On foot of the Tuesday Night DBSC series designed to get novice racers out racing in Dublin Bay, in which the Irish National Sailing Club and the Royal Irish Yacht Club usually fielded three boats each on most Tuesday nights, the idea came along to have both organisations work together to keep interest up and get people sailing through the winter.
INSC1 & INSC2 were crewed by members of the Royal Irish Yacht Club in a programme conceived by Kenneth Rumball and Patricia Judge of both racing and offering Royal Irish members the chance to compete and learn new skills during the 2012 Turkey Shoot Series.
INSC1’s original crew of Kenneth Rumball (skipper), David Boyle, Jeff Greene & Anne Bergin spent the Saturday before the start of the series out training in Dublin Bay in a very strong Westerly, learning how to manage a fractional asymmetrical kite on a 1720 in 25kts of breeze. With a few knock downs and some wet feet, everybody came in tired yet full of enthusiasm ready for race one the following week.
The conditions on race day one greeted us with a big north easterly swell and 30kts of breeze. We launched full of optimism and though sailing well, we had a dismal day, crossing the line as one of the last boats on the water.
The following Sunday, our crew had changed with Steve Finn and Sue Malone joining the boat as Jeff Greene had suffered illness and could not sail with us. Steve and Sue are regular sailors with the Irish National Sailing Club, sailing most Saturdays and on other club events. With this crew we sailed out very much looking to prove ourselves. This we did, we started to sail very well with all crew learning on a very steep curve about how we want to sail and how to perfect the various boat handling manoeuvres.
As a team, everybody kept on learning and improving. The team went from being nervous flying a fractional kite in 15kts of breeze to on the final days being confident enough to hoist, drop, gybe and sail with the masthead 1720 kite in 25kts of breeze, let alone doing this in close proximity to the various J109s and A35s we were racing against.
Sailing a boat with 5 year old Dacron sails and an un-faired hull with anti-fouling more commonly found on a fishing trawler, showed just how much the team could make the boat perform. We had some great highlights including, being just pipped on the line for line honours twice and blasting through the fleet with the big kite up with smiles on everybody’s faces.
The final result of second overall for INSC1 was the biggest highlight for all on board. Much murmers and genuine surprise at the prize-giving made it even more worthwhile as the INSC1 crew collected the prize for runners up securing second place overall in the 2012 DBSC Turkey Shoot.
INSC2 had opted not to have a race training day before the main event. With 5 sailors out for what would be for some their first race experience, INSC2 was to take a slightly less intense approach. None the less, INSC2 had some fantastic results and enjoyed mixing it with the best at the top end of the fleet. With some hot shot visitors on the penultimate day of racing, the grins could not be contained as thy had the big kite up in 25kts of breeze, putting INSC1 under pressure and putting them well ahead of other 1720s racing from the RIYC. Fundamentally the sailors on INSC2 learnt a huge amount from their skippers and drop in crews.
The race-training programme will be developing further. With world-class sailors acting as skippers on the boats that have hundreds of offshore miles and having crewed on top boats that race around the cans, we hope to have more boats out providing race training to give everybody the opportunity to race and learn from the best sailors in Ireland. The race training programme will continue into 2013 with plans already afoot to launch the programme into the spring chicken series.
– Kenneth Rumball