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The violent overnight thunderstorms certainly cleared the air in Schull for the start of day four of Calves Week writes Michael Murphy.

Unfortunately, it also cleared the wind, leaving race officer Alan Crosbie starting his fleets in a falling southeasterly from a line well inside the harbour.

As the breeze continued to drop, most of the fleets drifted aimlessly off the harbour mouth, for up to an hour and a half. Then the forecasted weather front arrived, first came the torrential rain and then the strong southwesterly, sweeping all the backmarkers safely home after up to four hours of racing.

IMG 20190809 WA0083v2Tricky conditions on day four of Calves Week

In class 1 it was a clean sweep for Paul O'Higgins' “Rockabill VI, whose victory in both divisions, also clinched him the overall title, from the 2018 holder and event sponsor Frank Whelan's “Eleuthera” in IRC and Dennis O'Sullivan's “Aris” in Echo.

 DSC8730Rockabill VI (Paul O'Higgins) from the Royal Irish Yacht Club Photo: Bob Bateman

In class two, IRC Jonny Swan's “Harmony” finished the week in style to claim both the daily prize and the overall from Frank Desmond's “Bad Company”.

In Echo, it was a dead heat between Rob Allen's “Smile” and Kevin Daly's “Jamaro”, while George Radley's” Cortegada” took the overall trophy.

Class three IRC also finished in a tie with David Buckley's “Jaguar ”winning the overall by reason of a victory over “ Dave Doyle's “Musketeer” in the final race.

In Echo, the overall went to another Tralee Bay boat, with Diarmuid Dineen's “Growler” finishing one point ahead of the Dwyer family in “Sally in Stitches”, while the Kerry club finished off a great week with Paul Taylor winning class four Echo in “Sea Psalm”. The IRC trophy was claimed by Rob O Reily in “Bonjourno”.

RIYC Calves weekRIYC winners at Calves 2019: Act 2 owners David Andrews, Michael O’Leary and Tom Roche (and all their trophies won last week!) with winning IRC One winning skipper Paul O’Higgins of Rockabill VI pictured second from right.

In White sail one IRC Michael O'Leary in “Act Two” was able to discard the final day's race to secure overall victory by one point from Aiden Heffernans “Indulgence”, while Tom McCarthy's “Bateleur 88” won Echo.

Local Schull boats dominated White Sail Two,  with Don Buckley's “Zeezwan” winning the tiebreaker from Frank Murphy in “Dreamcatcher”

Results are here

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The successful Dun Laoghaire White Sails Dufour 425 campaigner 'Act 2', was back in the silverware this week with a win in the Fastnet race at Calves Week.

Owners Michael O’Leary, David Andrews and Tom Roche, all former international offshore sailors, from the Royal Irish Yacht Club, made the best of the heavy weather and big seas last Thursday to take the 2019 Cup.

Act 2 went on to win the Calves Week White Sails Regatta division by one point with scores of 1st, 3rd, 1st and (5th). See more here.

Act2Act 2 during Calves Week Photo: Amy O'Leary

More Calves Week race news in this link here

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A 180-degree wind shift to the east from the previous two days of westerlies, presented Calves Week race officer Alan Crosbie with a problem on how to get fleet to the Fastnet and back, without forming a large reaching procession writes Michael Murphy.

He elected to set up his start line inside Schull harbour with a half-mile frantic beat across the harbour to the windward mark, much to the delight of the various tourist ribs on the water.

From there the fleets split with the smaller classes three, four, and white sail two, then on a broad reach to the rock, via the Amelia buoy, while the three larger classes had a spectacular run up Long Island Sound, with a sausage type fetch from Goat Island to the rock and a reach back to the same location and a beat back down the channel to a turning mark at the harbour mouth.

M50 type congestion occurred off the Fastnet as the various fleets arrived together, with local Schull boat “Quinsea ” even managing to embrace the rock.

In class one IRC Paul O Higgins' “Rockabill VI finally beat rivals “Neulargo” and “Jelly Baby” in a very competitive race, while Gabby Hogan’s local boat “Growler” took the echo prize from Denis O Sullivan’s “Aris” and the 1720 “Sheebeen” sailed by Mick Horgan.

In class two IRC Jonny Swan’s “Harmony” came home ahead of yesterdays winner “Bad Company”, with George Radley's “Cortegada” in third, while in Echo it was a victory for Paul Eikrems “Freyja”, with Henry Hogg’s “Lisador” in second and Schull commodore Flor O Riordans “3 Cheers “ in third.

In class three IRC the Cove crew on “Musketeer” notched up another win from David Buckley’s “Jaguar” and Dan O Donovan’s “Second Count”, while the Dwyer family sailing local boat “Sally In Stitches” took first in Echo ahead of another Schull boat “La Perle Noire” sailed by Deborah Crowley.

In class four IRC yesterdays placings were reversed with Rob O Reily’s “Bonjourno” taking the trophy from the Murphy family in “Shelly D” while in ECHO victory went to the Buckley Family in “Tete a Tete”.

In White Sail one Michael O Leary’s “Act Two” finished ahead of Aiden Heffernan’s “Indulgence”, while in Echo it was a win for ex Schull sailor “Dermot Cronin” in “Encore” from Adrian Blake's “Tulia”.

In White Sail two local Schull boats dominated, with Frank Murphy’s “Dreamcatcher” beating Andrew Mackey’s “Lorna Drew” into second place.

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The weather gods certainty decided to be kind to Schull today for the second day of Calves Week, by providing a sun-filled summers day with a steady 15 knots of a warm westerly wind, and a long inter-island interesting course from race officer Alan Crosbie writes Michael Murphy.

Once again all the fleets started with a beat-up Long Island sound, much to the delight of the throngs of spectators who had a spectacular close up view of the activities on the water.

In IRC 0/1 it was the turn of Brian Jones in “Jelly Baby” to win both handicap divisions followed home in second IRC by Paul O Higgin's in “Rockabill VI” and local Schull boat “Growler” sailed by Gabby Hogan in Echo.

"All the fleets started with a beat-up Long Island sound, much to the delight of the throngs of spectators"

In class two it was back to winning ways for Frank Desmond and the crew of “Bad Company”, following yesterday’s retiral, to clinch victory in both IRC and Echo, ahead of Johnny Swan's “Harmony” in IRC and George Radley’s “Cortegada” in Echo.

Calves Week 20192Johnny Swan's “Harmony” from Howth Photo: Bob Bateman

Class three IRC produced the same results as yesterday, with David Buckley’s “Jaguar” followed home by the “Muskateer” crew from Cobh and Dan O Donovan’s “Second Count”.

In Echo, it was a first for the second named “Growler” in the fleet sailed by Diarmuid Dineen from Tralee, ahead of the Dwyer family sailing local boat “Sally In Stitches”
Class four IRC reversed yesterdays placing with the Murphy family in “Shelly D” snatching victory from Rob O Reily’s “Bonjourno”, with Simon Nelson in “Witchcraft winning Echo from Paul Taylor’s “Sea Psalm”.

White Sail One IRC saw Aiden Heffernan sail “Indulgence to victor, from Tom Mc Carthy’s “Bateleur” who was second in IRC and first in Echo. A new boat “Prince Of Tides” on its maiden visit to Schull. scored second in Echo for owner Frank Caul, with local sailor John Molloy on the helm.

Dan Buckley's “Zeezwan was a clear winner in White Sail Two, from John and Fiona Murphy’s “Esme”.

Tomorrows Fastnet Race is now scheduled to go ahead, following an improved weather forecast.

Results are here

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Thrills and spills were the order of the day for the opening races at Calves Week 2019, Schull, sailed in a brisk westerly wind, gusting close to thirty knots at times writes Michael Murphy

Race Officer Kieran McSweeney, who was drafted in at short notice in place of principle race officer Alan Crosbie, elected to set up his starting line south of the harbour entrance and succeeded in getting all six classes of the sixty-two boat fleet away, without mishap.

All the fleets had a though beat through Long Island sound, with all bar White Sail two rounding Goat Island for a bumpy downwind leg outside the islands to the Amelia Buoy.
The conditions took their toll on the fleet with six retirals before the halfway stage.

In Class 0/1 it was a perfect start for Denis Murphy's “Nieulargo” who clocked up first in both handicap divisions ahead of Frank Whelan's “Eleuthera”, with the much smaller “Antix Beag” claiming third in IRC for Antony O'Leary, while Paul O'Higgins “Rockabill VI” took third in Echo.

In class two Jonny Swan's “Harmony” from Howth took the IRC prize, with George Radley in “Cortegada” filling the Echo slot.

In class three it was a clean sweep for Tralee based David Buckley who sailed “Jaguar” to victory in both IRC and ECHO ahead of the “Musketeer” crew from Cobh who notched up a second in IRC and third in Echo. Dan O'Donovan from Dungarvan sailing Club “Second Count” and the Schull based Quinlan family filled the third spots.

Class four saw Rob O'Reilly's “Bonjourno” claim the IRC prize ahead of the Murphy Family in “Shelly D”, with the order reversed in echo. Richard Hanley's “Saoirse ”from KYC, claimed third in IRC, with the Buckley crew in “Tete-A-Tete filling third in Echo.

White Sail one, saw Michael O Leary's “Act Two” from the Royal Irish Yacht Club claim both prizes, with Bryan Heffernan's “Aisling” filling both seconds.

In White Sail Two, victory went to the local boat “Dreamcatcher” sailed by Frank Murphy, ahead of Andrew Mackey's “Lorna Drew.

Published in Calves Week
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The West Cork Sailing Festival kicks off this Saturday when SCORA will start an offshore race off Kinsale to Baltimore starting at 8 am. This replaces the traditional overnight race from Crosshaven, which had suffered from declining numbers in the past few years.

The cruiser fleet will be greeted by Baltimore Sailing Club who are hosting the 1720 Sportsboat “Baltimore Cup” series in the harbour on the Bank holiday Saturday and Sunday.

Baltimore Traders Regatta on Monday signals the start of the Calves Week series of races, called after the Islands that lie at the centre of most of the weeks sailing action, with a nod towards that other sailing event which leaves Cowes on the Isle of Wight on Saturday, heading for the Fastnet.

The four days of racing in Schull, sponsored by Frank Whelan’s “Gas Analysis Services” begins at midday on Tuesday, with a nightly presentation of prizes and live music on the main street.

Local regatta races on Saturday in Crookhaven and on Sunday in Schull, round off the extra-long week's activities which now extends to eight days.

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With over 65 confirmed entries at present, representing fourteen clubs, ranging from Galway to Dublin, the 2019 Calves Week organised by Schull Harbour Sailing Club, is again shaping up to provide competitive and exciting racing for the annual West Cork festival of sailing writes Bob Bateman.

The event will see sponsor, Frank Whelan of Gas Analysis Services, hoping to make it three victories in a row in his Grand Soleil “Eleuthera”, following his excellent performance in Kinsale's Sovereign's Cup and more recently Dun Laoghaire Regatta.

This year’s event incorporates a race in the SCORA offshore series and will feature racing for six classes, with Principal Race Officer Alan Crosbie promising a variety of courses using laid Buoy’s and the many islands of Roaring water bay, together with in-harbour starts when possible.

Calves Week 198Grand Soleil “Eleuthera at the Fastnet Rock Photo: Bob Bateman

The opening reception and registration takes place at the Fastnet Marine Centre on Monday, August 5th from 17.30 hrs, where the cream of the West Cork gourmet scene will serve a fantastic array of local food and wine to set the week in motion.

Calves Week 197

Calves Week 195Frank Whelan at the helm of Eleuthera Photo: Bob Bateman

The first “round the islands” race fleet starts at 11.55 on Tuesday and on Wednesday the fleets will sail a variety of courses in Long Island Bay. Thursday will see the combined fleets head for the Fastnet Rock, where there is the possibility of meeting some of the backmarkers of the Rolex Fastnet Race.

The series finishes on Friday with racing in Roaring Water Bay, followed by the overall presentation of prizes and closing ceremony on Schull Main Street.

Local racing on Saturday continues with Crookhaven Regatta, and for those with still some stamina left, Schull Regatta Committee finish off the week in style on Sunday, with an all in Cruiser race and shore side fun activities together with a firework display at dusk.

Calves Week 192

Calves Week Regatta entries are here

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In the performance of the Calves Week regatta so far, Frank Whelan's Grand Soleil 44 Eleuthera from Greystones Sailing Club took her third win of the week in the 13-boat class Zero/One class, this time in the event's Fastnet race on the penultimate day of racing writes Bob Bateman. Second to Eleuthera in IRC overall is the Royal St George Yacht Club J/109 Dear Prudence (Patrick Cruise O'Brien). Third overall is Black Velvet, the First 34.7 skippered by Calves Week regular Leslie Parnell of the Royal Irish Yacht Club.

There were superb conditions for the race with a westerly breeze with sunshine greeting the sixty-one starters. A short beat across the Harbour, a turn to port to bring the fleets on to a reach with some of the brave hearts trying spinnakers to another mark out the harbour which brought the various fleets on to a beat up the sound. All but Whitesail two took in Goat Island before heading for the Rock.

Fastnet race calves week2Frank Whelan's Grand Soleil 44 Eleuthera from Greystones Sailing Club

Class one continued around Cape Clear Island while the remainder of the classes returned to the Harbour via a variety of race marks and Inner islands. This resulted in the majority of yachts finishing close together on the inner harbour line much to the delight of the many holidaymakers watching from the shore.

Fastnet race calves week2George Radley's Half Tonner Cortegada from Great Island Sailing Club Photo: Bob Bateman

In a nine-boat Class Two fleet, the Sunfast 32 Bad Company (Frank Desmond) of Royal Cork Yacht Club leads overall from clubmate Kieran Collins in the Olson 30 Coracle VI. Third is George Radley's Half Tonner Cortegada from Great Island Sailing Club.

Fastnet race calves week2

In Class Three IRC, Dan O'Donovan's Seconds Count from Dungarvan Harbour Sailing Club leads Billy Burke's Sigma 33 Musketeer. Third from five starters is Padraig O'Donovan's Fastnet 34 Chameleon from Kinsale Yacht Club.

Full results are here

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The weather gods continued to shine on PRO Alan Crosbie and his well-drilled team at sunny Gas Calves Week in Schull, West Cork as the large fleet lined up in a 15–knot westerly wind for another inner harbour start on day two of the event.

The various courses took the fleets on a scenic tour of four of the offshore islands, with the finish line off north harbour Cape Clear, where competitors had a chance to sample the recently completed pontoon facilities.

In Class One IRC, Frank Whelan's 'Eleuthera' scored another victory in the series, while the Echo trophy went to Gary Fort sailing 'Jaguar' from Tralee Sailing Club.

In Class Two, it was victory in both divisions for the Royal Cork's 'Bad Company' holding off fellow club member Kieran Collins 'Coracle' in IRC and Fergus Coughlan's 'Jedi' in Echo.

In Class Three, Dan O Donovan's 'Second Counts' revelled in the lively conditions to hold off the challenge of Great Island Sailing Club's 'Musketeer', while in class 4 IRC, the conditions again suited the Murphy families Moody 'Shelly D' to take podium position with Paul Taylor's Tralee based 'Sea Pslam' winning Echo, despite having an encounter with the Perch rock.

In White Sail One, Dennis Murphy's 'Nieulargo' continued her winning streak in both IRC and Echo while in WS 2 it was a win for local boat 'Dreamcatcher' sailed by Frank Murphy.

Full results are here

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Following the celebrations at the opening ceremony on Monday evening, it was a far cry from Quail and Cork Dry Gin as the sixty-three boat fleet took to the water in Schull Harbour for race one in Calves Week.

The morning started bright and clear with the 10/12kt westerly wind allowing OD Alan Crosbie to start all the fleets off the eastern shore of the inner harbour with a dramatic short dash to the windward mark off the opposite shore. From there to the turning mark at the harbour mouth there was little to separate the competitors, however, the long beat up Long Island channel certainly separated the men from the boys, with the six fleets splitting on to a variety of courses at Goat Island.

Black Velvet Leslie parnellLeslie Parnell's Black Velvet from Dublin Bay Photo: Bob Bateman

A series of short rain squalls struck the spinnaker fleets as they crossed Long Island Bay, causing anxious moments as the clocks read 30kts, particularly for the crew of Musketeer from Cobh who had to act swiftly to recover one of their crew, who had an unexpected dip in the choppy water of the bay, however, they continued incredibly to finish second in IRC 3.

In class one Frank Whelan's Eleuthera had a first in both IRC and Echo ahead of Conor Phelan's Jump Juice, while in class two it was a clean sweep for the crew of Bad Company.

In class three it was a productive day for Dan Donovan's Seconds Count from Dungarvan S.C winning both divisions, while class four IRC went to local boat Shelly D sailed by the Murphy family with Rob O Reilys Bonjour from Monkstown S.C taking the Echo trophy.

IndulgenceAidan Heffernan's Dehler, Indulgence Photo: Bob Bateman

In the White Sail division, it was a victory for local boats with Aidan Heffernan's Indulgence winning both divisions while Michael Hearn's Summerfly came home first in Echo.

At a packed presentation on main street Schull, the consensus among the various crew was that it was a superb day's racing dampened only by some strange ECHO results that appeared to bring the system into question with skippers, particularly from the Royal Cork, advocating the adoption of their current Sailwave Scoring Software for future events.

Full results are here

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The Half Ton Class was created by the Offshore Racing Council for boats within the racing band not exceeding 22'-0". The ORC decided that the rule should "....permit the development of seaworthy offshore racing yachts...The Council will endeavour to protect the majority of the existing IOR fleet from rapid obsolescence caused by ....developments which produce increased performance without corresponding changes in ratings..."

When first introduced the IOR rule was perfectly adequate for rating boats in existence at that time. However yacht designers naturally examined the rule to seize upon any advantage they could find, the most noticeable of which has been a reduction in displacement and a return to fractional rigs.

After 1993, when the IOR Mk.III rule reached it termination due to lack of people building new boats, the rule was replaced by the CHS (Channel) Handicap system which in turn developed into the IRC system now used.

The IRC handicap system operates by a secret formula which tries to develop boats which are 'Cruising type' of relatively heavy boats with good internal accommodation. It tends to penalise boats with excessive stability or excessive sail area.

Competitions

The most significant events for the Half Ton Class has been the annual Half Ton Cup which was sailed under the IOR rules until 1993. More recently this has been replaced with the Half Ton Classics Cup. The venue of the event moved from continent to continent with over-representation on French or British ports. In later years the event is held biennially. Initially, it was proposed to hold events in Ireland, Britain and France by rotation. However, it was the Belgians who took the ball and ran with it. The Class is now managed from Belgium. 

At A Glance – Half Ton Classics Cup Winners

  • 2017 – Kinsale – Swuzzlebubble – Phil Plumtree – Farr 1977
  • 2016 – Falmouth – Swuzzlebubble – Greg Peck – Farr 1977
  • 2015 – Nieuwport – Checkmate XV – David Cullen – Humphreys 1985
  • 2014 – St Quay Portrieux – Swuzzlebubble – Peter Morton – Farr 1977
  • 2013 – Boulogne – Checkmate XV – Nigel Biggs – Humphreys 1985
  • 2011 – Cowes – Chimp – Michael Kershaw – Berret 1978
  • 2009 – Nieuwpoort – Général Tapioca – Philippe Pilate – Berret 1978
  • 2007 – Dun Laoghaire – Henri-Lloyd Harmony – Nigel Biggs – Humphreys 1980~
  • 2005 – Dinard – Gingko – Patrick Lobrichon – Mauric 1968
  • 2003 – Nieuwpoort – Général Tapioca – Philippe Pilate – Berret 1978

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