Strong start

Volvo Dun Loaghaire Regatta gets going with racing for 21 classes

Friday July 10th 2009, Author: Louay Habib, Location: United Kingdom
The first day of the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta and there was racing for all 21 classes with the sunshine breaking through the low cloud. A 10 to 15 knot northwesterly wind produced some testing sailing conditions, shifting significantly in the puffs. Towards the end of the day, the wind started to fade but did stabilize and it was time for heads out of the boat, to spot the best route to stay in the breeze.

The 15 strong J/109 Class are competing to win the regatta but also the Irish National Championship and there was high drama, right from the word go; Two blasts of the hooter and the X Flag flying, confirming that someone was over the line at the start.

Peter Redden's Jetstream, helmed by son Simon, crossed the finish line after the windward-leeward race by a handsome margin but was disqualified for being to eager at the start. "We were miles ahead of the rest, so to be called out was a real kick - we're sick, but there's always tomorrow," said Simon Redden.

Belfast boat, Juniper, owned by Kenneth Hunter, was never out of the top two and was thus gifted the inaugural win of the event, in the J/109 Class, a fitting result for a regatta that is celebrating 125 years of cross-border competition on the water.

In Class IRC Zero, Tim Costello's Mills 43 Tiamat was the clear winner by a huge margin with Richard Fildes’ Corby 37 Impetuous was second and Peter Rutter’s Corby 36, Quokka 7 was third. Tiamat had Irish Star sailors, Prof O'Connell and Mark Mansfield in the cockpit.

In the SB3 Fleet, top ranked Irish boat, Shark Bait, scored a fifth and a first in today's races to lead after the first day's racing. Helmsman, Ben Duncan commented: "Sean Craig sailed well in the first race and deserved the win but we were delighted to take the second, it was pretty shifty out there, especially late afternoon with the wind shifting, the standard of the competition is right up there."

The after race party at the Dublin-based regatta is one of the many reasons why about 3000 competitors are here, and the live music, fine fair and Irish craic will be going well into the evening.

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