Promises were made about the famous West Cork welcome that was on the cards for the JG Property Management SB3 Ireland Southern Championships and boy Baltimore delivered. OK may be it would have been nice to get out into the Atlantic but conditions weren’t right and by Sunday evening no one was complaining about the Champaign sailing. In fact it has been described as the best SB3 sailing yet encountered in Ireland; bumper to bumper racing in the harbour on Saturday and the perfect combination of outstanding scenery and manageable fully powered up conditions round in Roaring Water Bay on the Sunday. Like starry eyed children at the fairground the question on every ones lips was ‘can we go again, can we, can we?’. Anyone who missed this one missed not only some stella sailing but a Stella weekend away as well.
We started off race 1 well enough from the middle of the line. The boats from the left pulled through and when we dug left with them we went too far and out of the breeze. Rightly wary of the reputation for close racing in the SB3s the OD gave us the longest beat he could manage making the approach to the windward mark pretty tricky and we rounded 10thish. Not the best start to a regatta but having been here before we knuckled down on the first run and, with more breeze and the same shift as seen upwind on the right, managed to pull through to 4th by the leeward mark. Up the next beet we worked through a couple of combinations before settling on some settings that seemed to work, played the lift coming out from the left hand shore and pulled through into 2nd by the windward mark. Our downwind speed and angles held and we sneaked into the lead on the way back down the harbour. All through the race different combination popped up at the front and we were delighted to see fellow HYC members Emmet Ryan, John White and Bernard Fitzpatrick on Sonic Zoom nail third just behind Justin Bourke.