Lough Derg Yacht Club certainly were busy this year. They held the Mirror World Championships in August as well as one of the biggest Irish one-design keelboat regattas of 2013, with 80 boats competing, on the weekend of 18th - 20th October with fleets of Dragons, SB20s and National Squibs as well as handicap racing for a cruiser fleet.
The National Squib fleet had a very strong entry of 29 boats from Cultra on Belfast Lough (4), Dublin Bay (10), Glandore (2), Howth (2), and Kinsale (4), Killilea(1), as well as the home Dromineer fleet (4).
On Saturday, PRO Geoff Donoghue laid a short windward leg, a long spinnaker reach to an outer loop with two ownwind legs and one upwind leg in Youghal Bay. The wind was shifty and varied from force 1-2 on beautifully flat water. Race 1 went to current National Champion from Kinsale, James Matthews and Rob Jacob in 51, ‘Mucky Duck’ from Howth’s husband/wife team Jonathan and Hazel Craig in 37, ‘Kerfuffle’ and Gordon Patterson and Ross Nolan in 820 ‘Quickstep III’.
Race 2 was won by ‘Kerfuffle’ followed by ‘Mucky Duck’ and Cian O’Regan in 100, ‘Fagan’ which really is the quickest boat in the fleet. Race 3 was won by East Coast Champion Fergus O’Kelly in 223, ‘Selik’ from ‘Quickstep III’ and Peter and Marie Dee from Royal St. George Y.C. in 813 ‘Kookaburra’. It was becoming evident at this stage that a good start on the short windward leg was vital to achieving a good finish.
Race 4 was won by ‘Kookaburra’ from Frank Whelan and Brian Hare in 46, ‘Lola’.
Remarkably, a long days racing in shifty winds had produced three different winners.
Dinner for 200 competitors in the Club was followed by craic in the ‘Whisky Still’ which resulted in some competitors not being fit to sail on Sunday. On Sunday, a stronger wind blew from the south, so a course was laid between Dromineer Bay and The Mountaineer buoy. The squibs sailed a conventional windward leeward course. The race was won by Colm Dunne in the beautifully prepared 134, ‘Allegro’ from Vincent Delany and Mary Mc.Loughlin in 24, ‘Femme Fatale’ from son and father team Tim and Derek Jago in 798, ‘Why Not’. It is possible that this was the most competitive Squib event in Ireland this year, with all boats discarding high scores. In fact many had two high scoring races which pushed them down the results board. No fleet dominated the event, although the Kinsale fleet seems strongest, while Dun Laoghaire, Howth, Cultra were all achieved top 5 places.