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McCormack Equals Carthy’s Four in a Row Mermaid Title Record in Foynes

14th August 2022

As Afloat previously reported, the Dublin Bay Mermaid National Championships were held on the 2nd to 6th of August on the Shannon Estuary at Foynes.

16 boats took to the start line with many favourites of old competing for the lady trophy, including Jim Carthy, Derek Joyce, Paddy Dillon, and Franky Browne but to name a few and not to leave out Darragh McCormack coming into these championships looking to equal Jim Carthy’s record of 4 in a row, a record which has been held for many years this was sure to be a belter.

Day 1
Racing this year started off later than usual, launching just after low tide racing kicked off on Wednesday 03 August 15:00 which allowed late comers to arrive on the day and some helms to get their heads together after arriving on the Monday and enjoying the famous Foynes welcome.

Race 1 was a steady 12-15Kn taken by Darragh McCormack in Innocence (188) followed closely by Enda Weldon in Myhem (190) and Vincent McCormack in Three Chevrons (119) respectively.

Race 2 was taken by Derek Joyce in Zuleika (187) reminding us all that he was here to fight and was not about to be out raced on the first day, second went to D. McCormack on innocence and 3rd to Darach Dinneen in Red Seal (121).

Overall: Innocence lies in 1st Zuleika in 2nd and Wild Wind in 3rd overall
Daphne: 1st Mayhem E.Weldon, 2nd Red Seal D.Dinneen, 3rd Sea Fox O.Finucane
Designer: 1st Maybee P. Archer, 2nd Pearl A.Lowes, 3rd Ariel A.Weldon

Day 2
Thursday proved to be a howler with 20kn steady for the day, racing kicked off at 15:30 with much of the fleet opting to not fly spinnaker upon rounding the weather mark some, gained and some lost out.

The Top 3 boats showing how to get a Mermaid to maximum speed.

In an exhilarating show of boat handling Zuleika came out in podium for the 3 race of the competition with Innocence and Three Chevrons crossing the line at exactly the same time in joint 2nd earning them 2.5 points each closely followed by Wild Wind in 4th.

Rush Sailing Club's Maybee (P Archer) under spinnaker on the Shannon EstuaryRush Sailing Club's Maybee (P Archer) under spinnaker on the Shannon Estuary

Race 4 was much of the same with more boats building courage and opting to fly spinnakers. Wild Wind ran away with this one with Innocence in 2nd and Zuleika in 3rd a pattern was quickly forming on the results sheet with the odd discrepancy.

All ashore with big smiles and sore legs we were entertained with a magic show and the alternative prizegiving traditionally hosted by the amazing Shay O’Toole but with Packer Thorne taking the helm this year with many thanks to Shay. Many spot prizes we given out including “Legs 11 Isabell O’Shea”, a rubber ring for Franky Browne who capsized racing today and the youngest sailor in the fleet Chloe Grogan Browne aged 13. 

Overall: Innocence lies in 1st Zuleika in 2nd and Wild Wind in 3rd overall
Daphne: 1st Mayhem E.Weldon, 2nd Red Seal D.Dinneen, 3rd Sea Fox O.Finucane
Designer: 1st Maybee P. Archer, 2nd Pearl A.Lowes, 3rd Ariel A.Weldon

Day 3
Friday was a calmer day with but an earlier start at 11:00 with the option of three races as the final day was giving little to no wind races kicked off with a 1st and 2nd from Innocence and Zuleika respectively and Mayhem taking third with a fantastic start and holding to the end. 4th and 5th came down to almost a photo finish with Cara II and Red Seal with the latter taking 4th after a long wait ashore and plenty of hand/salt & pepper movement to illustrate angles.

Race 6 saw former champions Frankie Brown in Cara II 135 and Jim Carthy Vee 123 showing the now younger that they are by no means done winning races, coming in 1st and 2nd respectively closely followed by Wild Wind in 3rd.

Race 7 was where the U flag came out and the pointy end of the fleet clashed seeing both Innocence and Zuleika DSQ’d through protests. Although neither of which saw the top three in this race it opened the championship up to two other boats. With Wild Wind coming in first and Cara II coming in second and Red Seal coming in third it meant that the championship was open to the top 4 boats: Innocence, Zuleika, Wild Wind & Cara II.

Overall: Innocence lies in 1st Zuleika in 2nd and Wild Wind in 3rd overall
Daphne: 1st Red Seal D.Dinneen, 2nd Sea Fox O.Finucane, 3rd Mayhem E.Weldon
Designer: 1st Maybee P. Archer, 2nd Joy M.McCormack, 3rd Pearl A.Lowes

Day 4
Light Winds and building tide saw the last race of the championship unfold in slow but spectacular fashion, the decision this time was to stay as much out of the tide as possible, staying on starboard was the call for the day as much as possible with Zuleika staying in 1st for much of the race only to be pipped by Wild Wind at the final weather mark. Innocence and Red Seal competed for 3rd swapping places a few times only for both boats to settle on the last reach and finish with Innocence in 3rd and Red Seal in 4th.
The results of this race meant that Innocence helmed by Darragh McCormack has won their fourth concoctive championships with Zuleika taking second and Wild Wind taking third although they are on equal points. Cara II in fourth and Red Seal in fifth.

Oisin Finucan also retains the U25 trophy for the fourth year in a row but with Mary McCormack, Anna Lowes and a few other boats looking at competing next year in the under 25 category he will have a great battle ahead of him in 2023

Overall: 1. Innocence 2. Zuleika 3. Wild Wind 4. Cara II 5. Red Seal
Daphne: 1. Red Seal 2. Sea Fox 3. Mayhem 4. Dolphin 5. Bean Adhmaid
Designer: 1. Maybee 2. Joy 3. Pearl 4. Ariel 5. Fugative

The week's racing was finished off with the Crew’s race which took a bit of a twist in that there was one triangle then a long beat back to the club where the finish line was set just outside the club which provided great entertainment for those ashore.

Number 121 Darach Dineen of Skerries Sailing ClubNumber 121 Darach Dineen of Skerries Sailing Club

With plenty of screaming and shouting from family and friends ashore, Laser hotshot Daniel O’Hare helming Vee crossed the line with a convincing lead to take the bullet in his first attempt helming his grandfather’s famous Mermaid.

Chloe Grogan Browne (ages 13) took the helm of Cara II with Father Frankie Jr and Grandfather Frankie Sr crewing, just pipped Zuleika helmed by Cillian Joyce to take second place and now probably put a challenge in as next year’s helm

Overall, a fantastic event held by Foynes Yacht Club, Many thanks to Commodore John Paul and his huge, amazing volunteer force and all involved in the club and special thanks to Scorie Walls and team who got every race off on time and with beautiful angles.

Published in Mermaid, Shannon Estuary Team

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