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Musto 2017 728x90 Surefooted

Mespil Hotel J/24 Irish National Championship at Sligo Yacht Club

by David Branigan 21 Aug 2017 09:17 BST 18-20 August 2017
JP McCaldin and the crew of Jamais Encore from Lough Erne win the Mespil Hotel J/24 Irish Nationals at Sligo © David Branigan / Oceansport

Lough Erne Yacht Club's JP McCaldin emerged overall winner after a blustery three-day regatta for the Mespil Hotel J/24 Irish National Championship at Sligo Yacht Club.

Sailing against a 26-strong fleet - a record turnout for recent times - plus a match-race challenge from runner-up Stefan Hyde, McCaldin scored all first and second places for the eight race series.

His principal challenger was almost as consistent with four wins as well but the Cork skipper also had to count a fourth and a third to admit defeat by just three points.

The duelling leaders were followed by a closely bunched pack of followers led by Martin Reilly on Crazy Horse who comfortably secured third place going into the final thanks to a consistent run ofmostly top five results.

Howth's Derek Bothwell returned to Sligo with the J24's once more and delivered the series in challenging weather, particularly for the first two days that saw strong winds whip big seas that provided thrilling surfing conditions for the fleet.

The national championships also marked the retirement of class maestro Flor O'Driscoll as Class President to great acclaim and a standing ovation at Saturday evening's dinner not only for his service to the fleet but also his persistence and continuing success afloat.

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