posted on May 04, 2011 11:34
Kinsale Yacht Club hosted to the Southern Squib Championships on 29th. April - 1st. May. A decision was made by the National Squib committee for 2011 to limit the number of Class One events to: one in the north, east and south, with the proviso that no regional championship would take place in the region which hosted the nationals. The weather over many weeks before the event had been dry and sunny with light winds.
Seventeen boats turned up with one from the north, four from the east, one from the west, two from other southern clubs, and nine from the host club.
On Saturday the OOD decided to race between the Old Head of Kinsale and the Sovereign rocks where the wind was blowing 18-20 knots and the waves were over 2m high. In race one Frank Whelan and Brian Hare in ‘Lola’ led the fleet around the first mark closely followed by Vincent Delany and Fergal Gaynor in ‘Femme Fatale’ and Cian O’Regan and Dominic Falvey in ‘Sedition’. In the excitement of a close rounding, all three boats omitted to round the offset mark which was unseen in trough between the waves. They did not realise their error until after the race was complete. This opened the door for locals Marcus and Meagan Hutchinson in ‘ Sensation’ to win the first race.
Doe to the heavy conditions and a clash with a Munster Rugby match only 10 boats competed in race 2 which was dominated by the Royal St. George trio of ‘Lola’, ‘Femme Fatale’ and Conor O’Leary and Ray Green in ‘Where’s Woolly’.
The third race of the five race series was postponed until the second day.
On Sunday all were again greeted with strong winds gusting about 24knots. The OOD opted to race at the mouth of the outer harbour where winds were very gusty, but the sea state was flat. The third race was controlled by the winner of last year’s travellers trophy, Peter Wallace and Kerry Boomer in ‘Toy for the Boys’ followed by ‘Femme Fatale’ and ‘Sedition’. Unfortunately ‘Lola’ who had crossed the line in first place in the first two races and had shown fantastic spinnaker management and control in the strongest of conditions broke a shroud and was forced to retire. Race four, which again consisted of three laps of a windward leeward course was won by ‘Femme Fatale’ from ‘Sensation’ and ‘Toys…’.
With only one race remaining, the championship result was still open, with the three leading boats all carrying a first place. At the last windward mark in race five, Colm Dunne and Mark Buckley in ‘IM’ lead the fleet by a good margin, with ‘Toys…’, ‘Sensation’ and ‘Femme Fatale’ battling for the minor podium place. On the downwind leg ‘Sensation’ had difficulty unravelling and hoisting her spinnaker and had to resort to a two sail run. Then ‘Toys…’ picked up a huge broach, but managed not to fill up. By the time they reached the last leeward mark the places were unchanged but the three boats were nose to tail as they rounded. ‘Femme Fatale’ did a good rounding and managed to climb higher on port tack than her opponents and prevented them from tacking for the finish line. She forced the other two boats to overlay the finish line and picked up a second place which was sufficient for her to win the championship. Although there was a protest against ‘Femme Fatale’, in race four, it was considered not to be valid because the protest flag soon after it was hoisted was blown away by the strong winds.
One Squib which was knocked down by the strong winds in race four, and whose crew had been rescued, sank in Kinsale outer harbour while she was being towed home. This is a warning to the organisers of all Squib events that boats should be checked for adequate buoyancy before they are allowed to compete.
Congratulations go to Kinsale Yacht Club for organising a successful and enjoyable event.