From an early decision just after the start not to get sucked inshore, Galway Harbour led the race on handicap almost from start to finish. But even more remarkably, they led on the water for much of the race and only conceded the on-the-water lead to the top rated boat, keeping the other 8 higher rated boats well astern.
Coping with blown out sails, low visibility, a damaged vang, gale force winds with beam seas, no main for two hours and considerable sleep deprivation was swallowed up in their stride to the finish, pushing particularly hard in the final stage along the west Cork and Kerry coasts.
Lynx, for that is the yacht’s original name, was built originally for Sir Robin Knox Johnston’s Clipper Venture corporate training fleet. More recently she has racked up some successes as an IRC racer and underwent a complete refit in 2009. Skipper Martin Breen put together a formidable crew for the race and their mixed offshore and dinghy sailing experience combined successfully to take the overall prize.
Galway Harbour Crew: Martin Breen – Helm, Neil Spain - Helm 2, Aodhán Fitzgearld - W/L Navigator, John Murphy - W/L Tactician (Trim), Nigel Moss - Main Trimmer, Conor Baynes - Jib/ Kite (Main) Trimmer, Brian Phelan - Jib/ Kite Trimmer , Rachel O'Toole - Pit (Trim), Ruaidhrí De Faoite - Mast (Trim), Cathal Clarke - Bow (Trim)