News: Howth Yacht Club’s Headcase are 2019 Irish J/24 National Champions

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The fleet awoke on Sunday morning 25 August to a lake that looked like a sheet of glass and were none too optimistic as they headed to the racecourse on the final day of the Irish J/24 National Championship (writes Elaine O’Mahoney). But as the morning went on, wind started to build, and by the time the fleet had made it to the race area, a steady 10-12 knots had materialized, enabling OOD Derek Bothwell and his team to lay marks and get racing off on schedule. With just five races completed out of a scheduled nine, the race management team were eager to get as many races in as possible, and all racing for the day started with the U flag. Going into the final day’s racing, Cillian Dickson’s Headcase from Howth Yacht Club were lying in third place behind Darragh McCormack’s Stouche from Foynes Yacht Club in first and JP McCaldin’s El Riccio in second. However, Headcase climbed their way back up, winning the first two races but still needing to finish two places ahead of Stouche in the final race. That race was won by Jana from Sligo Yacht Club, but Headcase’s third place ahead of Stouche’s fifth was enough for them to finish the event on level points and win on countback. Tadgh O’Loinsigh on Janx Spirit from Tralee Bay Sailing Club sailed a superb series and is the new ICRA Under 25 J/24 National Champion. He will receive a grant from ICRA to assist with his J/24 campaign which will be presented at the ICRA National Conference later this year along with a presentation on the importance of supporting under 25 programmes. The Silver Fleet was won by Colm O’Flaherty from Sligo Yacht Club on Jana. The Bronze Fleet was won by Conor Houghton from Wicklow Sailing Club on Jade. The band playing outside on the Saturday night was a little bit of magic and gave the event a festival feel, and the racing finished on a high with three great races.



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