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McCormack's Mermaid 188 'Innocence' Takes National Title for the Fourth Year in a Row at Foynes

10th August 2022
The 188 Innocence crew Darragh and Mark McCormack, and Cathal McMahon in the lead on the home waters of the Shannon Estuary
The 188 Innocence crew Darragh and Mark McCormack, and Cathal McMahon in the lead on the home waters of the Shannon Estuary

Commodore John Paul Buckley welcomed all competitors and their families to Foynes for the Dublin Bay Mermaid championship, Paul Browne, President of the Mermaid Sailing Association, said a few words on their behalf, and Scorie Walls, OOD, did the briefing.

Conditions were perfect for the Championships held at Foynes Yacht Club. Sixteen boats took part.

Competitors were greeted by fresh and lively conditions on day one of the Nationals, these conditions persisted for the first three days of the event which gave rise to some fantastic racing, with some capsizes as well as lots of planing down the reaches.

Four time Mermaid national champions - The 188 Innocence crew Darragh and Mark McCormack, and Cathal McMahon of Foynes Yacht ClubFour time Mermaid national champions - The 188 Innocence crew Darragh and Mark McCormack, and Cathal McMahon of Foynes Yacht Club

On the final day of the event, competitors were met with some lighter conditions, which was welcomed by many sailors after such a physically demanding first three days.

The racing throughout the week was absolutely fantastic, with many people remarking it was some of the best mermaid racing they had in years.

The championship wrapped up on Saturday with the eighth and final championship race, then a crews race that finished at the Clubhouse, putting on a show for the spectators onshore. A prizegiving dinner, followed by music late into the night was held.

There were huge congratulations to Darragh and Mark McCormack, and Cathal McMahon, Foynes Yacht Club, on 188 Innocence, who took the title for the fourth year in a row, a feat only achieved once before by the legendary Jim Carthy of Rush Sailing Club.

It goes without saying that Dublin Bay Mermaids are a unique and competitive class that need to be preserved. Darragh McCormack, champion of the last four years, touched on this subject in his winner's speech.

He spoke of how when he first entered the class, he was one of the last boats in the fleet for some time but credited much of his improvement and success to people within the Mermaid class giving him a helping hand. He encourages young sailors to join the Mermaid Class as he labels it one of the most competitive and fun fleets he has ever been part of!

Taking second place was Derek Joyce and crew, from Wexford Sailing Club, third place went to Paddy Dillon & Crew from Rush Sailing Club. Oisin Finucane, Foynes Yacht Club, won the best U25 Helm in the U25 category. The Designer was won by Paddy Archer & Crew, the Daphne was won by Darach Dineen & Crew, and the Crews race was won by Daniel O'Hare.

Commodore John Paul Buckley thanked Scorie Walls and her team, mark laying boats, safety boats, FYC Class Captain, all volunteers both on and off the water. 

Published in Mermaid, Shannon Estuary
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