We had ideal conditions for our two-day event in Howth. The HYC team ran a superb event for us both on and off the water. The race courses and the courses at dinner were all excellent.
The first day was full-main-and-big-genny weather; on the second day most boats had reefed mains and a variety of smaller jibs. The wind was offshore on both days so the sea was nice and flat – a great bonus. And even though Howth is only a two hour sail from Dun Laoghaire, for most people the tides were unfamiliar; this added to the challenge.
Friday August 30th
There was a lot of place changing during the first race; all the boats were quite close together going around the marks. For the first few legs Curraglas, Whiterock and Gusto swapped the lead until the leg to Island Mark. The boats that tacked out towards the island got a favourable wind shift and tide. At the finish, it was Invader, Jo slim and Gusto.
After a short break the second race got underway. There was a lot of place changing again throughout the fleet. Whiterock exchanged lead with Curraglas with several boats close together at the gybe mark. Gusto gybed very close to the mark (inside other boats) and took the lead. End result: Gusto followed closely by Invader and Curraglas.
The day ended with Invader in the lead.
Saturday September 1st
The next day was much windier; Westerly 5/6, gusty, plus sunshine!
Gusto tacked straight after the start into clear air, took the lead at the first mark and kept it all the way to the finish. The choice of sail combination was critical – there are so many different sizes and shapes of smaller jibs in the fleet – something worth discussing sometime perhaps? On the downwind legs only 4 boats put up spinnakers – it was a tad roly-poly at times (a white-knuckles-on-tiller day).
Result: Gusto, Whiterock, Curraglas.
The last race began with a very strong possibility of Invader winning the Championship for the first time. However, Gusto had an easier time on the starting line and got out into clear air quite soon. The weather conditions were very similar to race 3. Downwind only half the fleet put up spinnakers. On the last leg Gusto and Jo Slim were fighting for the lead, but at the finish, it was Gusto, Jo Slim and Invader.