Howth Boat Headcase is Irish J/24 Champion at Foynes Yacht Club on the Shannon Estuary

The Irish J/24 National Championship took place at Foynes Yacht Club on the Shannon Estuary. 18 boats took part in the event drawn from all over the country. Thursday evening was very busy with boats being launched and some final adjustments being made. Registration and weigh-in also took place that evening, with a few having to run a marathon and have saunas to make the final cut, but perseverance prevailed, and everybody was at their target weight of 400 kg in time for the first race on Friday morning. Foynes Yacht Club’s U25 J/24 team was very busy making and selling sandwiches every morning before racing, with the proceeds going toward the upkeep of their J/24 Jasper. At the outset, Commodore John Paul Buckley welcomed everyone to Foynes Yacht Club and wished fair and safe sailing to all competitors and hoped that it would be an enjoyable event both on and off the water. Mark Usher, President of the J/24 Association, said a few words on behalf of the Association, and Derek Bothwell, Race Officer, gave the briefing. Eight races were held over the weekend: three races on Friday, four races on Saturday and one on Sunday. Friday was an extremely tricky day on the water. The wind was light and shifty, making it difficult for OOD Derek Bothwell and his mark layers to set courses. However, they did prevail and managed to run three races. Saturday and Sunday brought a much steadier breeze. Headcase (Howth Yacht Club) was the overall winner of the National Championship 2022. It has been a great year for Headcase, winning the UK J/24 Nationals and the Kiel Regatta in Germany. In their prizegiving speech, Sam Byrne stated that they loved coming to Foynes Yacht Club, and that the standard of racing was one of the best. He complimented the Race Management, the onshore support and the great hospitality. Taking second place was the Kerry boys (Janx Spirit from Tralee Bay Sailing Club), and third place went to El Rico of Lough Erne Yacht Club, all the way from Enniskillen. Kinsalor (Kinsale Yacht Club) won the U25 category and took first in the Silver Fleet. Foynes Yacht Club’s U25 Jasper came second in the U25 category.

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