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John Durcan Triumphs in International Schools Regatta

Sailing concluded on Friday in the Fastnet International Schools Regatta at the Fastnet Marine & Outdoor Education Centre, Schull.  After 3 days of superb sailing conditions and highly competitive fleets  – overall honours for this prestigious event went to John Durcan, Douglas Community School, Cork (RCYC) sailing an Optimist having completed a clean sweep of race wins in the final day.  In so doing, he overhauled the overnight and leaders from the start of the regatta – Oisin O’Driscoll/Conor Millar, Schull Community College, Schull, Co. Cork in their 420.  The revelation of the event was Tom Morehead, Christian Brothers College, Cork (RCYC) in a Laser 4.7 having previously been upgraded from the Silver Fleet returned results of two consecutive 2nd places and did enough to win the Laser 4.7 classes.

A further 2nd place was awarded to Harry Whitaker, St. Lukes, Douglas, Co. Cork (RCYC) in his Optimist in race 5, while local sailor Fionn Lyden, Schull Community College, Schull, Co. Cork and Baltimore Sailing Club in his Laser 4.7 finished a very creditable 3rd in races 6 & 7.

But the day belonged to Durcan who becomes the 5th Optimist Winner of the event over the past 6 years.

Earlier in the day the Silver & Bronze Fleets were provided with 3 races in strong breeze of between 8 and 10 knots with occasional gusts of up to 14 knots.  Overnight leader Mikeala Neely, St. Colmcilles, Crossgar, Co. Down continued her winning way with good victories in races 5,6,& 7 in her Laser 4.7.  This left her as overall winner of the Silver Fleets and Silver Laser 4.7 class.  Mikeala was closely followed by Patrick Cahill, St. Canleths (Optimist)  in race 5 with the Uno Topaz Plus of Harriet Selka/Craig Murray, Bedales School, Hampshire/Schull Community College in 3rd position.  Races 6 & 7 rapidly followed with Neely followed home by Alacoque Daly, Knockaderry National School, Farranfore in an Optimist and Cahill again in 3rd.  The minor positions in race 7 were filled by Denis Kelleher, Blackrock College, Co.Dublin in a Laser 4.7 and Daly, on this occasion, filling 3rd position.  Bronze Fleet results for these final races had a familiar look about them as Tom Downes/Fionnbarr McDermott Long, Glendalough, Co. Wicklow, in a 420 won all 3 races, while Ella Neely/Ross Mulhall, St. Colmcills, Crossgar, Co.Down, also in 420 exchanging the minor places with Thomas O’Suilleabhain, Schull Community College in a Topper.  Overall finishing positions were confirmed on these races with Downes/McDermott Long winning from Neely/Mulhall and O’Suilleabhain in 3rd place.

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