberto Vera / Alejandro Diaz of Spain who were placed 7th overall.
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Racing at the Fastnet International Schools’ Regatta eventually got under way following delays due to coastal fog and lack of breeze during the scheduled opening day. The event, hosted by Schull Community College / Fastnet Marine Outdoor Education Centre, involved handicap racing in the Silver / Bronze Fleet while the Gold Fleet sailors competed in single design fleet racing being provided with TR3.6 dinghies. A total of 4 races were scheduled on Day 1, however just one race was possible due to conditions. In that race, the Laser Radial of Eoghan Neary of Colaiste Eoin, Dublin was the clear winner from the Topaz of Rosa Lyden / Julianne Leonard, Rath National School / Mercy Heights, while Aaron Griffin / Tolly Franklin, Schull Community College were 3rd in their TR4.2.
As Day 2 commenced a light North Easterly breeze allowed for “catch up” in the Silver Fleet and a total of 3 races were completed before the breeze went southerly and light. Eoghan Neary appeared to have control of the fleet winning Races 2 and 3 and finishing in third place in Race 4. The Griffin / Franklin combination finished 2nd in Race 2 while Jessica Rutherford, Sullivan Upper School, Co. Antrim finished 3rd in her Laser Radial followed by excellent 2nd places in both Race 3 and 4. Matthew Coffey, Gonzaga College completed the top 3 in Race 3.
A new winner emerged in Race 4 in the guise of Rebekah Rutherford, Glencolm Collegiate, Co. Antrim in her Laser 4.7 thus also leading the 4.7 Class.
Afternoon sailing by the Gold Fleet saw very light conditions in the Eastern part of Schull Harbour as the 19 boat fleet prepared for Race 1. Local sailors Fionn Lyden / Anna O’Regan, Schull Community College and Oisin O’Driscoll / Katie Moynihan, Schull Community College having clear water over Dermot Lyden / Brian Stokes, Rochestown College in 3rd place. A shortened course was used for Race 2 as conditions lightened further and again local crews were to the fore. Here Mark Hassett / Liam Manning, Schull Community College were race winners from the O’Driscoll / Moynihan combination with brothers Conor Lyden / Eoin Lyden, Rochestown College in 3rd place.
Overall places in the Gold Fleet after these two races sees O’Driscoll / Moynihan leading the fleet from Lyden / Stokes and in 3rd place the Lyden / O’Regan crew.
Racing continues with a total of 12 Races scheduled over all fleets.