Flor O’Driscoll sailing “Hard on Port” claimed the J/24 Northern Championship in Lough Erne by just one point from JP McCaldin in one of this season’s closest J/24 finishes.
Entries from Lough Swilly, Royal Cork, Lough Ree and Howth joining the local boats from Lough Erne for the two-day event over the weekend.
The competition was made more interesting by the fact that it was the penultimate qualifying event for the J/24 worlds which are to be held in Howth Yacht Club in August 2013. It was not surprising, therefore, to see five boats travelled from Howth for the event.
Racing started on the Saturday in fresh north-easterlies of 18-20 knots and it was the local boat “Jamais Encore” helmed by JP McCaldin that led the way with three first places and discarding a third place after the first day of racing.
Howth Yacht Club’s Flor O’Driscoll consistently scored second place in each race to stay in contention. Stefan Hyde from the Royal Cork Yacht Club held 3rd place chased by another Howth sailor Noel Davidson helming “Scandal”
Lighter breezes greeted the competitors on the second day and JP McCaldin could only manage a 4th and 5th place while Flor O’Driscoll grasped the title with a 2nd and 1st place to win the event overall by only one point.
Stefan Hyde took 3rd place followed by Noel Davidson in 4th and Andrew Mannion from Lough Ree in 5th.
The final qualifying event for the 2013 J/24 World Championships is the Class National Championships which takes place at Lough Ree on August 25/26.
Event Photos courtesy of Jonathan Wormald available here :- Northern Championships 2012
A huge thank you to M McCaldin of Aghinver Boats (www.abcboats.com) who supplied a 30ft boat for Jonathan to take the photos.