Late summer series begins for Galway sailors

The Galway docks was expected to be awash with colour last evening with the second of the Galway Bay Sailing Club’s Alfa Romeo Late Summer Seriers due to finish in the city.

Sailing out of Rinville, the cruisers will complete their race in the docks to join the official welcome to Ireland’s Volvo Ocean Race team, the Green Dragon, to her home port. The 70ft yacht is due to leave Galway today after a four day visit.

The first race of the Alfa Romeo Late Summer Series took place last week in flat water with a light-to-moderate southerly breeze. That's Life (Martin Breen ) got the best start, followed by After Midnight with all boats hoisting spinnakers on the downwind leg to Cockle Rock after rounding the Leverers. However due to a dropping wind, the course was shortened, and on the final rounding of the Mutton mark That's Life, followed closely by Optique, sailed crossed the finishing line, with AWOL in third place.

In class two, Laught (Fiona O'Driscoll ) had the best start, followed by RhoCoDar (Tomas Furey ), while the other boats all started within seconds of each other, which made for close racing to the first mark. Siamsa (Mark Bruzzi ) took the lead at the first mark, and led all the way to the finish, followed closely by RhoCoDar, and Siamsa.

The Late Summer Series for dinghies also began, but they enjoyed brisk wind conditions. Johnny Murphy on Zhiggy led the multihull fleet to the first mark ,closely followed by Tim Breen on a Hobie Tiger and Ger Murray on a FX1. Murphy had some technical difficulties with the boat's spinnaker, and was overtaken by Breen and Murray, but he battled on to finish the race in third place.

However the monohull fleet start was a little too enthusiastic with at least two boats over the start line before the start flag was lowered. One boat returned to the start line to re-start, but the other helmed by Nicholas Burke failed to notice the recall flag and was ultimately scored over course start. Burke, who had led the race on corrected time to the finish, was not scored, and the race was eventually won by Gerry Drudy and Dympna O’Byrne in a 420 followed by Dave Vinnell and Maryse Collins in a laserVision. Junior sailor Bert Moran put in an excellent performance on a Laser Radial to take third place in the race.

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