Otherwise known as - Erin Go Bragh ! It was one of those days. The wind was coming out of the East, and the conditions looked like 15 knots or so. It was a bit overcast as we headed out through the harbour and the jib was rigged up as we only had 4 on board. Fortunately we had remembered a) bungees, b) ice, and c) beer. Cleopatra and the Race Committee were out early and had already set some of the marks as we reached the sound. There were a few whitecaps and it was good to see some of the other classes out to play. Ex J24-skippers Rikki Hornett and Dave Allen were out on an Etchells, and there was a strong fleet of two to sail with. There were at least 5 IODs, and as we prepared for the start there were 6 J/24s - Solaise, Sadiiqi, Siren, Mayhem, Duct Tape, Erin - with Cyclone on the horizon and arriving late. The first race was a 2 lap affair, and the upwind was a very bumpy ride. Mayhem looked good and fast, and Erin seemed to sail well. The shifts were catching a few boats out, and at the first downwind Mayhem and Erin were at the front. The next upwind saw the breeze staying steady, and Mayhem looked to increase their lead over the pack. Solaise had made ground and got ahead of Sadiiqi, and Siren were in the mix too. The final downwind saw Mayhem over the line first, with Erin second. Behind them there was a good battle between Siren, Solaise and Sadiiqi, with the boats crossing the line in that order. Cyclone, after their late start, and without regular helm Bill “Blondie” Pollett (who can forget the Christmas Party?) were languishing at the back of the pack. The wind had dropped out now and most boats switched to Genoa. The RC changed the course slightly, so the mark was down towards Long Island. Race two saw Jezebel arriving from St. Georges to take part. The start was very competitive, with what looked like Duct Tape and Mayhem over early, much to Todd’s disgust on Mayhem. The fleet went right and left. The lefties heading towards Spanish Point, the righties towards Pearl. Erin stuck right later than most and looked to have a commanding lead, but Sadiiqi, (who had stayed wide left and at one point seemed to be heading for St. Georges) came in on port layline and went round the mark in second. Behind them it was Siren, Jezebel and Mayhem, with Solaise in there too. At this stage I think Duct Tape decided to stop racing, with what only can be guessed to be equipment failure. I think it was Charles driving on Cyclone, and they were at the back. The first downwind saw Erin maintain their lead, and mayhem sneak in to third behind Sadiiqi. Jezebel looked to be doing a sail change down to Genoa on the downwind, allowing boats to sail past them. The last upwind saw Erin and Sadiiqi go left, with Erin covering, and Mayhem, Siren and the rest going right. The wind had lightened up significantly by this stage, and the last downwind was very slow as the course was so long. Erin crossed the line first, with Sadiiiqi second and Mayhem third. For the final race of the day, the RC set a one lapper as there was not much wind. The start was again quite tight, with Mayhem over early again. Cyclone had a great start and were leading the pack, followed closely by Sadiiqi and Solaise. Erin tacked early and decide to go down the middle rather than taking a wide left or wide right approach. Siren were doing something similar. As we sailed upwind Cleopatra and the RC stormed down the racecourse and parked at the mark, signalling a course change. Erin went round the mark first, with Sadiiqi, Cyclone and Jezebel all rounding shortly afterwards. As we rounded the mark on Solaise, we spotted the mark at Boaz Island and set sail, wondering why the rest of the fleet were going right. It was only when Erin rounded the newly laid (bright red) mark that we realised our error. Siren, having made the mistake of following us, were also caught at the back. We watched the rest of the race play out in very little wind, seeing Erin cross the line first. At the back, we managed to drift over the line just in front of Siren, after a very long race. The motor back to the mooring was reminiscent of an August day, with the sun shining and the harbour looking as flat as a mirror. So Erin won the day with a 2-1-1. Mayhem, considering their false starts, made up ground well, and the racing was quite close in the shifty conditions. By the time we got back to the dock (5:30pm), it was time for a swift soup at the RHADC.