Final race to decide destination of Irish Sea’s Wolf Head Trophy

Kenneth Rumball and INSS students’ J109 Jedi one of four boats still in contention

The Irish Sea’s Wolf Head Trophy will be decided in Saturday’s last race of the 2017 offshore series.

Two Welsh J109s, Mojito (Peter Dunlop and Vicky Cox) and Sgrech (Stephen Tudor) lead the 35-boat fleet but the Irish National Sailing School's J109 Jedi (Kenneth Rumball) and Royal St George's J122 Aurelia (Chris Power-Smith), both from Dun Laoghaire, are also in contention for ISORA's top prize.

It’s been a good summer for Rumball and his INSS students, having picked up a VDLR podium place and Fastnet IRC3B victory in the first season of racing the J109.

But it’s their impressive form in ISORA’s Viking Marine Coastal Series that will make them contenders for the big ISORA prize when they go toe-to-toe with Welsh Series winner Mojito on Saturday for the 60-mile dash to Ireland.


Race 14 starts in Pwllheli, North Wales at 8.30am with an afternoon finish off the National Yacht Club (NYC), Dun Laoghaire. It brings to an end a record ISORA season that saw a combined fleet of over 35 on both sides of the Irish Sea.

It will be a busy weekend for the NYC because, as well as welcoming ISORA finishers, the East Pier club also greets over 100 Optimist dinghies for a Leinster Championships there, the last regional event of 2017 for the youth class.

The unconfirmed entry of World Flying Fifteen champion Steve Goacher is adding extra spice to this weekend’s Irish Championships at Whitehead in County Antrim.

Defending champions David Gorman and Chris Doorly of the National Yacht Club are ruled out of one of the biggest one design keelboat title fights of the year following a dismasting on Dublin Bay last week. But there will be no shortage of local competition with each one of four regional events having had a different winner this season.

Clean sweep

After a clean sweep a fortnight ago by Northern sailors at the southern championships in Dunmore East in County Waterford, Strangford Lough’s Brian McKee and Ian Smith and local Antrim duo Brian Willis and John McPeake along with Andy and Rory Martin, are all in the hunt. Other front-runners include Killyleagh’s Andy McCleery and Colin Dougan.

Howth Yacht Club’s Aoife English and Ross McDonald were winners of the 2017 Irish 1720 National Championship at Baltimore Sailing Club by a single point last weekend.

The ICRA class champion helmsman beat a 17-boat fleet including past champions, second-placed Robert and Peter O’Leary and third-placed Anthony O’Leary in the eight-race event.

Royal Cork Yacht Club’s Durcan brothers, Harry and Johnny, along with Atlee Kohl, James McCann and Emily Cullen and Ciara Little from the RStGYC were winners of the third Elmo Trophy youth team racing competition, sailed at Dun Laoghaire Harbour last weekend.

They had a clear edge, winning all 16 races to beat 18 competing teams, including the visiting British West Kirby Sailing Club team in the final on Sunday afternoon at the Royal St George Yacht Club.

The Sigma 33 fleet will hold an open morning to enable anyone interested in buying or sailing in the keelboat fleet to have a test sail on Sunday, 24th September at 9.30am at the Royal St. George Yacht Club. All are welcome. Please contact Sigma 33 Class Captain Paddy Maguire at

David O'Brien

David O'Brien

David O'Brien, a contributor to The Irish Times, is a former world Fireball sailing champion and represented Ireland in the Star keelboat at the 2000 Olympics