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McSwiggans' October League at Galway Bay Sailing Club

by Liam Burke 28 Oct 2015 02:25 PDT 25 October 2015

The McSwiggans' October League concluded at Galway Bay Sailing Club last Sunday with a return to blustery conditions more commonly associated with the West coast and spin-offs from Caribbean hurricanes at this time of year.

The first four races took place with fickle offshore breezes where Corby 25 Tribal could not be caught after flying starts from the pin end and superior speed around the course. The trend for the bigger boats to rate under a non-overlapping jib was costly as they struggled to power up in the light airs. The unusual presence of Tommy Smyth's Dragonfly 25 trimaran crewed by sailors from the Dart and Hobie fleet kept tacticians busy as she accelerated away but at lower angles and costly tacking manoeuvers. Also large numbers of shrimp pots in the shallow areas of the bay made it difficult for boats to get relief from any unfavourable tides.

So after four races run and two abandoned, Tribal's four bullets looked a sufficient cushion going into last Sunday's final two races but a 'no show' by the lead boat threw the game wide open. Race officer Dave Vinnell continued with his policy of Committee Boat starts on the bay, but as the twenty knot breeze was forecast to build into the afternoon, and he sent the fleet 'around the cans'. Barry Heskin's Now What and Mike Guilfoyle's Ibaraki were 'jockeyed-up' with North sail's Ronan Grealish and UK Sailmaker's Des McWilliams respectively. A two way battle ensued in the twenty knots plus conditions. But as they scored a win and a second place each, it wasn't enough, and despite including a DNS in their score, Tribal, equal on points with Now What, took the series on countback.

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