The annual Lambay Race is renowned for providing a real mix of conditions to test the skills - and patience - of the hundreds of crews participating.... and the 2011 event was certainly no different!
Light to moderate westerlies which greeted the fleets at their respective starts veered and died, veered some more and gained in strength, faded along the back of the island and eventually veered to the south-east by the finish in a steadily increasing wind!
The effects were reflected in a number of the class results where pre-race favourites became victims of tidal flows and wind fluctuations, although there would be no complaints about shortening both courses after three and a half hours and more on the water.
Class 1 was led home by Crazy Horse (Reilly/Chambers) on the water but it was Makutu (Doyle & Others) who took the IRC honours by three minutes corrected ahead of the fleet leader while Trinculo (M/Fleming) was comfortably the ECHO winner.
MiniMumm (Cobbe/McDonald) got the gun and the IRC award in Class 2 ahead of Impetuous (Noonan/Chambers) and was runner-up to Superhero (Byrne/Banahan) on ECHO by a narrow margin.
Royal Irish YC visitor Supernova (Lawless & Others) were clearly not fazed by the conditions, romping home in Class 3 by a massive 25 minutes on the water, corrected to over 15 minutes on IRC ahead of Holly (B.McMahon). Unsurprisingly, the margin was also good enough to win ECHO too, from Lee na Mara (R.O’Malley).
The White Sail ‘A’ Division saw On the Rox (C&J Boyle) get the better of Bite the Bullet (C.Bermingham) on both IRC and ECHO while Alphida (H.Byrne) topped the ‘B’ Division on IRC and was runner-up to Bandersnatch (K.O’Grady) on ECHO.
Five First 31.7s travelled from Dun Laoghaire to compete with Howth’s C’Est la Vie in a scratch event and it was magic (O’Sullivan/Espey) of the Royal Irish which came home first by just under two minutes. An importation of six Shipman from the southside saw Joslim (Clarke/Maher, RSt.GYC) beat second-placed Just Good Friends (M.Carroll, DMYC) by over three minutes.
The other one-design classes started on the Inshore Course with the Squibs and Howth 17s given a head-start before a 3-class start of Etchells, SB3s and J24s gave chase, followed by E-Boats, Ruffians and Puppeteers.
Fetching (Quinn/O’Flaherty) had just 23 seconds to spare over second-placed Glance (Dix/O’Reilly) in the Etchells, Shockwave (E.Quinlan) had the better of Sin a Bhuifl (G.Guinness) in the SB3 match-race and former All-Ireland Sailing Champion Stefan Hyde (RCYC) on Kilcullen headed home the J24s by a little over a minutes from Hard on Port (F.O’Driscoll).
The regular fleet leader in the Puppeteers, Harlequin (Clarke/Egan), didn’t disappoint and headed the 17-strong fleet home by 15 minutes on scratch from Yellow Peril (N.Murphy), with the result the same on handicap.
Ten Ruffians travelled from Dublin Bay and it was the National Y.C.’s Ruff N Ready (Kirwan & Others) who took the honours from Ruffles (M.Cutliffe, DMYC) while Puffin (E.Harte) topped the Squib rankings by two minutes from Wasabi (C&N Penlerick) on scratch and was runner-up to Pegasus (T&K Smyth) on handicap.
The Howth 17s, almost as old as the Lambay Race itself, were led home after almost 4 hours racing by Aura (I.Malcolm) from Rita (Lynch/Curley) with the latter taking the handicap honours from Leila (R.Cooper).
*** *** ***
The Lambay Race, at 115 years old one of the longest established sailing events in Ireland, takes place on Saturday 11th June, with a fleet of over 160 boats expected to compete in Howth Yacht Club’s annual regatta.
According to Regatta Chairman James Markey, the entries are on target for another 160+ boats across the 13 classes participating. “We traditionally have a late surge in the week leading up to the Race and this year will be no different,” he said.
An Offshore Committee Boat will start the races for Classes 1, 2, 3, White Sail Cruisers (A and B fleets) and Shipman.
On the Inshore Course, the one-design classes racing are Etchells, SB3, Puppeteers, Ruffian 23s, E-Boats, Squibs and Howth 17 Footers.
Feeder races have been organised for the Shipman and E-Boat classes from Dun Laoghaire and Clontarf respectively.
The ‘Lambay Lady Trophy’ will be awarded to the class winner with the largest time differential over the runner-up.
Entries can be made on-line on www.hyc.ie