A strong ebb-tide and light south-westerly winds faced the Optimist competitors in the first day of the Polar Series hosted by Howth Yacht Club. The PRO, Neil Murphy, decided to hold the racing behind the West Pier in Howth to minimise the tidal effect but it was still a very significant issue for the racers.
Entries were down on last year, possibly due to the fact that some clubs were beginning their junior coaching programmes on the same day. Halloween was another reason why the less competitive sailors decided that 'Trick or Treat' was a higher priority.
Those who did enter were of the highest quality, most of them fresh back from the IODAI End of Seasons in RCYC where they had strong results.
At the start of Race 1, the sailors went for the pin-end of the line but the tide swept them back from the line and without the necessary gas they couldn't start as they had obviously planned.
However, the two sailors who kept clear of the melee gained in a big way and although Katie looked like the leader on the first beat, it was Patrick who took the lead at the top mark and held it all the way to the finish.
The PRO had to shift the course as the wind went westerly for Race 2.
By then, the sailors had learned their lesson with the tide but it was still a matter of finding the best balance between the depth of the tidal stream and the area of maximum wind pressure. Tim and Diana both found it in the second race and had a very close race for line honours with Tim just getting his bow over the line in time before dropping back ahead of hitting the pin-end mark.
Patrick and Ross had an equally close race for the 3rd and 4th places although they both took different tacks to reach the line.
For the final race, it was a victory for the Katie (who said it was for the girls!). Ryan picked up a couple of places to finish well in second and Diana continued a steady day with a third.
Going into the second event (to be hosted by MYC 14 November and held in Broadmeadows, Malahide), the leader by a point is Tim O Laoire with the two girls Katie and Diana snapping at his heels.
The attendance prize was a hand-held digital compass & multi-function hand-held unit. Gillian drew the winner from all attendees and Andrew Tyrrell won it.
A note of thanks to the following volunteers who manned the committee boat and the safety craft:
Neil Murphy (PRO)
Richard Kissane (Assisting)
Sean O Laoire (Assisting)
Elizabeth Ferris (Race Office)
Alice Kissane (Race Office)
Kevin Darmody (RIB)
Gillian Guinness participated in a HYC Dinghy Coaching capacity.
|Race 1||Race 2||Race 3|