Hyland overall winner
Jim Hyland's Class One entry Maxim emerged overall winner of the Heineken Autumn League at Howth Yacht Club on Saturday although racing for the final day had to be cancelled due to storm force winds. In other classes, the previous weekend's overall results position remained official though controversy in class three appears set to continue into the winter months.
Hyland's Dun Laoghaire boat sailed a consistent series, always producing a top six result in the large class. The result for Hyland marked a season of steady crew work that paid dividends in Howth with the class win.
As expected, Max McMullan's Mustang Sally won Class Zero having never once released its grip on the seven boat fleet. However, the low turnout in the class, particularly when compared to the division's heyday just four years ago, must raise questions about its viability for individual starts in Dublin next season.
Sigma 400 Trinculo lead the runner-up boats while a late surge in performance by Cormac Twomey's Sarah J brought the Dun Laoghaire 43-footer within one point of second place.
While a question mark hangs over Class Zero, the fleet most credited with contributing to its demise also had a clear overall leader after five races in the series. Raz Beshoff's Tuff Stuff helmed by Philip Watson took the 1720 Sportsboat class against the best efforts of various challengers. The previous Sunday the 20-boat fleet had reached speeds in excess of 20 knots off the wind in one of the most exciting days of racing in the entire season.
In spite of expectations of a possible reversal of an earlier Protest Committee decision, as reported in last Friday's Irish Times, Ian Switzer failed to get reinstated as the overall leader of Class Three, the largest fleet in the series on Saturday. A right of way incident earlier in the series involving a boat from Class Two led to a protest against Switzer's Gung Ho being upheld.
Last week, an independent witness came forward with evidence supporting Switzer's defence. The witness turned out to be David Greene from Malahide whose yacht Equity had replaced Gung Ho as the new Class Three leader following the protest decision. It is understood that Greene's evidence was inconclusive as only part of the incident was observed and, therefore, the original decision stood.