Cousin crew crowned Irish champions!

Four seasons in one weekend provided interesting challenges for National Race Officer Scott Rodgers and his team as they ran the Squib Irish Championships last weekend. The three day event attracted boats from as far away as Kinsale Yacht Club, with twenty-five competitors taking to the line as racing started on a wet and dismal Friday night.

As torrential rains swept the decks, the mark layers set up a windward leeward course and the competitors set off in the first of the seven-race series. Leading the charge from Kinsale were Colly Dunne and Fiona Ward in Allegro, whilst KYC’s own Firecracker with Steven Bridges and Colin Dougan on board kept home interests high with a strong second place. Cousins Ross and Woo Kearney from RNIYC claimed the final podium place in race one but as the rain continued to pelt down, they took a first in race two putting them top of the pile at the end of day one. It was all change at the top though with Fagan until Patterson and Eccles taking a close second from Kinsale couple Bobby and Daire Nash in third.

Despite the forecast of heavy rain on Saturday, the day was bright, but unfortunately not breezy. The race officer made the best of the failing wind and managed a successful race, but unfortunately flat calm prevailed and no more races were held that day. Claiming a bullet in the race left Jumini on a high first place overall, while a sixth from Allegro was enough to keep them in second overall. David Eccles’ Inshallah performed well in the light airs to get a second, while Firecracker’s third left them just outside the top three before the final day.

After the rain and the flat calm, Sunday brought the wind, with gusts of up to 30 kts and it was Greg Bell in Prodigal who was best able to handle the challenging conditions with two firsts on the day. Fagin and Firecracker raced it out in a battle for third place, and despite both receiving a second and a seventh, Bridges and Dougan took third overall by virtue of a better discard. Just ahead was the team in Allegro who blew out their spinnaker, but showed their diehard spirit limping over the line in 15th place, just enough to take second overall away from Firecracker, by countback only, when they both tied on 14 points. Going into the day with two bullets however meant that a 4th and 5th place on Sunday were more than enough to take Jumini and the Kearney’s into first place, and christen them Squib Irish National champions for this year.

Killyleagh Yacht Club would like to thank all those involved in the event including all those who worked on the water and on the shore in making the event a resounding success. Particularly thanks go to Mark Bridges who provided the committee boat for three days and Scott Rodgers (NRO) for his excellent management of the event. Many very generous sponsors were thanked at the event, but again special thanks go to the overall event sponsor Batt Sails who provided sponsorship and a host of Squib equipment for the competitors who took part.

Squib Irish National Champions: 1st Jumini, Ross / Woo Kearney,
2nd Allegro, Dunne / Ward,
3rd Firecracker, Bridges / Dougan

Silver Fleet Winners: 1st Flora, Bobby and Daire Nash

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