The 65th Wilson Trophy was marked by high winds and innumerable cups of tea as competitors and umpires waited for suitable sailing conditions. Sailing was delayed on Friday afternoon, and with average wind speeds of
27 knots, plus 35 knot gusts, there was no racing on Sunday.
At the end of Saturday's sailing West Kirby Sailing Club were disappointed that only 208 races had been sailed. Conditions were difficult, with sunny spells and 15 knots interspersed with squalls and gusts up to 38 knots.
After 13 rounds the Royal Forth Hoosiers were League leaders, and were then declared winners of the 65th Wilson Trophy. This Edinburgh based team has, under various guises, been a frequent visitor to Ireland. This was small compensation for the somewhat disappointing results of the Irish teams. Howth finished 11th with eight wins, denied a quarter-final qualification by the 8-stage tie-break procedure. The Royal St George team, hastily brought together a couple of weeks before the event demonstrated that raw talent cannot compensate for a lack of match practice. They finished 25th.
Wilson stalwart John Sheehy had promised himself a year off but two days before the first race an invitation from West Kirby, to join an ad hoc all star team to replace a team that had dropped out, proved irresistible. They finished 15th.
Irish Team Racing was also represented on the umpire team, with local umpires Cxema Pico and Gordon Davies joining the 25 umpire team.
for full results.
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7th May 2014
Teams from Howth Yacht Club and the Royal St George Yacht Club will be travelling to West Kirby Sailing Club this weekend for the Wilson Trophy British Open Team Racing Championships. The event will be held on West Kirby’s Marine Lake from the 9th – 11th of May.
Now in its 65th year, this unique and spectacular team race sailing event will be welcoming 32 of the finest teams from around Ireland, the UK and USA.
The 192 competitors will be sailing in 12-foot dinghies known as Fireflies while under the close observation of some of the best umpires from the UK and overseas. Competition will be fierce this year as some of the traditional teams have disbanded, with sailors joining other teams to try and find that winning formula.
Racing starts at 1pm on Friday 9th May and continues through to late Sunday afternoon. Weather permitting, there will be over 350 fast and cut throat races to watch. The Marine Lake, otherwise known as the ‘theatre of dreams’, provides a natural amphitheatre where members of the public are encouraged to come and watch the action from the Grandstand on West Kirby promenade (by the old baths). The Visitors Centre and live commentary will also help to explain some of the nuances of the racing to spectators and passers-by.
Officiating will also be two ISA National Umpires; Cxema Pico and Gordon Davies.
David Taylor, Commodore of West Kirby Sailing Club, said: “We are thrilled to be hosting this fantastic event, now in its 65th year. It’s great to see so many people travelling from near and far to sail on the Marine Lake and enjoy its beautiful surroundings. The club is extremely proud to host this event each year and we always aim to provide both the competitors and our local community with a weekend of sporting action that they won’t forget.”
The three-day event will be an exciting and fun weekend for spectators and competitors alike with a thrilling demonstration of top level sailing, which is free to watch. The final rounds are scheduled to take place on Sunday from 1pm, when the action reaches its climax, with the top eight of 32 teams entering play-offs to take home the celebrated trophy.
Howth Yacht Club:
Helm 1: Darragh O’Connor
Crew 1: Emma Geary
Helm 2: Simon Rattigan
Crew 2: Lynn Reilly
Helm 3: Geoff Tait
Crew 3: Lisa Tait
Royal St George Yacht Club:
Helm 1: Marty O’Leary
Crew 1: Bella Morehead
Helm 2: William Clarke
Crew 2: Maddie O’Connell
Helm 3: Kevin Stallard
Crew 3: Rachel O’Brien