Saturday 1 June Race report.

The first day of June promised classic summer sailing conditions with sunshine and moderate winds forecast. As previous occasions all boats were fully crewed with Estelle even having an extra person on board due to a mix up from the scheduling department.  Winds started off NE 10kts gusting 14Kts but as the race progressed dropped to 6kts at race end. A low neap tide at 13.37 made for flood tide for the duration.

D7 was the course set for the Twentyones (Boyd, Omega, East, Pier, Molly, Turning,) yellow line hut start.

From earlier fleet starts it was evident that the hut end was favoured and in the 5-minute countdown the Twentyones were angling for the optimum start with Garavogue, Estelle and Geraldine manoeuvring hard for the honour. In the end Estelle had the favoured windward hut side position with Garavogue and Geraldine to leeward and Naneen a little behind.

On the first beat Geraldine and Estelle remained on starboard tack while Garavogue and Naneen took port side. While Estelle maintained windward position Geraldine pulled ahead by sailing a little freer and was first to the mark. Estelle was next just ahead of Garavogue, who Estelle had to duck as both crossed close to the rounding.

On the leg out to Omega Geraldine struck a course slightly out to sea and Estelle followed while Garavogue initially copied but then took a more inshore route.  Approaching what was considered to be Omega mark Geraldine suddenly changed course by 40 degrees as they realised, they were heading for Molly and Omega was much further inside. Estelle followed and, while for a short period it looked like Garavogue, having taken a more direct course, would triumph, in the end the rounding positions was same as previous.  

On the beat to East Geraldine tacked at the mark to take the starboard side while Estelle rounding close behind stayed on port, presumably hoping for a tide benefit to secure a better position. Garavogue played more the middle and approaching East Mark it was clear that Estelle's course plan did not pay off as Garavogue slipped into 2nd place at East Mark.

The run to Pier was slow as the winds started to drop, and tide was definitely a factor. Approaching Pier mark all 3 leading boats had to harden on the wind a little to ensure a safe rounding. Geraldine maintained her starboard strategy and Estelle followed behind while Garavogue tacked immediately for a port tack option. This proved to be beneficial for Garavogue as she increased her lead on Estelle. Naneen meanwhile was back in the game within shouting distance of Estelle but with a single run leg left was unlikely to be a threat.

On the run to turning Geraldine sailed a superb course taking a hotter angle towards Dublin port before gybing back to round Turning mark. Garavogue and Estelle took a more direct dead run approach using the tide with no change in position albeit Estelle did reel in Garavogue a little . All three rounded Turning in short succession and the beat for home against the tide was the new challenge. Estelle fought hard and certainly narrowed the gap considerably on the two boats ahead but not enough to alter finishing positions. The three leaders finished within a minute of each other while Naneen losing out further by the strong ebb tide was some way behind.

Final DBSC result

1.     Geraldine

2.     Garavogue

3.     Estelle

4.     Naneen


After the finish the tide threatened to pull all boats over the finish line again. Geraldine and Garavogue, in sailing out to sea hoping to tack on the lay line for the harbour mouth, struggled to hold their position as the wind softened. Estelle however took on a series of short tacks staying close to the pier and their efforts paid dividends as the were first into the harbour and out of the tide and thus “won” the race for the moorings – every little win counts!

Key takeaways from the race

1.     The Twentyones like to sail free. While they can point high this is deceiving and of little benefit as they make less headway than free sailed boats. Geraldine proved this on Saturday.  

2.     Again, knowing the approximate position of marks relative to landmarks ashore is very important. Having to make a significant course change late on could cost a place.



24-06-02 view from Geraldinejpg