Day #2 - 6 pm Mick Cotter’s gallant tilt at getting the 270-mile Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Race time through the 24-hour barrier by finishing before 6.0pm has been frustrated by a very few miles writes W M Nixon
Earlier today, it was a localised calm which stopped his big boat, the 94ft Windfall, at Mizen Head for just long enough to make it touch-and-go whether or not the record was still possible. Then the weaving northerly breezes of Kerry in Dingle Bay kept them hard on the wind all the way towards the finish, and as the Angelus bell sounded in Dingle town, Windfall still had seven miles to sail, even if she was making 10 knots and better.
That said, she was being headed, and now the challenge is to beat the 24 hrs and 48 minutes record set by the same skipper in the 78ft Whisper in 2009. But at least the big boat will soon be finished, and with a real-time for others to aim at. During the course of the race, fortunes have waxed and waned so much that at one stage Windfall was both ahead on the water and on corrected time. Which, when you remember that she’s nearly twice as long as the next biggest boats in the fleet, the Xp 50 Freya (Conor Doyle) and the classic 50ft yawl Amokura (Pau Moxon), was quite something as she carries a ferocious handicap rating.
Cruelly, the smaller craft – with Andrew Hall’s J/125 Jackknife still leading the pack – are now down in the same Mizen Head region which was Windfall’s undoing, but they’ve a reasonable sailing breeze and Jackknife is showing 7.1 knots, while next in line Freya is even better at 8.5, and seemingly going better relative to her competitors with every mile sailed.
The overall IRC lead is now back in Jackknife’s hands, but Paul O’Higgins’ defending champion Rockabill VI is lying second and always ready to pounce as they head into what looks like a difficult evening and night of racing, as the mainly northerly wind changes in response to the next lot of inclement weather heading in from the Atlantic.
As ever, the J/109s are on hand ready to pounce, and Johnny Murphy skippering Outrajeous is back in third overall, but right up there with him is a new presence among the front-runnners, the Shanahan family in sister-ship Ruth, overall winner in 2015 and now placed 4th ahead of Hot Cookie and Aurelia – for the moment, it seems, Mono is leading The Prof……..
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