Monday 24 July 2017

Maybury takes trophy for third consecutive season on Joker 2

Sailing

Tony Ackland’s Dark Angel won the Division 0 national title in the Irish Cruiser championships at the Royal Cork Yacht Club. Photograph: David Branigan/Oceansport
Tony Ackland’s Dark Angel won the Division 0 national title in the Irish Cruiser championships at the Royal Cork Yacht Club. Photograph: David Branigan/Oceansport

James Hall

A five-race championship, two more than the minimum required, but at least three more than the weather might have suggested, saw just one successful defence and four new sailing champions at the weekend.

A total fleet of 43 boats from around Ireland and overseas entered the annual ICRA National Championships series, which serves the biggest segment of Irish amateur sailing.

For the third consecutive season John Maybury lifted the Division 1 trophy for a hat-trick on Joker 2, neatly capping his ICRA Boat of the Year status.

However, yesterday saw the final two scheduled races abandoned, even though the fleet had ventured into the relatively sheltered Cork Harbour, where gale force winds forced a rethink.

The winds were only slightly stronger than Saturday, when there was widespread boat and body damage - of the minor kind - but they provided a full test of stamina and seamanship.

Joker 2 was under pressure on the second day after a blistering start on Friday and had the winds been slightly moderated Paul O'Higgins on Rockabill VI was poised to spoil Maybury's record.

Other champions included Paul Gibbons on Anchor Challenge, whose 5-0 record made his Division 3 title well-deserved.

Just two boats ended up contesting Division Zero and although a 5-0 defeat over title-holder Conor Phelan on Jump Juice seemed emphatic for Rob O'Leary, helming Welsh entry Dark Angel, the two boats enjoyed the finest match-race series over the two days.

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