posted on October 22, 2012 09:28
Beautiful Autumn sunshine greeted the combined fleets of Dragons, SB20's, Squibs and J80's on Sunday the 21st of October as they began the final day of the Lough Derg Yacht Club Freshwater Keelboat Regatta. Not a ripple stirred Lough Derg as the fleet left the dock but the forecast south easterly 10-20 knots soon made its appearance for Race 1.
In the Dragon Class, Martin Byrne from RSGYC crewed by Anthony Shanks and 2012 Olympic sailor James Espey stormed to a decisive victory counting five bullets and two third place finishes to win by a 12 point margin over RSGYC stablemates Gerry Treacy, Paul McGuire and Don O'Dowd. Byrne didn't have to race the final race in the series and left it up to the pack to decide second overall.
The SB20 class clearly enjoyed the fresh and gusty conditions on the trapezoid course today. It was neck and neck between rivals Ben Duncan and Peter Kennedy going into the final races but it was Duncan who scored a 1,3 today over Kennedy's 6,2 to win the Midlands title for the first time in its six year history. Kennedy who has won this event for the past three years running had to contend himself with second. Third place had to be fought over today by Aidan O'Connell and James Gorman but the black flag that Aidan received for being over early in Race 1 upset his chances and James took his podium result by a single point lead over Aidan in the end. O'Connell did manage to finish on a high by winning the final race of the series.
In the 2012 SB20 circuit Duncan has all but shown a clean set of results having only lost one event this year.
The Squibs also shared the Windward/Leeward course today with the Dragons. No results were available last night due to protests but it was James Matthews from Kinsale who scored 3,1,3,1,3 to win over Jonathan Craig's very solid 1,4,2,4,2. Only two points separated the leaders in the end.
The J80's were given a lesson in consistency this weekend by Andrew Deacon who's lead was never in doubt. Scoring five race wins and discarding a first to win by an 11 point margin over second place Hetty Sanders (5,4,3,2,2). Next on the podium was team "Cougars" helmed by Sue Smithwick and crewed by Adair Leech, Mary Hughes and Alison Smithwick who scored 4,5,2,3,2.
Dinner in the yacht club was followed by a charity night in the Whiskey Still where Johnny Logan made a guest appearance, keeping the crews entertained.