J24 Northerns Mayo 2023

Mayo duo lead Headcase to glory at J24 Northern Championship
The J24 Northern Championship, hosted by Mayo Sailing Club, saw 14 teams from around the country compete in six races over the weekend of 27th and 28th May. The event was raced in moderate winds and sunshine against the picturesque surrounds of Clew Bay.
The overall winner was Headcase, with local sailors Louis Mulloy and Marcus Ryan onboard, who scored four firsts and a second in the six races. The team was rounded out by Cillian Dickson,  Ryan Glynne and Ronan Armstrong.  
The second place went to Janx Spirit, skippered by Tadhg Ó Loingsigh from Tralee Bay Sailing Club, who also finished second place to Headcase in the 2022 National Championships.
The third place was claimed by Hedgehog, sailed by Mark Usher and his crew from Greystones Sailing Club, improving on their fourth place finish in the Western Championships at Lough Ree Yacht Club last month.
It was the first time Mayo Sailing Club have hosted the J24 fleet and both the sailing and social side didn’t disappoint. The race committee, led by principle race officer Derek Bothwell, efficiently ran 6 races in good breeze and some challenging chop against the backdrop of a sunny Croagh Patrick. 
Crews were treated to a welcome feast of mussels and crab following lift-in on Friday. Live music and a great spread of food on Saturday evening went down well with sailors after a long day on the water.
Four races were sailed on Saturday, with Headcase taking the first race win, followed by Hard on Port, helmed by Dave Bailey, in second and Hedgehog in third. Hedgehog excelled again in race 2, taking the race win in lighter breeze, with Janx Spirit in second and Jelignite in third. 
The final two races of the day saw Headcase, Hard on Port and Janx Spirit share the podium, leaving Headcase with a narrow overnight lead ahead of HoP and Janx.
Day 2 broke with a shifty offshore wind. Headcase, HoP and Janx broke away from the rest of the fleet in race 5, trading places around the first lap before the tricky conditions allowed them to be reeled back in. 
Headcase held on for the race win, wrapping up the event with a race to spare to the delight of local spectators. Class stalworth JP McCauldin on Il Riccio got in for second place with Diarmuid Mullen on Smugairle Roin finishing strongly to take third.
The breeze remained challenging for the final race, which Hedgehog lead around the course, only to be passed by Headcase on the final cross of the race. That result was still enough to secure them third overall behind Janx Spirit. HoP dropped to 6th overall after a tough day which saw them retiring from both races on day 2.
The J24 fleet would like to thank Mayo Sailing Club and all the volunteers for their warm welcome and hope not to leave it so long to return to Clew Bay.
Speaking after the event,  the crew of Headcase said that they were delighted to get some very competitive racing under their belts in their last Irish J24 event of 2023. Their plans for the rest of the Summer see them bringing Headcase on an Odyssey to the Aegean Sea, challenging for the European Championships on the way in Lake Baloton, Hungary, in August before taking on the World Championships in Thessaloniki, Greece, in early September.