2023 Oyster Pearl Cruiser report. Gerry Byrne
A large fleet of thirteen cruisers thundered to the starting line in the first of six races in the 2023 Moneley Oyster Pearl Cruiser Regatta. In competition with local boats, visiting cruisers from Arlow SC and Lough Erne YC battled it out over a two day event and with the expertise of Race Office Chris O Hare, a full race programme ran like clockwork. Dual YTC and ECHO handicaps were used to determine results with the winner of YTC to lift the coveted Pearl Trophy and the Pearl Cup to be awarded to ECHO winners.
Saturday’s weather provided testing conditions with rain and 11 to 18 knot northerly winds. As expected, Luke McBride’s flying J24 Crazyhorse and last year’s winner Humdinger skippered by John Conlon, lead the way with local cruisers Warrior, Piglet and Supersonic in hot pursuit. At the end of day one it was Crazyhorse on 2 points,Humdinger 5 and Piglet 7.
With two remaining races on Sunday, squally north westerly winds, gusting 30 knots, kept the crews busy. After a delayed start for windward mark adjustment, racing got under way. Again the Arklow and Fermanagh crews lead the way with the local pack on their heels. At the rear of the fleet Rowena, Xanadu and Pandemonium were enjoying their own close racing battle.
With points tallied, it was the big chief Crazy Horse skippered by Luke McBride of Lough Erne Yacht Club that would be the worthy recipient of the 2023 Oyster Pearl Trophy. Last year’s winner, John Conlon’s Humdinger was pipped to second but had the consolation of winning the Pearl Cup on ECHO. Brian Mc Conville’s J24 Piglet took a well deserved third.
An enjoyable presentation ceremony was held at Carlingford Marina courtesy of the event sponsor the Moneley family. It was generally agreed that the 2023 regatta had been a huge success resulting from the collaborative work of Carlingford Marina, CLYC and CSC. It was hoped that more visiting cruisers would be encouraged take part in the 2024 Pearl.
Results Moneley Oyster Pearl Trophy (YTP) Winner Crazy Horse Luke McBride LEYC
2nd Humdinger John Conlon Arklow SC
3rd Piglet Brian McConville CLYC
Oyster Pearl Cup (ECHO) Winner HUMDINGER John Conlon Arklow SC