Claremont Dinghy Series finishes and settles fierce competition

07 October 2019
Claremont Dinghy Series finishes and settles fierce competition
The final Sunday of the Claremont dinghy series nestled perfectly between two weather fronts – the relentless rain and wind that greeted Autumn League crews on the Saturday and the southerly gale that came in on Sunday night. That’s not to say that the weather didn’t pose any problems!
Dinghy crews arriving down to rig their boats were greeted by a Force 5-6 breeze from the NW.  The forecast was for the wind to decrease so it was decided to delay proceedings to allow it to settle a little.  The Committee boat crew waited it out on the marina where Sea Wych’s wind instrument showed a steady 20 knots with some big gusts coming through!
Finally at 11:00, Sea Wych headed out to get race proceedings under way.  The tide had turned, so sailors had a lumpy sea to contend with, in addition to gusts of up to 22 knots.  There were plenty of capsizes in the sundry fleet of Lasers, Fevas and Toppers but the sailors kept their cool and did a great job of righting their boats and getting straight back into the race.  There were 10 Oppies out on the last day and all these young sailors handled their boats admirably and were revelling in the windy conditions.
And competition wise there was plenty to play for on the last day!  
The Sundry division, racing under the Portsmouth Yardstick (PY for short), a handicap that allows different dinghy classes to race against each other, was very tightly contested between Abbey Kinsella racing a Laser 4.7 and Aoibhín Farrelly and Mabel Jennings racing an RS Feva.  They both had capsizes to deal with and Mabel, the Feva crew, injured her knee, forcing them out of the last race.  It came down to a tie on 6 points each and Aoibhín and Mabel edged out on countback to win the series overall and the Mellon Salver Plate.  Abbey finished in second place and Scott McNally racing a Laser 4.7 finished third.
The competition was just as fierce in the Optimist class.  In the Gold fleet, three sailors, Cillian Twomey, Des Turvey and Charlie Keating were all tied on 7 points.  Again the countback rule came into play and Des won out, winning the Oppie class gold fleet and the Fraser Casey Cup (see top photo), with Charlie in second and Cillian in third.
In the Optimist silver fleet there was plenty of sibling rivalry where Sarah and Hannah Scott battled it out for first place.  Sarah had the edge in this series, winning the Silver fleet and the Mirror Cup.  Hannah finished second and Steve Gannon O’Connor was third.
A big shout out to Eimear in the results office who had the results prepared immediately after racing especially having to contend with all the tie breaking calculations!
Wrapping up proceedings, HYC Commodore Ian Byrne presided over the prize giving and congratulated all the sailors and thanked all the parents for their support.  
Finally a big thank you to everyone who helped out in running this year’s Claremont.  There is a huge amount of volunteer effort that goes into running these events, everything from administration, race management, committee boat crews, manning the slip, managing the rescue roster all the way to results and Prize-giving.  
The last word is to all the sailors who competed.  I hope you enjoyed the event and look forward to seeing you all back on the water.
- Cormac Farrelly, Event Organiser.