“Rockabill VI steals the light in the ISORA Night Race”
Race 12 of the ISORA Offshore Series 2019 took place from Dun Laoghaire on the 16th August 2019. The race was a Night Race with an 20.00 start. The race was part of the ISORA “Viking Marine” Irish Coastal Series.
The race has taken place in the past with mostly balmy conditions when the fleet glided down the coast, illuminated by the lights on land. Well, this year was not to be like that. The weather for the previous day and for the morning of the race was very windy with a Gale Warning in operation for most of the country. The weather was so unsettled that the Night Race from Pwllheli, that was to take place at the same time, was postponed.
Fortunately the weather moderated on the west Irish Sea and the forecast for the race was for SW 10-15, Gusting 25 knots. This was the weather that existed for much of the race except when conditions became very squally when winds up to 35 knots were recorded.
Of the 22 entries only 13 boats came to the start line at DBSC “Pier” mark and were sent on their way by Barry MacNeaney and Larry Power. The race organiser for the race was Grainne Ryan and the Safety Officer was Anita Begley.
Conditions at the start were light with 8-10 Knot SW winds providing a spinnaker start for the fleet towards the first mark. The tide on the day was a strong spring tide so the course for the race, as set by the Sailing Committee, ensured that the least amount of tide plugging took place. The tide was fast flooding north at the start. The fleet headed north.
The 39 mile course was:
Start at DBSC “Pier Mark”
ISORA Dublin (Virtual Mark ) (P)
Taylor’s Rock Cardinal (S)
Lambay Island (S)
ISORA Dublin (Virtual Mark ) (S)
Finish between the pier heads in Dun Laoghaire.
Conditions leaving Dublin Bay became light with winds dropping to 5-6 Knots for a time. Chris Power-Smith’s “Aurelia” led the charge out of the bay and was first to round ISORA Dublin virtual mark. As the fleet rounded ISORA Dublin the first of many squalls hit and caused a huge amount of frenzied activity on many boats, trying to get spinnakers down and jibs up. The squalls did not last long, but it changed the Leaderboard.
“Aurelia” and Paul O’Higgins “Rockabill VI” led the fleet north towards Taylors Rock Cardinal, located just north of Lambay Island. This leg was a tight reach and suited those boats with asymmetric spinnakers. Rounding Taylor’s Rock caused some confusion to the fleet as there was no light on the buoy and the first boats approached the buoy in darkness. Well used to rounding virtual marks, the fleet successfully rounded the “dark shape” and turned south toward Bennet. This leg was a fetch. Squalls were still blowing through.
The Line Honour placings within the fleet remained the same except that the faster boats could not get sufficiently away from the remainder of the fleet to take overall leading positions. The leg from Bennet to ISORA Dublin Bay was a beat and the final leg to the finish was a very tight reach.
Finish times were recorded automatically using the YB trackers and results were displayed immediately a boat crossed the finish line.
“Aurelia” took line honours but not sufficiently far ahead to prevent “Rockabill VI” taking the Overall IRC and Class 0 win. Simon Knowles, J109 “Indian”, took 2nd place Overall IRC and 1st in Class 1, just ahead of Peter Dunlop’s “J109, “Mojito”. Lindsay Casey’s “Windjammer” took Class 2. Grzegorz Kalinecki’s “More Mischief” took Silver Class. Full results are on the ISORA website >here
The result for “Rockabill VI” tightens the top of the ISORA Overall Championship and focuses the spotlight on the top four contenders – Andrew Hall’s “Jackknife”, “Rockabill VI”, “Aurelia” and “Mojito”. As the championship uses the high point scores, the Champion for 2019 will not be known until after the last offshore race on the 7th September, from Pwllheli to Dun Laoghaire. This race is of further importance as the weighting for the points in the race is 1.3. In the Silver Class, “More Mischief” and Joe Conway’s “Elandra” are close together for the Silver Class Series.
As we head into the last coastal race next Saturday the Viking Marine Coastal Series will be decided in Greystones. A discard will kick in after that race and this will open the Series to several boats. At this stage “Mojito” is leading in Overall but “Windjammer” and “Rockabill” are close behind. Class winners will also be decided.
The next race is a coastal race and takes place next Saturday 24th August. The start is in Dun Laoghaire and finishes in Greystones. It is the final race in the Viking Marine Coastal Series and acts as a feeder race to the Greystones Regatta. Greystones Regatta is a great social and sailing event and takes place on Sunday the 25th. ISORA boats are encouraged to enter this event and join in the fun.
The Pwllheli ISORA Night Race, postpones from last Friday, is rescheduled for next Sunday 25th August, a Bank Holiday in the UK.
Entries for any of the remaining ISORA races are welcomed. Online entry can be made on the ISORA website – www.isora.org