Irish Nationals coming up
Get ready for the most open Irish Squib championship in many years from 4-6 August at Killyleagh, on Strangford Lough sponsored by EBANISTI Cabinetmakers and Batt Sails. The National Squib Class of keelboats have already had three major championships this year.
The Irish Northern Championship held in May at Cultra, was hosted by the Royal North of Ireland Y.C. The winner was the boat which won last year’s National championship, 'Fagin' which now has new owners, Gordon Patterson and Ross Nolan from the host club. This pair previously owned ‘Quickstep III’ with which they won many championships. They have had their eyes on ‘Fagin’ for many years.
At the UK National championships at Holyhead, three Irish boats competed, with Noel Colclough and Vincent Delany in 'Periquin' from the Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club taking the highest Irish place, finishing in a lowly 19th place in the 43 boat fleet. The joint winner of that championship, who only lost the title on count back, was Dick Batt crewed by Suttonian Pamela Phelan. Remarkably, they sail boat No 11, which is called 'Squib' as she was the first production boat from the Oliver Lee workshops in 1968. The Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta was won by 'Periquin' who was pushed very hard by Peter Wallace in ‘Toy for the Boys' also from Royal North of Ireland Y.C..
No championship preview would be complete without a mention for 'Aficionado ' sailed by Olympian John Driscoll and David Cagney from Howth, who always seem to have the speed and ability, if not always the results.
The patterns above show that the home boats always have an advantage. Will any of the Killyleagh Squibs have the ability to win? Possibly not this year.
The turn out of Squibs at Killyleagh is likely to be impressive, with the fleet split between three sailmakers- Batt sails which excel in lighter and heavier winds, Hyde sails which are unbeatable in mid-strength winds, and the as yet untested Olympic Sails from Kinsale.