The Mermaid National Championships which took place in Galway Bay Sailing Club from 3rd to 9th of August were, as usual, very competitive with 26 boats taking part. The resulting 78 sailors and their families enjoyed a great week thanks to the hospitality of GBSC.
The championship this year was decided over seven championship races. Racing was very tight with five different winners over the seven races. Early leaders in the week was Paul Smith (RIYC) in ‘Jill’ who had a superb championship overall finishing in 3rd with Jonathan O’Rourke (NYC) last years champion, Jim Carthy (Rush SC) and Sam Shiels (Skerries SC) all contending the overall lead early in the week.
Racing was postponed on Wednesday due to lack of wind and consequently two races were scheduled for the Friday. Going into the final day Jim Carthy was leading with Paul Smyth in 2nd, Jonathan O’Rourke in 3rd Sam Shiels in 4th and Mark Boylan (Skerries SC) in 5th.
Conditions on the last day were very difficult with heavy squalls, a strong tide and choppy seas. Mark Boylan crewed by Niall Collins and Aileen Boylan obviously enjoyed these challenging conditions and turned the results dramatically around by winning both races despite a strong challenge in the final race from Anthony Carthy Rush SC - crossing the line only a boat length ahead with Frank Brown in 3rd and Jim Carthy 4th. This result meant that Mark had done enough to put a new name on this coveted Mermaid trophy, just edging Jim Carthy out by two points.
Mark at 20 years of age is the youngest Mermaid National Champion and follows in a strong family tradition in the Mermaid class. His grandfather Joe had won the championship multiple times in the 70’s and 80’s and was also known for building competitive boats of which this year’s winner 'This Is It' is one.
This left the final overall standing as follows:
‘This Is It’ Mark Boylan, Niall Collins, Aileen Boylan (Skerries SC)
‘Vee’ Jim Carthy, Muriel Carthy, Ruairi Grimes ( Rush SC)
‘ Jill’ Paul Smith, Pat Mangan, Anne Smith (RIYC
‘ Innocence’ Anthony Carthy, Eoin Butterly, Ciaran Hand (Rush SC
‘Gentoo’ Brain McNally, Valerie Cronin, Mike Palmer (Skerries SC)
For full results see http://dublinbaymermaid.com/results/nationals-2013-overall.htm