Included in the entry were former Irish Olympian Robin Hennessy, now based in Palma (who sailed a Dragon in the last Olympics for the class), and former Dragon World Champion, Olympian and Round the World Racing Sailor Lawrie Smith.
Racing began on Thursday 26th June in both glorious sunshine and torrential downpours. The wind was shifty and problematic but 2 races were completed with IRL216 Chimaera (Craig, Mathews & Pettitt) winning the first race and IRL 176 Phantom (Hegarty, Williams & Bowring ) taking the second race. The overall lead on Day 1 went to local boat Little Fella IRL 211 (Good, Kingston & Furney) on 5 points after the 2 races.
Day 2 proved to be a day spent in the Clubhouse; racing was finally abandoned for the day by Principal Race Officer Alan Crosbie at 14:15 hrs. The Sailing Instructions were then amended for an earlier start to accommodate a possible third race on Saturday. The forecast for Day 3 seemed promising but once again, the winds proved very light; a determined and talented Principal Race Officer succeeded however in getting in 2 races thus ensuring a valid series. The first race on Saturday once again went to IRL216 Chimaera and the mighty Stavros took the bullet in the second race on Little Hooka GBR585 (Payne, Bakker & Bakker). This put them in first place overall at the end of 4 races but it was still anyone’s series.
On the final calm Sunday morning, the intrepid PRO decided to take the fleet out in anticipation of a breeze and indeed the breeze did fill in to a light, steady south-easterly of about 8 or 9 knots. Not content with 1 race, the PRO, despite shifting wind conditions, managed a rapid turnaround and a second race commenced at 13:10 hrs. Despite the wind dying, all of the fleet did creep over the finish line thus ensuring 6 completed races for the Championship.
After the discard had been applied, no less than 3 boats were tying at the top of the leader board, each on 15 points. With 2 bullets in Races 5 and 6 and a discard, GBR785 Finito (Smith, Bowers & Wilson) had now shot to first. IRL176 Phantom (Hegarty, Williams & Bowring) had to be content with second overall; only half a boat length had dropped them from second to third in the final race. Third place overall went to Little Hooka (Payne, Bakker& Bakker ).
The Prizegiving was held in Kinsale Yacht Club on Sunday evening. The Dragon Class Captain Choryna Kiely thanked all the entrants and said she was delighted to see so many boats travelling from afar to the event. She thanked the Principal Race Officer Alan Crosbie for a superb job. She also thanked all the members of Kinsale Yacht Club who had volunteered to help run the event. She then introduced KYC Commodore Finny O’Regan who expressed his delight with the success of the event. He then presented the prizes:
Runner-Up Trophy and also overall Corinthian Prize : Phantom, RStGYC (Hegarty, Williams & Bowring)
Overall National Champions: Finito GHYC (Smith, Bowers & Wilson )
On receiving the trophy, Lawrie Smith thanked the organisers and in particular PRO Alan Crosbie and Class Captain Choryna Kiely. He remarked that he had raced twice before in Kinsale and had come second each time and was now delighted to have finally won.
(Race Photos by Bob Bateman, Prizegiving Photos by Gill Good)