Irish interest in the Middle Sea Race continues this weekend but is reduced with just a few Irish crew lining up for Saturday's 40th race start at the Royal Malta Yacht Club.
Race regular Barry Hurley, the 2009 Ostar winner, is taking a change of tack and is not sailing onboard his usual X yacht, XpAct. Instead for his 15th edition of the race, he will be on the multihull ‘Apollo', a Dazcat 1495 in the MOCRA class. Cork Harbour's Hurley will be joining owner/skipper Nigel Passmore and his very experienced crew who also did the Fastnet earlier this year. "They obviously know the boat really well, and I have experience with the racecourse, so hopefully we will do well in class", he told Afloat.
Meanwhile, Irish Sea interests can follow the exploits of Willie Despard, the National Yacht Club J109 sailor who has also been racing offshore this year on the Welsh, J125 Jackknife that so nearly won ISORA's overall honours under Pwllheli skipper Andrew Hall in September as Afloat reported here.
Despard is racing with Hall again on Saturday in Hall's J121 Jackhammer in the IRC four-division. Despard has already been out on the Middle Sea race track this week with a skeleton warm-up crew for sail testing. Also on board is Hall's son Sam, Ger Cronin from Malahide, the ISORA Hon Sec Stephen Tudor and his Thomas.