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After three days of superb racing in Schull Harbour, the local pairing of Mark Hassett, Baltimore and Liam Manning, Schull won the Fastnet International Schools Regatta sailing a TR3.6 dinghy.  With entries from Spain, Italy, USA, Belgium, UK and all over Ireland, it was a truly international event where all crews experienced varying weather conditions throughout the week.

On the first day of sailing excellent conditions prevailed throughout with the Gold Fleet sailing at the mouth of Schull Harbour and a consistent southerly breeze accompanied by bright sunshine.  

Race 1 was dominated by Mark Hassett and Liam Manning followed by the all girl crew of Florence Lyden / Anna O’Regan and in 3rd place Gleb Romantchik / Sinead Barnett all from Schull Community College.

The optimist class was a closely fought race with Pablo Parias (Spain) winning from Miguel Durnas (Spain) and in 3rd place Elisabetta Fedelle (Italy).  

Race 2 commenced immediately as the wind picked up with the Hassett / Manning crew tightening their grip on proceedings by winning the race again followed by Lyden / O’Regan and the Romantchik / Barnett dinghy again in 3rd place.  A change in order was recorded in the Optimist class with Durnas winning Race 2 from Elias Lorenzo and Pablo Parias finishing in 3rd position on this occasion. 

The trend continued on Day 2 where Hassett / Manning continued to dominate proceedings by again winning Race number 4.  The only blemish on a perfect result to date was being pushed into second place in Race 3 by Aaron Griffin and Caoileinn O’Regan.  Second place in Race 4 went to Isaac McCarthy-Fisher / Tolly Franklin, Pierse Ryan and Rosa Lyden, Schull Community College and Rath National School completing the top positions.

The Optimist Class, while challenged by the conditions, completed the courses with Pablo Parias (Spain) winning Race 3 from Elizabette Fedelle (Italy) and Yolanda Padilla (Italy) in third position.

As the afternoon progressed the weather brightened somewhat and the course was lengthened.  The TR3.6 of Hassett / Manning led over the course and had clear water over McCarthy-Fisher/Franklin who again, were clear of a tremendous battle for third place.

Lyden and O’Regan eventually broke the deadlock and got clear of the chasing pack and each of the leading boats maintained their position to the finish line.  This result gave Hassett/Manning an almost unassailable lead in the overall standing after five races.

The final day of racing was greeted with bright sunshine and a very welcome south-westerly breeze as all fleets sailed for class, fleet and overall honours. The winning duo continued as they had left off and again won Race 6 in decisive fashion from Romantchik /

Barnett and Isaac / Noah McCarthy-Fisher in third place.  An additional race was agreed given the excellent conditions and here Lyden / O’Regan took line honours from the McCarthy-Fisher boat and Romantchik / Barnett on this occasion finishing in third position.  The Hassett / Manning dinghy had enough done in earlier races to secure the overall victory in class and to take the Fastnet Trophy as overall winners of the event.

The Optimist Class remained very much an international affair with Miguel Durnas (Spain) winning from Pablo Parias (Spain) and Elizabette Fedelle (Italy) in third position.  This result ensured overall class win for Pablo Parias.

Silver and Bronze Fleets have always been the target participants in this event and 2013 was no different.

On Day 1 a mixed fleet of dinghies competed in both flights which also included a Topper and Feva RS Class in the Bronze Fleet.  Three races were held within the harbour giving crews plenty opportunity to calm any early regatta nerves.  The new Feva fleet were to the fore in all three Bronze races with Race 1 being won by James O’Leary and Isobel O’Leary of Aston College / Rockboro School, Cork followed by Marx Legrix and Mark Murphy, Schull Community College / P.B.C., Cork and the Topper of Molly Richardson Egan, County Down in third position.  Race 2 saw a change in order with the Legrix / Murphy Feva winning from O’Leary / O’Leary and a further Feva of Caoimhe O’Leary / Culann McCarthy, Aston, Cork / Schull Community College in third place.  Race 3 brought little change with Legrix / Murphy winning from Celine Egan, County Down in a Topper followed again by the O’Leary / McCarthy Feva.

Silver Fleet racing was run in conjunction with the Bronze Fleet and here a consistency emerged early in the day with Noah McCarthy-Fisher of Schull Community College winning all three races in an Optimist therefore leaving him clear overnight leader of the fleet.  Consistency also prevailed in the runner up position with the TR4.2 of Tolly Franklin / Elysa Curran of Schull Community College repeating the performance of McCarthy-Fisher and lying in second spot.  Third  position overall was secured by Spaniard Eduardo Marella sailing a Laser while third place race positions went to Jake McConnell, Friends School, County Down in a Topper and Michael Murphy and Gill Murphy, Tipperary in a TR 4.2 were third in Race 1.

Racing for these fleets was cancelled on Wednesday due to winds gusting up to 24 knots however, the deficit was compensated for on Thursday with 3 excellent races.

There was tremendous consistency in the Silver Fleet results in Races 4, 5 and 6 with an identical finishing order in all three races.  The winner, Noah McCarthy-Fisher secured the overall Silver Fleet trophy in an Optimist followed by Marc Legrix / Mark Murphy and Jake McConnell, Friends School, Co. Down in a Topper coming in third.

Racing in the Bronze fleet was also very competitive and provided three different winners over the day.  Race 4 was won by James & Isobel O’Leary, Ashton / Rockboro in a Feva RS followed by Celine Egan from Co. Down sailing a Topper and Robbie Dwyer / Eoin McGrath, CBC / Douglas Community College in another Feva in third position.  The Dwyer / McGrath combination were buoyed by this result and went on to win Race 5 from Caomhe O’Leary and Culann McCarthy, Ashton / Schull Community College again followed by the Egan Topper.  Positions were reversed in the sixth and final race with Egan winning from Dwyer / McGrath and the O’Leary Feva doing enough in third place to secure the Bronze Fleet honours overall.  After three days sailing, the fleet, class and overall awards were made at the Fastnet Marine & Outdoor Education Centre by Gail McAllister of the Irish Sailing Association.
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