The Dinghy Supplies Howth Laser Spring Series was completed on Sunday 7th March, in 16kts and bright sunshine. The notorious south easterly made for very shifty lake-like conditions with the wind coming directly off the hill. The sunshine always brings big crowds to Howth, and with the weather mark laid close to the end of the west pier, there were plenty of spectators on sight to watch the large Laser fleet on each lap of the 4 lap course.
For the full rigs, the final race was one of the most competitive of the season with 5 boats leading at various stages. Very shifty conditions made for plenty of place changing and catch up opportunities. There was drama from the first mark. Daragh Sheridan led round, with David Quinn and Ronan Cull close behind. Quinn and Cull got into a tangle at the same mark leaving Quinn (the bandit in this instance!) doing a 720 and Cull having to gybe and re-round.
The overall series was still very much up for grabs, with series leader, Paul McMahon, away at a Match Racing event. Daragh Sheridan, in third place in the series overall, had a solid lead on the first reach, and with Dave Quinn back in 7th after completing turns, was now in a position to win the overall series.
Chris Helme, from the Royal St George, sailed a perfect second beat, and rounded the second weather mark with a good lead, only to be caught by the Ronan Cull on the run, who again showed amazing downwind speed. Mike Evans briefly took the lead on the third beat, before David Quinn made his comeback to take the lead on the last lap.
The final short beat was very tight with numerous covering tacks, and Cull, Sheridan and Quinn all finishing within a boat length of each other at the committee boat end. Quinn shaded it by 2 feet, from Sheridan in second and Cull in third. Overall, David Quinn took the series from Sheridan in second and Helme in third.
In the Radial fleet, Daragh Peelo, won with a clear margin on the day and overall to complete a clean sweep of both the Winter and Spring Series. Conor Murphy of Malahide finished up second and Brendan Costello, also of Malahide third.
Overall, there were a record 14 races, and 67 Entries in the Spring Series, most sailed in mild conditions and between 8-16kts. Competition was tough in both the Full Rig and Radial Fleets but the friendly banter on and off the race course makes it one of the most enjoyable sailing series of the year. The whole series was a huge success again, thanks mainly to a very dedicated and experienced Race Management team lead by Harry Gallagher, with Liam Dineen, Neil Murphy and Richard Kissane.
The end of season party kicks off this Saturday, 13th March, with the Round the Island race. An annual fun race where the course is a short windward leeward, before rounding a mark in the middle of the sound and sailing round Irelands Eye either way before heading back to the same mark. Competitors will then adjourn to the bar for the Laser Lunch, and Rugby on the big screens.