Click above for video of the event on the ITC website
The smiles on the faces of those who completed the 2012 ITC Lambay Race said it all. Fresh westerlies (backing to south-westerly later), flat seas, close racing in most classes, with sunshine as the crews returned to the marina and you have most of the ingredients for a great regatta. The fact that most completed the course in less than 3 hours - one of the fastest Lambay Races in years - was an added bonus.
This year's Lambay Race - the 116th time it has been staged - was generously sponsored by Independent Trustee Company, one of Ireland's largest providers of self-administered pension structures.
From the Offshore Course flagship, Class 1 got proceedings going and after just two and half hours of racing, HYC's Storm (Pat Kelly) held off the challenge of two RIYC visitors to win on IRC from Raptor and Joker 2. Raptor took the ECHO honours from Howard McMullen's Another Adventure.
Dermot Skehan's Toughnut won Class 2 on the double, winning IRC from Ian Byrne's Sunburn and ECHO from Paddy Kyne's Maximus.
Class 3 saw Vincent Gaffney's new Alliance II perform particularly well on close reaches and enjoying the last leg to the finish to stretch out a lead and beat Brian McDowell's J/24 Scandal from Malahide who in turn beat another J/24 Jibberish (O'Kelly et al) by 4 seconds on the line. Hellyhunter (Lional McMurtry, HYC) headed the biggest fleet of the day on ECHO, ahead of RIYC visitor Saki.
In the First 31.7, Bluefin Two (Bernie Bryson & Mia Delaney) from NYC won both Scratch & ECHO and also were awarded the Lambay Lady.
Robert & Rose Michael's Mystique of Malahide topped the White Sails A division on IRC ahead of Bite the Bullet and Changeling, while Rebellion (Hughes & others) and Cogar (K&C Halpin) won oin ECHO and HPH respectively.
In the White Sails B fleet, Terry Giles' Xebec led the fleet home and won on IRC by a comfortable margin, while runner-up Sandpiper of Howth (Andy Knowles) won on ECHO and also finished second on HPH behind Cu na Mara (Clifford Brown of HYC).
The Shipman and Ruffian fleets both came from outside Howth - all bar two were from Dun Laoghaire - and it was Henry Robinson's Whiterock which headed the Shipman class while the Ruffians were led home by Ruffles (M.Cutliffe of DMYC).
The Squibs was a match race between Kerfuffle (Craif/Ruane) and Fantome (R.MacDonnell), with the former winning by 2.5 minutes, while the Etchells it was virtually the same, with Fetching (Quinn/O'Flaherty) having about 30 seconds to spare over Glance (O'Reilly/Dix).
The Puppeteers had a new name on the trophy this year with Colin and Kathy Kavanagh in Blue Velvet putting their gear damage problems of last season behind them to beat the pre-race favourite Harlequin (Clarke/Egan) by a minute, with Neil Murphy's Yellow Peril in 3rd. On handicap, the honours went to Shiggy (G.Kennedy) ahead of Gannet (T.Chillingworth).
A small Seventeens' fleet was headed up by Rita (Curley/Lynch) with Ian Malcolm's Aura 2nd and Peter Courtney's Oona 3rd while on handicap, it was Pauline (O'Doherty/Ryan) which took the honours.