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Sunshine for Calves Week Fastnet Race

6th August 2015

#fastnetrace – A dramatic change in the weather conditions for the third day's racing in Gas Calves Week 2015 brought the fleet out to the Fastnet Rock in brilliant sunshine and light winds. The latter meant for a long day, particularly for the smaller whitesail and cruiser fleets, and some anxiety at the Rock for those boats whose arrival coincided with the change in the tidal flows around it.

Race Officer Alan Crosbie sent the fleets, starting in reverse order (Whitesail first), directly out to the Rock for the initial starters, and up Long Island Sound and around Goat Island for the faster Class 0/1 and 2. Returning boats had a choice of route, and those who chose a run up Long Island Sound gained a clear advantage over those who chose to stay outside the islands.

Getting the better of the conditions, Paul O'Higgins on Rockabill V (RIYC) took Class 0/1 IRC ahead of Conor Doyle's X442 Freya (KYC) with all to play for on the final days sailing for overall honours. Ronan Harris on Jigmaree (RIYC) took third place in both IRC and Echo, behind the same boats in reverse order.

The contest for overall honours in Class 2 IRC is also very close, with Frank Desmond's Sunfast 32 Bad Company (RCYC) taking first place ahead of overall leader Leslie Parnell's First 34.7 Black Velvet (RIYC). Dexterity (Foynes YC) came third. In Echo however, local boat Quinsea helmed by Barry Quinlan (SHSC) were able to beat off stiff competition from Val Kriss (KYC) and Bad Company.

A boat from Cork Harbour will win Class 3 IRC but as yet it is not clear whether it will be one from Crosshaven or Cove. Jimmy Nyhan on Outrigger (RCYC) came in ahead of Muskateer (Doyle/Russell) from Cove with YaGottaWanta (RCYC) taking third. Judy McGrath on Impala 28 Bonanza is still overall leader after strong results in the first 2 days. In Echo, the race is more open with Diarmuid Dineen from Tralee Bay Sailing Club on Growler leading ahead of local boat Manzanita helmed by John Molloy (SHSC). However longstanding contender Padraig O'Donovan on Chameleon (KYC) had the best result on the day in the light winds.

In Class 4 IRC, Shelly D would seem to have the overall prize sown up after a third first. Echo honours were won by O Buckley on Tete a Tete (SHSC).

IRC Whitesail Class 1 overall will come down to the final day's results between Sean O'Riordan's First 36.7 Y-Dream (KYC) and Niall Palmer Sheehan's Sun Legende 41 (SHSC). Honours on the day however were swopped between Cove Sailing Club' Cortegado (Kneeshaw/Murphy) who took IRC and visiting UK XC45 Samatom who lead ECHO honours.

Local First 27.7, La Perle Noire, helmed by Deborah Crowley, won against a strong challenge from local competitor Storm 33 Jasmine, helmed by Don Boadella.

Published in Calves Week Team

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Calves Week Regatta takes place in Schull in early August, continuing the annual tradition in West Cork since the inception of the Schull Harbour Sailing Club in 1884.

In more recent years, a more compact schedule as an alternative to the older two-week even has proved popular.

The four-day Calves Week Championships with the usual mix of courses taking in the Fastnet Rock and many of Carbery's Hundred Isles, together with laid courses in Roaringwater Bay is one of Irish sailing's enduring fixtures. 

A daily prize-giving takes place on Main Street in Schull, which sees a nautical festival theme for the village organised by local businesses.


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