The Masters, Ladies and Amateur double elimination were completed today in perfect conditions: 4.7m weather and head high waves at Fermole (the one right in the corner of Brandon Bay). The Pros then took part in the Boardseeker Expression Session at the tide rolled in.
Two rounds of Masters saw Nigel Treacy and Big Davey battle it out for first place in both finals. Davey and Nigel kept meeting on the same wave and the atmosphere was tense but it was the Scotsman who took both victories and Davey now leads the Masters going into the final day. Word should also go to Damian De Backer who probably had the best day of his \'short competition career\' to make the finals. We think he will be back for more fun at Rhosneigr next week.
The Ladies also had a good day of competition. Katie McAnena won Round 1 held at Gowlane on Wednesday so Louise Emery was on a comeback keen to regain her Irish crown. So in the second round, Louise caught two good waves and got the required jump to succeed against Katie who really didn\'t sail up to her usual standard. So now to the \'sail off\' (round 3) but it was Sarah Finney who was looking good, catching a good wave out the back. Louise rode on right into the beach, doing as many turns as her skills would allow. Katie had a much better heat and got the jump in so it was very close. Unfortunately for the girls Head Judge Duncan Coombes held onto the result and it will be announced at 9pm Friday night at Spillanes.
Onto the Amateurs, and Rhosneigr local Alex Tritten was firing right up until he broke his UJ in the heat against Ian Gibson. Who knows how far Alex could have gone - the judges nick named him the \'Secret Weapon\' and suggested he would have done alright in the first few rounds of the Pros.
But it was Scot McDowell who really had a good day coming from the back of the fleet to beat his fellow countryman and camper van companion Ian Gibson on a head to head to see who would meet local hat maker Niall Mellon. Half a point was all it was between Scot and Niall with Niall edging ahead in the waves. McDowell was heart broken and was last seen painting himself blue and white whilst looking for a big stick down on the beach muttering \'Revenge, revenge\'!
Niall then meet Steve King, fresh from a world of advice from his brother Andy, Steve ripped through the heat, out jumping Niall and proceeding to the first showdown with the single elimination winner Dave Horrocks.
Rolls were reversed today as Phil Horrocks became the rigging monkey for his younger brother. All the latest JP/NeilPryde gear was rigged and ready for young Dave and again Phil gave him lots of advice on how to beat a KIng. However, it musn\'t have been the right advice as Dave lost in the first final and under double elimination rules, Steve King had to beat him again. Did he? Well let again, the Judges decided to with hold this result until 9pm Friday evening.
As soon as we have it and assuming the internet is working tonight in the pub, we will let you know!
The Boardseeker Expression Session had a top prize of 100 euros (60 for second/40 for third) which meant most of the Pro fleet got out there and busted some big airs. 16 sailors, 4 man heats with ONE sailor making it to the final. No surprises to see Phil Horrocks make it, John Skye and Ben Proffitt who did a double and a taka in his heat. A name you may not be familiar with outside of Ireland - Mikey Clancy also made it to the final and really impressed the judges with his radical style. Onto the result...you get the picture....by tonight we shall all know!
Saturday is not a great forecast but you can never right this place off so 0830 Skippers Meeting for one last time.
Photos from today should be up this evening courtesy of Simon Crowther.