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Tide Turns for Fastnet 450 Fleet as Nieulargo Leads & Humdinger Lives Up to Her Name

22nd August 2020
Nieulargo (Denis & Annamarie Murphy) at the start of the Fastnet 450 Race Nieulargo (Denis & Annamarie Murphy) at the start of the Fastnet 450 Race Photo: Afloat

Day One 1830 - As the onset of the adverse flood tide approaches with the leaders sluicing south past Cahore Point with the last of the ebb and more than 50 miles of the Fastnet 450 course already sailed, an underlying pattern is in evidence, with boats offshore experiencing a more westerly wind, while those closing the shore have found more sou'west in it as it tries to blows along the line of the beach, with five of them tacking.

The smaller slower boats have been tending more towards this tacking option, as the prospect of a weaker foul tide close along the Wexford beach, and being nearest the hoped-for onset of a forecast veering, is an attractive possibility. Nevertheless, the star of the lower-rated fleet, John Conlon's Sunfast 37 Humdinger from Arklow, has been continuing to blast south well offshore, and in a significantly stronger tidal stream and wind with more west in it, has got herself back ahead of sister ship Desert Star (Ronan O'Siochru, Irish Offshore Sailing). The Star was in front for a while, but is now inshore on the tacking strategy.

Desert Star - Ronan O'Siochru, Irish Offshore SailingDesert Star (Ronan O'Siochru, Irish Offshore Sailing)

Thus at time of writing (1830hrs), Humdinger's crew are having the time of their lives, leading both IRC 2 and ECHO 2, and in a close third overall in the entire fleet on IRC, with only Nieulargo (Denis & Annamarie Murphy) and Cinnamon Girl (Cian McCarthy) ahead.

John Conlon's Sunfast 37 Humdinger from ArklowJohn Conlon's Sunfast 37 Humdinger from Arklow

Nieulargo meanwhile is continuing the line honours battle with Chris Power Smith's J/122 Aurelia, while the cheeky little Cinnamon Girl with Mono Mansfield aboard and the bit between his teeth continues to keep bigger sisters Hot Cookie and YOYO at bay.

Chris and Patanne Power Smith's J/122 AureliaChris Power Smith's J/122 Aurelia

As for the pride of Foynes, Derek and Conor Dillon's Deher 34 Big Deal which rivalled Cinnamon Girl in the precision of her start, she's in a ding dong with another little 'un. The First 31.7 More Mischief, but as we write the other small boat, the A 31 A Plus ((Grant Kinsman) appears to have pulled out, and looks to be heading for Arklow. This leaves us with 17 boats racing, as Andante was unable to leave Kilmore Quay to get to the start because of Storm Ellen, while the northern entry, the X38 eXcession, managed to batter her way south through the tail end of Ellen to Dun Laoghaire, but was unable to go any further.

Derek and Conor Dillon's Dehler 34 Big Deal clears the Muglins on Dublin BayDerek and Conor Dillon's Dehler 34 Big Deal clears the Muglins on Dublin Bay


Published in Fastnet 450 Race
WM Nixon

About The Author

WM Nixon

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William M Nixon has been writing about sailing in Ireland for many years in print and online, and his work has appeared internationally in magazines and books. His own experience ranges from club sailing to international offshore events, and he has cruised extensively under sail, often in his own boats which have ranged in size from an 11ft dinghy to a 35ft cruiser-racer. He has also been involved in the administration of several sailing organisations.

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Fastnet 450

The South Coast of Ireland Racing Association, in association with the National Yacht Club on Dublin Bay and the Royal Cork Yacht Club in Cork will stage the first edition of this race from Dun Laoghaire to Cork Harbour via the Fastnet Rock on August 22nd 2020.

The IRC race will start in Dun Laoghaire on Saturday 22nd August 2020 and pass the Muglin, Tuscar, Conningbeg and Fastnet Lighthouses to Starboard before returning to Cork Harbour and passing the Cork Buoy to Port, finishing when Roches’s Point bears due East. The course is specifically designed to be of sufficient length to qualify skippers and crew for the RORC Fastnet Race 2021.

The clubs have combined forces to mark their anniversary celebrations, it being the 150th anniversary of the National Yacht Club and 300th (Tricentenary) of the Royal Cork Yacht Club.

At A Glance – Fastnet 450 Race

The first edition of this 270-nautical mile race starts from the National Yacht Club on Dublin Bay on August 22nd 2020 and finishes in Cork Harbour

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