The last race of the 2012 ISORA Series took place yesterday with the “James Eadie” race from Pwllheli to Dun Laoghaire.
A great finale was anticipated with “Joker 2” attempting to knock “Sgrech” off the top of the Championship leader board but unfortunately bad weather for the usual delivery trip to Pwllheli prevented many boats from making the journey to what is normally a very well turned out race. David O’Brien, Sailing Correspondent, wrote a brilliant article on ISORA Championship in last Friday’s Irish Times : http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/sport/2012/0914/1224324007568.html
However, “Sgrech” had the Championship won before the start of the race when Joker 2 could not travel!!! From the list of 22 entries only 12 starters came to the line at 08.00 to be started by Richard Tudor of PSC.
Despite the bad weather on Thursday night and Friday, the weather forecast for Saturday was for light fickle winds, westerly going south westerly but increasing slightly on Saturday evening. With this forecast in mind the Racing Committee set the course directly to the finish in Dun Laoghaire with Bardsey not being a mark on the course.
Expecting a “mill pond” on the start line boats left the marina to be greeted by 8-10 knots south westerly. The first leg to Tudwal’s Island was a beat with “Sgrech” leading the charge. From Tudwal’s to Bardsey, the winds veered westerly giving another beat. With the tidal gate closing at mid-day most of the fleet led by “Sgrech” got through with only three boats remaining when the gate closed. However, there was sufficient wind for them to eventually battle through.
The fleet that made the gate were well bunched as they headed towards Dun Laoghaire on a white sail reach in winds of up to 22 knots. The three J boats, “Sgrech”, “Jedi” and “Jetstream” led the bunch. For most of this leg no places changed until the winds became fickle again approaching the Irish coast. Spinnakers appeared with 10 miles to go until Dublin Bay threw in its usual “wobbler” with the winds verring westerly. “Jedi” just inched past “Sgrech” during this stage of the race. The last five miles of the race to the harbour mouth was a beat.
The finish provided by Peter Rowley of the NYC was suitably exciting with “Sgrech” on the transom of ”Jedi” as she crossed the line. They were soon followed by “Midnight Mojito” and “Jetstream”.
“Jedi” won the race overall and Class 1 while the new ISORA Champion “Sgrech” took 2nd place overall and 2nd in Class 1. “Yahtzee”, a long ISORA campaigner, had it best race result by taking 3rd Overall, winning Class 2 and also Silver Class.
At the end of what was a very successful and enjoyable season the ISORA Offshore Champion for 2012 is Stephen Tudor and “Sgrech”. Peter Hall’s ”Adelie” managed to hold off the two handed, Liam Coyne and Brian Flahive’s “Lula Belle” to take Class 2. Neil Eathough’s “Lancastrian” did not need to start in this race to win the Silver Class overall. Richard Mossop’s “Yahtzee” won Silver Class 2.
The close of one season is the opening of another!! At our AGM every year the race schedule is discussed and agreed – dates and ports. For next year we have been asked to consider Arklow and the IOM in the series. I would appreciate any comments or suggestions on the proposed race schedule for 2013. I welcome any comments or suggestions on any other aspect of ISORA or that you may wish to be included in the agenda for the AGM. The AGM will be held at 15.00 on the 17th November in the NYC – the day of the ISORA dinner.
I will finish by thanking all the clubs, volunteers and all who took part and raced in the 2012 ISORA Series. I look forward to more new boats joining us in 2013.