Nine 109s turned out for this year’s session at the National Yacht Club, Dun Laoghaire. Regular visitors, Jukebox (Pwhelli Sailing Club) and Aquelina (Arklow Sailing Club) came from Wales and Arklow respectively, while new boat Storm travelled across the bay from Howth. Two new entrants to the fleet, Jalapeno and Jura (reportedly to be renamed Jekyll and Hyde) joined local boats Windmill, Joker II, Indecision and Powder Monkey. Maurice “Prof” O’Connell of North Sails pulled the whole programme together, imparting his extensive knowledge (combined with wit) to an attentive audience. Ably assisted by Nigel Young and James Knight of North Sails, he set the tone on Friday evening with a presentation on the fundamentals of 109 sailing.
While Saturday morning was quite gloomy, the fleet got in a couple of practice races before taking part in the regular Dublin Bay SC race which was marked by sunshine and good breeze. The fine conditions provided challenging reaches and runs testing crew work to the full.
Sunday morning was calm at first, providing a great opportunity for the North guys to demonstrate live trim control effects on Storm whilst alongside. By 1300, the breeze kicked in enough for a further four races where James and Nigel were able to move around the fleet coaching as they went, while “Prof” videoed the starts and mark roundings providing for a certain amount of mirth in the de-briefing that followed.
As usual the National YC proved to be a most hospitable venue and will also be the harbour for the 109s during Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta.
Once again, a valuable start to the new season, which is packed with events – Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Offshore race, ICRA Championships, Sovereigns Cup and Volvo Dun Laoghaire regatta. The Irish/Irish Sea fleet now numbers some 21 boats, so some great racing and craic ahead of us.
Thanks Prof, Nigel and James and all at NYC!