HYC's Dinghy Regatta was sailed on Sunday, July 8th. 64 boats entered for the Tom Walsh MotorsTom Walsh Motors sponsored event, making it the best supported Dinghy Regatta for many years.
Despite the weather forecast of heavy showers and wind gusts the full programme of three races was completed, with the first two sailed in sunshine and a southerly Force 2 to 3. The climate caught up with the forecast during the third race and put on a display of lightning and a rain shower that both woke up and drenched any sailors whose concentration was flagging after a long day afloat, as well as provoking a debate about electrical conductivity amongst the Race Committee on the steel hulled Free Enterprise.
Class racing was provided for Laser Radials and 4.7s, RS Fevas, Topazs, Picos and Optimists. In addition to the main regatta fleets a separate mini regatta was held for the younger Optimist sailors. The sailors of the future had their own course area close to the harbour, with racing supervised by HYC senior instructor Craig Asquith.
The Laser 4.7s produced the biggest entry of the day. Alan Ruigrok and Katie White shared the race wins but Alan scored two victories to Katie's one to take first overall, with Richard Arthurs of Malahide YC getting third overall. In the smaller Laser Radial fleet Ross Darmody took all three guns.
The RS Fevas had 13 entries, a great turnout for a class that is in only its second year of existence in HYC. Jennifer Andreason from RStG YC, crewed by local Optimist ace Diana Kissane, took first place ahead of Lewis Eickholt / Billy Griffin and Donal Ryan / Luke Malcolm, who both tied on 4 points before the application of the tie break resulted in Lewis / Griffin taking second place overall.
The eleven strong Optimist fleet saw some very competitive racing and tightly fought starts. Mark Condy produced three race wins, including one snatched on the finishing line, to upturn the form book and finish ahead of Tara Flood, with Padraig Finnegan taking third place. These were followed by the up and coming generation of HYC Optimist sailors with Erica Ruigrok, Robert Ferris and Alex Delamer getting closer to scoring a top three finish.
Eight visitors from Malahide YC made up the Topaz fleet. Aideen Costello / Coraly Bernard took first prize, Aideen following the example of her father who won the event in 2006. Diarmuid Marron, sailing singlehanded, took second place and Sinead Costello and crew Camilla Martinez - her visiting Spanish cousin who had never set foot in a dinghy before Sunday morning - finished third.
In the four boat Pico fleet Jordan Cagney and crew Simon Fitzgerald took first place with two race wins in their score.
The emphasis was on participation in the Optimist junior fleet. The six sailors had good fun afloat and were lucky enough to avoid the thunderstorm that drenched the fleets sailing farther from shelter. All were rewarded with prizes marking the completion of their first regatta.
HYC Vice-Commodore Peter McKenna presented the prizes and thanked the sponsor, Tom Walsh Motors, for supporting the event and also the numerous volunteers who had helped to run it. Peter paid particular thanks to HYC Junior Organiser Eddie Ferris for pulling all the arrangements together and making the 2007 Dinghy Regatta such a success.