The following are handy shortcuts to the areas of the web site which you may wish to access:
Dun Laoghaire – 18th May 2019
“Windjammer” gets their first ISORA win in tricky winds and strong tides.
The first Irish Coastal race of the Viking Marine ISORA Coastal Championship 2019 took place on the 18th May with a starting time of 10.00. 21 boats from the entry list of 22 came to the start line in Dun Laoghaire.
Setting the course was difficult for the Sailing Committee as very light northerly winds were forecast for the race. To add to the difficulty, strong spring tides were also predicted. With this combination it was decided that the course should try and accommodate the tide by heading north at the start and south later in the race. It had been hoped that the course would be 40 miles by heading to South Burford, Lambay Island and back by the Kish Light. Instead, Lambay was substituted by using Howth Yacht Club’s “East” racing mark and North Kish Cardinal mark was substituted for the Kish Light.
When this course was first published Dublin Port requested that South Burford not be used as it meant that the fleet would be crossing the TSS (Traffic Separation Scheme) at South Burford. To comply with their request, ISORA have now created a permanent virtual mark, “ISORA Dublin” mark, just south east of South Burford. It is now intended that this virtual mark will be used for all future ISORA races, acting as a Turning mark for boats entering or leaving Dublin Bay. It is also proposed that all TSS’s will be no-go areas in future races.
The above course provided a 30 mile race.
The wind at the start was as forecast – 4-7 knots north-easterly. The start at 08.00 was provided by NYC’s Barry MacNeaney and Grainne Ryan at the DBSC’s Pier Mark.
The fleet of 21 boats slowly moved east off the start line in a tight reach towards the new ISORA Dublin mark. Frank Whelan’s “Eleuthera” was the first to break from the pack but was soon overtaken by Ben Shanahan’s “Ruth”, Chris Power-Smith’s “Aurelia” and Lindsay Casey’s “Windjammer”. Just south of these, Vincent Farrell’s “Tsunami” was sneaking along toward the first mark.
“Ruth” and “Aurelia” rounded the first mark and hardened onto a beat north toward HYC “East” mark. In an effort to minimise the effects of the tide and to seek stronger winds many of the fleet tacked out to sea while the remainder stayed close to the land. It was on this leg that the wind started to play tricks. On the outer east side of the course the wind was north east and varying while on the inside of the course the winds was north west and strengthening. At one stage boats on each side of the course were sailing the same heading while on opposite tacks!! The stronger winds on the inside were sufficient to counteract the strong tides against those boats close to Howth Head and these boats gained hugely.These wind conditions changed the whole dynamic of the race and allowed the smaller boats to take control. “Eleuthera” rounded the HYC East mark first followed by George Sisk’s “WOW” and then by “Ruth”. However, “Windjammer” was close by to the leading pack.
The leg to North Kish was a run south in the ebbing tide. When the first of the fleet rounded North Kish they had to beat for the ISORA Dublin turning mark and towards the finish line while the boats further back took advantage of another massive wind shift and they had a fast reach past the turning mark to the finish line.
While “Eleuthera” took line honours, “Windjammer” took the Overall win and Class 2. Second place went to another Class 2 boat, Leslie Parnell’s “Black Velvet” and Class 1 “Ruth” took third place. Class 0 boats only managed to get on the leader board at 9th position with Paul O’Higgins “Rockabill VI”. Sean Hawkshaw’s “Wardance” took Silver Class. Full results and the YB tracking of the race are on the ISORA website.
After the race, many of the crew headed to the National Yacht Club for the usual “Apres Race”.
On the same day a coastal race was held in Pwllheli. At this stage in the series Andrew Hall’s “Jackknife” is just ahead of “Rockabill VI” in the leadership table for the Wolf’s Head.
The Race Organiser for Race 4 was Grainne Ryan. Anita Begley was Safety Officer. The finish was automatically recorded using the YB trackers.
The next race, is the second Offshore of the season and takes place on Saturday 25th May with an 08.00 start from Dun Laoghaire. The original race schedule was for the start to be in Holyhead and finish in Dun Laoghaire but Holyhead were unable to accommodate the start. The start and finish is now in Dun Laoghaire and it is hope that the race will be 60 miles. Boats considering taking part in this race can enter online at www.isora.org
During the build up to the race, a changeable forecast showed winds potentially less than 5 kts and as much as 12kts in Cardigan bay, giving the race committee a challenge to set a course catering predominantly for the class 2 boats, with big spring tides to contend with. With more gradient wind forecast to the west, a course was set to Gwylan Islands, close to Bardsey sound, and return to a mark outside of the St Tudwals Islands, a distance of 30 miles.
The fleet was a little depleted with several boats in Ireland, sailing in race 4, so just five boats left the Plas Heli pontoons for the midday start, with the wind just indicating 5kts. The forecast showed an increase after midday and for about four hours.
Luckily as the start time approached, the wind built to a steady 10 kts from the NNW, which looked favourable for a fast race.
Race Officers Robin Evans and Brian Metcalf started the fleet from the PSC bridge, and it was the two Sunfast 3200’s “Jac Y Do” (Mark and Jo Thompson) and “Zig Zag” (Pete Ashworth) that got way together at the front of the pack with a fetch down to PSC1 a turning mark just after the club start line. “Jac Y Do” along side and to windward of “Zig Zag” had a premature kite deployment when setting the tack, giving visibility issues for the helm, and whilst hoisting was unable to fully bear away due to “Zig Zag” having spinnaker issues of its own and holding its course. After a tense 30 secs or so, “Jac Y Do” was able to settle down with an A2 reachy run towards St Tudwals sound, pinching as much to windward to give a better angle through the sound where the winds can be notoriously fickle. The shenanigans at PSC1 allowed Andrew Halls J125 “Jackknife” to overtake the two Sunfasts, and start to open up an early lead. Once through the sound and turning more to the west towards hells mouth, the wind had built up to a steady 12 kts, and as the apparant wind came forward, and with a need to head a little inland, it was time to drop the kite and fetch the Gwylan Islands under white sails.
Keith Greenwood’s “Hullabaloo Encore” and Simon Windle’s “Shaula” were also making excellent progress, just behind the two SF3200’s, both under spinnaker.
First round Gwylan was “Jackknife” a mile ahead of “Jac Y Do” and “Zig Zag”, almost along side each other. “Jacknife” relished the conditions, flying an A5 to start really pulling away from the fleet, with the small boats holding the A2 back toward Abersoch Bay. “Jac Y Do” briefly flirted with a code zero, but finally settled on the Jib for the fetch to the finish after passing Carreg Y Trai, the final mark of the course. With the wind holding at a steady 9-10 kts the fleet all finished reasonably close to together. “Jackknife” took line honours, class 0 and overall, 6 minutes ahead of class 2 winner “Jac Y Do”
After racing crews had a great social evening in the Pwllheli Sailing Club Club bar at Plas Heli. The next race sees the fleets from both sides of the Irish Sea combine for an offshore race starting at Dun Laoghaire on May 25th
Including overall series tables for IRC
Saturday 25th May - 2nd Qualifying Race 60 miles Weighted 1.2
Dun Laoghaire to Dun Laoghaire
(Originally Scheduled as Holyhead to Dun Laoghaire - this changes the Race Scedule)
The course wil be published here
The Supplemental Sailing Instructions SSIs ins published below
The course will be announced on Thursday 23rd May 2019. (The host ports to be announced shortly)
This race is the second Offshore Race in the ISORA 2019 series.
We recommend that anyone interested in this race should subscribe to the ISORA (priority racing) so that you will receive the latest racing information.
Information for competitors on the use of the ISORA YB Trackers - please play the video clip: