Saturday 11th May Race report.

Saturday 11th May - View from Garavogue on run from East to Saoirse

Saturday 11th May presented perfect sailing conditions with sunshine, easterly F3/ F4 winds, and reasonably flat sea state. A full turnout for the Twentyones with a couple of newcomers to the fleet taking their maiden trip aboard these beautiful classic boats. High tide was 14.49 hrs therefore most of the race was with an ebb tide.  

The OOD ordained a G6 course (Rp, Sp, Bp, Ks, Lp, Xp,) black line hut start. This course provided a beat across the harbour mouth to Bullock, a reach out to East, a long run back to Saoirse before a short beat to Boyd, followed by a run to Merrion and a final beat back to finish leaving Turning to port on the way home.

In preparation for the upcoming WATH regatta, your committee designated this race as a lady helm event with Jane, Liz, Jean, with Nikki and Darina sharing, accepting the challenge to take the helm.

All boats had time before the start to practice tacking, gybing and settle crew roles which proved fruitful as, after the warning signal, all four boats were jostling for the optimum start. Naneen seemed to favour a laser like trigger start as with a minute to go she was stopped about four boats length short of the line. Geraldine at same time was sailing into the line to windward, and closer to the shore, of the stationary Naneen. Garavogue, sailing loosely parallel to the line tacked just behind Naneen and followed Geraldine into the line while Estelle started closer to the pin end in clear air. As the gun went all four boats started cleanly with Garavogue closest to the Hut to windward of Geraldine, Estelle parallel further down the line with Naneen slightly behind, and to leeward, of Geraldine.

Garavogue capitalised on good start position and, in excellent beating conditions, soon had commanding position on the fleet. After crossing the harbour mouth Estelle was first to tack into Scotsman Bay and was rounding the pier corner before Naneen, Geraldine and finally Garavogue tacked to follow suit. At this stage of the race the smart money would have been on Estelle as she sailed deep into Scotsman to take advantage of the early inshore ebb tide. Geraldine seemed to be sailing quite free and falling onto Naneen’s line and, after a short tussle, passed Naneen to windward then seemed to find the optimum pointing angle to remain clear ahead to windward of Naneen and pulling steadily away. Garavogue remained windward of the fleet carefully watching how Estelle would fare deeper inshore.

Soon Estelle and Garavogue were approaching Battery mark on a parallel course to get to the Bullock mark lay line. Estelle was further inshore quite close to the 40ft swimmers’ area with Garavogue a little further out. As both tacked together Garavogue had a clear lead, albeit still not on lay line and both needed a short tack to make the rounding. Garavogue was first around Bullock and the other three arrived very close together soon after with Geraldine ahead of Naneen on starboard, who in turn pipped Estelle coming in on port tack at the mark.  

The reach out to East was uneventful other than Geraldine made some ground on Garavogue, who sailed a low course, leaving Naneen and Estelle to their own private race behind. Rounding East mark, Garavogue immediately gybed to Port and sailed high to protect her position. This proved a good call as Geraldine was in full attacking mode and also took a high line challenging hard to overtake the leader. However, Garavogue had done enough to protect her lead and Geraldine soon settled back to the proper course on the long run to Saoirse. Naneen and Estelle remained close together and maintained a battle of wits for supremacy throughout the race.

Positions remained unchanged at Saoirse, Boyd and Merrion marks and Garavogue, having established a reasonable gap on Geraldine, tacked up to the finish passing Turning on the way and crossed the line to claim a well-deserved win over Geraldine in 2nd place. The private race between Estelle and Naneen however was far from over. Naneen had maintained a slight lead around the course and fought hard to protect her position right to the end. A tacking duel ensued from Turning to the finish and on the final tack to the line Naneen having had to dip Estelle in an earlier tack, had the inside track to windward and closer to the hut and believed that had secured 3rd with Estelle crossing the line closer to the red pin. However, DBSC results indicate reversed positions with Estelle securing the coveted 3rd place.  A clear case that perseverance and tactics can pay off and we will leave it to the respective helms and skippers to debate the veracity of the standing result.  

Final DBSC result

1.     Garavogue

2.     Geraldine

3.     Estelle

4.     Naneen


Back ashore, while a number of crew had to dash off early, the rest repaired to the bar where the race was re-run and dissected in equal measure. The general consensus was of a good race in excellent conditions. The lady helms were delighted overall however some expressed being very nervous beforehand, and even during the race, which may have affected performance. The initiative showcased some of the excellent latent talent within the class and the Twentyone Class through Sailors of Dublin Bay Twentyones embrace diversity and are keen to promote and encourage developing skills regardless of gender or ability.

Lastly on a social note there are imminent plans to spread the excellent après sail and social activity of the class to other clubs as the Twentyones draw membership across the waterfront. Details to be advised very shortly and is intended to allow class members of each club to showcase the special welcome and hospitality each has to offer.