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1720 Irish Championship at Baltimore Sailing Club

by Mark Jardine 18 Jun 11:27 BST 14-16 June 2024
1720 Irish Championship at Baltimore Sailing Club © Deirdre Horgan

Three days, three course areas, three cheers all round!

Any regatta worth its salt has a 'big' day, giving sailors something to reminisce about in years to come. The 1720 Irish Championship at Baltimore was blessed with two of them on two different race courses: the first in Roaring Water Bay in 20 knot winds and a 2.5 metre swell, and the second inside the harbour with flat water and a solid 25 knots.

The 1720 is a physical boat to sail, so a four race opening day in strong winds is energy-sapping. Thankfully Race Officer Anthony O'Leary turned around the races quickly and, being a seasoned sailor in the class, knew exactly the length of course to set the fleet. The upwind legs were a slog, battling over the waves, but the downwind legs were a sleigh ride, allowing the powerful sportsboats to put up their biggest asymmetric spinnakers and unleash their potential on the huge rollers.

Two teams excelled in the conditions with Ross McDonald's RopeDock Atara recording a 2,1,1,2 scoreline and Mia Murphy's Probably Legal team finishing 5,2,2,1, putting in some exceptional downwind legs thanks to gybe sets at the windward marks which used the wave angles to their best.

The second day in the harbour was dominated by the RopeDock Atara team, who made it look easy while others flogged sails and suffered the odd wild broach. The spectators on the dock and outside of Bushes pub had a great view of the action, especially with the finish line close to the moorings, making it more like a SailGP stadium course.

Fionn Lyden's Spiced Beef team had a great day also, recording 3,2 results and consolidating their position in the top three.

Saturday night saw the regatta dinner held in Baltimore Sailing Club, with the volunteers providing a great meal to the competitors and friends who were seated on long tables, making for a thoroughly social and enjoyable evening.

Sailing from Baltimore you really are spoilt for choice with race areas and, with the winds softening on the third day, it was time to go out south through the main harbour entrance, with its backdrop of sheer cliffs, the open sea, and the Fastnet Rock just visible to the south west.

With the lighter breeze, the fleet tightened up; so much so that the first race of the day was a dead-heat finish between RopeDock Atara and Davie Ryan's Big Bad Wolf team. Tommy Murphy's After Midnight 2 won the penultimate race with Michael O'Sullivan's Dutch Gold taking the final race.

Overall Ross McDonald and his team on RopeDock Atara had done more than enough already, so could afford to take their foot off the gas a bit in the final two races, with Mia Murphy and her crew on Probably Legal finishing strongly to comfortably take second overall. Fionn Lyden's team on Spiced Beef had a mixed final day but completed the podium thanks to a superbly consistent series.

At the prize-giving Ross McDonald was quick to praise Rob O'Leary and all the volunteers who made this event happen and ran it so smoothly. The combination of superb conditions and slick management on and off the water made this one for the ages.

The 1720 class offers a huge amount of bang for buck, and has attracted many younger teams, as well as the stalwarts who have known for years how much good fun the sportboat is. The racing is fierce, but the atmosphere at events is superb, with advice freely handed out by the experienced sailors. With the 'sitting in' style, a group of friends sailing together can be fully involved in the boat, and each role on board is crucial.

Top quality boats are available for sale, and it's a great way to get involved in extremely high standard racing at a budget price, with events in some of the most stunning sailing waters around. The class will be more than happy to point you in the right direction if this sounds like the kind of thing you'd also enjoy. Believe me, it's a lot of fun!

Overall Results:

PosBoat NameOwnerSail NoClubR1R2R3R4R5R6R7R8R9Pts
1stRopeDock AtaraRoss McDonaldIRL 2000HYC/RCYC2112111.55‑714.5
2ndProbably LegalMia MurphyIRL 1804RCYC522126‑92323
3rdSpiced BeefFionn LydenIRL 1808BSC1DSP‑853288437
4thAfter Midnight 2Tommy MurphyIRL 1843RCYC3107114341‑1543
5thBig Bad WolfDavie RyanIRL 1793RIYC4611‑12871.53646.5
6thT‑BoneDurcan & O'SheaIRL 1790RCYC/BSC63475(DSQ)361347
7thDutch GoldMichael O'SullivanIRL 2020KYC125‑18675510151
8thEl DiabloBen ScallanIRL 1812WHBTC1375311413‑141066
9thFools GoldRob McConnellIRL 1749WHSC8133969613‑1667
10thMORory & Aidan LynchIRL 1784BSC10129‑13910117270
11thYoung OffendersWalsh & BrownlowIRL 1807RCYC/BSC1191241212109‑1479
12thElder LemonRobert DixIRL 2888BSC7(RET)RETRET141174998
13thefolioaccounts.comTom Neil & Paul HegartyIRL 1724BSC1514101610814‑191198
14thSmile & WaveBen CookeIRL 1722BSC98610(DNC)DNC1212RET103
15thNo ShowAndrew BoyleIRL 1775RIYC/LDYC17111581614‑191112104
16thMatthews Helly HansenJames MatthewsIRL 1770KYC/RCYC181714141313‑21168113
17thLive Wire BSCJoe GriffithsIRL1755BSC1615161815(RET)151819.5132.5
18thTwo 2 TangoPeter O'FlynnIRL 1785BSC19201315(DNC)DNC161517138
19thMini AppleDavid LoveIRL 1780RCYC(RET)182017RETDNC20175143
20th1601Bobby NashIRL 1773KYC141619(RET)DNCDNC172019.5151.5
21stThird Time LuckyNiall O'NeillIRL 1751BSC201917(RET)DNCDNC182118159
22ndCosmicJames HartyIRL 1760BSC(DNC)DNCDNCDNC171522DNFRET169

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