The Corinthian Squibs gave a good account of themselves at the National Championships hosted by Royal St George Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire. In a fleet of 69 boats, Nigel Grogan (105 Helmut Shöing II) with crew Daniel Cripps registered his first ever championship race win in Race One when the arrival of the sea breeze allowed him to roll past Malcolm Hutchings and Andy Ramsey (819 Lady Penelope) who had led the race throughout. Robert and Tracey Coyle (823 Humphrey) recorded an impressive 6th whilst George and Dick Talboys (678 Festina Lente) scored an excellent 8th.
This great start to the week proved to be difficult to sustain as fickle, shifty winds during the following days led to postponements, shortened courses and abandoned races...whilst Burnham basked in the heat and sun, one day of racing in Dublin Bay was lost to sea fog
Both Coyle and Grogan stayed in contention throughout the week despite an OCS from Coyle in Race Three but both dropped away in the final two races. Hutchings failed to get the luck to match his boat speed and Talboys delivered a consistent series in the mid fleet to win the leading helm under 21 years old, a result which was loudly applauded. Phil Aspinall (72 Guy Fawkes) failed to take advantage of the local knowledge from his stand-in crew Tansey Millerick until Race Five when they led to the windward mark and finished a fantastic 3rd in a shortened race.
By the end of the week it had become clear that our Squibs were starting to close the gap on the very top players, Grogan finished 4th, Coyle 9th and Hutchings 16th. Aspinall and Talboys were content with their 43rd and 44th respectively. Mike and Penny Fenwick (758 Ghost Rider) took the championship trophy south to Weymouth in a repeat of their 2007 success.
Off the water, the RCYC and East Coast fleets enjoyed the splendid Irish hospitality and efficient organisation of RSGYC to the full, mainly teaching the Irish to dance and making sure that Ireland had less Guiness and wine than at the start of the visit, although Loud George did return some of his!
PS Has anybody got any pictures? Wendy...