Alan Dooley on the 2012 Royal Alfred YC Liffey Challenge…
The toll bridge was opened for seven boats, and we sailed in the river between the two bridges on a windward-leeward course, with the highly unpredictable breeze blowing mostly down-river.
The current at the weather mark was at least 4 kts, and the wind there was highly disturbed, as it was right up against the bridge and heavily shadowed. At times we were both lying to leeward, and then seconds later we would be hiked out hard.
At least 10 times, our boat tacked itself without changing course, and there were holes and fixed windy areas appearing and disappearing everywhere. Four races were planned, but this was shortened to three.
Overall order of merit was:
1st 3747, Crummy / Burgess (1,2,1)
2nd 3773, Hickey / Dooley (2,1,2)
3rd 3601, Coughlan / Kirk
We had soup and sandwiches at Poolbeg, followed by a short prize-giving.
Best part of the day was a screaming reach back to NYC in a force 6, and the kite only barely holding for the first half. I think we stayed on the one plane for about 1.5 miles – awesome!