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Robert O’Leary’s ‘Dutch Gold’ Takes 1720 Southerns

Robert O’Leary’s ‘Dutch Gold’ with crew of Cliodhna Connolly, Seafra Guilfoyle, Cian Guilffoyle and Cian Byrne took the AIB 1720 Southerns title following three excellent days of racing in the Royal Cork last weekend. Boats traveled from Baltimore, Dunmore East and Dublin to join our local fleet to make for a total of 14 entrants. The event was held behind closed doors with no social activities, all registration done online, an official noticeboard on WhatsApp and protests held over Zoom. 

Friday was an action packed afternoon with a FG of 15:25hrs and two races sailed to the South West of Roches Point in 15 – 28knots. Race 1 was on small sails to ease the fleet back into racing and Robbie English & Ross McDonald’s ‘Ropedock-Atara’  had a storming victory. Race 2 saw the Q flag lowered, a strengthening tide and an unexpected increase in the breeze. With big sails on it was a monster of a race and with all bar one boat falling over, there was plenty of action. This time ‘Dutch Gold’ and crew took a convincing 1st with ‘Ropedock-Atara’ 2nd. The battle between these two was to continue throughout the event right to the end. The sail makers were busy overnight and two masts were replaced but everybody made it back out for the first start on Saturday morning.

Photo’s here from Deirdre Horgan of Day 1.

Savage Saturday saw race officer Ciaran McSweeney (ably assisted by former Irish Sailing President Jack Roy), put the crews through their paces with a mammoth 5 races South East of Roches Point. With 15knots or so from the North and amazing racing, there were too many stories to tell. Robert and crew on ‘Dutch Gold’ continued to maintain their lead with ‘Ropedock-Atara’ not far behind and the Royal Cork’s own ‘T-Bone’ (Tom Durcan/Clive O’Shea) climbing the rankings to move into third including a race win in race 7, the only race of the event not won by ‘Dutch Gold’ or ‘Ropedock-Atara’. Photos here form Deirdre Horgan of Day 2.

Sunday saw a much lighter breeze for the final two races of the event but again the unusual Northerly persisted. Robert O’Leary and crew had an unexpected 12th place in the opening race of the day and Ropedock-Atara pounced with a victory leaving them only two points behind and all to play for. A pre-start luffing duel in the final resulted in a protest and with ‘Dutch Gold’ taking first on the water, her result stood while ‘Ropedock-Atara’ were ultimately disqualified which dropped them to third overall and put ‘T-Bone’ helmed by Harry Durcan up into second. Well done to all competitors over the weekend and the class are hugely encouraged to see the fleet building in Dunmore, a strong showing of youth and gender balance and look forward to the Nationals in Baltimore in late September,

Admiral Colin Morehead presents the trophy to the winning crew on Dutch Gold

Final results here


More photos of day three here from Deirdre Horgan

And here from Bob Bateman


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