By John Collins "Jetstream"

Having now competed in two ISORA races I'm finally beginning to grasp what it is all about. My first impression was that all the competitors must be at least mad masochists to put themselves through the arduous path a race entails. Now finally the penny has dropped and Im beginning to understand it.

Its similar to a few sports I have played. I would liken to GOLF-where you have your contemporaries to beat but also you have to master the course. RUGBY-when you think "what am I doing here getting battered, cold and wet? Then the apres rugby arrives and you realise what a great sport, when you meet your opponents have drinks and make new friends that last a lifetime.

But I think ISORA racing is rather unique as there are many traps and hurdles to contend with. I have given a few we experienced on "Jetstream" during the weekend of the Pwllheli-Wicklow race.

I managed to escape the reception at 02.30 hrs saturday morning leaving a very select band of sailors still going strong.

I got up at 05.00 put breakfast on and mustered the crew. We were on the start line at 07.30 -plan in tact

I had spent most of Friday studying the tides and wind for our race, I'm afraid that most of the info was lost in my head due to the hang over. I had of course wrote everything down but where was the paper?

THE START-We at least got that right - first over the line, planʼ in tact. Then disaster, we give our slender lead over to "Ruth" without a fight (no luffing match to protect our lead, what are we thinking of!!!)

BARDSEY ISLAND-We can see "Ruth" slowing down due to the stronger tide against on his side of the sound. So what do we do? We go and join him after all he looked so lonely.

"Ruth" then had the good sense to tack leaving us to contend with rocks strong tide and no wind. God answered our players and we finally managed to wriggle out of the trap we had set ourselves.

THE FINISH-What can I say, it was frustrating!! I had the youngest and hyperactive member of our crew going suicidal. We finally finished third overall. That does not sound to bad but to be pipped by my arch rival of many a year, StevenTudor, into second place after him just being a dot on the horizon, was hard to swallow.

However the winner "Ruth" thoroughly deserved his win he did everything right from what we could see, congratulations Liam.

WICKLOW- It now becomes apparent what the whole ISORA thing is all about. Such a friendly atmosphere lovely large glowing fire and a very warm welcome from Sadie and company in Wicklow Sailing Club.

Everybody had met some problem along the way none more so than "Mojito" who looked nailed on for second place with the finishing line just yards away when they run out of wind and was pushed back to Wicklow Head by the strong ebb tide. Greatest respect for the slower boats who had to contend with the full force of the foul tide and lack of wind.

A big thank you to Liam Shanahan of "Ruth" who stood a full round and a lovely dinner for everybody,

I still think you are all mad masochists, but it now seems that "Jetstream" has joined the "crazy gang".

Hope to see you all on the start line at Holyhead for the Lyver Trophy.

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