There were huge congratulations for Darragh and Mark McCormack, and Cathal McMahon, Foynes Yacht Club, on 188 Innocence, who took the title for the fourth year in a row, at the Mermaid National Championships 2022, held in Foynes this past weekend, a feat only achieved once before by the legendary Jim Carthy of Rush Sailing Club.
It goes with saying that Dublin Bay Mermaids are a unique and competitive class that need to be preserved. Darragh McCormack, champion of the last four years, touched on this subject in his winner’s speech. He spoke of how when he first entered that class, he was one of the last boats in the fleet for some time but credited much of his improvement and success to people within the Mermaid class giving him a helping hand. He encourages young sailors to join the Mermaid Class as he labels it one of the most competitive and fun fleets he has ever been part of!
Taking second place was Derek Joyce & Crew from Wexford Sailing Club, third place went to Paddy Dillon & Crew from Rush Saiiling Club. Oisin Finucane, FYC, won the best U25 Helm in the U25 category, for the fourth year in a row. The Designer was won by Paddy Archer & Crew, the Daphne was won by Darrach Dineen & Crew, and the Crews race was won by Daniel O’Hare.
Commodore John Paul Buckley thanked Scorie Walls and her team, marking laying boats, safety boats, all volunteers both on and off the water who helped make this a great event, which was reiterated by Paul Browne, President of the Mermaid Sailing Association.
Conditions were perfect for the Championship. Sixteen boats took part. Competitors were greeted by fresh and lively conditions on day one of the Nationals, these conditions persisted for the first three days of the event which gave rise to some fantastic racing, with some capsizes as well as lots of planing down the reaches.
On the final day of the event, competitors were met with some lighter conditions, which was welcomed by many sailors after such a physically demanding first three days.
The racing throughout the week was aboslutely fantastic, with many people remarking it was some of the best mermaid racing they had in years.
The championship wrapped up on Saturday with the eighth and final championship race, then a crews race that finished at the Clubhouse, putting on a show for the spectators onshore. A prizegiving dinner, followed by music late into the night was held.
A huge thank you to Bev Lowes, Silver Refrigeration Limited, for sponsoring the event.