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SB20 Irish National Championship at Galway Bay Sailing Club

by Brian Moran 29 Jul 2013 14:33 BST 27-28 July 2013

In really tricky conditions that saw the 9 race series reduced to 6 races, the fleet of 22 SB20s took to the water to contend the title this weekend on Galway Bay. Ably commanded on the water by Galway Commodore David Vinnell, the GBSC team battled the elements all weekend with massive shifts, rain squalls, thunder and lightning storms and doldrums.

Race 1 on Saturday proved to be a presidential affair with SB20 International Class President Ed Russo getting off to a flying start with a win closely followed by Irish class President Justin Burke in 2nd. Russo was sailing on chartered SB Mephisto and was crewed by Rob Smith and Americas Cup/Match race tour sailor Gilles Favennec. The team were using the Irish Event as a warm up to their campaign for the SB20 worlds later this year to be held in Hyeres.

Race 2 was won by Ben Duncan (Sharkbait) with Kieran Dorgan (The Bear) in 2nd who was definitely improving after a slow start to his day. Russo crossed the line in 3rd. By this time the crews were finding it increasingly difficult to get a measure of the tricky wind conditions. The odd flurry of breeze from the Southern shore would not last long and would inevitably cause a bit of intense head scratching. Vinnell and team boldly set the course for race 3 directly underneath one incoming cloud and it was Aidan O'Connell (Ruby Blue) took race 3 from Sharkbait. O'Connell opted for the left side of the beat from the start and beat Duncan to the weather mark coming nicely in on the port lay. O'Connell maintained his lead all the way to the finish. Kieran Dorgan again showed good pace and finished in 3rd.

PRO David Vinnell had wanted to run 5 races on Saturday but a large thunder and lightning storm that came in from the southwest killed any gradient breeze. What little breeze remained was shifting regularly by 30+ degrees which made it impossible to set a course so David wisely opted to send the fleet home.

The consistent Michael O'Connor and team (Should Be) won a very technically challenging Sunday race 1 with Ed Russo snapping at his heels. Another large shift indicating an imminent sea breeze made for a dog leg to the finish. Ed Russo now held the key to the event as Duncan could only manage a 7th. The ISA team on Sharkbait had a major hill to climb as now they were on joint 15 points with Russo who would have won the event had there been no more racing. It was Duncan who had to dig deep and get a good result in Sunday Race 2.

Russo opted for a pin end start and went left. Duncan took the committee boat and went right sensing that the developing sea breeze would come from the right hand beat. Russo however picked up seaweed on the beat and had to back sails to remove the offending handbrake and lost places as a result. Duncan meanwhile came out of the beat 3rd to the weather mark behind Mel Collins (Who's the Boss) who came in bravely from the port lay, and Darren Martin (Soda Bread). Sharkbait was able to get a sniff more breeze and reeled in the two leaders to win with Daragh Sheridan from Howth Yacht Club on Dingy Supplies in 2nd.

For the final race 3 on Sunday, Russo had to engineer a race win and try and force Duncan into deep results. However PRO David Vinnell caught two boats over early at the start on a black flag sequence and it was Russo who had to sit it out on the bold step along with Carrickfergus man Davy Taylor on Sharkbait (Ben Duncan, Brian Moran and Joe Turner) commanded the final race and took a win to copper fasten their third consecutive SB20 Nationals Title with an impressive 1,1,1,2,5,(7) score and an 11 point margin over second.

Michael O'Connor from the Royal St George Yacht Club crewed by Howth pairing Breffini Jones and Simon Rattigan did enough with a 5th in the final race to merit a 2nd overall, a silver medal and some very nice Galway Irish Crystal. Third overall was Mel Collins, Killian Collins and Mary Credon who improved greatly on their Saturday performances and made the podium position.

Silver fleet was won by Strangford Loughs Darren Martin and crew on Soda Bread with Justin Burke (Alert in 2nd and Davy Taylor ( in third.

Overall Results:

PosBoatSail NoClubHelmCrewR1R2R3R4R5R6Pts
1stSharkbait3287 Ben DuncanBrian Moran/Joe Turner512‑71110
2ndShould Be3043RStGMichael O'ConnorBreffni Jones/John Malone4471‑9521
3rdWho's the Boss3045RCYCMel CollinsKillian Collins/Mary Credon‑125643321
4thDinghy Supplies3490Howth Yacht ClubDaragh SheridanShane Murphy/John Phelan66‑862626
5thBlack MagicFRA 3706Club Nautique ValeriquaisEdward RussoGiles Favennec/Robert Smith139213(BFD)28
6thThe Bear306Cove Sailing ClubKieran DorganJason Losty/Kate Nagle‑1623118428
7thManamana3062KYCGrahme GrantCillian Williamson/Ronan Dowling38‑1857932
8thRuby Blue3054RStGeorgeAidan O'ConnellGraham Elnes/Alan Daly8171‑2012240
9thMilvus Milvus3338Monkstown Bay S.CRobert HoweJoanne Sheehy/Paul McMahon‑151041051342
10thBomchickawahwah3312RSTGJohn O'DrioscollKevin Shannon/Edward Cook71113‑1941045
11thSoda BreadIRL 3501SLYCDarren MartinRoger Parnell/Simon Murray11‑1310961248
12thAlert Packaging.com3467NYCJustin BurkeJerry Dowling/Joe O'Reilly/Enda O'Coineen2(RAF)RAF814855
13thBoatmec.comIrl 3433RYAD TaylorEoin O Fearghail/Steve Ferres147111211(BFD)55
14thOdin3586NYCJames GormanTed Laverty/Keith Staunton914514‑161658
15thLia3449RSt GeorgeDave BarryOwen Laverty‑1991415101159
16thVenuesworld.com3316RIYCGer DempseyChris Moran/Lisa Neary/Simon McGibney101216‑1717762
17thSeiously Bonkers3484Rst GMarty CuppagePeter Lee/Michael Galvin13‑161216151470
18thMonkeyIRL 3279HYCKeith Cassidy HYCMichael Mc Cormack/Ian McSweeney‑2119173191573
19thMagic3198RCYCScott MacKeownAidan MacSweeny/Ainsley Gibney17‑181513181780
20thShockwave3286SligoKevin CollinsHarry Collins/Fergus Collins2015211822(DNF)96
21stSirius Black3315ASC&LrycKen HudsonAnna Leech/Mark Fallon182019‑22211997
22ndGanze3270GBSCTim BreenNigel Moss/Brian Forde22(DNF)20212018101

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