Kona Nationals 2014Competitors in the second Kona One Design Windsurfing Nationals were greeted by absolute calm, glassy water last Saturday morning. At least this meant there was plenty of time to register, weigh in (a whole new experience for the registration team) and rig up, and of course enjoy the tea and scones. With sun and a light easterly wind forecast it was hoped a sea breeze would develop and allow everyone to go racing.
After a 30 minute postponement called by OOD Chris Shackleton a light breeze developed to a very steady 5-7 knots. Despite the initial light conditions the wind stayed remarkably consistent for the duration of the afternoon and allowed four races to be run back to back.
Board speed was crucial in such light conditions; Cormac O’Brien won the first race comfortably coming back from a bad start. Race 2 was much closer, Andrew Christofides winning from Richard Harris and with everyone having tuned into the conditions the first six were very close throughout the race. In Race 3 Cormac was leading until a mistake at the leeward mark dropped him two places behind Andrew and Richard allowing Andrew to take his second victory and looking good at this stage to win the event. Richard Harris won this race from Steven O’Brien who posted his best result with a 2nd. Unfortunately for Andrew the final race brought a discard into play so despite two wins he also had two 5th places and had to count one of these. Richard Harris with a bullet and two seconds was able to discard his worst score of sixth from the first race to win the regatta. It was great to have 14 entries at the Nationals for such a new class and to enjoy such close racing all the way down the field including some new faces. Andy Cronin MYC’s laser class captain put in a good show leading at the weather mark a number of times. Eleonore Conroy and Ali O’Brien were very evenly matched until finally Eleonore got the advantage in the last race allowing her to retain the ladies title.
Prize-giving followed at the Broadmeadows clubhouse with the awarding of the Alan Harris memorial trophy to the 2014 Irish Kona Champion Richard Harris. The weather once more came into play with the competitors making the most of the sunshine to enjoy a BBQ and a suitably branded ‘Kona’ beer. The overall winners went home with some impressive engraved crystal tankards. Many thanks are due to Surfdock / Wakedock who supplied wakeboarding vouchers, T-Shirts and windsurfing accessories as prizes which were awarded to the silver fleet.
Thanks from all the Kona Class to Malahide Yacht club for hosting us once again, to the on the water team of OOD Chris Shackleton, assistant OOD Nick Berry and the rescue crew Colm Roche and Sean Anglim were impeccable and ran 4 great races back to back seamlessly. And also to vice-commodore to Deirdre Moore Somers and her team Veronica McKenna, Sile and Clodagh Somers and Nigel McKeaney for all the help before the event and on the day.
There’s still a frostbite series to run in the autumn gales for the brave, but the Nationals wrapped up a very successful and enjoyable summer of Kona racing in MYC.
See more pics here.