The first-ever RStGYC ISA J80 Family Regatta took place on Sunday June 19. The wind and weather Gods smiled on them for a change as a big gathering of families congregated on the new Quarterdeck for Briefing and boat allocation. It was super to see such a great turnout (17 familes) and an extraordinary span of ages from about one year up to the elderberry Kirwan, Captain Paddy. Indeed, the Kirwan team had no less than four generations onboard!
Racing was in two flights in the 8 ISA Sailfleet J80s, with changeover by RIB co-ordinated by our Junior Organiser Adrian Eggers. Younger sailors ashore were kept busy by the inflatable bungee-run whilst the adults and youths nattered, drank coffee and chilled out. After racing, all enjoyed one of those increasingly popular Quarterdeck BBQs.
The first flight set off from the Marina's West Bight and turned left into Seapoint Bay. There was a nice Force 3-4 with flattish water, vital for those on-the-water changeovers ! We tucked the course in a bit to leave plenty of room for the Flying Fifteen Nationals taking place further up towards Sandymount and to give the SB3s the rest of the Bay for their afternoon racing. The short course helped keep things interesting.
Each flight had three races and all six had really close racing. The standard was prety hot too, with the fleet hitting the start line pretty much bang-on and up to 6 boats rounding certain marks together. The ISA bosun was with us onboard the Flagship and while he definitely looked away a few times, he was very impressed with the boathandling on display. Indeed the skills shown by some of our young sailors, whether on the helm or crewing for their "old pairs" was really great to watch. Such naturals !!
A few prizes were dished out afterwards but the old cliché was never truer ; everybody who took part was a winner. Many thanks to the RIB crews and staff who helped make things run smoothly both on and off the water, especially Ronan Adams, our Sailing Manager. Let's not forget the 8 generous sponsors of the J80s too ; The Examiner, Smyths Toys, KPMG, McCann Fitzgerald, Smart Telecom, DynoRod, Dun Laoghaire Marina and O'Leary Insurances. The Royal St George YC is proud to be an ISA SailFleet founder member club. It's also only fair to mention that these boats are kept in fantastic condition, despite four years of heavy use up and down the country.
The 17 RStGYC families sailing the J80s were (in no particular order) ; MacManus, Lyttle, O'Beirne, O'Connor (John), Hyland, O'Keefe-Pettitt, O'Connor (Gerry), Gilmer, Deladienee, Fogarty, O'Connell, Kirwan, Foley, Cahill, Walsh, Cooke, O'Connor (Richard).