Two teams from HHSC entered the Irish 420 Nationals in Howth Dublin this year, this was their first season in the bigger top level boats having transitioned from the Optimist class singlehanded junior dinghies sailed for the last 5 years at most UK national events. Stena Line Irish Sea very kindly supported entry with assisted travel for teams, families, vehicles and trailers.
Having trained at HHSC weekly since January this year the two teams of Matthew Ingram and Harri Burns GBR 55083 and Harry Ingram and Louis Mills GBR 55190, the latter boat with Louis Mills and Kieran Lewis have been competing in welsh CYRC series and have won 3 out of 5 events and 2nd in last one leading the series with final event in Shotwick SC in October.
The irish Nationals were the first National level 420 event entered for the two teams, it consisted of around 20 boats with top level sailors from Ireland and UK, the winners being almost Olympic level racers, the series was for 3 races a day, 9 total with one discard. Winds initially light day one becoming fresher 11-16 knots day two, actually 4 races in fresh winds, and day three light 7-9 knots in morning and fresh 12-16 knots in afternoon, 2 races run.
Day one saw Harry and Louis reach 7th overall, next day stronger winds for the lightweight crews down to 11th overall and 13 on final day where Matthew and Harri achieved a brilliant second in last race to take them to 12th overall and 3rd in the silver fleet and Harry/Louis 7th in Gold Fleet, a superb set of result for first major event.
The event was won by GBR team of Alex Colquit WKSC and Rebecca Coles from Annadale SC scotland with 8 wins and a 3rd after starting last! The winning Irish all girl team, 2nd Gold Irish National Champions and Irish Sailing Gold medalists Grace O'Beirne and Kathy Kelly Royal St George Yacht Club, followed by 3rd Gold and Irish Sailing Silver medalists Gemma Mc Dowell and Emma Gallagher Malahide Yacht Club and 4th Gold and Irish Sailing Bronze medailists Micheal O'Suilleabhain and Rob Keal Kinsale Yacht Club
Louis and Harry came 7th on the Gold fleet close behind some top levekl sailors so very well done for both HHSC teams in their first National event in the 420 class.
Next event being considered is UK 420 Nationals at Brightlingsea in Essex at end of Month. Many thanks for all support of HHSC and Stena Line for this hopefully first of many events.
It's been an exciting start for the very first All Afloat project at Holyhead Sailing Club.
The students have all been keeping coaches as well as the club on their toes while they start on their pathway to becoming fellow pirates. The support and funding given by the All Afloat charity and Horizon Power, to get the local youngsters on the water (as well as in it) is being gratefully returned by laughter, enjoyment and an ocean of enthusiasm.
The club has worked hard over the years to provide facilities for the youth and cadet sailing participants and with the expansion of the club’s facilities for the yachting and keelboat classes following the downturn in March it was great to see this event so well prepared for and so many people, both from the club and the wider audience, involved on another wonderful day in Holyhead Harbour.
A beautiful day but not quite so good for sailing… The squib fleet had been out in the morning and some of the sailors moved swiftly onto the offshore fleet to take part in the race in some very fickle NW winds in the harbour.
There was so little wind at the start that navigation round the start line pin end was a little difficult but the 3 yachts got away with Rhumbull and Jetstream leading off with Flair struggling to get some way on as she tried out her lightweight spinnaker.
The course selected was Bolivar, Penrhos and finish and the start was delayed until 14:10 to avoid the two ferry departures at 13:50 and 14:10; however it took some time for the leading yacht to get anywhere near to the harbour entrance!
As they sailed across the bay out of the harbour there were patches where there was almost no wind and both Jetstream and Rhumbull pretty much stopped. Flair sailing from a long way behind Rhumbull and a little to leeward started to overhaul her but at they approached Bolivar and had to tack they were still behind by the time they rounded the mark.
Over the last few days we have been experiencing the centre of a high pressure area but with the centre moving east the forecast for the evening race was good 11kt northeasterly. It certainly didn’t look that way inside the harbour! The assembling yachts struggled to find sufficient wind to maneuver up to the start line.
The fleet of 6 yachts managed, considering the wind conditions to make good starts with Incantation, recently back in the water, moving well alongside Flair as they tacked up the harbour towards the large cruise liner on the Aluminium Jetty.