Last weekend, 16/17 May, should have been the first J/24 event of 2020 at Carrickfergus. In the absence of real sailing due to the lockdown the J/24 class took to the virtual water with a series of ten races over two days.
Cillian Dickson initiated proceedings to get everyone onboard, participating via the Virtual Regatta Inshore game. Custom races were handled by Cillian Dickson, Rick McCaig and Brendan Ryan. The club was able to assist by hosting a Zoom call enhance competitors experience with a bit of craic.
25 entries necessitated a split into two fleets on Saturday to determine Gold and Silver fleets for the racing on Sunday. Five races were run over an hour on both Saturday and Sunday morning.
Close racing prevailed as expected in both fleets; one race on Saturday had only 4 seconds between 3rd and 10th place at the finish line.
Congratulations to Ryan Glynn, Michael McCormack and Garrett Kinnane who were 1st, 2nd and 3rd in the Gold fleet, and Matthew Hennessy, Brendan Ryan and Donal McCormack in the Silver Fleet.
With the success of the event the class plans to run a similar event for the J/24 Westerns to be hosted by Sligo Yacht Club towards the end of June, if lockdown/social distancing continues.