Irish Squib Championships at RNIYC, 31st July - 2nd August
Author: Emmet Dalton Posted on: 8/8/10 Print Version

Howth Yacht Club's "Klipbok" (Dalton/Merry) and "Puffin" (Harte/Seymour) took to the roads last bank holiday Friday, to travel to the Royal North of Ireland YC for the 3fivetwo Health Care Irish Squib Championships.

The locals harped about how they had arranged for the Newry Bypass to be opened to take the stress out of the journey.We will have the potholes removed at the Burrow National School next year to brag about.

Later tides forced an early afternoon start to the racing on the Saturday, ideal for those who had latitude sickness from the previous evening. Exactly as forecast, the wind turned off and the 29 boats sauntered around the course at a gentle pace.

"Klipbok" tried to steal a lead from the local Anderson brothers but settled for a nice fourth place. A decent start. "Puffin" suffered in the holes and came home a mid-fleet 16th.

Klipbok - E Dalton
The second race saw "Klipbok" snatch defeat from the claws of victory by steering into a into a huge hole, leaving another local boat "Moondance" (Bell/Dobbs) take the barely-moving smoke.

Overnight "Klipbok" held an equal lead with RStGYC's "Ruby Blue" (O'Connell/McCleave) and RNIYC's "Quickstep" (Patterson/Nolan).

The usual RNIYC hospitality took over the evening. For those readers who have been to RNIYC, you know how magnetic the bar can be! Its traction beam stopped many from leaving and "Shoulda-woulda" conversations went on into the wee hours.

Day 2 in the House got under the way after a number of shifts stalled the starts. Belfast Lough was turning into Dublin Bay before our very eyes! Had the RStGYC lads brought the hex with them? In very difficult circumstances, Race Officer Nigel Kearney set and ran three full races.

Puffin - E Harte
"Quickstep" showed the fleet how to handle the conditions and her very few mistakes, combined with others' black flags or DNF scores left us in no doubt who was going to be the event winner.

Our bank holiday Monday was the setting for two final races. With the weather Gods asleep, the sailors got up early and rigged in no wind. A quick drift to the start area followed. The fleet shared more stories, even worse jokes and complained about the waves causing the Squibs' loose rig setup to make too much noise. The PRO had obviously sprinkled his holy water as a light breeze filled in to allow us to complete the seven race series.

The worthy winners in "Quickstep" were followed by "Ruby Blue", "Fagin" (Hill/Hill), "Inshallah" (Eccles/Hutchinson) and "Klipbok" in fifth. "Puffin" fell foul of many's the shift and hole and finished in the 20s, definitely not a reflection of her speed this season.

Next year the Irish Championships come to Howth Yacht Club, for the first time in five years. Forty boats are expected and offers of accommodation for our visitors will be gratefully received. I will be on the warpath looking for floor space!