As I crossed another sailor on the first beat in the second race, he shouted to me that the racing was like playing ‘snakes and ladders’. The wind-shifts were making Malahide Yacht Club’s season-opening ‘March Hare’ regatta an interesting but challenging event. Postponed by 24 hours from the planned Saturday due to forecast strong winds, the event took place on Sunday 24 March in ideal conditions of 8 knots gusting to 12 knots. The significant wind shifts during racing meant that some boats were catapulted to the front of the fleet where others were demoted to the back, demanding tactical racingand significant concentration, but made for very interestingracing. The event attracted sailors from the club itself, but also from other clubs such as Sligo YC, Lough Ree YC, Sutton Dinghy Club and Waterford Harbour Sailing Club.

Thirty two boats took to the waters in the Regatta with a particularly strong showing of eighteen ILCAs, much to the delight of ILCA Class Captain, Andrejs Samoilovs. Eight Optimists showed their enthusiasm, of which 5 were in the regatta fleet and enjoying their first event. The mixed PY fleet number six boats with Toppers being the backbone of the fleet. Optimist and Topper Class Captains, Aran Gibney and Gemma Hooper-Jones were also pleased with the showing from their fleets, particularly given the start of the Easter School holidays.

The Club’s Vice Commodore, Niall Gallagher, used his expertise as a seasoned Race Officer to set a well-timed course.  Racing commenced promptly as per the schedule. The event’s Safety Officer, Shane O’Rourke, was thankfully untroubled by the conditions with the water temperature for any capsized sailors being his main concern.

In the main Optimist fleet, Ethan Harte pipped Donnchadh Duane in the fourth and final race to claim first place overall, both with a net four points. Liam Sweeney came third. In the Optimist Regatta Fleet, it again came down to the fourth race for Charlie Byrne to squeeze out Patrick McCarthy, again with both on the same points in the reckoning. Charlie Noone came third.

In the PY fleet, we had the first of our sibling rivalries, with Paidí A’Coistealbha’s win in the third and last race for this fleet not enough to beat his brother Tomás to first place. Tomás had two impressive first places and a net score of twowhile Paidí had a net three points. Mollie Hooper-Jones was close in third place, with a net five points. Conditions were such that it favoured the Toppers with Nathan Harris’ Aero and Hugo Micka’s Fireball lacking their normal pace in the lighter airs.

With eighteen ILCAs entered, there was enough in each rig size to have three separate classes. In the ILCA 4 Class Stan O’Rourke came back from third place in the first race, to claim two firsts in the remaining two, placing him first overall in the class. Siún Ní Choistealbha was not going to be outdone by her two Topper brothers and won the first race and came second in the subsequent two, giving her second place overall. Connor O’Sullivan placed third.

In the ILCA 6 class it was a similar story to the ILCA 4s, with a win for Viktor Samoilovs in the first race and two seconds thereafter, losing out to Glenda Gallagher who recorded wins in the second and third races. Kalia Behan bested Alex Deasy and Joseph McGuigan for third place, all sharing seven points, but Kalia placing second in the first race.

In the ILCA 7 class, Colm Cunningham and Andrejs Samoilovs brought ‘form’ from their recent adventures at the Howth Frostbites, scoring a first and second in the first race. However the Anglim brothers were only getting started and in the second race Sean secured first place, while James secured third, being pipped by Andrejs. It was all to play for in the final race with the three leading boats at that point all within a point of each other in the reckoning. The winds favoured a pin-end start and Rear Commodore Noel Davidson got off to a great start and led for a large part of the race, but was caught by both Anglims, with James securing third place. The overall result was Sean Anglim in first place, beating his brother James by one point, and Andrejs Samoilovs in third.

Coming off the water, the sailors enjoyed food, expertly organised by David Moreau and, once the results were finally tabulated, the prize-giving was hosted by our Commodore Margaret Fay and our Club President Martin Clancy. The Club were delighted that the event was sponsored by Airport Driving School. As always, Club Members volunteered their time generously in planning the event and organising the day, looking after everything from registration, parking, and launching through to safety boats, mark-laying, protest committee and the committee boat.  Most of the preparation of the safety boats, facilities and logistical supports expertly organised by Colum McCaffrey and Sean Anglim looking after Safety Boat rostering. Russell Camier did tremendous work in coordinating the event in the weeks preceding it.  The regatta was a great start to the Club’s busy racing calendar for the year.


Paul Quinn

Dinghy Sailing Secretary