Howth Yacht Club’s Historic Lambay Race Attracts 78 Keelboats Despite Club-Only Format – Afloat

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With official club racing only permissible since last Monday, June 7th, and many fit-out schedules delayed through May's atrocious weather, the realists had been hoping for a turnout of maybe around 40 boats for Howth YC's opening major event of this "make it up as you go along" 2021 season, the time-honoured annual Lambay Race on Saturday which was further restricted in numbers by being billed as a club-only event.
Yet a little miracle took place at the Fingal peninsular port. The weather became summery as the week went on, the mood improved with it, and with the inspiration of five of the venerable Howth 17s staging the club's first "official" race for some time at 10: 30hrs on Bank Holiday Monday June 7th, clearly it behoved anything which moved and floated and set sails to get out there and celebrate with the Lambay circuit.
The Howth 17s mustered 12 boats and found a flash of sunshine for their start, with Peter Courtney's Oonagh (17) and the Turvey brothers' Isobel getting the best of it at the far end of the line. Photo: Annraoi Blaney  
Orla and Isobel crossing tacks north of Lambay. Photo: Annraoi Blaney
This was only slightly hampered by the wind managing to blow from every direction between southeast and west during the course of the race, while – apart from the occasional flash of brightness – the sun stayed behind cloud until most of the racing was over. But at least there nearly always was wind, and it was a warm breeze at that, making the intricacies of getting round the island – in addition to many other set course challenges – a gentle business even when you were making to wind.
IRC 2 on the wind with Half Tonners King One and Mata trying to find their way past the X302 Xebec. A long time ago, King One was Half Ton World Champion in the ownership of four times Olympic Gold Medallist Paul Elvstrom of Denmark, and now - as part of the Kelly stable - she was class winner round Lambay. Photo: Annraoi Blaney.
Not surprisingly, the largest single turnout – 19 boats – was in the non-spinnaker class, where some cruising boats which hadn't raced in years were caught up in the mood of the moment to display amazingly sharp performances.
Among the One-Design Classes, the Puppeteer 22s had shaken off enough of the cobwebs to have a turnout of 13, with the Howth 17s next in line with the round dozen, while the three hot IRC Classes all mustered good quorums with a set of results which will keep the directors of J Boats Europe purring with content.
The Half Tonner Mata (Wright brothers & Rick DeNeve). If you want to do well in the Lambay Race, exclude all marine ornithologists from your crew, as their concentration will al most immediately be elsewhere. Photo: Annraoi Blaney  
The Half Tonner Mata (Wright brothers & Rick DeNeve). If you want to do well in the Lambay Race, exclude all marine ornithologists from your crew, as their concentration will al most immediately be elsewhere. Photo: Annraoi Blaney
All the results are here in detail, while the headline placing were:

White Sail HPH: 1st Zarquon (M & J Wenski) 2: 33: 16; 2nd Spellbound (Burrows/Skeffington) 2: 38: 13; 3rd Blue Extra (M. Carroll) 2: 20: 46.
White Sails IRC 1st Bite the Bullet (Elan 333, Colm Bermingham) 2: 31: 37; 2nd Toughnut (MG 34, D Skehan) 2: 36: 46; 3rd Spellbound (Burrows/Skeffington) 2: 38: 33
IRC 1: 1st Lambay Rules (J/97, S Quinn), 2: 59: 10; 2nd Snapshot (J/99, M & R Evan, J/99) 2: 59: 31; 3rd Outrajeous (J/109, R Colwell & J Murphy) 3: 01: 48.
IRC 2: 1st King One (Elvstrom Half Tonner, D.Kelly) 2.55.27; 2nd Mata (Classic Half Tonnner, Wright bros & R DeNeve) 2: 56: 12; 3rd Checkmate XV (Humphreys Half Tonner, D Cullen) 2.59: 17
IRC 3: 1st Legal Alien (Sommerville & Kavanagh) 2: 39: 44; 2nd Insider (S & D Mullaney, Sigma 33) 2: 39: 39; 3rd Animal (G O'Sullivan, Formula 28) 2: 40: 23
J/80: 1st Jeannie (R Dix, 3: 15: 04; 2nd Red Cloud (N Reilly) 3: 16: 22; 3rd Jammy (D O'Grady, 3: 16: 50
Howth 17: 1st Deilginis (Massey/Toomey/Kenny) 3: 47: 17 2nd Aura (I Malcolm) 3: 48: 52; 3rd Anita (D Massey) 3: 51: 36
Puppeteer 22: 1st Gold Dust (Walls/Brown) 3: 26: 35; 2nd Trick or Treat (A Pearson & A Blay) 3: 28: 35; 3rd Yellow Peril (N Murphy & C Costello) 3: 31: 46
Squibs: 1st Crackertoo (S Kay) 3: 42: 04; 2nd 3point9 (F O'Kelly) 3: 42: 57; 3rd Tears for Fears (N Monks) 3: 45: 19.

The Lambay Lady Trophy goes to the boat with the biggest margin between her first place and the next in class, and initial assessments suggest that Colm Bermingham's Elan 333 Bite the Bullet (White Sails IRC) wins it by 11 seconds from Zarquon (M & J Wenski), but some classes using the Orthodox Coptic PH system may yet come up with a larger margin.
Storm is back in town……the Kelly family's successful J/109 Storm getting back in racing trim, with the unmistakable and unemployed Ringsend smokestacks very visible across the Sutton isthmus. When the stacks were first built in 1974, everybody objected to "these eyesores". Now that they're redundant and the powers-that-be expect to take them down, everybody is objecting to the "wanton destruction of these much-loved landmarks". Photo: Annraoi Blaney
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