Although the numbers entered to date are smaller than usual for the SB3 fleet, what it lacks in quantity it will more than up for in quality when racing starts next Saturday (April 30th).
Unless last year's champion Gareth Flanigan and his crew can beg, steal or borrow a boat, they won't be able to defend their title and a new winner will be crowned on May 1st. The recent Spring Warmer Series saw some boats post inconsistent results while two teams in particular stepped up from last year to place themselves in the running.
Eoin Quinlan's decision to team up with Mike Evans and Peter Frane with 'Shockwave' looked like a smart one, with consistent results putting them on top of that series, and giving them the confidence to make the top 3 or 4 places at the Easterns.
John O'Driscoll of the Royal St.George is another skipper in flying form and will be hopeful of a good overall result next weekend. HYC's own 'Sharkbait' (Ben Duncan/Brian Moran/Rick Morris) can never be under-estimated and will be tipped to be among the prime contenders.
A feature of the event is the entry of several women helms, the most notable being Olympic hopeful Annalise Murphy of the National YC with her mother (and former Olympian) Cathy MacAleavey crewing.