J24 Western Championships / Lough Ree Yacht Club /
22nd and 23rd June 2013.
Flor O Driscoll and crew in ‘Hard On Port’ take the 2013 Western Championships in Lough Ree.
There were 12 entries for the 2013 J24 Western Championships including two relative new comers to the fleet, Scorpio Jnr and Jumpin Jive both from Lough Derg.
Two local boats Jeb and Django (formally Jibberish) along with six from Howth and two from Lough Erne made up the fleet.
The forecast was for challenging conditions over two day including 20knots of wind from the west south west with occasional gusts of 25 knots
Due to the impending World Championships to be held in HYC, skippers were understandably reluctant to put their boat in harms way. A meeting of all skippers was held on the Saturday morning to put racing to the vote. All agreed that it was worth the risk to go on the water.
The PRO for the event, John Banham, and the on the water team had their work cut out for them. The high winds made anchoring the Committee Boat a bit of a challenge considering that his team was all female. Mark laying was also difficult with both the windward mark and the pin end dragging. John managed to get three races in despite the conditions.
The racing (all windward leeward with 2 legs) started in 11 to 16 knots. The testing conditions brought out the best in the fleet with the J24 showing why it is still so popular. Any crew brave enough to fly a spinni were rewarded with blistering down wind speeds and an exhilarating ride which didn’t always end well.
Day two, Sunday, was cancelled following an early morning scouting mission up the lake by two helms – Andrew Mannion and Martin Darrer. They reported an increase in wind pressure combined with a change in wind direction to North West resulting in a larger swell on the lake. Therefore the three races on Saturday constituted the event.
The defending National Champion JP McCaldin had a poor start to the event on Saturday with an OCS in the first race. This was followed by a 6th and a 3rd giving a total of 13 points and 6th place overall.
The under 25 team, sailing Kilcullen and helmed by local sailor Cillian Dickson, were out to prove a point and pushed hard through out the day. Their persistence paid off with bullet in the first race followed by a 2nd and a 5th giving a total of 8 which secured second place overall.
Experience won the day however with Flor et al on board Hard On Port scoring a 2nd, a 3rd and a 2nd giving a total of 7 points and the event.
The silver fleet trophy went to Brendan Gallagher on board Juvenescence followed in 2nd place by Gossip, helmed by Peter Barron.
The food provided by Georgina and her team on Saturday evening was well received. While they dined, the frayed nerves of the 60 competitors were soothed by the ‘Ree Duet’ who played both classical and traditional melodies. Thanks must go to Andrew Mannion and his shore crew. Launching and hauling out went like clockwork.
The event was a success despite the cancellation of the second day. The facilities at Lough Ree lend them selves to events like this and the club looks forward to hosting the J24 fleet again soon.
Juvenessence takes the silver title
HOP take first prize
JP crosses the line.
It’s tough on foredeck duty – time for 40 winks
It’s going to be close
Anchor laying in a gale with a smile
Caoimhe on Pin and leeward mark duty
Close racing despite the conditions
Down Wind in 25knots
Event over for Django due to snapped goose neck
Gossip’s crew enjoying the conditions
Gybe in 25 knots
HOP and Stouche near the lwd mark
HOP Gybe goes wrong
It’s all under control
Scorpio Jnr crosses the line
Scorpio Jnr shows how it’s done
Stouche pushing hard to catch Kilcullen
Stouche still holds off Kilcullen as they near the line
Stouche by a length
Stouche crosses the line
Post race analysis on Kilcullen
Scandal crew looked wrecked.
Pin end crew looking a little wet.
Nice smile, glad to be on the PRO boat today
Mast down, time to go
Wind burn all round
The under 25 team are in a happy place
The sun comes out as Kicullen leads the way
The start of another exciting downwind leg
The bunch follows close behind
Stouche and Hard on Port full away under spinnaker
Stouche & Hard on Port
Time for food & war stories
Another squall makes engine work more difficult
Worsening conditions dictate and end to racing as day 2 is cancelled
The LRYC duet
The other boss
Peter wonders it it’s all worth it
Kilcullen & Hard on Port fight for 2nd place
JP shows off his new gopro footage
Scandal crosses the line
In a tense and closely fought final day, Tim Healy and his crew from Newport, Rhode Island, on board ‘Helly Hansen’ were impressive winners of the BMW J24 World Championship at Howth Yacht Club, with eight top-five results (including three race wins) in the 10-race series.
Healy, who previously won the title in 2010, was pushed all the way by the defending champion Mauricio Santa Cruz from Brazil on ‘Bruschetta’, who also demonstrated remarkable consistency, but who had to be content with the runner-up spot, four points adrift of his rival.
Third place overall went to another American crew led by Travis Odenbach from Rochester on ‘Honey Badger’ who had been the series leader overnight but who did not enjoy the final day. A 20th and an 8th effectively knocked his chances, although he was only two points off Santa Cruz in the end.
In fresh westerly winds which touched 25 knots at times, the penultimate race saw a second win in the series for Britain’s Ian Southworth on ‘Il Riccio’, ahead of fellow Briton Bob Turner’s ‘Serco’. Third place went to local Howth skipper Mossy Shanahan on ‘Crazyhorse’, following up on his great form the previous day, a result which contributed to him finishing as the top Irish boat overall in 19th place.
Success in the last race went to the German boat ‘Rotoman’ (Tobias Feuerherd), with Keith Whittemore (‘Furio’) from Seattle 2nd and Santa Cruz 3rd. The Brazilian, however, needed Healy to be further down the fleet than his finishing place of 5th and so surrendered his world title to the American crew by four points after the one allowed discard.
With the exception of the Tuesday when racing was abandoned due to lack of wind, the championship featured four good racing days, with the wind strength progressively increasing as the week went on. There were six different race winners and the four US entries all finished in the top 10 which featured two German boats and the sole Italian entry.
After 10 races, the overall standings (after one discard) were:
|1.||Tim Healy (USA)||38 points|
|2.||Mauricio Santa Cruz (Brazil)||42 points|
|3.||Travis Odenbach (USA)||44 points|
|4.||Ian Southworth (GB)||53 points|
|5.||Tobias Feurherd (Ger)||73 points|
|6.||Keith Whittemore (USA)||77 points|
|7.||Bob Turner (GB)||83 points|
|8.||Ignatio Bonanno (Italy)||88 points|
|9.||Tony Parker (USA)||114 points|
|10.||Sullberg (Ger)||115 points|
JP McCaldin, sailing Jamais Encore had a clean sweep on the first day of the J24 Northerns in Lough Erne, and the still conditions on Sunday meant that no more races were sailed. Fresh 15 knot breezes on Saturday gave the competitors lots of work to do. While some boats were challenging JP in the different races his consistency left little scope for anyone to gain a sufficient advantage.
The next J24 Championship will be in Lough Ree on June 22nd.
1st Jamais Encore J24 5278 LEYC JP McCaldin 1 1 1 1 4 4
2nd Stouche J24 4215 Howth Martin Darrer 2 2 4 4 12 12
3rd Hard On Port J24 4794 Howth Flor O’Driscoll 4 4 2 5 15 15
4th Kilcullen J24 680 Howth Cillian Dickson 3 3 10.0 DSQ 2 18 18
5th JET J24 418 Lough Swilley John Hasson 10.0 DNS 6 3 3 22 22
6th Jelignite J24 4218 Lough Ree Finbarr Ryan 5 5 5 10.0 DSQ 25 25
7th Juvenesence J24 144 LEYC Brendan Gallagher 8 7 6 6 27 27
8th Jeratrix J24 24 LEYC Michael Clarke 6 8 7 8 29 29
9th T J J24 4155 LEYC Barry Humphreys 7 9 8 7 31 31
J24s from Howth, Lough Ree & Dun Laoghaire took part in a training weekend with coach Graeme Grant last weekend in Howth, run by the Irish J24 class.
The mixed weather gave an opportunity to practice in all sorts of conditions. On Saturday the windy conditions put lots of pressure on the crews as they practised mark roundings on a very short race course. Philip Watson was on hand to give advice on sail trim. Later in the day the boats ran through a series of exercises working on slow speed control and acceleration. The boats also spent some time working on Kiwi drops as an alternative option when arriving at the leeward mark.
Conditions on Sunday were much lighter, and quite a bit sunnier. The boats spent the first part
of the day working in Roll-tacks & Roll-gybes. The boats finished the day with a series of short races which gave them the perfect opportunity to put into practice the lessons that had been learned.
Many of the same boats are this weekend heading to Lough Erne for the J24 Northerns Championships.
The J24 Northerns are being held on June 1st & 2nd in Lough Erne Yacht Club.
Due to the proximity of the event to the G8 summit and the Police Services of Northern Irelands (PSNI) security arrangements on the LEYC site, the event is by pre entry only. Competitors are requested to inform the organising authority of any supporters who will be attending the event and are recommended to bring photographic ID to aid entry to the club site during the event. Any crew or supporters not listed on the official entry form may be refused access to the site by the PSNI.
Entry fee covers craneage and berthing at LEYC marina for the duration of the event.
A championship dinner will be held on 1st June at 7.30pm and entertainment will be provided, tickets available at registration.
More info in the docs below: