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130th season for the Water Wags

by Vincent Delany 31 Aug 2017 17:29 BST 30 August 2017

Over a number of years, the numbers of Water Wag competing in club racing, on Wednesday evenings, has been bucking the national trend, by increasing in numbers of competitors.

Hal Sisk, the 2017 Captain of the Water Wags, decided that the race for the Captain's Prize, would be an opportunity to break the current world record for Water Wag in the same race, which currently stands at twenty-eight.

On 30th August, the light wind was somewhat unstable, and blowing from the west. The committee, under the leadership of Tom Hudson laid a windward mark off the marina entrance, and a clever start line, long enough for thirty Water Wags, with a pin end advantage, which could have led the competitors into the lighter wind close to the shore, while those starting near the committee boat could tack away, into the last of the flood tide at the harbour mouth to their advantage. With a large fleet, one might have expected a general recall, but only two boats were recalled.

At the first windward mark, the leader was Pansy, (at 111 years old, the second oldest boat competing) who had started near the pin mark, followed by Moosmie and Eva. The race was four windward-leeward laps of the harbour. At the bottom of the run, the gate marks were widely spaced. Pansy opted for the north mark, while Moosmie and Eva took the south mark, which dropped Pansy to third place at the second windward mark. It appeared that the best course was to sail up the middle of the harbour.

At the next windward mark, Swift moved up into third place. On the next run, there was a big wind shift. The boats which gybed quickly did best out of this change, which turned the north gate mark into the preferred one.

At the third windward mark Tortoise was in third place. The wind was growing in strength, which brought six boats to the finish line together. They crossed the line in the following order:

1st 15, Moosmie. David MacFarlane
2nd 8, Barbara, Ian & Judith Malcolm
3rd 33, Eva, Katie Tingle & Dermot O Flynn
4th 42, Tortoise, William Prentice & Moiselle Hogan
5th 38, Swift
6th 24, Gavotte
7th 46, Mademoiselle
8th 3, Pansy
9th 32, Skee
10th 9, Marie Louise. (Winner division 1B)
11th 17, Coquette
12th 44, Scallywag
13th 18, Good Hope
14th 26, Nandor (Winner division 2)
15th 6, Mary Kate
16th 47, Peggy
17th 43, Freddie
18th 30, Sara
19th 14, Phyllis
20th 36, Little Tern
21st 40, Swallow
22nd 16, Penelope
23rd 12, Alfa
24th 20, Badger
25th 4, Vela
26th 31, Polly
27th 08, Eros
28th 34, Chloe
29th 10, Sprite
OCS 41, Mollie
OCS 45, Mariposa

The world record attendance of 31 Water Wags was achieved, and celebrated afterwards with a dinner in the Royal Irish Yacht Club.

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