The 37th Inter-Schools Sailing Event took place on Saturday and Sunday the 29th and 30th of September at Sutton Dinghy Club. As the brainchild of the late Riocaird O'Tiarniagh, the regatta has gone from strength to strength since its beginning and now attracts some of the top junior and youth sailors in Ireland.
Its school and team format creates a unique competitive arena, something appreciated and eagerly looked forward to by the sailors competing. As well as an individual competition, there is also a team competition in both the mixed and optimist fleets.
This year over 160 sailors and 120 boats will be competing from 36 different schools both primary as well as secondary from around the country. 27 schools (37 teams) were represented in the mixed fleet and 16 schools (18 teams) in the Optimist fleet.
The mixed fleet was sailed PY and is now probably one of the largest PY dinghy events held in Ireland. This year's fleet included Laser Radial, Laser 4.7, 420's, RS200, Mirrors, RS Feva and Toppers.
With heavy wind forecast for both days and Sunday looking particularly ominous, PRO's Harry Gallagher and Jim Lambkin got Saturday's racing off fairly promptly. With Harry presiding over the Mixed fleet in Dublin Bay, he set two lines either side of the SDC committee boat Saoirse. Racing was fast and exciting with a good sprinkling of 420's, and range of Lasers setting the pace. However some very well sailed Mirrors and Toppers meant the former did not have it all their own way when it came down to results.
Jim Lambkin had 40 Optimists come to the other line. The race area, with Committee boat Highland Mac, was situated a little closer towards Sutton Creek. The club balcony gave the many visiting parents and family members an opportunity to see the racing at closer hand. Without the complexity of having to allow for different laps for different boats, Jim managed to get three races in, in tough conditions.
The conditions meant for a very busy day for those on launch/retrieval on shore, rescue on the water as well as on the committee boats. Some very tired sailors came ashore to a welcome shower and plenty of warm food courtesy of Sutton Dinghy Club parents and volunteers as well as local restaurant Casa Pasta.
Late afternoon and early evening saw the race office kick into action and begin the task of applying PY handicaps to the on the water results. With further racing still to come and also the expected queries following Saturday's racing the day ended with some established names from the 420, Mirror, Feva, Radial and 4.7 fleets representing Belvedere College, Kilkenny College, Santa Sabina, Sligo Grammar, Malahide Comm and Skerries.
In the Optimist fleet, things were even closer with Gonzaga, Skerries, Malahide and a couple of primary school Burrow National and St Michaels all posting good individual results. It would all come down to either the racing on Sunday or else the final queries in the race office.
Conditions deteriorated over night and Sunday morning saw gusts well into late 20's and while forecast was for weather to moderate PRO's decided to call off racing for the Sunday. With that the sailors and parents began the job of packing boats away while final queries were resolved and results posted ready for a prize giving around 12:30.
Mixed Fleet - Individual
1 - F.Flood/N Delamer, Belvedere College (420)
2 - K A Boylan/E Boylan, Skerries Com College (Mirror)
3 - D Power, Kilkenny College (Laser 4.7)
4 - A Hopkins, Santa Sabina (Laser 4.7)
5 - L McDowell/P McDowell, Malahide Com School, (420)
6 - F Collins/H Collins, Sligo Grammar (Mirror)
7 - D Johnston/C Buckley, Belvedere College (420)
8 - A Delamer, Belvedere College (Laser Radial)
9 - R Dickson/M Cotter, St Fintans, (420)
10 - M Condy, Belvedere College (Laser Radial)
11 - M Boylan/S Kavanagh, Skerries Com College (Mirror)
12 - S Dickson/S Kelly, Santa Sabina, Mirror
Mixed Fleet - Team
(Conor Nolan Memorial Trophy)
1 - Belvedere College (Mark Condy, F Flood/N Delamer, A Delamer)
2 - Skerries Com College (K A Boylan/E Boylan, M Boylan/S Kavanagh)
3 - Santa Sabina (S Dickson/S Kelly, A Hopkins, E Harkin)
Optimist Fleet - Individual
(Institute of Education Trophy)
1 - L Rickard (Gonzaga)
2 - C O'Sullivan (Malahide Com)
3 - B Walsh (Skerries Com College)
4 - C McDowell (Portmarnock Com)
5 - H Spain (Mt Anville)
6 - D Hopkins (Burrow Nat)
7 - E Parker (Scoil Realt na Mara)
8 - R Morgan (Skerries Com College)
9 - A Rogers (Ardgillen Com College)
10 - P Coyle (Gonzaga)
Optimist - Team Trophy
1 - Skerries Com College (B Walsh, R Morgan)
2 - Gonzaga College (L Rickard, P Coyle)
3 - Malahide Com School (C O'Sullivan, G McDowell
Optimist – National School Team Trophy
Burrow National School Sutton (D. Hopkins, M. Kavanagh, C. Bolger)