Despite the recent news that there will be no ISAF Team Racing Worlds in 2013, team racing in Ireland is still flourishing. Eighteen teams travelled to Schull over the weekend of the 10th and 11th of November for the Irish Team Racing Association National Championships.
Irish Team Racing logo
Two of Britain's best teams made the trip, repeating their success of last year. Irish teams included the highly experienced George Knights, the young stars of Schull Youth, college teams from UCC ad UCD, not forgetting two teams from Presentation Brothers, Cork participating for the first time.
The organising team from Fastnet Marine and Outdoor Education Centre ran racing with great efficiency. On Saturday the occasional squall with gusts up to 35 knots held up racing as boats sheltered in the lee of the harbour wall. Despite this, by the end of the day a first round league had been completed and the second round was under way. League C of the first round was extremely close fought, with three teams on four wins. The two teams promoted to the Round 2 Gold League were only decided after the third tie break.
After the second round the two British teams, Wessex Extreme and Vultures were leading, allowing them an easier draw in the quarter finals. The Irish teams progressing to the knock-out rounds were George Knights, Schull Alumni, PP&J, UCC1 and the first two from the Silver League, UCD and Schull Youth. The hierarchy established in the leagues was maintained with, with the top four teams progressing to the semi-finals. Wessex Extreme and the George Knights emerged victorious to contest the final.
Anxious to make it to the airport in time for their flight home, Wessex Extreme pulled out all the stops to win the final in two straight races, retaining their overall winner title from last year.
The George Knights added their name, yet again, to the long list of Irish Champions.
Next year's championship will be sailed in Dun Laoghaire on the ninth and 10th of November 2013.
Overall Winner: Wessex Extreme
Overall Second and Irish Champions: George Knights
Irish Youth Champions: Schull Youth
ISA Silver Medal: Schull Alumni
ISA Bronze Medal: PP&J