In Lough Derg Yacht Club over the weekend of 22-23 October, Squibs will come from the North, South and East coasts of Ireland as well as from Britain to compete in what will be one of the most enjoyable regattas of the year.
The British boat is remarkable in many ways, it is the first Squib ever built, therefore, its name is ‘SQUIB’, and despite being 50 years old, Dick Batt and Pamela Phelan managed to lead the UK national championships, and only lost the winning of the championships on count back. They won the South of Ireland Championship in Kinsale in August.
Another Squib worth noting is Peter Wallace’s ‘Toy for the Boys’ from RNIYC which dominated the Irish championship in Killyleagh in July. The owners of ‘Fagin’, Gordon Patterson and Ross Nolan from the same club, have been runner up in this event, innumerable times in their ‘old’ Squib, which is allegedly slower that their present Squib, which is number 100.
Another competitor who should not be overlooked is ‘The Worm’, Sam Lyness who easily won the event in light winds last year. A good turnout of local Squibs will also be competing.
The format is ideal, with four races on Saturday, with the first race starting at 11.00 am, which enables some competitors to travel on Saturday. On Sunday there are only two races, which allows enough time to wash out boats with fresh water, and lift them onto their trailers.
Lough Derg never overlook the social side of sailing, they will be putting on a grand dinner in the clubhouse on Saturday evening.
A fine entry of 37 Squibs travelled to Rutland on the weekend of 7 & 8 October for their Inland National Championship.
Saturday dawned grey and forbidding but thankfully with a great, if somewhat chilly, shifty, force 4 breeze from the west resulting in an interesting and challenging day's racing. Some of the gusts were levelling.
First to the weather mark in the first race were the SCYC team of Malcolm Blackburn and David Shiel in Moonstone (96) closely followed by Alan Johnson and David Garlick, Cariad Bach (132) from the same club. They held these positions until the end of the race. After a poor start, current National Champions, Josh Metcalf and Mark Hogan, Ric O'Shea (136) pulled up to third. This early domination by the SCYC boats was not to continue.
Class Chairman, Nigel Grogan crewed by his son Jack convincingly won the second race followed by fellow Burnham / Royal Corinthian boats, Lady Penelope (819), Malcolm Hutchings and Andy Ramsey and Spoof (811), Micky Wright and Alex Porteous. The scene was set for a showdown between the two clubs.
Only to be disrupted by Bryan and Jenny Riley from WOBYC sailing Brimstone (73) who easily won the third race. However, the Grogans, Blackburn and Metcalf were there in 2,3 and 4 places keeping the pressure on.
The home fleet, Rutland SC, hosted a great evening dinner and the Squibs proceeded to drink the club bar out of bitter and nearly all the red wine before retiring for the night.
Sunday morning produced a clear, fine, sunny day with a gentle force 3 westerly – perfect conditions. Again it was shifty, but that is the norm for Rutland.
Metcalf and Hogan showed their prowess in these conditions gaining a 1st and a 2nd in races 4 and 5 which gave them the meeting and the Inland Nationals to add to their victory at Holyhead earlier in the year. The Grogans were a close second overall and the Rileys sailed consistently well to gain third.
Josh Metcalfe and Mark Hogan were presented with the Squib Inlands Trophy by Rutland Squib Captain Peter Dale.
Worthy of note was the performance of one of the new Rondar Squibs, sailed by Andrew Moore and Peter Hallinan from Felixstowe Ferry SC. They achieved 4th in race 2 and 2nd in Race 4, which combined with more mid-fleet performances gave them 15th overall. A great result for the new Squib showing its potential to compete on an equal footing with existing boats.