THE Fastnet International Schools Regatta enjoyed a thrilling finale at Fastnet Marine and Outdoor Education Centre in Schull, with Oisín O’Driscoll taking the Gold Fleet overall title.
Recordings of gusts of up to 25 knots were taken in the morning and after delaying the start of the Silver and Bronze Fleets, it was eventually decided to abandon the final races in the interests of safety.
This meant that the overnight positions were declared as results in these two fleets with local winners in both. Tomás O’Sullivan and Dylan O’Meara sailing a TR4.2 were the overall winners in the Silver fleet followed by Jessica Rutherford, Sullivan Upper School, Co Down, sailing her Laser 4.7, and third position overall in the fleet went to Matthew Coffey and Oliver Enderlie, Gonzago College Dublin and the Sir James Henderson British School of Milan, sailing an RS Feva.
The Bronze Fleet winners, after the series of four races, were Meg O’Connell and Anna Regan, Schull Community College, sailing a T.R.42.
This pair were followed home by the Northern Ireland pairing of Ross and Caelan Mulhall of St Colmcilles, Co Down sailing a Laser Bahia and in third place was the local Laser 4.7 of Marc Legrix.
The real excitement of the week was reserved for the Gold Fleet races held just outside of Schull Harbour.
With steady winds of 15-16 knots, the experienced fleet again revelled in the conditions for Races 5 and 6 to complete the series. Both of these were tight battles, not just for individual race wins but also for the overall honours which was up for grabs into the final race. Race 5 had Connor Miller/Katie Moynihan of Schull Community College, sailing a Topaz Duo, ahead of Oisín O’Driscoll in his Laser Radial, followed in a close third position by Dan Ahern, Christian Brothers College Cork, also in a Laser Radial.
At this stage the overall award was still in doubt with O’Driscoll having the slightest of advantage over the Miller/Moynihan duo. The matter was decided in Race 6 when Ahern had a hard-fought victory over O’Driscoll, giving O’Driscoll the overall Regatta award. He becomes the first Laser Radial victor in the 23-year history of the event.
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