British teams dominate at Schull

IRISH hopes of victory on home waters were dashed over the weekend as Britain’s first teams in the open and youth events of the ISAF World Team Racing Championships at Schull emerged overall winners.

West Kirby Sailing Club on Merseyside sent two teams to compete and both were able winners at the end of a marathon series in which the race management team staged more than 300 races in just four days.

The senior West Kirby squad moved into the joint lead with the USA 1 team from the New York Yacht Club on a finely balanced performance of 90 per cent race wins apiece after the three round robin series. That duel continued into the final where the British were in top form and won in a near rout with three race wins to one.

In the youth event, Irish hopes were led by the Schull Community College team, one of six homeside squads across both events. The six sailors topped their round robin phase while the Spanish side appeared to be their main challengers.

By the final however, it was the West Kirby youth side that found their optimum form and unsettled their hosts in the first two races. After a rally in which Schull won the third and fourth races, the 2011 youth title went down to the fifth race that was lost by the home team due to a finishing-line infringement.

Meanwhile, at Baltimore Sailing Club, ideal conditions rounded off a three-day series for Mark Mansfield of the Royal Cork Yacht Club with Terry English on Gut Rot in the Corona 1720 Euro championship.

The Olympic veteran delivered an emphatic series win with ten points to spare over Tom Durkin and Clive O’Sheas’ T-Bone in a fleet that attracted 27 sportsboats from around Ireland the UK.

On Dublin Bay yesterday, high winds forced the postponement of racing to today for the Star European Championship. The 27-boat fleet that counts five Olympic medallists and world champions including Britain’s Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson, were at sea for race one when winds started to reach gale force.

The boats had just managed to reach shore and pack gear away before a full gale developed and torrential rain ended prospects of racing. Ireland’s Peter O’Leary with David Burrows are competing as is their former rival contenders for a place at next year’s London 2012 Olympics, Max Treacy and Anthony Shanks.

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