Howth 17 Footer Championships - August 2008
  Author: Brian Turvey      Posted on: 11/8/08

Peter Courtney

Peter Courtney's Oona
The Howth 17s completed their Championships on Saturday with 4 closely-fought windward-leeward races set by Race Officer Derek Bothwell following Friday's traditional East Pier start and tactical battle in the ebb tide around Ireland's Eye. Mikey Toomey's DEILGINIS took Friday's line honours having led the way from the first turn followed by ERICA who made their way from the back of the fleet to finish ahead of OONA and AURA.

A dramatic twist in the 3rd race on Saturday saw 9 boats of the 14 strong fleet identified On Course Side of the start line at their gun and none returned to re-cross the line! It was only when Marcus Lynch and John Curley's RITA crossed the finish line first without getting a 'hoot' that anyone suspected the consequences of the table-turning incident.

The drama peaked in the final race when Ian Malcolm's 110 year old AURA collided with OONA right on the finish line and by having to do turns, let enough boats pass ahead to allow Peter Courtney's OONA (in her 99th year) take Championship honours.

In an event that often has incredible tales to tell (e.g. the sinking of ROSEMARY last year) a further chapter unfolded when it was revealed that Reeni Magill, one of OONA's winning crew, broke her leg during the last race but carried on to help the famous yellow boat take the title!

The torrential rain that swamped Howth as the '17ers' made their way to the bar would not dampen the spirits of Bernard Hensey, Brendan O'Brien and crew, who's SILVER MOON emerged as victors of the Handicap Trophy.

The Howth 17s are indebted to Pat Kelly and eXpert Revenue Systems for their support of this event and HYC's historic racing class.

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