Six boats from the club entered the race with a good mix of Juniors and adult members. The overall entry of 25 was made up of dinghies, cats, a Flying 15 and 5 windsurfers making a return after many years.
As we waited on the pier in Lisloughrey on Saturday morning we wondered whether there would be enough wind to take us to Galway, some making a last minute check to see if they had the requisite tow rope!
Our prayers were answered as the wind began to fill in from the South West and come up to a nice Force 3, bringing plenty of moisture with it.
Race Officer Eddie Cats ably assisted by GBSC Commodore David Vinnell set a windward mark to be left to port with Inchagoill Island to starboard.
Tim Breen and Niall Kidd on the F18 Hobie Tiger set the pace off the line leaving the rest of the fleet behind, however some early gains were quickly lost in the shifty breeze in the lee of Inchagoill.
The fleet at this stage had begun to break up into groups with the Tiger leading, Astrid and Ben leading the Dart16s which were quite closely bunched and the leading dinghy of Jack Lee & Ciaran Jordan not far behind on their 420.
John Hendley & Cait on their Topper Sport 14 and John McCole & daughter Lauren (Topper Magno) did well in the conditions in trying to beat to windward without the benefit of trapeze, with Jakub Gajewski and Fionn Delahunty on the slower club Topaz Unos sailing well up to their PY handicap ratings.
Tim Breen and Niall Kidd were first into Kilbeg in 1 hour 15 minutes, with the Darts coming in 15 munutes later. Johnny Murphy & Colm were first GCSC boat into Kilbeg on a Dart16, being pipped for the line by Niall McLoughlin & Dee McGrath also sailing a Dart 16.
As ever the Corrib Rowing and Yachting club fed us well with hot soup, sandwiches and tea on the pier at Kilbeg, with Murphy’s Bar providing a little more shelter and comfort.
The second half of the race resumed with a nice steady breeze from the South West, the eight strong Dart16 fleet being closely bunched as they entered the ‘narrows’ with lots of tacking duels taking place as boats vied for the best angle to get through the markers setting out the ‘old steamers route’ down the Corrib, which the race has been following for over a hundred years.
As the fleet left the narrows and entered lower Lough Corrib all that was left to do was keep up the speed until reaching the ‘cut’ at the top of the river Corrib, whereupon the race starts once more as the wind becomes very flukey and gusty in the river as the the fleet sails down towards the finish at Menlo castle. The race can easily be won and lost here.
Line honours were taken by the Tiger of Tim, followed by Ben and Astrid on Dart16 and Dee McGrath (GCSC & GBSC) and Niall on a Dart16, who had shown Johhny Murphy & Colm a clean pair of heels on the second leg.
Jakub took an overall 4th place and an impressive second place on handicap in leg 2!…proving that the race is there to be won can be won on a Topaz!!!
Overall Results on corrected time: 1st – Ben Lodge & Astrid (Dart16), 2nd – Tim Breen & Niall Kidd (Tiger), 5rd – Jack Lee & Ciaran Jordan.
Best Galway City Sailing Club results was Jakub Gajewski in 4th place overall (2nd place leg 2) sailing a club Topaz Uno – well done Jakub!
All of the club sailors sailed well and did themselves proud in finishing the race after many hours on the water, including the club juniors Colm O’Faharta, Lauren McCole, Padraic O’Faharta and Cait Ni Faharta.
Overall results for the race can be viewed at Cong Galway Overall Results 2013.
Thanks to everyone in the club for their helping in getting everyone to the start line, especially Ger Moyles.