IRL: Sharkbait clinch Easterns
The Howth crew of Ben Duncan, Brian Moran and Rick Morris on ‘Sharkbait’ are this year’s SB3 Eastern Champions after the six-race series ended on home waters with the local boat tying on points with Cork visitor ‘Sibelius’ (Kieran Dorgan) but taking the title on countback, having two bullets to the rival’s one.
Consistency was the name of the game, with ‘Sharkbait’ never out of the top four and ‘Sibelius’ notching three third places, a second and a 5th. Both crews are heading to Torbay in mid-May for the SB3 Worlds so this was a useful work-out, especially in difficult conditions. The north-easterly winds were fresher but steadier than on the first day but the swell was significantly greater, making life tougher on crews and equipment.
That only five points after discards separated the top five boats overall speaks volumes for the intensity of the competition at the head of the 30-boat fleet. These five dominated proceedings to such an extent that the difference in points after discards between fifth and sixth overall was a massive 26 points.
After leading overnight by a slender margin, ‘Sharkbait’ got off to a dream start to the second day with a bullet ahead of ‘Flutter’ (Andrew Algeo) and Dorgan in the fourth race of the series. Fourth-placed Peter Kennedy of RNIYC in ‘Ridgefence.com’ was making amends for his OCS on the Saturday by following up that result with a win in the penultimate race, with ‘Flutter’ again second. Sean Craig’s ‘Yeti’ was third while Duncan and Dorgan filled 4th and 5th respectively.
Dorgan left his best to last, winning the final race from Kennedy, Craig and Duncan in that order, a result that set up the tie after discards. In the race for the rest of the fleet, three northern boats filled the sixth to eighth places overall while Shane Murphy’s ‘Dinghy Supplies’ in 9th was the next best placed Howth entry.
The top 6 overall Points
1st Sharkbait (Duncan & Moran) – HYC 12
2nd Sibelius (K.Dorgan) – RCYC 12
3rd Flutter (A.Algeo) – RStGYC 14
4th Ridgefence.com (P. Kennedy) – RNIYC 15
5th Yeti (S. Craig) – RStGYC 17
6th Toucan 3 (A. Vaughan) – RNIYC 43
Complete results at Howth Yacht Club website.
Picture by Brian Carlin, lovely slideshow here.