Moments in the Balearic sun


How the Irish got on at the 2014 Europeans in Port de Pollenca, Mallorca

Crosbie hauliers provided a car transporter to get seven boats from Dublin to Mallorca for the Flying Fifteen European Championships hosted by the Royal Club Nautica De Port Pollenca. This was the third event to be held in this beautiful bay in the last ten years and the second time Crosbie’s and their very able driver Declan have helped us get the boats there.

 In addition to the seven boats travelling, Peter Lawson & Jo Bridges chartered a boat locally and Ken & John McNeilly sailed their boat which is based in Pollenca. Alan Green sailed in a Spanish-registered boat with local man Michael Clough.

As usual there were high hopes but the current strength in the class in the Northern hemisphere comes from Britain, and this was proved yet again. Greg Wells & Richard Rigg retained their title they won two years previously in Lake Garda, beating former World Champion Steve Goacher & Phil Evans.

It was close racing all week and the result was in doubt right up to the finish of the ninth and last race. Wells needed a third to win but he started poorly and was ninth at the last leeward mark. The wind gods helped him along and with a good eye out of the boat he avoided the pitfalls and windless areas on the last beat to just get the required third place.

Most of the Irish boats had their moment in the sun and the rumoured-to-be-retiring John Lavery & David O’Brien were best placed, getting seventh overall, with Ian Mathews & Keith Poole getting ninth out of a fleet of 31 boats. They were both consistently in the top ten.

In race six, David & Valerie Mulvin led the race at the first mark. David was later to remark that it was difficult to enjoy with Wells and Goacher chasing him down. They held on to be a creditable fifth.

In Race 9, Niall & Nicki found themselves in second place sandwiched between Goacher and Bax (not their cat and dog). In the tricky conditions they slipped down a few places on the run… oh for a steady breeze!

Tom Galvin who had teamed up with Ben, provided the energy gels but it seems our boys need more than these to get them going! The heat was also a factor: apparently it was the hottest September for years, and all the crews were well stocked up with water and fluids.

It was a great adventure for the fleet and a great social event also, with a daily prize-giving at the Chirinquito on the marina and outdoor meals and drinks adjacent to the club’s swimming pool. The water was warm and it was a joy to sail in t-shirts and shorts, though Keith did go a bit crazy in the sports bra fashion stakes!

Those who competed were:
John Lavery & David O’Brien.
Ian Mathews & Keith Poole
Tom Murphy & Hugh Cahill
David Mulvin & Valerie Mulvin.
Niall Meagher & Nichy Matthews
Tom Galvin & Ben Mulligan.
John McAree & Gerry Ryan
Peter Lawson & Joe Bridges
Ken Dumpleton & John McNeilly

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