O'Driscoll claims Northern J24 title with nail biting finish
Author: Noel Davidson Posted on: 19/6/12 Print Version

Flor O'Driscoll sailing "Hard on Port" claimed the J24 Northern Championship in Lough Erne by just one point from JP McCaldin in one of this seasons J24 closest finishes.

The event was sailed in the beautiful waters of Lough Erne with entries from Lough Swilly, Royal Cork, Lough Ree and Howth joining the local boats from Lough Erne for the two day event over the weekend of the 16th & 17th June 2012. The competition was made more interesting by the fact that it was the penultimate qualifying event for the J24 worlds which are to be held in Howth Yacht Club in August 2013. It was not surprising therefore to see five of the entries travelled from Howth for the event.

Crew of "Hard on Port"
(L-R) Flor O'Driscoll, Des Fortune, Dave Daly, Eoin O'Fearghail
(and Niamh O'Dunlaing - not pictured)
Racing commenced on the Saturday in fresh north easterlies of 18-20 knots and it was the local boat "Jamais Encore" helmed by JP McCaldin that led the way with three first places and discarded a third place after the first day of racing. Howth Yacht Club's Flor O'Driscoll consistently scored second place in each race to stay in contention. Stefan Hyde from the Royal Cork Yacht Club held 3rd place chased by another Howth sailor Noel Davidson helming "Scandal"
Lighter breezes greeted the competitors on the second day and JP McCaldin could only manage a 4th and 5th place while Flor O'Driscoll grasped the title with a 2nd and 1st place to win the event overall by only one point.

Stefan Hyde took 3rd place followed by Noel Davidson in 4th and Andrew Mannion from Lough Ree in 5th.

The final qualifying event for the 2013 J24 World Championships is the J24 National championships which takes place on Lough Ree on the 25th & 26th of August.

Flor and Catriona McGirr,
Commodore LEYC
Event Photos courtesy of Jonathan Wormald are available here

A huge thank you to M McCaldin of Aghinver Boats ( who supplied a 30ft boat for Jonathan to take the photos.