Crowning a strong week at the Subaru Flying Fifteen Pre-Worlds, Ireland's John LAVERY and David O'BRIEN did the double yesterday, taking overall victory and the Irish Championship title for 2003.
The final race in this vital warm-up to next week's Subaru World Championships, held in strong winds and tidal conditions, produced a surprise winner in Ireland's Ian MATTHEWS and Ben MULLIGAN, who finished ahead of Britain's Steve GOACHER and Phil EVANS and third-placed Lavery & O'Brien.
The race start was delayed by a series of wind shifts, and several leading crews were excluded for start-line infringements including early leaders Alderson & McAuley (AUS), Mander & Hewkin (USA).
"It's been a fantastic week for us"
commented John Lavery, the 2000 Irish champion who now adds the 2003 title to his haul. "The sailing today was tough but very satisfying. Strong winds and a rolling swell made the spinnaker hard to control, but we really enjoyed it! It's been a great event"
Nick & Janet Jerwood (AUS) took runner-up spot in the final Pre-Worlds standings from Goacher/Evans (GBR), Estaugh/Harper (GBR) and Packer/Mudford (AUS). Sean CRAIG/Stephen BOYLE took runner-up spot in the Irish Nationals, ahead of Matthews/Mulligan and Willis/McPeake.
The Subaru Flying Fifteen World Championships are hosted by the National Yacht Club, Dun Laoghaire on August 3 - 9th. The Subaru Pre Worlds and Irish National Championships take place on July 29 - 31st. These are the largest sailing events in Ireland this year and are supported by Subaru, the Irish Sports Council, Dublin Port and Texaco.
Full results are available on the event website at the address below.