Burlton scoops top honour in Laser SB20 Irish Nationals.

Burlton scoops top honour in Laser SB20 Irish Nationals.

The Laser SB3 Irish National Championships took place on Dublin last weekend, 29th to 31st of August. 8 races were sailed over the three days on Windward/Leeward courses. Fridays conditions proved very tricky with light airs and a few punishing shifts. The fleet were very enthusiastic on the start line and PRO Colin McMullan had to use the black flag in most starts. Craig Burlton and his crew had a great start to the regatta with a score of 8, 1, 1. Gareth Flanagan on McCready Sailboats had a good start also but the reigning European Champion, Geoff Carveth, started with a 2, 23, 28. The final race on Friday saw a big shift and lull on the right hand side of the course. This caught out even the most experienced Dublin bay sailors and meant an early pint was the only option.

Saturdays weather was more of the same with lots of general recalls and black flags. Geoff Carveth fought back hard with two race wins whereas Burlton scored a 6, 25, 5. Ian Sullivan on Cheeky Monkey continued a very consistent regatta and by Saturday evening his highest placing was a 15th.

Sunday dawned to a dull grey day but there was a notably stronger breeze and everyone hit the water in anticipation of some downwind planing. The first start was a very frantic affair with the PRO setting a fairly tight line. After a few recalls the breeze gradually dropped to around 10 knots. Carveth and Burlton continued their battle but Burlton couldn’t be caught. McCready Sailboats and Cheeky Monkey had their worst results of the regatta but John Sheehy was delighted to win the final race.

Burlton on Team Gill was crowned Open Winner with Geoff Carveth on Earls Court second. Gareth Flanagan on McCready Sailboats was top Irish boat and was crowned Irish National Champion. Ian Sullivan on Cheeky Monkey had a very consistent event and ended up fourth. Nicky Smith, Dave Quinn & John Malone on Helly Hansen were fifth with Witzmann,Waimer & Waimer from the United Arab Emirates were sixth overall. Emma McDonald from Howth was awarded the Top Lady Helm Award.

Many competitors were using this event as a warm-up for the World Championships due to be held in Dun Laoghaire from the 22nd to the 26th of September.

The Silver Fleet was won by Gordon Patterson and the Bronze fleet was won by John Driscoll, both from RNIYC.

Helly Hansen, the SB3 Ireland clothing sponsor, generously provided prizes for the Gold, Silver & Bronze fleets.

Congratulations to all involved and well done to Don O’Dowd and all his team at the Royal St George Yacht Club.

A full selection of event photographs are available on www.fotosail.com.

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