The Royal St. George Yacht Club was approached by Orla Callander and Gerry Harvey this year to organise a fund raising race in aid of The Special Olympics. With a busy programme of sailing events, the best date available was Friday the 13th of September. You wouldn't want to be superstitious!    
On the night of the race, there was absolutely no wind. None at all. All the competitors in boats without engines had to paddle really hard to get to the starting area in time - which, thanks to Dun Laoghaire Acting Harbour Master Simon Coate who had given permission for racing in the harbour, was located in the harbour between the marina entrance and the HSS berth. Despite no tidal flow in the harbour, and being a pursuit race with staggered starts, all the competitors hogged the start line. The first boats crept over the line at an agonisingly slow pace. Was it a beat? Nobody knows, as there was not enough wind for the direction to be ascertained.

Vincent Delany the PRO elected to lay a short course, around the Dublin Bay Sailing Club harbour mark and back into the harbour. It was the shortest possible race. Would the competitors be able to cover one mile before dusk? A spare turning mark was held in readiness at the harbour mouth.

Then it happened, without warning a 10 knot breeze came in from the north-west, resulting in a fast reach to the first mark. Suddenly the 24 competitors were traveling at speeds which would turn the handicap system on its head. The Squibs reached the harbour mark within about 10 minutes of the wind arriving. There was no opportunity to lengthen the course. The poor RS 800 had not even started yet. Spinnakers were hoisted and a bunch of Squibs all finished together along with the Vago and IDRA 14 some 10 minutes later.

After racing a dinner was held in the Royal St George followed by the prize giving.     

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On Friday September 13th at 6pm the Royal St George will host a very special “pursuit” race to continue their support for Special Olympics. Members are invited to support this initiative by taking part in the event and encouraging family, friends, relations and colleagues to experience the thrill of yacht racing in a once-off pursuit race.  

All cruisers, white sail cruisers, dinghies and keelboats are invited to participate. There is no requirement to comply with class rules. A fun filled and inclusive theme mean all boats are encouraged to fly decorative flags / burgees / house flags etc.

Notice of Race and Sailing Instructions are available to download here. For more details contact Gerry Harvey on 086 8436233.

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