There was an American Army General who pithily summed up the secret of success in old-fashioned wars as being a matter of victory going to “whoever gets the mostest there the fastest” writes W M Nixon
This takes on a new spin for tomorrow’s Volvo Dun Laoghaire Dingle Race from the National YC. For although the indications are for fair and reasonably fresh winds (albeit maybe with some rain) from somewhere between northwest and northeast, it looks as though things might be all over the place windwise down in West Cork and Kerry by Friday.
"With a quality fleet of 43 boats, any success racing to Dingle is going to be hard-earned"
Yet by that time Mick Cotter of Dun Laoghaire’s 94ft Windfall – undoubtedly the mostest and fastest boat in the fleet – should be comfortably through the finish line, with the 280-mile course record set very positively under the 24-hour level, which he so tantalisingly missed by 48 minutes with his 78ft Whisper back in 2009.
But other smaller speed machines also reckon that if they haven’t reached Dingle by Friday morning (having started at 1800hrs on Wednesday), then they’re getting something wrong.
One of these is Conor Fogerty of Howth with his fresh-out-of-the-wrappings foiling Beneteau Figaro 3 Raw. He got into Dun Laoghaire yesterday after a frustrating passage of light headwinds straight from the builder’s outlet in Biscay, and admits that he hasn’t yet been able to deploy the foils for real. But he is out in Dublin Bay this afternoon with two of his crew – Susan Glenny and Peter Freyne – testing the options in a northerly breeze which even this successful OSTAR veteran reckons to be indecently cold.
Raw will have an interesting gender-balanced crew, as noted helm Laura Dillon (ISAF Youth Bronze Medalist, all-Ireland Champion 1996 and renowned for her steering skills with Dutch owner Harry Heijst’s 41ft S&S classic Winsome) arrives in tonight to provide Raw with a balanced four-person lineup.
Meanwhile last night The Prof O’Connell was out on the bay with Chis & Patanne Power-Smith J/122 Aurelia testing a new North Sails Code 0, and as this vid reveals, he was delighted with the result.
We made no secret of our view here on Saturday that Aurelia is a consistently good performer which has been in the Bridesmaid’s role more often that is fair, and it’s her turn for the ultimate success. But with a quality fleet of 43 boats any success racing to Dingle is going to be hard-earned.
And the quality fleet in its turn has taken on extra talent to sharpen performance. The word is that RORC offshore star Kenny Rumball and 49er star Ryan Seaton will be joining the strength on Conor Doyle’s handsome Xp 50 Freya from Kinsale, while on Saturday we mentioned that the formidable talents of Mark Mansfield of Cork will be joining Johnny Treanor’s Sunfast 3600 Hot Cookie of the host club.
Also on the move is Shane Hughes of North. Having worked round the clock to help in getting Conor Fogerty’s Raw race ready in France, he’s actually racing to Dingle on Rupert Barry’s JOD 35 Red Alert from Greystones, which seemed to be having a fun time before the start of the 2017 Race, but the presence of a serious sailmaker will in itself be a red alert for the crew.