White Mischief owned by Richard Goodbody, Timothy Goodbody (Royal Irish Yacht Club) competing at the Irish Cruiser Racing Association National Championships 2021 hosted by the National YC, Dun Laoghaire. Photograph: David Branigan/Oceansport

Sparkling conditions but champagne on hold ahead of ICRA Sailing championships final day

With just Sunday’s finale remaining, leaderboards across the four national title divisions are narrowing following spectacular conditions at the Irish Cruiser Racing Association championships on Dublin today (Saturday 3rd September 2021).

Of the contenders, just Frank Whelan’s Kaya from Greystones Sailing Club has Class 0 decided with four wins from four races in this 12-boat class. In what seems set to be a runner-up contest on day three, Jay Colville’s Forty Licks from the Royal Ulster Yacht Club has consistently second placed while Conor Phelan’s Jump Juice might well be third apart from a disqualification for early starting in race two.

“The boat is going very well and we got good positions most of the time,” commented Kaya tactician Mark Mansfield. “With a good crew, the results just came. And we’re the middle-rated boat in our class.”

Elsewhere, cream is rising but nothing is certain with two races left to sail.

No change at the top for the event’s largest division, Class 1 with 23 entries where Pat Kelly’s J109 Storm from Rush Sailing Club holds sway thanks to two more race wins. Best placed challengers remain Mike Evans’ Snapshot from Howth Yacht Club in second and the Jones family’s Jelly Baby from the Royal Cork YC in this tussle for the top.

Nigel Biggs’ Checkmate XVIII had laid down clear intentions with two bullets on Friday in the Howth YC dominated Class 2 but Saturday wasn’t so straight-forward with races win going to Johhny Swan’s Half-tonner King One and the 2019 champions Dux owned by the Gore-Grimes family. Biggs did get one race win and still tops this, the second-largest class of the event with 17 entries.

The full programme of three races for the day was sailed in steadily building onshore breeze that freshened to Force 4 as the day warmed. All racing was held inside Dublin Bay that easily accommodated the 80-strong fleet plus regular Dublin Bay Sailing Club competition as well as the Optimist East Coast Championships.

Joanne Hall and Martin Mahons’ Snoopy from Courtown Sailing Club continues to hold a narrow lead in Class 3 thanks to a consistent day with two second places and a race win. A win for Bray Sailing Club’s Flor O’Driscoll helped close the gap from third place to Paul Colton’s Cri Cri from the Royal Irish YC in second.

“Everyone’s pretty tired after three races in a day – we haven’t done that for a long time!,” said ICRA Commodore Richard Colwell, skipper of Outrajeous in Class 1.  “So “far, the breeze has been slightly more than forecast and it looks like slightly more for Sunday so a full range of championship conditions.”

Amongst the non-spinnaker boats racing under ECHO handicap, Act 2 from the Royal Irish YC has relieved club-mates Persistence after two race wins but with Gung Ho also level on points for second place, Sunday’s final races are certain to be in the balance.

Racing continues on Saturday with medium onshore breeze expected and all fleets sailing inside Dublin Bay on a mixture of round the cans and laid courses.  A single discard comes into force after four races sailed for each class.

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