The Sailing Instructions for the upcoming J24 Irish National Championships are now available -> J24 Nationals 2016 SI.
More information on the event form the Royal St George Yacht Club Event Page.
Updated Notice of Race now available.
August 6th and 7th saw the J24 fleet make their way back to Lough Ree Yacht Club, the second oldest yacht club in the world, for the J24 Westerns. With 10 boats, 50 competitors and strong winds the two day event was going to be one to be remembered. Boats travelled from Howth, Dun Laoghaire, Sligo and Lough Derg in Tipperary to take part. Lough Ree made sure to looked after all 50 competitors after their journeys when they fired up the BBQ to feed the hungry sailors after rigging. As light faded the crews made their way up to the Club House and settled in to renew old acquaintances and to discuss the challenges of the next two days on the lake.
The Provisional Race Officer Vincent Rafter and his team worked hard to fit in 4 races on Saturday, conscious that the conditions might deteriorate to a point where racing might be abandoned on Sunday. With Southerly winds reaching speeds of 22 knots and gust of 26 knots all boats prepared for a hard day of sailing. Winds from this direction allow short sharp wave action to develop on the lake and this affects the racers strategy. With all sailors enthusiastic to get racing one boat seemed too eager as they picked the committee boat end of the line to start only to get too close and pull the committee boats anchor with them calling for a general recall. With the J’s reaching top speeds on the spinnaker runs the next 3 races went off without any major incidents. With day one over it proved that once again the under 25 team were unstoppable with them finishing with 4 points. The racing on Saturday was followed by a J24 Class Dinner for all competitors and the race committee. The diners were entertained by the classical Duet of Ellen Godley on cello and Eva Barry on violin. Their mix of classical and traditional music soothed the frayed nerves of some very fatigued sailors.
On Sunday only one could be held due to deteriorating conditions. Gusts of 35 knots were being recorded and out of the 10 boats only 7 were brave enough to face these challenging conditions. With jib being the choice for all boats the up-wind legs were that bit easier to handle when the strong gusts hit. On the downwind leg all boats headed dead downwind as working the angles would not have any benefit. With each gybe the boats made there was always the fear of a broach. It wasn’t too long when one boat gybed getting caught by a gust and went into a fast broach. With the helmsman needing to be hauled back into the boat with a hand jury it was clear to see this race was not for the faint hearted. With the fear of structural damage to the boats and potentially injury to crew the second race was cancelled and all headed back to shore for de-rigging and prize giving.
With five races held and with one discard allowed it was clear to see who came out on top as the winner. With an outstanding performance of 5 firsts on the water the team on board Kilcullen Irelands Eye won the J24 Western Championships. Javelin a local boat which made its appearance back into the fleet after a long absence came in 2nd place with a total of 10 points. Flor O’ Driscoll from Dun Laoghaire and his team on Hard on Port were not far behind with a total of 13 points which put them in 3rd place. After all prizes were handed out the J24 fleet said goodbye to Lough Ree Yacht Club for now and all boats were on the road home to their respective home towns by 4pm.
The next J24 event is to be held in Dun Laoghaire on the 2nd, 3rd and 4th of September. With a promise of 13+ boats taking part it is set to be a event not to be missed by sailors and an excellent way to finish off the J24 2016 season.
The J24 association of Ireland would also like to extend their thanks to Waterways Ireland for their Sponsorship of this event.
Event Report by Ciara Ryan
Event Photos by Karl Ellieffe
Howth crew clear winners at J24 Northern Championships
Some great photographs courtesy of David Branigan [Oceansport]
All photos by David Branigan/Oceansport
A strong performance by Howth’s Under 25 keelboat team delivered victory in the J24 Northern Championship at Sligo Yacht Club last weekend. Counting all race wins or second-places, the Dublin crew won with a race to spare.
With sponsorship from Martin Reilly Motors, the Mespil Hotel and Malin Waters a fleet of 19 boats from all corners of Ireland competed for the six race series.
The event enjoyed a full range of conditions from near calm to fresh and gusty with the unwary likely to fall victim to broaches in the stronger gusts. At the opposite extreme, principal race officer Derek Bothwell battled light winds at times that made setting the course a particular challenge.
Despite the mastery of the overall winners, there was also close racing in the runner-up stakes where JP McCaldrin edged out Flor O’Driscoll into third overall by a single point.
The J24 class association had coach Graeme Grant on hand throughout the event to provide feedback and tips between races that added to crews’ knowledge base while the evening video briefings were a popular highlight of the social programme.
With the bulk of the fleet drawn from outside Sligo, a crane-in operation was set-up beside the marina in the town that speedily launched and recovered the boats.
“We put the call out far and wide to J24 crews around Ireland who responded with enthusiasm,” said organising chairman Martin Reilly. “We had great weather, a large and competitive fleet and warm camaraderie ashore after racing.”
Plans are already in the pipeline to persuade the class to hold the 2017 national championships in Sligo when more boats including several from outside Ireland can be expected.
J24 Northern Championships (final overall after six races)
1 Ireland’s Eye – Kilcullen (HYC U25)
2 Jamais Encore (JP McCaldrin)
3 Hard on Port (Flor O’Driscoll)
4 http://www.hamiltonbear.ie (Stefan Hyde)
5 Bad (Steve Atkinson)
6 Crazy Horse (M Reilly)
By David Branigan
You can see the full gallery here
Brief Event Report here
Article from Irishtimes on Howth Yacht Clubs K25 team here
The current issue of the International J/24 Pulse newsletter is now available via PDF at http://bit.ly/1L28nR2. This newsletter, and all previous editions, are also posted on the IJCA website at http://www.j24class.org/newsletter/.
The J24 fleet was out in force for last weekend’s J24 Nationals. The event, which was held in Lough Derg Yacht Club, saw 13 boats coming from all parts of the country to compete. With 13 J24s on the start line, it was sure to be an interesting and competitive 9 races.
Perfect sailing conditions were forecast for the first day of racing all sailors were eager to get to the race course and sail the first beat before the starting gun. 10 boats opted for Jib as the strong gusts made sailing upwind more manageable. The first of the three races went off without any faults. Kilcullen, the under 25 team from HYC, secured first place, closely followed by Jamais Encore and Hard on Port.
With some of the most competitive racing the fleet has seen all season, mark roundings were tight and crowded, as two of the boats quickly realised. Winds began to build as two of the top boats Jamais Encore and Hard on Port raced to make it around the top mark on the first beat. With Jamais Encore in the lead by less than a boat length, Hard on Port failed to duck enough and a collision ensued. Both boats were forced to retire as damage needed to be repaired. With Hard on Port taking on water at the bow and Jamais Encore without a push pit, it was unclear if they would make it out of the second day of racing. Kilcullen sailing was second to none as once again they finished first over the line for the second and third race, with HamiltonBear close on their tail finishing second in race two and three.
Unfortunately on day 2 sailing was postponed on the race course and all sailors waited in anticipation for the wind to fill in. Many sailors took this time to sleep off the sore heads from the night before and wondered if the crew from Hard on Port would make it out for sailing. With luck on their side a boat could be seen motoring out to the race course from the distance, as the boat got closer it was clear to see the team on board Hard on Port were back in full force and ready to make up for lost racing. With the repair and two perfectly placed BMW decals from a past event, the old Italian could be seen to have a new face. Much to the fleets dismay all boats were sent ashore to wait further instructions from the race officer. At 18:00 it was clear to see that no racing would be held and the days racing was abandoned.
On the third and final day of racing the sounds of flags being caught by the wind was a welcomed noise to the fleet. With the wind building throughout the day and heavy rain expected all sailors were in full gear and ready to face the day of racing, some to defend their place within the fleet and others hoping to gain a place or two. The first race of the day went without any mishaps. Two past champions Kilcullen-Eurocarparks and Hard on Port battled it out on the race course for first place with Hard on Port securing its first victory of the event, while Kilcullen finished a close second followed by Jamais Encore in third. The crew on board Scandal were forced to retire early from racing as they lost a halyard up the mast.
After a competitive day of racing Kilcullen came out on top as the J24 National Champion of 2015. With HamiltonBear in second and Jamais Encore finishing in third within the Gold Fleet. In the Silver Fleet YaGottaWanna came out in first with a lead of 5 points on second place Jumpin’ Jive and Johnny Bravo finished third within the silver fleet.
With the J24 season coming to a close and next seasons event planning already in motion it is clear to see that the J24 fleet is starting to make a strong comeback with regards to numbers. With the Autumn League in Howth, starting mid September, a start for the J24 would see interesting racing as the Irish Sea is always an exciting place to race the J24. Details on the Autumn League can be found by following the link below:
Report by Ciara Ryan.