Silk II leads Hawk and Surfin' Shoes By DAVID O'BRIEN THEY call it handicap racing but the battle for overall honours in Class 0 had all the hallmarks of a one design fight and Bashford Howison 41s occupy the top three placings after the penultimate day's racing of Ford Cork Week. Silk II, helmed by Gordan Maguire, leads with a 5.25 point margin from Nigel Bramwell's British entry, Hawk. In third position Dun Laoghaire's Surfin' Shoes (Colm Barrington) has sailed a consistent series to face the final two outer loop races on 14.75 points and is still within a shout of first place. Sorcery, the big red Maxi which has dwarfed Cork Week Fleet A, made up for losing a man overboard and having to retire in yesterday morning's race by winning in the afternoon to finish sixth overall. In Class 2, the J35s are also making their mark and take three of the top four places overall. Northern Ireland's J35, Bengal Magic, leads on 14.5 points from the Isle of Man's Jumpin' Jack Flash of the same design. Jumpin' Jack won the afternoon's race and may have benefitted from the return of her helmsman, Jamie Boag, who was, with the permission of the race officer, allowed to sail on Jumpin' Jack as the sailmaker for two races despite the ban imposed at the beginning of the regatta. There were protests to no avail from rival J35 Big Ears. Big Ears, skippered by Michael Boyd, finished second yesterday and now lies fourth overall behind John Godkin's VSOP of Kinsale.
There was a dramatic fall off in the performance of one time fleet: leader Victric III of Britain following the removal of tactician Tony Wetherall under the eligibility ban imposed on Wednesday. Up until the fourth race, Victric counted a string of first places but managed only 20th and 28th in the 37 boat fleet, plummeting to seventh overall. In Class five, former GP world champion, Simon Relph, is now in striking distance of the Britain's Owl (P Bruce) and yesterday afternoon Relph, sailing Demolition, a one off half tonner, took two wins to reduce Owl's winning margin to a quarter of a point. Own, a Contessa 33, lost 100 yards on Demolition over one leg of the figure four course and is under threat for the final showdown.
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