Menu

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Displaying items by tag: Anthony O'Leary

27th August 2010

Success at Last!

The world trophy for offshore cruiser racing is in Irish hands and Cork has dominated the successful assault on the Commodore's Cup in the hallowed waters of Cowes, centre of British yachting writes Tom MacSweeney.

Several times in previous years the Irish team were favourites, leading the event, with the cup seemingly in their grasp, but were beaten on the last day of the event. This year they led from the opening day. Maintaining their lead to the finish after five days of racing.

Putting just one team of three boats into the competition this year proved the best approach. Like other competing nations such as the UK and France, Ireland had entered previously entered several teams. But the result was internal rivalry that did not bring overall Irish victory.

On Saturday last as the Commodore's Cup fleet of 30 boats, representing 10 nations, headed into the Solent off Cowes for the final day's racing, Ireland was again in the lead. The crews of the Irish team's three boats - Antix, Marinerscove.ie and Roxy 6, were conscious of what had happened to their predecessors and how victory had been snatched away on the last day.

Throughout the week they had built a commanding lead, each of the team boats achieving top fleet positions racing in three different classes. It seemed they were almost certain to win the cup, but those thoughts were being forced aside, almost as if concentrating on them might jinx the final outcome.

With the team boats all from the Royal Cork, one competing in each class, the sailors all knowing each other, there was to be no repeat of previous years. Then there had been internal skirmishing between the several Irish teams on the final day, jockeying for positions, but seemingly focus to bring overall victory.

sailingDB_MG_0301

Ireland celebrates victory in Cowes last weekend. Photo: David Branigan

There was plenty of skirmishing and jockeying with opponents on the start line for the final race last Saturday when one French boat tried to protest Antix out of Class 1 in an incident before the start. Anthony O'Leary, skippering Antix, kept his cool and took a penalty time turn allowed under the rules, avoiding what could have been a messy protest. The crew of Antix sailed her so well that she made up lost time at the start during the race. When the French protested at the end of the race, they lost out, having overlooked that Antix had taken the penalty before the race started

Sweet justice for an Irish team when one remembers what happened in another world cup sport!

Strong, gusty winds, dominated the final day, but all three Irish boats sailed well. Antix finished second in Class 1, while Dave Dwyer's Marinerscover.ie revelled in the conditions with another first place in Class 2 while Rob Davies' Roxy 6 was second in Class 3, keeping the Irish team out in front, aggregated on the overall results.

At the rather upper class Royal Yacht Squadron in Cowes, it was a great sight when the 50-strong Irish contingent of crews, team management and shore support staff were invited on stage at the presentation ceremony. Their haul of prizes included being the best European team at the event, the best team in both offshore and inshore races during the week and of course, the Commodore's Cup, a long-awaited victory.

After the formalities, Cowes echoed to the sound of the Irish singing The Fields of Athenry in the Pier View pub which had been unofficial headquarters for the team during the week.

The team was organised by the Irish Cruiser Racing Association under the auspices of the Irish Sailing Association. Management was led by Commodore Barry Rose from the RCYC, with Denis Kiely from Kinsale Yacht Club; Mike Broughton, Norbert Reilly and Fintan Cairns, former ICRA Commodore. He had led previous attempts to win the cup.

This is a great achievement, adding to the standing of Irish sailing internationally. All those involved, the boat owners, skippers, crew, team management and shore support deserve the highest praise. That Cork has had such a dominant involvement in Ireland's victory is marvellous.

In youth sailing, Cork sailors are continuing to stamp their mark nationally. I have been highlighting the achievements of young Optimist sailors, which were added to at the national class championships, sailed at Waterford Harbour Sailing Club. This is based in Dunmore East where huge swells are typical conditions as the seas roll into that fishing port.

Peter McCann from the Royal Cork sailed magnificently to become Senior Open and National Champion. Second to him was Peter Crosbie, also from the RCYC. Daire Cournane, a member of both the RCYC and Kinsale YC dominated the junior fleet, winning the open and national championship titles.
Another young sailor has caused so much controversy that the World Sailing Speed Record Council has decided it will no longer give recognition to records for "youngest" sailors, "to avoid encouraging dangerous sailing attempts." Guinness World Records has made a similar decision. Both were announced as 14-year-old Dutch girl Laura Dekker began a bid to become the youngest person to sail alone around the world. She had planned to leave from Portugal, but Portugese law does not allow minors to sail alone. So she left from Gibraltar instead.
A Dutch Court previously blocked her attempt at the request of child protection agencies, though her parents, experienced sailors, have supported her. Born on a yacht, she maintains she is competent to make the voyage which will not be non-stop. Dekker will call at several ports.
Earlier this year Australian Jessica Watson completed a non-stop 210-day round-the-world voyage at the age of 16. In June another 16-year-old, Abby Sunderland, was rescued in the Indian Ocean when she and her boat got into difficulties.
If Laura Dekker does complete her voyage, it will not get official record recognition.
• This article is reprinted by permission of the CORK EVENING ECHO in which Tom MacSweeney writes maritime columns twice weekly. Evening Echo website: www.eecho.ie

Published in Island Nation

The Rolex Commodores' Cup arrived back in Cork last night and winning team Ireland received a heroes welcome from the Royal Cork Yacht Club writes Claire Bateman.

In his welcome Admiral Paddy McGlade mentioned there were ten trophies for the event, eight of which were won by Team Ireland. One was for best British boat that obviously Ireland couldn't win, and the other was for best female crew category which they certainly couldn't win! When Team Leader Anthony O'Leary arrived he received a standing ovation and was joined by Andrew Creighton and his family.

Unfortunately marinerscove.ie skipper David Dwyer was still on his way home and could not be present but nonetheless marinerscove.ie was very much in the minds of all present.

In the Team Leader's speech Anthony made special mention of and paid tribute to Rob Davies of Roxy 6 and the hugely important part Roxy had played in the successful outcome.

He said Antix and marinerscove.ie had been around for some time but Roxy was a new build recently launched. He again expressed his gratitude for the unstinting and unswerving support so generously provided by Rob Davies any time it was requested for Roxy's campaign.

ICRA Commodore Barry Rose also spoke and gave a graphic description of the final race of the series and how well the Irish team coped with the conditions when all around them other boats were having major difficulties.

The formalities over, the Admiral rang the bell and the team members and their supporters enjoyed refreshments as they relived the seven days of the Rolex Commodores' Cup.

com1

Job well done. Team Ireland Captain Anthony O'Leary is welcomed home by Royal Cork Admiral Paddy McGlade. Photo: Bob Bateman

 

 

Published in Commodores Cup

Boats were returning to Cowes Yacht Haven throughout yesterday, back from the offshore race of the 2010 Rolex Commodores' Cup. With a 2.5x point co-efficient this race had the potential to provide a major upset in the results, but after four days of competition the Irish team hold an even more commanding lead, now up to 29.5 points. Hong Kong has regained second place, this time with a 25-point cushion over the leading French team, which in turn is just 5 points ahead of GBR Red and 15 points ahead of France Yellow in fifth.

Dave Dwyer’s marinerscove.ie was overall winner of Class 2 while team captain Anthony O’Leary’s Antix scored second place.  Rob Davies Roxy 6 skippered by Andrew Creighton was fourth in Class 3.

“We’re feeling quite positive as we’ve just had one of the best offshore results ever – the lads all worked their socks off,” commented Barry Rose, Commodore of ICRA.  “We’ve strengthened our lead so we’re in a good, solid position and looking forward to the rest of the regatta.”
The team had all returned to Cowes by mid-afternoon to prepare the three boats for tomorrow’s (Thursday) Rolex Trophy race on a long-inshore race that is expected to last three hours.  Friday will also feature a single race as the fleet competes for bonus points in the Round Isle of Wight course.

Saturday’s single race finale counts for double-points and strong challenges from Hong Kong, France Blue and Britain’s GBR Red are expected.
“Its still all to play for. Hong Kong are looking very strong and there are a lot of points still to be earned,” cautioned Rose.  “There’ll be no change in our strategy – we have a plan and we’re going to stick to it.  Its about grind out the results day by day.”

Hong Kong and Ireland scored equal points in the offshore race with the former's Rockall III winning the small boat class while the latter's marinerscove.ie claimed the mid-sized class.
On the water Rockall III was first home in the whole fleet, crossing the line just to the west of the entrance to Portsmouth Harbour at 10:40:41 BST, winning her class by almost one hour on corrected time. While racing for Hong Kong, where he used to live, Rockall III's owner Christopher Opielok is German. His crew is largely from Hong Kong but also includes two Dutch, one Irishman and three Australians. According to Opielok he bought his Corby 36 specifically to compete in the Rolex Commodores' Cup, "we have been preparing for this for a long time. The boat clocked since delivery to us last year, 4,000 miles. We did a lot of offshore racing. We have four very good helmsmen. The navigation was very well prepared. We had a good tactician and I believe altogether with a very good boat, ended up with this result."
Opielok said they faced stiff competition from the Irish team's small boat, Roxy 6, "we focussed on sail trim and sailed extremely hard without any rest. We knew we could only beat Roxy upwind. We put all our effort into the 60-mile beat and then we tried to control them downwind. Luckily the tide went with us and pushed us even further than expected." The tide was particularly beneficial on the final run into the finish.
Simon Henning, owner of the Alice II from GBR White was delighted to have won the big boat division. His Farr 45, the biggest yacht in this year's Rolex Commodores' Cup does not have a favourable rating and they have not performed well in the inshore racing so far. Having to continue past Anvil Point and on to the East Shambles mark in Weymouth Bay, the Class 1 course at 191-nautical-miles was some 35 nm longer than the Class 3 version, which simply did an about-turn at Poole. Yet Alice II reached the finish line just under four minutes astern of Rockall III.
Alice led the 30-boat fleet out of the Solent in the strongest conditions of the race and enjoyed a fantastic blast down to the Owers, the easternmost mark of the course, to the southeast of Selsey Bill. "We saw 24-25 knots [of wind] and we were surfing up to 17 several times – it was lovely," commented Henning. Thanks to this they caught the tide turning at the Owers and from there never looked back. Despite the wind dropping to five knots this morning, they claimed the big boat class by a margin of 1 hour 20 minutes on corrected time.
Aside from torrential rain yesterday afternoon, conditions were not as bad as had been forecast. In the southwesterly breeze the sea was being kicked up by the wind-against-tide on the first beat out of The Solent and apart from the overfalls off St Catherine's Point, the southern tip of the Isle of Wight, it was generally considered a pleasant race.
"It was great fun - the course had a fabulous variety," commented Anthony O'Leary, who's Ker 39 Antix corrected out to be second amongst the big boats. "Every corner we went around it seemed that the tide was against us, but that was part of plan to give us a varied course with all the options and all the challenges - and there were plenty. Going into Poole Bar in the middle of the night and the Anvil in the dark is a challenge but thankfully we got away and managed to hold the thing together."
O'Leary was thankful that the Irish team had cumulatively posted a solid result in this high scoring race. "You could easily lose the regatta if you had a disaster and in that respect it is certainly satisfying. But there is still plenty to do and there are still plenty of points available. We'll keep on chipping away."
David Dwyer's marinerscove.ie maintained the impeccable Irish performance, first home in the mid-sized class, although by the slender margin of three and a half minutes over Anthony Day's Blondie IV. Tactician on the Irish boat, Andy Beadsworth, commented that, "it was a really good race and it was nice to finish relatively early today." The team enjoyed spending most of the night racing in company with the big boats. "It wasn't that lumpy. We hardly had any water over the deck!" said Beadsworth, adding that he had tried to get some sleep only to be awoken when he overheard the rest of the crew about to make decisions on deck.
Finishing behind Rockall III in the small boat class was Bernard Moureau's JND 35 Gaia in France White. Tactician Alex Mercier said that they are improving with every race aboard their new boat. "The start was a bit improvised but we were able to place ourselves well and to maintain a good position during the entire night and this morning as well." They are still discovering Gaia but have found it goes well under spinnaker.
Behind them in third was Jim Macgregor's Elan 410 Premier Flair, which posted the best result for GBR Red, with another crew who had thought they would perform better inshore than off. The line-up includes British Olympic-squad 470 sailor Ben Saxton as tactician. "It was long but enjoyable, different. It was nice weather because it was windy enough and we made good progress and we finished close to other boats so that kept it fun the whole way around," said Saxton who admits he only slept for about five minutes. Saxton reckons they made their biggest tactical gains with the tide on the beat up to Poole.
Tomorrow the Rolex Commodores' Cup returns to racing on The Solent with one inshore course scheduled for Rolex Trophy Day. Crews get a well-earned rest following their efforts of the past 24 hours or so, with the start scheduled for noon BST. With two high scoring races to follow on Friday (the x1.5 Round the Isle of Wight Race) and Saturday (a double-points inshore race) the teams at the top know this event is far from over. The Irish will sleep more comfortably tonight having cruised through the major test of the week, but undoubtedly will be on alert tomorrow to avoid the pitfalls encountered by previous compatriot teams.
Top Five Teams - Provisional Positions after completion of 5 races
Team / Points / Place
Ireland / 42 / 1
Hong Kong / 71.5 / 2
France Blue / 84 / 3
GBR Red / 89 / 4
France Yellow /99 / 5

 

Published in Commodores Cup

MANY OF YOU SENT GOOD LUCK WISHES AND NOW YOU CAN SAY WELL DONE TOO! SCROLL DOWN THE PAGE TO LEAVE YOUR CONGRATULATION MESSAGE!

sailingDB_MG_0301

The ICRA Team Celebrations in Cowes, Photo: David Branigan

 

After a series of near misses in the Commodores Cup, there are many reasons why 2010 was an entirely appropriate timing for an Irish win in Cowes today.

Ireland's single three boat team (below) faced stiff opposition in the final ten team line up. Individual performances this season though, including a win at the British IRC Nationals, is proof, were it needed, that Ireland still was always on course to win the Commodores Cup. 
Ireland's team on the Solent was Royal Cork based; Antix, Anthony O'Leary (Ker 39); Marinerscove.ie David Dwyer (Mills 39) and Roxy 6 Robert Davies (Corby 36). The full crew list for each boat is below, representing the very best of Irish sailing talent.
Third time lucky is how it was scripted in 08, but not how it was acted out. After first being jilted by the French and now, for the second time, by the English, the Irish could be forgiven for giving up on the cup but we never did. This victory represents the final week of eight months preparation for superb assault on the title.

PLEASE SCROLL DOWN TO THE END OF THE PAGE AND LEAVE YOUR CONGRATULATIONS MESSAGE!

icra_centredlogo

Team Ireland 2010 Commodores Cup

Photos by Robert Bateman

IRL3939 Antix Anthony O'Leary (Ker 39)

GU1C9791

Anthony O'Leary (IRL)

David Lenz (GBR)

Peter O'Leary (IRL)

Ross Deasy (IRL)

Brian Lennon (IRL)

Stephen O'Sullivan (IRL)

Eoin Leahy (IRL)

Frederick Cudmore (IRL)

Simon Johnson (IRL)

Rory O'Sullivan (IRL)

Jimmy Houston (GBR)

Derek Moynan (IRL)

Tom Durcan (IRL)

Robert O'Leary (IRL)

Darragh O'Connor (IRL)


IRL39000 Marinerscove.ie David Dwyer (Mills 39)

_MG_0409

Andy Beadsworth (GBR)

David Bolton (IRL)

Padraig Byrne (IRL)

Alan Curran (IRL)

David Dwyer (IRL)

Bernard Fitzpatrick (IRL)

Brian Heneghan (IRL)

David Love (IRL)

Tom Murphy (IRL)

Nicholas O'Leary (IRL)

Clive O'Shea (IRL)

Sandy Rimmington (IRL)

Chris Schirmer (GBR)

Don Wilson (IRL)


IRL36000 Roxy 6 Robert Davies (Corby 36)

_MG_0422

Rob Davies (GBR)

Andrew Creighton (IRL)

Marty O'Leary (IRL)

Jim Hughes (IRL)

Paul Farries (GBR)

Nelson Moore (IRL)

Tom Whitburn (GBR)

Michael Liddy (IRL)

Aidan O'Connell (IRL)

Maurice O'Connell (IRL)



Team Management:

Barry Rose, Fintan Cairns, Denis Kiely, Mike Broughton and Norbert Reilly

 


 

Published in Commodores Cup

A young Irish crew from Howth topped IRC Class 4, the biggest class which had 20 entries at the Scottish Series this evening. Ross McDonald and the crew of the Howth based X332 Equinox strung together a first and two second places from the final three races to win the class by four points from last year's class winners on the J92 NiJinsky. Robert Yates and his crew won both races today but finished second by four points ahead of the Davidson 36 Hops which had lead into the final day but which could only make a fifth and seventh today.

Anthony O'Leary and his Cork crew of the Ker 39 Antix conclusively won IRC Class 1 after posting a further two victories today in near perfect conditions. O'Leary, a long time supporter of the Scottish Series has won twice before in 2004 and 2006.

Counting six wins from eight starts in the nine boat strong class, Antix has been impressive across the wind ranges, proving the team are in good shape for the upcoming Rolex Commodore's Cup international team regatta in August.

Their class had depth including another three past winners of the overall top trophy in second, third and fourth places.

After more than three decades of trying with probably as broad a variety of different yachts that any one owner-skipper has campaigned at this key regatta with - from a slippery 37 foot ultra light Selection production race boat to a heavy Trintella 42 foot cruising boat - veteran Clyde owner-skipper John Corson and his long serving crew of the immaculately prepared Corby 33 Salamander XX lifted the Scottish Series Trophy, the top award for the annual Brewin Dolphin Scottish Series this evening.

"I am shocked and stunned." Said an emotional Corson, 80. " I don't know what to say. We have been so close so many times before that you just never know what is going to happen, or who it is going to go to. So I think most of all I just feel so relieved."

His win is a popular one. Corson has been a huge supporter of Clyde racing, and perhaps the most zealous participant over many years, competing from early season frostbite races right through until December year in year out. He has introduced many youngsters

His win, along with a crew of whom some have sailed with him for nearly 20 years, comes after many near misses. The veteran shed a tear or two before accepting the top trophy, just as his team did in 2005 when they were leading their class with a string of wins when their mast crashed down and their regatta was ended prematurely.

"This is a really, really special thing for John. He has always wanted to win this. In a sense this is his Olympics, the biggest thing in sailing for him so it is a real honour to have contributed. We have been close before, but this time things came together. After last year we had plugged the gaps which we felt we might still have in terms of optimising the boat, the crew work is really exemplary and the result of many long hours on the water over the years. So this is very special." Said John Highcock, the Clyde sailmaker who steered Salamander XX.

"It is so well deserved. Totally right." Commented double winner Anthony O'Leary

Corson and his crew won seven of their eight races in IRC Class 3, dropping an eighth as their allowable discard. With Clyde sailmaker John Highcock steering, Salamander XX's performance today was nothing short of electric. Twice today they were quick enough to be ahead of the leaders of Class 2 which had started five minutes ahead.

 

IRC Class 2 went right to the final race with the Clyde brothers Richard and Paul Harris triumphing after posting a third and a second on their Iain Murray designed Sydney 36.

The challenge from the Welsh-Irish new Corby 36 Roxy 6 faded notably in the lighter conditions of Sunday. Chris Bonar's BH36 Bateleur 97 finished with a flourish, two first places today, but that was not enough for them to catch their Clyde compatriots and they had to settle for third overall.

The only crew to have won all of their races right the way through the regatta is Ruairadh Scott's team on King Quick in Sportsboat Class 1. They counted eight first places from nine starts and were certainly among the elite group of contenders for the overall top trophy.

 

Published in Racing
Page 9 of 9

About Pamela Lee, Irish Offshore Sailor

Ireland has produced some of the world’s most dedicated offshore sailors, and Pamela Lee of Greystones is one of them. She has made a name for herself in the sailing world, having worked as a mate on a charter Super-yacht for two and a half years. After coming ashore, she has been fully committed to her offshore sailing ambitions since 2019.

Lee has raced in various craft, including Figaro 3s, Class 40, Tp 52s, and multihulls, and has eight transatlantic crossings under her belt. In partnership with Kenny Rumball, Lee supported Rumball’s La Solitaire du Figaro sailing campaign to secure the Irish berth in the proposed Mixed Offshore Keelboat event for the Paris 2024 Olympics.

One of Lee’s stated main aims is to promote female empowerment in sport, and she set out to establish a double-handed Round Ireland speed record with Englishwoman Cat Hunt in the winter of 2020. This campaign gained much publicity, and Lee expressed pride in bringing sailing and offshore sailing, in particular, into the conversation for 2020.

To further her offshore sailing career, Lee moved to France, where she has recently secured a place to skipper a yacht in the Transat Jacques Vabre Challenge in October 2023. Lee’s passion and dedication to offshore sailing are inspiring, and her achievements are a testament to her hard work and perseverance.