Autumn League passes half way mark

09 October 2023
Autumn League passes half way mark

Pictured: Sean Walsh of Class 2's "No Excuse" picking up the HPH win

Over halfway through the Autumn League the wind gods have not been playing fairly with HYC!

With weeks 1 & 3 cancelled due to strong winds, week 4 suffered from light winds.  The 82 entries headed out with the expectation of two races but zero wind initially forced a short postponement. The two race officers Rupert Jeffares and Harry Gallagher never lost their concentration and were ready to fire the starter’s gun as soon as the wind came up and the direction settled. Both fleets got one good Windward/ Leeward under their belts. The inshore fleet managed a 2nd start but shortly after the fleets reached the weather mark, the wind died and, with a strong flooding tide, racing was abandoned.

In Class 1, the fleet started its race in an 8-knot breeze. First to the windward mark was Checkmate, the largest boat in the class, followed by Ghost Raider and Snapshot.  Light winds and a strong north-flowing tide made the run interesting and required some manoeuvring to avoid the start of a following class start. The race was won by Checkmate – (Dave Culllen/Nigel Biggs), keeping her in 1st position overall after two races, followed by Storm (The Kelly Family), and Snapshot, (The Evans Brothers).

Class 2 saw eight boats lined up for the start of the first of the W/L races scheduled for the day in light and shifty winds. Impetuous the Corby 25 of Noonan/Chambers was 30 seconds late for the start which forced it to the right hand side of the first beat. As it transpired, pressure held on the right and this was starting to look like “Corby weather”. Impetuoumade it to the weather mark first and continued to lead the fleet to the finish to collect a 1st on IRC and HPH. Both Mata (Wright/De Neve/Sheridan) and Mojo (Pat O’Neill) battled to keep the Corby in check to finish 2nd and 3rd on IRC. No Excuse (Wormald/Walsh/O’Neill) secured a 2nd on HPH and collected the daily prize.  With the wind dying away, the RO called a halt to starting the 2nd race of the day and all crews headed ashore for beverage and prep for the Match!

Class 3 found the breeze died somewhat for the start, with the strong tide ensuring progress across the line was slow. The breeze did fill back in providing shifty conditions which with the strong tide tested the fleets patience. At the windward mark, Alliance II (Vincent Gaffney) rounded first after utilising the tide to maximum effect on the layline and was followed by Billy Whizz (MYC) and Lazy Bones (Pat & Neil Higginbotham). Insider (Stephen Mullaney) was the first to gybe and was first to the Leeward mark. Gecko (Kevin Darmody) had a strong beat to get ahead of Alliance II and on IRC it finished with Insider in 1st followed by Gecko in 2nd and Alliance II in 3rd. On HPH, Gecko was rewarded with 1st followed by Alliance II and Insider.

In the Non Spinnaker classes, Class 4 saw Bite the Bullet (Bermingham) and Changeling (Jameson) were the winners on IRC and HPH. Class 5 only had one starter on IRC Demelza which also was the HPH winner with the daily prize on HPH going to Timballoo ( Lundy / Dunne)

Puppeteer 22- Blay/Pearson in Trick or Treat won the scratch fleet with Sanderling (Jennings) winning the HPH in race one of the day. 

The Squibs relied on tide and the odd tow to make it out to the starting line to be on time for the wind to fill in. The first race of the day got underway, with visitors Aidan O’Connell in Ruby Blue and Rob Marshall in Slipstream leading for most of the race but HYC’s Jill Sommerville and Tom McMahon in Tears in Heaven kept themselves in contention, stealing 1st place on the final leg in a closely-fought battle.

Shout out to the Puppeteer fleet for their assistance in towing the Squibs home in time for the rugby.

The last Class to start on the inshore course were the Howth 17s. Sheila (Mulligan / Johnson) won on scratch and by Hera (Duffy’s) on HPH. 

Provisional results show the leading team out of 4 teams at this stage is “Stormed Inside Erica” made up of Storm in Class 1, Insider in Class 3 and Erica in Howth 17s.

Daily Prizes were awarded thanks to our sponsor and a great crowd stayed to watch Ireland win their group in the Rugby World Cup.  FYI daily prizes for HPH fleet goes to next boat in the fleet if its winner is the same as IRC/Scratch. This spreads the love and the prizes throughout the fleets!

Jill Sommerville