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Irish Offshore Sailing's Female Two-Handed Champions Win National Sports Award Nomination

16th December 2020
Action stations – round Ireland two-handed champions Cat Hunt and Pam Lee focusing on speed aboard their record-making, record-breaking Figaro 3 Iarracht Maigeanta Action stations – round Ireland two-handed champions Cat Hunt and Pam Lee focusing on speed aboard their record-making, record-breaking Figaro 3 Iarracht Maigeanta Photo: RLSailing/Inpho

The all-categories Round Ireland two-handed sailing record-holders, Greystones' Pamela Lee and shipmate Catherine Hunt, have been nominated as contenders for the Team of the Year Prize 2020 by HerSport.ie, thereby renewing sailing's position at centre stage in national womens' sport.

When the determined duo headed south in the early morning light of Tuesday 13th October to start across the official Round Ireland Record Line from the Kish Lighthouse to Dun Laoghaire pierhead with their foiling Figaro 3 Iarracht Maigeanata provided by RL Sailing, their only stated aim was to establish a competitive time for a 700-mile round Ireland circuit by a two-handed female crew, as such a thing didn't exist at the time.

When the going was good………steady fast sailing like this was great for record-making, but the round Ireland challenge will always include a menu of frustrations to be overcome When the going was good………steady fast sailing like this was great for record-making, but the round Ireland challenge will always include a menu of frustrations to be overcome

But when they swept back across that same line again in the small hours of Saturday, October 17th, their time of 3 days 19 hrs 41 mins 39s proved to be a new all-categories two-handed record, as they'd bettered the previous best – an all-male two-handed crew in a larger Class 40 – by three hours and two minutes.

It had been a tough sail, with total-concentration hard-driving interrupted by occasional frustrating calms. And while the Irish sailing community following them every inch of the way on Yellowbrick tracker would have been well pleased if they'd got round within four days, a final mad sprint through the dark down the North Channel and Irish Sea to the finish put them very firmly into the record books across all listings.

Commenting on their nomination, Pamela Lee said yesterday evening: "We're very proud to have been able to bring sailing and offshore sailing in particular into this conversation for 2020 – may it be the first of many".

The determined duo. Cat Hunt and Pam Lee proved to be the ideal double team throughout a carefully-orchestrated challengeThe determined duo. Cat Hunt and Pam Lee proved to be the ideal double team throughout a carefully-orchestrated challenge

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