Cruiser Nationals at Howth YC

by ISA 
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At the 2012 BMW Cruiser Nationals at Howth Yacht Club, a trio of Cork IRC victories, two titles retained and Howth success on ECHO and in the BMW Corinthian Cup were the outstanding features of the overall results, with the seven race series finishing on Sunday in glorious sunshine but in trickier northerly breezes.

Royal Cork boats Antix and Tiger retained their Division 0 and 3 Irish titles respectively but in totally different ways. Anthony O’Leary’s Antix was pushed so hard all the way by Richard Fildes’ Impetuous that the Welsh Corby 37’s double win on the last day set up the intriguing scenario of a tie after discards. With four wins to Fildes’ three, O’Leary made it by the tightest of margins.

The opposite was the case in Division 3 where the Keneficks’ dominance on Tiger was underlined by two more wins on the third day to seal an emphatic victory by the biggest margin (nine points) of any fleet. The pre-event favourites saw off the early challenge of Tim Goodbody’s White Mischief, although the Royal Irish boat had the consolation of winning the ECHO award from another RIYC boat Quest.

In Division 0, Crazy Horse from Howth (Chambers/Reilly) took the ECHO honours, with four race wins enough to beat the National’s Vincent Farrell in Tsunami by two points. Only two points separating the top three showed how competitive Division 1 was on IRC with another Royal Cork entry Jelly Baby (Nagle and O’Malley) emerging on top, with a final race win the difference in edging out Xtravagance (Colin Byrne) from RIYC while more success went to the Dun Laoghaire club with Rockabill V’s (Paul O’Higgins) narrow on ECHO.

After the first day, it was pretty straightforward for Checkmate XV, Nigel Biggs’ entry from the Royal St. George, and three more race wins was enough to finish with a 7.5 points gap over second-placed Dux (Anthony Gore-Grimes of HYC). The performance was also sufficient to take the ECHO plaudits too, although the margin over Howth’s Dave Cullen in King One was a little closer.

The only perfect scoreline in the Championships came in Division 4 where Team Toy Yot from Howth had a clean sweep on IRC while consistency earned Malahide visitor Goyave (Camier/Fitzpatrick) second overall, with the latter reversing the order on ECHO by virtue of one more race win.

Howth boats were very much to the fore in the non-spinnaker classes competing for the BMW Corinthian Cup, winning the A and B fleets on both handicap systems. On the Rox (C&J Boyle) wrapped up the A division with two wins to finish six points ahead of Bite the Bullet (Colm Bermingham) while they had five points to spare over Colm Buckley’s Blue Eyes on ECHO.

In the B fleet, Harry Byrne’s Alphida (with Paddy Cronin on helm) stayed in the top four throughout and also recorded three wins to beat off the challenge of Joe Carton’s Voyager on both handicaps. A second and a bullet on the last day brought Richard McAllister’s Force Five into the top three frame on ECHO at the end.

At the prize-giving ceremony, Barry Rose, Commodore of the Irish Cruiser Racing Association complimented Howth YC on its handling of this major national event for a third time, and paid particular thanks to the organising committee, the three race officers and their teams of helpers and RIB drivers. Other speakers included John Ives, Managing Director of sponsors BMW Ireland, and Harry Hermon, CEO of the Irish Sailing Association.

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