On 4th - 6th July Lough Ree Yacht Club hosted the RS Feva National Championships, sponsored this year by Days Hotel. This is one of the fastest growing classes in the country, with over 120 boats now sailing in established fleets in many sailing clubs.
Competitors attended from Cork, Howth, Greystones and Dun Laoghaire and despite a dire weather forecast of strong northerly winds, a full ten race series was sailed in very varied conditions with winds from 6 to 22 kts, averaging 14 kts, over three days. The conditions were perfect to bring out the best in this exciting asymmetrical-spinnaker class, which is capable of beating upwind at 6 kts and was clocked at 12 plus kts on the reaching legs, great to race and a lot of fun for the competitors!
Three races were sailed on the first day, with Lough Ree attempting to use their local knowledge to establish an advantage over the visitors, especially Royal Cork and Howth. But Cork had travelled north with serious intent. Julie Tingle and Alexandra Morehead of RCYC took the first gun, but struggled with the mixed conditions in races two and three. As Saturday dawned, and the wind began to build, it was obvious that the Cork contingent, now led by Morehead cousins Isabella and Tom, with two firsts under their belts, had their sights on a Championship win.
Nevertheless, Lough Ree and Howth kept up the pressure on Saturday over four tight races. By the end of day two, the Moreheads were lying first with Cillian and Tiernan Dickson of Lough Ree in second. They were followed closely by others in the fleet including Mark Condy and Andrew Harris from Howth, Cormac and Maedbh Dickson from Lough Ree, Lewis Eickholt and Billy Griffin from Howth, the Tingle/Morehead boat , Michael Craig and Nick McCarthy of RIYC and Ruth Foy and Orla Lawn, also from Ree. That night 80 parents and competitors enjoyed a meal at the clubhouse following by live music from talented Ree members. Who says D4's don't do trad!
The forecast front finally arrived on Saturday night and the stronger winds suited some of the crews. Howth pair Lewis Eckholt and Billy Griffin had an excellent day with three second places, but it was not enough to pull them into the top three overall. These are definitely a pair to watch in the worlds, being held in Sweden in August, with thirteen boats expected in a 100+ fleet. Isabella and Tom revelled in the gusty breeze and short seas more reminiscent of an average day in Cork harbour than an inland lake, with three superb firsts, and by the end of race nine, the Jack Craig Perpetual Cup, a magnificent silver trophy, was destined for a Crosshaven sideboard. Cillian Dickson and brother Tiernan came second and Julie Tingle and Alexandra Morehead third. Foy and Lawn took the prize for highest ranked all female crew.
Lough Ree Yacht Club boasts a brand new clubhouse completed just last year, and, if this event is anything to go by, this venue is likely to prove popular with fleets around the country in future. There is already talk of the Worlds coming here in 2010.
Final Results :
|1||Isabella Morehead and Tom Morehead||RCYC|
|2||Cillian Dickson and Tiarnan Dickson||LRYC|
|3||Julie Tingle and Alexandra Morehead||RCYC|
|4||Lewis Eickholt and Billy Griffin||HYC|
|5||Cormac Dickson and Maedbh Dickson||LRYC|
|6||Ruth Foy and Orla Lawn||LRYC|