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Megan Pascoe at the Irish Nationals

After a good few years building up their fleet Carrickfergus Sailing Club decided it was time to host an Irish 2.4mR National Championship. Seventeen boats made the trip from far and wide across the Irish Sea, from North and South, and even Germany. Special mention to George and Ann Taylor for organising and making everything happen.

It was so nice to get back on open water and Belfast Loch didn’t disappoint with the weather. After a rather complicated briefing which included disappearing marks the fleet left the dock in bright sunshine and a nice 9 to 13 knots. Everyone settled into the tidal conditions of the first race with most heading up the shore. Local John Patrick mixing it up from the first mark with the old hands of Ulli Libor, Steve Bullmore and Megan Pascoe. Megan and Ulli escaped from the fleet with Kate Hedley reeling in Steve. These two spent the next few races stuck together at the finish even with a tie in the last race.

The fleet was tight for the following two races with Nev Millard joining the party with 2 second places. Adam Billany back in the boat after his A levels ended the day with a 3rd.

The fleet retired to the club for the evening with a great meal and spectacular view. Sunday despite a light forecast the fleet woke to a 12 knot Northerly. It was great to see quite a few sailors under the age of 20 and a mix of able bodied and disabled.

The Irish fleet has some new sailors in the fleet. Especially great to see Kevin Conway in his pretty blue boat which was getting faster and faster as the weekend went on.

Sunday decided the prizes. Ulli and Nev were battling it out with few points to split them in the shifty conditions. There was little gap from the front of the fleet to the back with everyone having really good racing.

The weekend ended with a barbecue on the club lawn and prizes. Megan won the event, Ulli held onto 2nd and Nev picked up his first major podium in 3rd. John Patrick won the Irish National trophy in 7th. Georgina Griffin was first Irish disabled in a hotly contested battle. Gina is also off to compete for Ireland at the Disabled World Championships later in the year.

The fleet had a great time at Carrickfergus SC, true Irish hospitality and a perfect piece of sailing water. Thanks to everyone who volunteered for the event, definitely one of the best venues I’ve been to in a long time. Now with the inauguration of an Irish class association 2019 Nationals look like being held in Kinsale.

Overall Results:

Pos Sail No Helm R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 Pts
1st GBR 163 Megan Pascoe ‑1 1 1 1 1 1 5
2nd GER 6 Ulli Libor 2 3 ‑4 2 3 2 12
3rd GBR 144 Nev Millard ‑7 2 2 4 2 3 13
4th GBR 143 Kate Hedley 3 ‑5 5 3 5 4.5 20.5
5th GBR 159 Steve Bullmore 4 4 ‑6 5 4 4.5 21.5
6th GBR 155 Adam Bilany 5 ‑7 3 6 7 6 27
7th GBR 121 John Patrick 6 ‑8 7 7 8 8 36
8th GBR 161 Jonny Barker 10 6 10 ‑13 6 7 39
9th SWE 315 Kevin Conway 8 10 9 8 9 ‑13 44
10th IRL 906 Georgina Griffin ‑14 13 8 10 12 11 54
11th IRL 906 Judy Moynihan 9 ‑15 14 9 13 9 54
12th GBR 30 Garry Crothers ‑13 12 12 11 10 10 55
13th GBR 137 Kerry Mussen 15 9 13 12 14 (DNS) 63
14th IRL 601 Patrick Hassett 12 14 ‑15 14 11 12 63
15th GBR 54 Jonny Harvey 11 11 11 (DNC) DNC DNC 69
16th GBR 695 Sean McCullagh ‑17 16 16 15 15 14 76
17th IRL 1 Shane Barker 16 ‑17 17 16 16 15 80
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Megan Pascoe – National Champ!

I turned up on the bank holiday Friday, after a long journey to Poole Yacht Club, for the UK 2.4 Nationals as part of the International Paints Poole Keelboat Regatta. After a bit of rigging and the odd beer, it was time for bed as we had an early 9 am start on Saturday.

 

The big breeze that we expected wasn’t quite as strong as forecast but we still left the shore in 15 knots. With the best the British and a few German’s could offer in terms of 2.4 sailors it was going to be a tough event and it certainly turned into really good racing. As Saturday continued the breeze was dropping steadily. I started the regatta with some really good races; 3 bullets but not by much. As we started the racing early it then meant it was a nice afternoon on the balcony of Poole Yacht Club.

 

Sunday morning saw a nice 8 knots and a slight delay while we waited for more wind. Once we got out on the water it soon became apparent that the windward mark was under Brownsea Island; it was a tricky day out. I started ok but struggled to find the best way around the course. Jonny Currell was having a much better day and after finishing the last race in just enough water we were equal points going into the last day.

 

Sunday night was at the newly built Parkstone yacht club, where I kept getting lost. Monday morning was very light and after lots of floating in no wind racing was postponed and so we went in for an hour. Coming back out the wind had built to 5 knots and looked to be building. I luckily got off the right end of the fleet and with Jonny struggling to get away cleanly I managed to secure a win, give me the title!

 

It’s nice to get the title back, due to other events taking my time over the years and not giving me the chance to compete for it. It’s never easy to win and it’s great to have really good competition. It makes you hungry for more. We’ve been coming to Poole Keelboat Regatta for many years and it is great that we keep getting invited back amongst some very big boats.

 

Next on the agenda is my home event, Frensham, in a couple of weeks time. 

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Megan Pascoe – Write up from Ruhr City Cup

You get a suggestion from time to time about an event to attend. Essen was one of them. Few turn out to be as good as people suggest but Essen didn’t disappoint.  The warmth from the hosts WSB 1919 on the Baldeneysee made up for packing the boats up in freezing temperatures in Frensham and turning up on Thursday to a wet murky Germany. 4 British boats, 2 Dutch and 1 Belgium joined a tough German fleet. A relaxed start time on Thursday allowed me to change my mainsheet block to the new Allen 45mm AutoRatchet and after tuning run with one of the Dutch, I re-rigged it to make the ratchet work the right way.

Wind Shifts, pressure patches and current were sailed to a tune of a music concert. The Brits were off to a good start with Steve Bullmore winning the first race, I was in second and Brian Harding 13th. Keith Gordon had to repair his boat in the morning but was racing by the 2nd race of the day. This race was no less shifty than the first and with a downwind against the current made these legs especially tricky. Steve managed to find a couple of holes which left him 6th. It was a close battle with the top 6 and somehow I found a good shift on the second beat to allow myself a little bit of breathing space downwind to finish 1st. It was becoming apparent that on these waters you could change your fortunes in a second, both in a good and bad way and it definitely wasn’t over until the end. The third race saw the music getting worse as did my starting ability. Up the 1st beat, all the Brits were hovering around mid fleet together. Jan Ten Hoeve was leading down the run but then the Dragon sailors of Ulli Libor and Ben van Cauwenbergh came through on both sides of the run. Ulli kept his lead till the end of the race with Jan holding off Ben to get 2nd. The Brits meanwhile weren’t having our best races but we all brought our places back to something respectable in the end. The fleet retired to the bar for beer, food and talking about the season ahead.

We woke the next morning to wind above the water but no visible wind on the water. It was also in the opposite direction to Friday. The fleet prepared not knowing who would get which shift in the day. The fire brigade were on the far shore with a water display, thankfully much quieter than the music. Eberhard Bieberitz made the early running in a massive left shift with the next 8 boats fighting close together. Biebe was becalmed at the bottom of the run which allowed the fleet to catch up. Jan took over the lead heading left as did three more of us. Three others including Steve and Ulli went right. About halfway up the sides came back together and the 90 degrees right shift changed everyone onto a reach. Steve, although the furthest right boat couldn’t capitalise on it due to a lack of pressure, slipped to 11th overall. Down the final run, I managed to hold off Ulli and Holger Humborg to finish second to Jan. After a long wait for wind and Hanns Hermann being rescued after falling out of his boat, we tried for one more race. The first beat was ok but as we beat down the second half of the run it was abandoned and we went in to enjoy the sunshine and waffles. Later the wind filled in further up the lake so off we went again. After a postponed start and a general recalled start the fleet was off although only those at the port end because the starboard end had no wind. After the 1st beat four of us had got away and I managed to pass Ben to win in what became a very light wind race.

After racing the German’s were running their Triple Match series that they run at every open. 4 heats of very short racing culminating in a final from the winners, with the first 2 going through to the grand finals later in the year in Berlin. Steve and I took part. I managed to win my heat, as did Ulli. Steve, unfortunately, lost to Biebe and the final heat was won by the Dutchman Dirk Jan Broertjes. It was too light winds for the finals so it was decided to run it in the morning. Much discussion took place that night over whether your phone would update the time automatically. There was no rush on that front anyway as Sunday brought no wind so after a short AP the fleet packed up for the prize giving. It was a nice start to the season and we are looking forward to our Queen Mary Open in April. I finished 1st, Steve 4th, Brian 14th, Keith 21st.

Full Results available at http://manage2sail.com/de/event/ERCC2018#!/

 

Megan Pascoe, 2.4mR