Due to the unfortunate clash with other sporting events only 12 boats came to the start line in Conwy. Because of tidal restrictions the race started at the later time of 09.30 from the Conwy Fairway buoy.
The weather forecast was for North East 15-18 knots dropping to 10 knot later in the day. This is exactly what happened except the winds got lighter at the end.
The course selected was just under the 100 miles:
West Constable (P)
The Skerries (P)
Finish in Howth.
The beat to Constable appeared to spread the fleet with “Sgrech” rounding first following closely by “Joker 2” and “Lancastrian” and “Adelie”. Close behind these were “Midnight Mojito” and “Madam Wen”. From Constable it was a direct course leaving Archdeacon, Ethal and The Skerries safely to Port.
The 90 mile leg to Howth was a run. Spinnaker reach and ending with a dead run into Howth. As forecast, the winds got lighter approaching Howth and the usual tricky conditions that Howth finishes are famous for appeared, light winds and strong tides.
“Sgrech” led the charge from Constable to the approach into Howth Sound, with a very strong following tide giving speeds over the ground of 15-16 knots at The Skerries. These conditions made short work of the long leg to Howth. The two “J” boats, “Sgrech” and “Joker 2” kept close together for the entire leg. Lancastrian and Midnight Mojito took a more southern route. “Adelie” and “Madam Wen” were just behind the leading group.
Four boats entered Howth Sound at the same time from slightly different directions. The J boats were too north and had to gybe to get into the Sound. During this manoeuvre and while the J boats were within several boat lengths of each other, “Joker 2” passed “Sgrech” but failed to monopolise on their position. Lancastrian was also caught and had to gybe in the very light conditions. However, Midnight Mojito got the course correct and stormed into the sound with wind and tide and shot over to take line honours.
Despite the 100 mile course, the first four boats crossed the finish line in just over a minute!!! This would be difficult to achieve even in Bay Racing. The finish in Howth was provided by John Doran, Howth Yacht Club.
“Sgrech” won Class 1 and Overall. “Adeli” took Class 2 and 2nd Overall. “Lancastrian” won Class 1 Sliver Fleet while “Polished Manx” took Class 2 Silver Fleet.
The facilities in Conwy Marina and the Mulberry Bar & Restaurant were first class with a great evening had by all on Friday night. The Mulberry prepared a superb breakfast on the Saturday morning, getting everybody ready for the long race. I would like to thank Keith Mander for arranging everything in Conwy. Without his help we could not have managed a race from there.
The next race is the100 mile ISORA lynx metmAsts Pwllheli to Wicklow Race on the 2nd June. Due to the generous sponsorship of lynx metmAsts, a complimentary Crew Bus will meet the 13.15 HSS from Dun Laoghaire and will bring crew from Holyhead to Pwllheli. There will also be a reception in Pwllheli Sailing Club on the Friday 1st June. I will issue more about this later. This race will be the last qualifying race for those doing the Round Ireland race.
I hope to see a large fleet in Pwllheli for the next race. Great sailing weather has been arranged.