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Mermaid National Championships 2015 Reaches Half Way Point At Foynes

6th August 2015
Mermaid National Championships 2015 Reaches Half Way Point At Foynes

#mermaid – Racing in the Mermaid National Championships got underway earlier this week & has been greeted by extremely mixed conditions. 'Mermaid Week' traditionally begins with a practice race on the Saturday of the August Bank Holiday weekend with the first championship race taking place on Sunday. For the first time the Mermaid fleet in Foynes are racing west of Foynes which means the racing can be viewed by the public along the coast road between Foynes and Glin, Co. Limerick.
Race 1 began in winds of just over 20kts but with strong gusts and wind against spring tides providing a challenging sea state. 20 boats came to the start area but after a general recall for the first start four boats retired to shore. The 2nd start was all clear and throughout the race the lead switched several times between Wild Wind helmed by two time national champion Paddy Dillon with crew Johnny Dillon & Lauren O'Hare and another Mermaid veteran, and four time national champion, Jim Carthy and his daughters Muriel & Paula on 123 Vee with Wild Wind taking the lead on the final beat to the finish. Local boat 188 Innocence helmed by Darragh McCormack with crew Mark McCormack & Cathal McMahon made a great recovery after a capsize on the first run which saw them drop back to 7th to get back to 3rd place.
Things on Day 2 of the championship were deceptively calm at Foynes clubhouse which is well sheltered in southerly winds but the forecast was for gale force winds and OOD Geoff O'Donoghue made the wise call to cancel racing.
All efforts necessary were being made to get in three races to constitute the series while putting safety first so day 3 saw the AP up to delay racing & wait for the forecasted ease in wind to come about. The committee boat went out early to the race area & once the wind steadied below 20kts and had wind with tide which meant flatter seas the fleet were called out for race 2. Racing at the top is very tight but Wild Wind are proving to be heavy weather specialists & difficult to beat with another win. 188 were second and Sam Shiels with Con Bissett and Eoin Boylan on 189 Azeezy 3rd.
The lighter conditions on Wednesday were sure to bring other contenders to the front. Race 3 saw the full fleet of 22 boats take to the start in 12-15kts westerly winds. A tough blow for 189 Azeezy who led from start to finish only to find out they were OCS which gave another 1st place to 131 Wild Wind. 188 were 2nd and last year's champions 77 Tiler Girl with Johnathan, Carol & Alan O'Rouke getting back to form in 3rd.
With two days of racing left the series is constituted but 5 races will bring in a discard & conditions are lightening so the OOD is hopeful of getting in at least two more races.

Results after 3 races:
Overall: 1st 131 Wild Wind (2.5pts), 2nd 188 Innocence (7pts), 3rd 123 Vee (11pts).
Daphne: 1st 146 Fugitive (4.75pts), 2nd 190 Mayhem (13.5pts), 90 Deirdre (16pts)
Designer: 1st 146 Fugitive (2.25pts) 2nd 90 Deirdre (8pts), 3rd 192 Ariel (10pts)
Celia: 1st 131 Wild Wind (2.25pts), 2nd 123 Vee (7pts), 3rd 146 Fugitive (13pts)
Masters: 1st 123 Vee (5.75pts), 2nd 77 Tiller Girl (12.75pts), 3rd 189 Azeezy (16.75pts)
Munster: 1st 188 Innocence (2.25pts), 2nd 119 Three Chevrons (10pts), 3rd Sea Fox (10pts)

Published in Mermaid
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