Oct 17th - Day 1
We all started the first few races of the Series with the top rig. But the wind increased
slowly but surely and by the third race we all changed down to B rig, making the
boat more manoeuvrable. Mind you it was quit a spectacle of artistic figures performed
by all of us. At the end line honours went to who ever managed to keep the boat up
right the longest... Calm returned from race four onward as all of us changed down
to B rig. Despite this it was still a demanding day and a real test to see how waterproof
our boat really is. Demanding but good day overall. Paddy our OOD managed to run
our scheduled 8 races successfully with a good beat which tested our tactical skills.
TS2 dominated the day occupying the top 3 spots so far. But it was close and we had
some close racing.
Oct 31st - Day 2
Fog, poor visibility, and poor wind or lack of was what greeted us when we arrived
in Howth for the racing. Fairly quickly the fog disappeared by the light breeze filling
in. Some of the key sailors who didn’t make it our first racing day were there and
determined to get good places. The starts were absolutely crucial so was luck. As
the tide filled in it brought with it various hazardous bits, dusters, car mat, sea
weed and the dreaded plastic bag which caused grief to few of us including myself.
No one dominated the day and wins were shared between Jeff, Jonathan and myself.
Not a good day for Des who had electrical problem but who consequently agreed to
be our race officer so thank you Des. Fergal didn’t have a good day either struggling
in tuning his TS2 to go in these light conditions. Nevertheless another 8 races completed.
Nov 14th - Day 3
Big disappointment this morning as we were looking for our marks. Most of them had
gone and so did our chains and weights !!! We finally found most of them attached
to other class moorings... This REALLY is bad form !!! Anyway, not enough to impact
our racing and Paddy laid a good course and gave us 8 races. We had 7 skippers who
turned up and we had probably the closest racing ever. So tight to the point where
we had 2 general recalls on the last race. Wind was light but perfect for top rig.
Shifty conditions meant that you had to be alert at all time. We also had some good
“pile-up” at the weather mark which did cost dearly to some of us who got entangled
in the mark line. It was clearly Jeff best day out with 5 wins and 3 seconds. While
it was not such a good day for Jonathan who couldn’t find the right tuning for the
conditions. Kevin had some electrical problems which were quickly resolved and he
came back in with a vengeance, winning the last race.
Nov 28th - Day 4
A Steady force 3-4 was blowing from the NW making for an interesting racing day as
we would get true wind in the harbour. We had setup a pretty long course with 2 laps
to do. 6 Skippers turned out on that rather cold morning for our 4th day of racing.
Every one used the B rig and for Des and Fergal it was their first outing on their
new rig so both had a bit of work to get the tuning right. Gilbert managed to score
4 bullets for the first half but it was fierce racing. No one seemed to pull away
easily in the close racing. Unfortunately it came too close in few instances and
few 360 had to be done !!! In these conditions and with the distance it was no easy
racing. Towards the end Fergal’s tuning paid off and he won 2 of the last 4 races.
Nothing is settled yet for the ranking as it’ll be down to the final day racing on
Dec 12th to decide on the final results.
Dec 12th - Day 5
On this dole Sunday 7 skippers gathered to race and determine their final ranking
for the series. Apart for the first place which was pretty assured 2nd and 3rd were
still up for grab. In these light conditions narrow boats had a field day with Kevin,
Jonathan and Des with his Tonic taking most of line honours. Kevin was determined
to have a good final day and God he did despite a Jib problem on race 2 he got 4
bullets and 3 seconds. It seems his SC4 is not for sale anymore !!! Jonathan also
had a good day fighting on most races for line honours, despite struggling sometimes
with the pin end of the finishing line resulting in a 6th place instead of 2nd !!!
Jeff and Fergal were missed as we had a great day overall. It was so close that nothing
was decided for sure until the line was passed. Almost a photo finish in most races.
So this brings to an end this 2004 Winter Series. And I would like to take this opportunity
to thank all the skippers , Paddy our Race Officer and HYC for hosting this event.
It has been another well disputed series and I’m sure we all look forward to the
2005 Spring Series starting in early January. So until then I wish you a Merry Christmas
and a Happy New Year. See you all in 2005.