Fastnet 2011

10 April 2012

Probably my favourite photo of the year, this picture was taken on the edge of the Shingles Bank just West of the Solent. Barry Hurley and Andy Boyle sailing the Rolex Fastnet Race 2011 double handed on Dinah.

Some other shots taken around the same time show the washing-machine type conditions caused by strong positive tide over shallow water against the direction of the breeze. We got knocked around so much the reefing line in the main snapped soon afterwards.

Early in the race we had bad weather crossing Georges Channel (the same conditions in which Rambler dramatically capsized at the rock), but by the next evening we were in perfect conditions making directly for Fastnet Rock, sailing into an amazing sunset.

We rounded the rock in light airs well placed within the fleet. The leg to Bishops Rock was to be a straight line drag race. Myself and Andy got a lot of rest on that leg, knowing the light airs approach to the finish line would be tricky and would need our full attention.

As predicted there were very light airs approaching the finish. Eventually the breeze filled in, bringing over 140 boats to Plymouth at the same time, regardless of how well any individual boat had performed in the five days of the race before that. In the photo below, you can see the horizon full of boats. Not a very normal sight five days into a race! Since there were over 130 finishers within one hour, effectively the boat with the lowest handicap won. Dinah didn’t feature in the results, but the event was amazing for many reasons. Thanks again to everybody who made it possible, and well done to Barry & Andy.

Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Race – Day 1 Video

29 July 2011

SORC Channel Week 2011

29 July 2011

The annual Solo Offshore Racing Club’s ‘Channel Week’ was held last week in a varying mix of conditions. Seven offshore legs over eight days took the fleet from the Solent to the Channel Islands, and on to three French ports, before crossing back to the Weymouth and finishing in the Solent. Conditions were challenging throughout the event, including everything from a 100m beat to Guernsey in 25+knts and spring tides, to a light airs run from Weymouth to the Solent on the final day.

The much travelled ‘Dinah’ owned and skippered by Barry Hurley from the Royal Irish Yacht Club put in a strong performance over the whole week, scoring no lower than 2nd in class in every race. Consistency proved key in the no discard series, with Hurley eventually finishing 1st in class and 3rd overall.

In a few weeks time on August 14th Barry will be joined again by his usual crew Andy Boyle, also of the Royal Irish Yacht Club, as they set off on the Rolex Fastnet Race double handed against a fleet of over 350 boats.

Sovereigns Cup 2011

29 July 2011

Purely as an experiment (and to have fun!) we put a full crew on Dinah for the Sovereigns Cup in Kinsale. We acheived our goal of having fun… but from a results point of view sadly we proved the adage that offshore boats shouldn’t do inshore regattas.

Crew work was superb given that we’d never sailed together before, and only Barry had ever sailed the boat before. Thanks again to Barry Hurley (skipper & helm), Keith Kiernan (nav & tactics), John Scott (main trim), Luca Zoccoli (jib & kite trim), Andrew Hegarty (jib & kite trim), George Tottenham (pit & crew comforts officer), Anna McWilliam (mast & mid bow) and James Ryan (bow).