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Irish Squib Inland Championship at Lough Derg

by Martin Weatherstone 15 Oct 23:45 PDT 12-13 October 2019
Irish Squib Inlands at Lough Derg © Fiona Ward

Dromineer has been the traditional end of year Squib regatta in Ireland with the Inland Championship title being decided on the lake. Lough Derg Yacht Club always run a great event and the Squib fleet would like to thank all who were involved in this year's regatta. It was a credit to all organisers and helpers throughout the weekend.

It was once penned 'the annual pilgrimage to the Whiskey Still pub' and while no races actually occurred in the bar, it was the scene of Friday night's get together with Squibbers from all over the country (we have also acquired a Welsh team!). Another anecdotal quote from a previous winner at the event, when asked about advise on racing at the event on the lake the response was 'get drunk,, go left' but more on that later...

Saturday's four scheduled races threw up the varied weather that Lough Derg is famous for it really was four seasons in one day - everything from 5kts to 15kts, with sun, showers and sunscreen all in the mix.

Durt (849) on the second beat saw either a hidden wind or 60hp engine on the far bank of the lake, they went right, actually they went right right and further right, started the engine, took off and got so far ahead they were untouchable. I don't know if it was 2 stroke or 4 stroke but it certainly was some stroke but deservedly they won race 1. Allegro were clear in second 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th were fought out at the final mark.

Toy For the Boys, freshly launched after her mooring accident in the spring rounded in 3rd being expertly helmed by Martin Weatherstone with the dapper Fred Campbell at the business end. Toys owner and our Squib Forum Chair Peter Wallace was an observer this weekend having had a few of his own keelbolts cleaned and we wish him a speedy recovery.

What happened next has led me wanting to DNA test Martin Weatherstone, because if Simone Biles and Tom Daly combined their offspring couldn't do what he did, while in 3rd place having just dropped their kite and rounded up and tacked he did a combined double twisting, flipping, rotating, back super somersault flip out of the boat. It was Classic. Credit to Fred who did haul him back in without too much delay, and while it cost them a few places, to finish 5th was an achievement, and the unintentional interference to Selik 6th was settled in gentlemenly fashion.

Race two saw Fagin (100) take the win, with Toy for the Boys (818) keeping her full crew of two onboard taking 2nd and The Worm taking 3rd. The wind and squalls really blew up for race three where Kinsales Allegro (134) fought off Volante (807). In the final fourth race of the day Selik (223) held The Worm to take the win.

Confusing was what it was until score sheets were available as there had been four separate winners of the four races, yet racing had been very tight. Overnight it was Fagin leading Allegro, but with two races to go on Sunday it was all to play for.

Race 4.5 doesn't count towards the overall standings but it lasts for about 6-8 hours on Saturday night leaning on a bar. I call it the human race, it's where friendships are made, new fleet members get introduced, mark roundings are recounted, right shift engine sizes are debated, and Martin's combined double twisting, flipping, rotating, back super somersault flip was a hot topic, and general devilment and merriment happens.

Sunday morning saw a 10.30 start for race five and the fifth winner of the weekend was Perfection (44) with Femme Fatale (24) 2nd and Toy for the Boys 3rd. five races and five different winners leading to the final sixth race of the series.

Allegro (134), Colm Dunne and Fiona Ward, took line honours (go left !) and with it the Inland Championship and 'Adora' trophy. National winning Fagin (100) Gordon Patterson and Ross Nolan took 2nd overall and Toy for the Boys, helmed at his first event by Martin 'flipper' Weatherstone and Fred Campbell finished 3rd overall.

It was brilliant to have 25 boats on the line for the last event of the year, close racing all the way through the fleet makes the effort of travelling all worthwhile. The Irish fleet is growing slowly and it is only by travelling to events Squibbers get better and fleets get better.

Wash off the Squibs, sand their bottoms, sort their lines and tuck them in, Spring won't be long coming around and those little explosive boats will be back to do it all again. Roll on 2020.

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