As the 21-strong fleet (just two down from expectations in March) for the Euro Car Parks Half Ton Classics Cup at Kinsale Yacht Club prepares for race one this morning, a race against time has been ongoing since Friday to ensure one boat would make the start.
Finland’s Toni Stoschek and Janne Tulokas were en route to Ireland with Superhero earlier in the week when an articulated lorry accidentally reversed into their mast while queuing for the ferry crossing.
The badly bent spar was beyond salvage or repair and for a time it seemed the journey to Ireland would be wasted.
However, the class rallied and the hunt began for a replacement. In a major logistical operation, a spare mast was loaned by King One and transported by Nigel Biggs of Checkmate XVIII by road across the UK and travelled by ferry to Rosslare where it was collected by Paul Cullen of Miss Whiplash, arriving in Kinsale on Saturday morning.
By Sunday’s practice race, Superhero was just able to make the starting-line after some rig tuning. “We hope that we can mix it up with the best despite our… slow start,” said Stoschek.
Conditions at Kinsale are expected to deliver a full range of wind for the coming five days, from light airs to near gale at times. Three windward-leeward races per day are planned while the coastal race intended for Tuesday may be amended to ensure a full race programme is completed.
Phil Plumtree’s Swuzzlebubble is the pre-regatta following on two previous title wins though three new boats and an increasingly competitive fleet could yet upset the running-order.