|4th April - Day 1 - Spring Warmer Series|
|by Dan O'Grady|
Most crews arrived early to finish rigging the boats and the cold 25 knot North Westerly did not look too inviting after a winter of warm fires and central heating. PRO Harry Gallagher left the fleet ashore while he took the Free Enterprise out to assess the course conditions and, as the breeze began to ease, called the fleet for an 1130 first start. Racing began in about 22 knots, which was plenty to blow away the early season cobwebs.
Jabberwocky (Simon Knowles) was quick out of the blocks and lead the fleet for most of the race until pressure from Matatu Dubh (Richard & David Burrows) forced a mistake at the last leeward mark, allowing the Burrows clan a first win, followed very closely by Jabberwocky, Prodigy (Dan O’Grady / Paul Reilly), Eitleann (Jay Bourke) and Blue (Fitzgibbon / Mulligan / Johnston).
The breeze continued to drop into the teens for race 2 and after several place changes on each leg, Prodigy eventually slipped past Eitleann at the last mark to take the win, with Matatu Dubh 3rd, Jabberwocky 4th and Blue 5th.
By race 3 the new crew combinations, unfinished job lists from last season, and the slightly out of shape bodies were beginning to feel the pressure. Blue could not complete the race due to 'serious' damage (a broken finger nail), Jabberwocky had to depart with a burst lip to Jon Hartshorn which left only 3 boats at the finish - Prodigy, Eitleann and Matatu in that order.
The bodies were a bit beaten up, and the pints felt very heavy in weakened and sore hands, but the 'dust down' was enjoyed by all and after 3 of the scheduled 9 races in the series, Prodigy leads from Matatu Dubh and Eitleann.
|by David Quinn|
8 SB3's entered the first day of Spring Warmer racing for 2009. New crew combinations were the order of the day with lots of changes from the 2008 season and some new faces. The 20kt wind definitely caused some trouble, particularly downwind but this made for an excellent shake down for boat and crew.
The experienced crew of Daragh Sheridan, Shane Murphy and John Phelan showed the rest of the fleet how its done and won all three races easily.
Brian Moran, who has recently teamed up with Kiwi Ben Duncan put in a good performance, with great offwind speed to finish second on the day. Mike Evans took Duncans place on the helm for this set of races and Richard Morris, also new to the fleet, was on mainsheet.
Eoin Quinlan, with Helly Hansen crew David Quinn and Colm Cunningham on board today, was well placed off the line in each race and showed good pace upwind but slipped back down the fleet due to not being able to fly a spinnaker after breaking their bowsprit pre-start.
Dun Laoghaire visitor Peter Lee also performed well, and definitely had the move of the day, winning the start in race 3 with his port tack start.
Some of the other less experienced crew had some spectacular broaches but also enjoyed the high speed downwind reaching. Overall it was a very enjoyable first outing of the year and gave everyone a chance to train up new crew.