The 29er Nationals sponsored by Deutsche Leasing Ireland and Hiremate and hosted by the National Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire took place June 29th-30th. Eleven 29ers lined up for the scheduled 10 race championship including defending National Champion helm Atlee Kohl and crew Chris Bateman (although now competing in different boats) and recent 29er ISAF qualifiers Rian Geraghty-McDonnell & Nathan Van Steenberge and Leah Rickard & Eimer McMorrow-Moriarty.
Day one saw a 7kts rising to a steady 12 kts gusting to 15. The steady wind allowed for the course to be set in between the DBSC Saturday Dun Laoghaire active race series for a beautiful day of racing under the experienced eye of PRO Brian Mathews. Race 1 was taken by RCYC’s Lucy Klempen & Chris Bateman. NYC’s Rian Geraghty-McDonnell & Nathan Van Steenberge took three bullets on the day: races 2, 4 & 5. RCYC’s sister/brother team of Lola Kohl & Atlee Kohl took the third race of the day. At the end of the first day, the sister/brother Kohl duo sat in first, Rian and Nathan in 2nd, and Leah Rickard (NYC) & Eimer McMorrow-Moriarty (TBSC) rounding out the top three.
Day two saw dramatically different conditions, race 6 (first race of the day) was sailed in 15kts gusting to 20 in a healthy white-horse capped swell. A third of the fleet capsized before the first start of the day. Rian and Nathan showed their versatility, taking the bullet in race one of the day, with RStGYC’s Alana Coakley and Marcus O Leary an close 2nd in the tough conditions. Conditions worsened and by the start of race 2 of the day there was a steady 22-23 kts with gusts 28-30. RCYC’s Dawson Kohl & Steven Hardee took the bullet in a three-way photo-finish with Lucy Klempen & Chris Bateman and Charlie Cullen & Ben Hogan. With the weather forecast predicting worsening conditions, three boats retired, and most boats capsizing at some point during the racing, the PRO ordered all ashore, ending the championship after seven quality races.
In the end, the ISAF qualifiers took National Championship honors in the boy and girl competitions: NYC’s Rian Geraghty-McDonnell & Nathan Van Steenberge taking 1st overall, 1st boy team (Overall and Male National Champion), & best U17 team honors; Leah Rickard (NYC) & Eimer McMorrow-Moriarty taking top girl team (Female National Champion). Also on the podium were RCYC’s Lola & Atlee Kohl in 2nd and RCYC’s Chris Bateman & Lucy Klempen in third. ISA medals and perennial trophies were presented to the winners by NYC Commodore Martin McCarthy, along with spectacular framed photos of the top teams provided by Simon McIlwaine.
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