THE three-day Fastnet International Schools Regatta got underway in Schull Harbour yesterday under ideal weather conditions.
With entries from Britain, USA, Spain, and across Ireland, as well as a wide range of dinghy types, the sailing event brightened up the harbour from early morning.
The event, now in its 23rd year and hosted by Schull Community College, comprises three fleets: Bronze, Silver and Gold.
The Bronze and Silver fleet competitors were first on the water with pleasant force 3 to 4 breezes to accommodate the less experienced sailors.
In the Bronze fleet Race 1, the Laser Bahia of Ross and Caelan Mulhall of St Colmcille’s, Co Down took the honours from Meg O’Connell and Anna O’Regan of Schull Community College, sailing a TR4.2, and Marc Legrix, also from Schull, in a Laser 4.7 in third position.
Finishing positions in Race 2 of this fleet saw a reversal of fortunes with O’Connell/O’Regan ahead of Legrix, with the northern duo in third position.
Silver Fleet sailing ran in conjunction with the Bronze fleet and overall position after Race 1 had Mini McKenna and Beth Walsh, Scoil Mhuire and St Angela’s, Cork in their Topaz Duo ahead of Mikaela Neely of St Colmcille’s in her Laser Radial, with Tomás O’Sullivan and Dylan O’Meara from Schull Community College in their T.R.4.2 in third position.
A change in order for Race 2 saw Neely win ahead of O’Sullivan/O’Meara with Jessica Rutherford, St Colmcille’s in a Laser 4.7 in third place.
Neely was subsequently promoted to compete in the Gold Fleet.
Afternoon sailing was set aside for the experienced Gold Fleet sailors who were fortunate to have slightly increased wind conditions and were given two long races back to back.
The range of boats in this class varied with Omegas, 29er, Laser 4.7, Topaz, Optimist, 420s and a class of Laser Radials.
Race 1 saw a local winner in Oisin O’Driscoll, sailing in a Laser Radial, followed closely by another Radial sailed by Dan Ahern, Christian Brothers College, Cork with Connor Miller and Katie Moynihan, Schull Community College, in a Topaz Duo in third position.
As the afternoon progressed, Race 2 got underway in bright sunshine and again O’Driscoll took the honours to win from the Miller/Moynihan combination, with Fiona and Patrick Daly of Ursuline, Thurles and Clongowes Wood in third position sailing a 420.
Racing continues for two further days.
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