Cork Harbour saw the start of the feeder race to Dun Laoghaire for the Liebherr ICRA Nationals last Friday writes Claire Bateman. This race was mandatory for yachts wishing to compete in the Commodore's Cup to be held in the Solent in August and also served as a qualifier for any yacht wishing to compete in the Round Ireland Race from Wicklow in June.
This was the first opportunity the Irish team of Anthony O'Leary's Antix, David Dwyer's Marinerscove.ie and Andrew Creighton's Roxy 6 have had to sail together as Roxy, the yacht to fill the Class Three slot, only arrived in Cork Harbour fresh from the Dale-Nelson Yard in Wales two weeks ago.
Start photographs here.
Conditions on Friday night as the yachts came to the start line were magnificent. The harbour was resplendent bathed in brilliant sunlight with yachts from the Friday night Whitesail league flying everywhere in the 12-15knot NNW wind. The feeder race start saw the competitiors beat in the harbour to No.10 buoy where spinnakers were hoisted and they then ran back out the harbour creating a magnificent spectacle as they wove their way through the Whitesail Fleet.
Racing continued throughout the night and most of Saturday with the wind lightening and becoming fluky ranging from 8 to 16 knots providing excellent experience for the crews on the Commodore's Cup yachts. In fact Marinerscove lost out when sailing into a windless area under Wicklow Head and retired at that point but speaking with Dwyer after racing he said that it was nonetheless a wonderful training opportunity with the constant almost hourly sail changes required.
ICRA Offshore Trophy Race:
1. Antix Anthony O'Leary
2. Roxy 6 Rob Davies/Andrew Creighton
3. Gloves Off Kieran Twomey
4. D-Tox Donal O'Leary