“Ruth” – ISORA 2014 Champion
The overall championship was decided at the last race when Liam Shanahan’s “Ruth” crossed the finish line after the Hendrick Ryan + Associates “James Eadie” Pwllheli to Dun Laoghaire race on the 6th September. Fifteen boats came to the start line in Pwllheli. Of the line-up, six of the boats were “J” boats and of them five were J109’s.
The forecast was for northerly winds all day ranging from 10-15 knots. At the start the wind was 10 knots and this sped the fleet down to the PSC racing Mark No 2 and then direct to Dun Laoghaire. “Jackknife” was the first to break away and was soon far out in front ahead of the five J109’s. The fleet had just 2 hours to get to Bardsey or the tide would turn south against them. “Jackknife” just arrived at Bardsey as the tide was turning but the gate was firmly closed by the time the remainder of the fleet arrived. Not only that but the wind dropped.
In an effort to get out of the tide most of the boats attempted to stay as close as possible to the land side of the sound but unfortunately, there was no wind there. The lack of wind and the tide bunched the fleet, with the exception of Jackknife”. The race re-started again when the winds filled in and “Mojito” led the charge out of the sound. “Predator” retired in Bardsey after storming through the stationary fleet.
The leg to Dun Laoghaire should have been a tight reach but the wind backed to the north-west and continuously veered and backed all day. All the remaining “J” boats with the exception of “Jedi”, who had to retire at Bardsey, were bunched together as they headed across the Irish Sea. Seconds only separated them and there was little change in position over the remaining 57 miles.
With the winds veering and backing, the fleet just made it into Dublin Bay. “Sgrech” maintained a more northerly course and looked to be in a good position however “Mojito” managed to squeeze up and cross the finish line less than 2 minutes ahead of “Sgrech” to take the Overall and Class 1. Although “Jackknife” had finished an hour and a quarter before “Mojito”, it was not enough to give them the race. “Adelie” took Class 1 while “Big Deal” took the Silver class.
“Ruth” only managed a third Overall but they did enough to take the Championship and the “Wolf’s Head Trophy”. They also won Class 1. “Adelie” took Class 2 while “Big Deal” took the Silver class.
The fast race meant that all boats had finished by mid-night allowing all the crews to gather in the NYC for the end of year party.
It was the end of another great season of very mixed weather conditions. The season also produced two outstanding offshore performances by ISORA members. Liam Coyne and Brian Flahive’s “Lula Belle” taking Class and 6th Overall in the recent Round Britain & Ireland Race and our new champion, Liam Shanahan and “Ruth” taking second place in the Round Ireland Race. ISORA are really proud of them.