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The Laser SB3 Championship entered the final phase at Dublin Bay to-day.(Thurs)


Light winds in Dublin Bay. Picture Gareth Craig

Crews were held onshore for the morning, with little wind available to shift the fog that had settled on the water since dawn.

Light airs were set to be the order of the day and when the committee finally started racing it was in less than eight knots of wind and a knowledge of Dublin Bay’s finicky tidal stream was to prove crucial and in the first race it was all about clean air and boat speed. Two of yesterday’s leaders, Craig Burlton and Mike Budd, failed to find it and tumbled into the twenties, with Jeff Carveth finishing ninth. The top five finishers comprised four Irish boats and one French. Laser Performance Skipper, Nicko Honor, took the gun, followed by Royal Cork’s Peter O’Leary in second place, Gareth Flanigan followed with Ger Owens in fourth and Aidan O’Connell in fifth.

For Race Two the tide had turned and Jerry Hill had planned his strategy and had taken advice from a local Dragon sailor who told him "with a north flowing tide you really would want to tack towards the Dun Laoghaire shore". The advice was sound and resulted in him taking first place in the race.  Peter O’Leary finished twelfth in this race.  Craig Burlton regained a five point lead at the top with Carveth in second, and South African skipper Dave Hudson in third.  Hudson was the recent winner of Boat of the Week at ACCBank Cork Week.  O’Leary now lies tenth overall in the provisional results. Whatever happens next, the SB3 World Champion will be crowned in Dun Laoghaire to-morrow.(Fri).

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