Western cruisers for Dun Laoghaire

Fri, Mar 17, 2006, 00:00

Sailing ColumnThe third Irish Cruiser Racer National championships will see the biggest strength in west coast numbers - despite a 350-mile delivery trip - when the event is sailed out of the Royal Irish Yacht Club in Dún Laoghaire in May.

News of the western fleet's attendance comes in a week that has been dominated by other Galway Bay news, with the success in the TP52 Global championships in Miami last weekend.

Ger O'Rourke's Chieftain, the Cookson 50 and class winner of this year's Sydney-Hobart race from the Shannon estuary, will be sailing for national championship honours. ICRA Commodore Fintan Cairns is expecting at least another six west coast boats to make the sea journey to Dún Laoghaire.

Patches skipper Eamonn Conneelly, fresh from global championship victory in Florida, will not be sailing, however.

Conneelly is a supporter of the Irish event and sailed the inaugural championships in Howth in Dark Angel. He also sailed Patches last year in Kinsale at Sovereign's Week.

This year the Irish TP52 is going straight from Miami to Palma for a warm-up regatta in mid-April as part of the TP52 European circuit.

In a separate development for the Saab-sponsored event Tim Goodbody has entered his Sigma 33 in the IRC class two division.

It's a welcome development for the one-design sailor to join the ranks of the handicap class, and with 23 other Sigmas on Dublin Bay he may not be the last one-design to seek an IRC handicap.

Entries from the south coast are topped by Commodore's Cup boats from Royal Cork that include Anthony O'Leary's Antix (Corby 35) and Conor and Denis Phelan's new Ker 37 Jump. A minimum entry of 100 boats is expected.

Staying with cruiser racing news, the Round Ireland race will again feature La Rochelle's Jean Phillipe Chomette who returns this July in his Nacira 60.

In a refreshing uplift in dinghy sailing fortunes, the Laser Pico could get a run for its money as the fastest-selling boat in Ireland with a flurry of activity in other junior boat sales.

Orders and inquiries for the double-handed RS Feva far exceeded the manufacturer's expectations following an open day to promote the RS Feva dinghy held in the Royal Irish Yacht Club, Dún Laoghaire, on March 11th that resulted in more than 25 boat orders, according to the class secretary James Morrissey. The first set of Feva Nationals will take place on August 25th to 27th, and will be held at the Royal Irish.

Tomorrow the single-handed Zoom8 is being launched for demonstration sails at the National YC in DúLaoghaire at 2pm. Weighing 38kg with a sail area of 4.8m2, it gives a lively performance for those graduating from the Optimist class.