This season was definitely a season of two halves – heavy weather during the first half and very light weather during the second half. As so it was for the Race 9 that was originally scheduled to visit the M2 Weather buoy. Traditionally our dominant south westerly winds usually give the desired beat and run but this year was different. North west winds were forecast. Not only that, while there was plenty of wind at the briefing at 08.45, the forecast was to drop to little or nothing at 14.00.
In light of this the Sailing Committee decided that leaving the ISORA fleet bobbing in the middle of the Irish Sea was not to anyone’s advantage and re-set the course. The fleet were to head out of Dublin Bay to Bennet Buoy and from there to Taylor’s Rock just north of Lambay, leaving Lambay to starboard. The return course was back to Bennet and to the Finish – 38 miles.
With the wind forecast this would produce a beat to Taylor’s Rock and a badly needed “J109 knobbling” run back to Bennet. Well it nearly worked out. NYC Commodore, Larry Power sent the fleet of 11 starters reaching off towards Bennet under spinnaker in up to 20 knots of wind at 10:00. The whole fleet soon arrived at it but the wind had started to decrease. “Ruth” was first around followed quickly by “Tsunami”, “Axiom” and “”Adelie”.
Soon after the entire fleet rounded and were set on the beat to Taylor’s Rock the wind dropped and started to back and veer, by up to 50 degrees. With boats back to their number No1’s the tactic was to spot the continuous shifts and tack accordingly. The closer the fleet got to Lambay, the more critical this was. “Tsunami” appeared to maximise this and broke away from the fleet rounding Taylor’s Rock with a huge lead. “Bag Up” and off they headed to romp home, they thought!!
Very soon after passing the perch at the end of Lambay the North West wind back westerly and then south west before disappearing. “Tsunami” sat in the hole watching the fleet approach them. Hard work by the “Tsunami” crew drove the boat to eventually break through the hole and emerge on the other side into a South Easterly breeze that took them on a beat towards Bennet will the ebbing tide.
The hole in the wind between the north westerly on one side and the south easterly on the other could be clearly seen. It did not move. The following fleet appeared to try and skirt around the hole by heading in towards Howth only to find that the hole extended into the shore!!!
While “Tsunami” beat towards the Bennet in a light breeze, the remainder of the fleet struggled with many retiring at this point. By the time “Tsunami” reached Bennet the tide had just started to head north making the problem for the following boats even greater. At the Bennet ,“Tsunami”’s lead had extended to approximately an hour ahead of “Ruth”.
“Tsunami” headed towards the finish in a southerly breeze that got very fickle as they entered into the Bay. Close to the finish the light wind shifted again back to the north west but “Tsunami” was able to cross the line and be greeted by ISORA Finisher, Katheryn Meghan, at 19:06.
Only four boats managed to get to the finish with “Ruth” arriving over two hours after “Tsunami” and the last boat, Pippa IV, crossed the line at 01:23.
“Tsunami” took Overall and Class 1 while Pippa IV took Class 2 and Silver Class.
The next race is the last one and takes place on the 6th September – “James Eadie Race” from Pwllheli to Dun Laoghaire. This is always a very popular race and I hope as many boats as possible will support it. There will be the usual Crew Bus to meet the ferry on Friday afternoon in Holyhead and there are plans afoot to have a finishing party in the NYC, if weather permits.
I am pleased to announce that “Hendrick Ryan + Associates”, Consulting Structural Engineers, have agreed to sponsor the last race. The title of the race will be the “HR+A James Eadie Race”. I am looking for other sponsors of Races and / or Series for next season.
Finally, I have to congratulate our “ISORA brothers” Liam Coyne and Brian Flahive in “Lula Belle” who did extraordinarily well in the recent “Round Britain & Ireland Race”. It was some epic feat and I hope that both will share their experiences with us by giving a talk.
[box]The Results for Race 9 are available here and the overall, Silver Fleet and Class Results are all available here[/box]