RSGYC SB20 Fleet take the J- Cup

Thirteen SB20s entered the first regional event of 2024, the Eastern championships hosted by the RIYC. Of the thirteen SB20s, six of the entrants were from the RStGYC. The event was sailed as part of the Dun Laoghaire Sportsboat Cup, with thirteen 1720s, three J80s and six B211s also vying for regional or national honours over the weekend. The 1720 and SB20 fleets each had their own start whereas the J80s and B211s started together after the other fleets.

The sailors were treated to light winds and glorious sunshine all weekend, for a thoroughly enjoyable regatta. Saturday started with an 8-10 knot northerly breeze, as forecast, with small oscillations keeping the competitors on their toes. In Race 1, Ted of the RStGYC managed to get a jump on the fleet and led the race from start to finish. Just behind Ted though there was an epic battle down the last run between Provident CRM (LDYC) and Lofly (NYC). The pair were neck and neck all the way down the run and after a split at the last gate, Provident snuck over the line ahead, much to the relief of helm John Malone. Another notable result in Race 1 was 5th place Gilded Lady (RSGYC) sailing with a full under 23s crew helmed by Trevor Bolger.

Race 2 saw the fleet get a little eager and after a general recall, the race was restarted under U-flag (under U-flag, anyone over the starting line early in the last minute before the gun is automatically disqualified unless there was a general recall of that start). The entire fleet managed to keep their noses clean and most of the fleet headed towards the favoured left hand side. In Race 2, The Big Smoke (RSGYC) (Paddy McGrath and his young team of Ben and Luke – there’s a welcome pattern of more youth here!) showed great pace to finish in third place behind Ted and Lofly.

Race 3 was again started under U-Flag and thankfully, the fleet got away cleanly once more (you only have to tell them once apparently!).By now, the wind was increasingly patchy and shifty and after a very challenging race, the finishing positions of the top three boats were the same as in race 2 with Ted followed by Lofly and The Big Smoke. Race Officer Michael Tyrell decided that enough was enough for Day 1 and sent the fleet ashore. The SB20s had a sail-by under spinnaker along the East pier, demonstrating the boats to the public, followed by playful Facebook Live Interviews for the leading teams masterfully organised by Greg Kalinecki (RSGYC). The fleet gathered in the RIYC for a daily prizegiving and to share “war stories” with their competitors and friends in other fleets.

Sadly, the wind gods were not looking favourably on Dublin Bay for day 2. Although a race was started on schedule on Sunday, the RO abandoned it half way down the first run after a very significant wind shift and drop in pressure across the course. After giving the wind every chance to appear, the RO decided to call it a day at 2pm. The overall results were: 1) Ted (RSGYC); 2) LoFly (NYC); 3) The Big Smoke (RSGYC). First Youth Team and Silver Fleet Winner: Gilded Lady (RSGYC).

A successful weekend overall for the George contingent with RSGYC boats taking first and third overall and also winning the youth and silver fleet awards. Also great to see the return of Marco Sorgassi sailing Lupi d’Irlanda with his son and Conor O’Leary. The local fleet now returns to its DBSC programme followed by the regatta series in which the results of the NYC, RSGYC and RIYC regattas are being combined into an overall series.

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