Displaying items by tag: Anthony O'Leary
Boats were returning to Cowes Yacht Haven throughout yesterday, back from the offshore race of the 2010 Rolex Commodores' Cup. With a 2.5x point co-efficient this race had the potential to provide a major upset in the results, but after four days of competition the Irish team hold an even more commanding lead, now up to 29.5 points. Hong Kong has regained second place, this time with a 25-point cushion over the leading French team, which in turn is just 5 points ahead of GBR Red and 15 points ahead of France Yellow in fifth.
Dave Dwyer’s marinerscove.ie was overall winner of Class 2 while team captain Anthony O’Leary’s Antix scored second place. Rob Davies Roxy 6 skippered by Andrew Creighton was fourth in Class 3.
“We’re feeling quite positive as we’ve just had one of the best offshore results ever – the lads all worked their socks off,” commented Barry Rose, Commodore of ICRA. “We’ve strengthened our lead so we’re in a good, solid position and looking forward to the rest of the regatta.”
The team had all returned to Cowes by mid-afternoon to prepare the three boats for tomorrow’s (Thursday) Rolex Trophy race on a long-inshore race that is expected to last three hours. Friday will also feature a single race as the fleet competes for bonus points in the Round Isle of Wight course.
Saturday’s single race finale counts for double-points and strong challenges from Hong Kong, France Blue and Britain’s GBR Red are expected.
“Its still all to play for. Hong Kong are looking very strong and there are a lot of points still to be earned,” cautioned Rose. “There’ll be no change in our strategy – we have a plan and we’re going to stick to it. Its about grind out the results day by day.”
Hong Kong and Ireland scored equal points in the offshore race with the former's Rockall III winning the small boat class while the latter's marinerscove.ie claimed the mid-sized class.
On the water Rockall III was first home in the whole fleet, crossing the line just to the west of the entrance to Portsmouth Harbour at 10:40:41 BST, winning her class by almost one hour on corrected time. While racing for Hong Kong, where he used to live, Rockall III's owner Christopher Opielok is German. His crew is largely from Hong Kong but also includes two Dutch, one Irishman and three Australians. According to Opielok he bought his Corby 36 specifically to compete in the Rolex Commodores' Cup, "we have been preparing for this for a long time. The boat clocked since delivery to us last year, 4,000 miles. We did a lot of offshore racing. We have four very good helmsmen. The navigation was very well prepared. We had a good tactician and I believe altogether with a very good boat, ended up with this result."
Opielok said they faced stiff competition from the Irish team's small boat, Roxy 6, "we focussed on sail trim and sailed extremely hard without any rest. We knew we could only beat Roxy upwind. We put all our effort into the 60-mile beat and then we tried to control them downwind. Luckily the tide went with us and pushed us even further than expected." The tide was particularly beneficial on the final run into the finish.
Simon Henning, owner of the Alice II from GBR White was delighted to have won the big boat division. His Farr 45, the biggest yacht in this year's Rolex Commodores' Cup does not have a favourable rating and they have not performed well in the inshore racing so far. Having to continue past Anvil Point and on to the East Shambles mark in Weymouth Bay, the Class 1 course at 191-nautical-miles was some 35 nm longer than the Class 3 version, which simply did an about-turn at Poole. Yet Alice II reached the finish line just under four minutes astern of Rockall III.
Alice led the 30-boat fleet out of the Solent in the strongest conditions of the race and enjoyed a fantastic blast down to the Owers, the easternmost mark of the course, to the southeast of Selsey Bill. "We saw 24-25 knots [of wind] and we were surfing up to 17 several times – it was lovely," commented Henning. Thanks to this they caught the tide turning at the Owers and from there never looked back. Despite the wind dropping to five knots this morning, they claimed the big boat class by a margin of 1 hour 20 minutes on corrected time.
Aside from torrential rain yesterday afternoon, conditions were not as bad as had been forecast. In the southwesterly breeze the sea was being kicked up by the wind-against-tide on the first beat out of The Solent and apart from the overfalls off St Catherine's Point, the southern tip of the Isle of Wight, it was generally considered a pleasant race.
"It was great fun - the course had a fabulous variety," commented Anthony O'Leary, who's Ker 39 Antix corrected out to be second amongst the big boats. "Every corner we went around it seemed that the tide was against us, but that was part of plan to give us a varied course with all the options and all the challenges - and there were plenty. Going into Poole Bar in the middle of the night and the Anvil in the dark is a challenge but thankfully we got away and managed to hold the thing together."
O'Leary was thankful that the Irish team had cumulatively posted a solid result in this high scoring race. "You could easily lose the regatta if you had a disaster and in that respect it is certainly satisfying. But there is still plenty to do and there are still plenty of points available. We'll keep on chipping away."
David Dwyer's marinerscove.ie maintained the impeccable Irish performance, first home in the mid-sized class, although by the slender margin of three and a half minutes over Anthony Day's Blondie IV. Tactician on the Irish boat, Andy Beadsworth, commented that, "it was a really good race and it was nice to finish relatively early today." The team enjoyed spending most of the night racing in company with the big boats. "It wasn't that lumpy. We hardly had any water over the deck!" said Beadsworth, adding that he had tried to get some sleep only to be awoken when he overheard the rest of the crew about to make decisions on deck.
Finishing behind Rockall III in the small boat class was Bernard Moureau's JND 35 Gaia in France White. Tactician Alex Mercier said that they are improving with every race aboard their new boat. "The start was a bit improvised but we were able to place ourselves well and to maintain a good position during the entire night and this morning as well." They are still discovering Gaia but have found it goes well under spinnaker.
Behind them in third was Jim Macgregor's Elan 410 Premier Flair, which posted the best result for GBR Red, with another crew who had thought they would perform better inshore than off. The line-up includes British Olympic-squad 470 sailor Ben Saxton as tactician. "It was long but enjoyable, different. It was nice weather because it was windy enough and we made good progress and we finished close to other boats so that kept it fun the whole way around," said Saxton who admits he only slept for about five minutes. Saxton reckons they made their biggest tactical gains with the tide on the beat up to Poole.
Tomorrow the Rolex Commodores' Cup returns to racing on The Solent with one inshore course scheduled for Rolex Trophy Day. Crews get a well-earned rest following their efforts of the past 24 hours or so, with the start scheduled for noon BST. With two high scoring races to follow on Friday (the x1.5 Round the Isle of Wight Race) and Saturday (a double-points inshore race) the teams at the top know this event is far from over. The Irish will sleep more comfortably tonight having cruised through the major test of the week, but undoubtedly will be on alert tomorrow to avoid the pitfalls encountered by previous compatriot teams.
Top Five Teams - Provisional Positions after completion of 5 races
Team / Points / Place
Ireland / 42 / 1
Hong Kong / 71.5 / 2
France Blue / 84 / 3
GBR Red / 89 / 4
France Yellow /99 / 5
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The ICRA Team Celebrations in Cowes, Photo: David Branigan
After a series of near misses in the Commodores Cup, there are many reasons why 2010 was an entirely appropriate timing for an Irish win in Cowes today.
Ireland's single three boat team (below) faced stiff opposition in the final ten team line up. Individual performances this season though, including a win at the British IRC Nationals, is proof, were it needed, that Ireland still was always on course to win the Commodores Cup.
Ireland's team on the Solent was Royal Cork based; Antix, Anthony O'Leary (Ker 39); Marinerscove.ie David Dwyer (Mills 39) and Roxy 6 Robert Davies (Corby 36). The full crew list for each boat is below, representing the very best of Irish sailing talent.
Third time lucky is how it was scripted in 08, but not how it was acted out. After first being jilted by the French and now, for the second time, by the English, the Irish could be forgiven for giving up on the cup but we never did. This victory represents the final week of eight months preparation for superb assault on the title.
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Team Ireland 2010 Commodores Cup
Photos by Robert Bateman
IRL3939 Antix Anthony O'Leary (Ker 39)
Anthony O'Leary (IRL)
David Lenz (GBR)
Peter O'Leary (IRL)
Ross Deasy (IRL)
Brian Lennon (IRL)
Stephen O'Sullivan (IRL)
Eoin Leahy (IRL)
Frederick Cudmore (IRL)
Simon Johnson (IRL)
Rory O'Sullivan (IRL)
Jimmy Houston (GBR)
Derek Moynan (IRL)
Tom Durcan (IRL)
Robert O'Leary (IRL)
Darragh O'Connor (IRL)
IRL39000 Marinerscove.ie David Dwyer (Mills 39)
Andy Beadsworth (GBR)
David Bolton (IRL)
Padraig Byrne (IRL)
Alan Curran (IRL)
David Dwyer (IRL)
Bernard Fitzpatrick (IRL)
Brian Heneghan (IRL)
David Love (IRL)
Tom Murphy (IRL)
Nicholas O'Leary (IRL)
Clive O'Shea (IRL)
Sandy Rimmington (IRL)
Chris Schirmer (GBR)
Don Wilson (IRL)
IRL36000 Roxy 6 Robert Davies (Corby 36)
Rob Davies (GBR)
Andrew Creighton (IRL)
Marty O'Leary (IRL)
Jim Hughes (IRL)
Paul Farries (GBR)
Nelson Moore (IRL)
Tom Whitburn (GBR)
Michael Liddy (IRL)
Aidan O'Connell (IRL)
Maurice O'Connell (IRL)
Barry Rose, Fintan Cairns, Denis Kiely, Mike Broughton and Norbert Reilly
- Anthony O'Leary
- Norbert Reilly
- Eoin Leahy
- Maurice O'Connell
- Commodores Cup
- Fintan Cairns
- Peter O'Leary
- Mike Broughton
- roxy 6
- Mariners Cove
- David Lenz
- Ross Deasy
- Brian Lennon
- Stephen O'Sullivan
- Frederick Cudmore
- Simon Johnson
- Rory O'Sullivan
- Jimmy Houston
- Derek Moynan
- Tom Durcan
- Robert O'Leary
- Darragh O'Connor
- Andy Beadsworth
- David Bolton
- Padraig Byrne
- Alan Curran
- David Dwyer
- Bernard Fitzpatrick
- Brian Heneghan
- David Love
- Tom Murphy
- Nicholas O'Leary
- Clive O'Shea
- Sandy Rimmington
- Chris Schirmer
- Don Wilson
- Rob Davies
- Andrew Creighton
- Marty O'Leary
- Jim Hughes
- Paul Farries
- Nelson Moore
- Tom Whitburn
- Michael Liddy
- Aidan O'Connell
- Barry Rose
- Denis Kiely
A young Irish crew from Howth topped IRC Class 4, the biggest class which had 20 entries at the Scottish Series this evening. Ross McDonald and the crew of the Howth based X332 Equinox strung together a first and two second places from the final three races to win the class by four points from last year's class winners on the J92 NiJinsky. Robert Yates and his crew won both races today but finished second by four points ahead of the Davidson 36 Hops which had lead into the final day but which could only make a fifth and seventh today.
Anthony O'Leary and his Cork crew of the Ker 39 Antix conclusively won IRC Class 1 after posting a further two victories today in near perfect conditions. O'Leary, a long time supporter of the Scottish Series has won twice before in 2004 and 2006.
Counting six wins from eight starts in the nine boat strong class, Antix has been impressive across the wind ranges, proving the team are in good shape for the upcoming Rolex Commodore's Cup international team regatta in August.
Their class had depth including another three past winners of the overall top trophy in second, third and fourth places.
After more than three decades of trying with probably as broad a variety of different yachts that any one owner-skipper has campaigned at this key regatta with - from a slippery 37 foot ultra light Selection production race boat to a heavy Trintella 42 foot cruising boat - veteran Clyde owner-skipper John Corson and his long serving crew of the immaculately prepared Corby 33 Salamander XX lifted the Scottish Series Trophy, the top award for the annual Brewin Dolphin Scottish Series this evening.
"I am shocked and stunned." Said an emotional Corson, 80. " I don't know what to say. We have been so close so many times before that you just never know what is going to happen, or who it is going to go to. So I think most of all I just feel so relieved."
His win is a popular one. Corson has been a huge supporter of Clyde racing, and perhaps the most zealous participant over many years, competing from early season frostbite races right through until December year in year out. He has introduced many youngsters
His win, along with a crew of whom some have sailed with him for nearly 20 years, comes after many near misses. The veteran shed a tear or two before accepting the top trophy, just as his team did in 2005 when they were leading their class with a string of wins when their mast crashed down and their regatta was ended prematurely.
"This is a really, really special thing for John. He has always wanted to win this. In a sense this is his Olympics, the biggest thing in sailing for him so it is a real honour to have contributed. We have been close before, but this time things came together. After last year we had plugged the gaps which we felt we might still have in terms of optimising the boat, the crew work is really exemplary and the result of many long hours on the water over the years. So this is very special." Said John Highcock, the Clyde sailmaker who steered Salamander XX.
"It is so well deserved. Totally right." Commented double winner Anthony O'Leary
Corson and his crew won seven of their eight races in IRC Class 3, dropping an eighth as their allowable discard. With Clyde sailmaker John Highcock steering, Salamander XX's performance today was nothing short of electric. Twice today they were quick enough to be ahead of the leaders of Class 2 which had started five minutes ahead.
IRC Class 2 went right to the final race with the Clyde brothers Richard and Paul Harris triumphing after posting a third and a second on their Iain Murray designed Sydney 36.
The challenge from the Welsh-Irish new Corby 36 Roxy 6 faded notably in the lighter conditions of Sunday. Chris Bonar's BH36 Bateleur 97 finished with a flourish, two first places today, but that was not enough for them to catch their Clyde compatriots and they had to settle for third overall.
The only crew to have won all of their races right the way through the regatta is Ruairadh Scott's team on King Quick in Sportsboat Class 1. They counted eight first places from nine starts and were certainly among the elite group of contenders for the overall top trophy.