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Fantastic Day's Racing in Sunshine Ends Calves Week 2015

7th August 2015

#calvesweek – The final of four days sailing in this year's Gas Calves Week produced the best sailing conditions of the week, with the 6 fleets heading out in brilliant sunshine and a westerly Force 3 gusting 4 to ensure that the yachts rounded the eponymous Calf Islands at speed.

The winds were flukey and light in the morning, causing Race Officer Alan Crosbie to delay the start by an hour. A light southerly sea breeze picked up for the Class 0/1 cruiser start, but the wind veered to a westerly direction and picked up to 15 – 17 knots with an occasional gust into 20 knots, for the later starts. The 65 boats in the fleets had a broad reach, under spinnaker, out to the Calf Islands and back into the harbour for a spectacular procession finish to the week.

Paul O'Higgins on Corby 33 Rockabill V (RIYC) took overall Class 0/1 IRC honours, his second place behind Ronan Harris on Jigamaree (RIYC) on the day being ahead of Conor Doyle on Freya (KYC) who could only manage a fourth. However that result was enough for him to win the overall ECHO prize ahead of local skipper Gabby Hogan on his Grand Soleil Growler.

In Class 2 IRC Leslie Parnell's First 34.7 Black Velvet (RIYC) first place on the final day of sailing made sure of the overall win, ahead of J80 Jedi skippered by Fergus Coughlan (Cove SC) with Frank Desmond's Sunfast 32 Bad Company (RCYC) in third place. In Echo Black Velvet's earlier results were enough to secure the overall, ahead of local boat Aris with Dennis O'Sullivan (SHSC). Val Kriss (KYC) took lead honours on the day.

Royal Cork Yacht Club took places 1,2 and 3 in the overall Class 3 IRC. A third first place for Judy McGrath on Impala 28 Bonanza put her ahead of Sinead Enright and David Lane on YaGottaWanta (RCYC) and Jimmy Nyhan on Outrigger (RCYC) and a worth winner of the Best IRC Helm.

In Class 3 Echo, Diarmuid Dineen from Tralee Bay Sailing Club on Growler held off the challenge of local boat Manzanita helmed by John Molloy (SHSC). John Dwyer on Sally in Stitches won the day's racing.

Michael Murphy's Moody 30 Shelly D (RCYC) took Class 4 IRC honours, with local helm Oonagh Buckley on Tete a Tete (SHSC) taking overall Echo honours and best ECHO helm.

Local helm Niall Palmer Sheehan on Sun Legende 41, Windborne, had another first in Whitesail 1 IRC to win overall honours and also Best Local Boat. Don McCarthy on veteran racer VSOP (SHSC) fought back from some difficult starts to take first place on the last day and ECHO overall honours. A win on the last day by Frank Murphy on Oceanis 393 Dreamcatcher in Whitesail 2 Echo saw him win overall honours ahead of former Commodore Tadgh Dwyer on Huzzar 30 Brazen Huzie in an almost entirely local fleet.

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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