vdlr2013 ¬ John Maybury’s J109, Joker II, continues her winning form this season after victory in this afternoon’s light and shifty opening race of the 2013 Volvo Dun Laoghaire regatta.
Nearly 3000 sailors are afloat on Dublin Bay for the four day regatta that is the biggest sailing event in the Irish Sea area.
The regatta got off to a prompt start in spite of forecasts of no wind with all 25 classes completing the first day’s programme.
Local sailor Maybury, from the Royal Irish Yacht Club, who was a class winner in June’s Sovereign’s Cup, took the first race of the 14¬boat J109 fleet by a considerable margin, making every use of multiple Olympic keelboat helmsman Mark Mansfield on board.
Second was John Collins in Jet Stream from Pwllheli Sailing Club. His club mate, the ISORA offshore champion, Sgrech, sailed by Stephen Tudor was third.
Conditions could not have been more different than the first race this time two years ago when strong southerly winds gusted to gale force in the biennial event.
Today was equally as testing but for completely different reasons as sailors struggled to keep sails filling in the gentle sea breeze and strong sunshine that prevailed. ‘It was light and shifty, you really had to keep your head out of the boat’ said Mansfield, a veteran of the 1992, 1996, 2000 and 2004 Olympics in the Star keelboat.
Racing is being staged until Sunday over eight separate courses and a combined fleet of 393 boats, with 120 visiting yachts.
An impressive line-up of 12 class zero boats has made Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta the biggest turnout this year for the 40-footers.
Ten are visiting boats, but first race honours are staying local with Howth’s well campaigned Mills 36 Crazy Horse (Alan Chambers and Norbert Reilly) taking a win from the Clyde based First 40, Zephyr (Stephen Cowie).
Third this afternoon was Swansea’s Dark Angel, a Dubois 37 skippered by Anthony Ackland.
In Class one’s 16 ¬boat fleet the recently crowned Irish class one champion Bon Exemple, a new Xp33 design, is on top again beating Fairlie’s Mat1010 in the opening round. Third was Paul O’Higgin’s Rockabill from the Royal Irish Yacht Club.
Yachts are sailing different courses including trapezoid, windward leeward, and triangular configurations.[button link=”http://dlregatta.org/2013/Racing.asp?Menu=Racing” color=”black”] Continue reading @DLRegatta.org[/button]