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Former Champions Head to Royal Cork for First Ever Cork Harbour Mermaid National Championships

22nd July 2019
Sam Shields (right), twice winner, has bought the famous Helen 76 (above) and completely rebuilt her for the Mermaid Championships Sam Shields (right), twice winner, has bought the famous Helen 76 (above) and completely rebuilt her for the Mermaid Championships Photo: Afloat

For the first time, The DBSC Mermaids are holding their annual Championship in Crosshaven over 4 days from 1st - 4th August hosted by the Royal Cork Yacht Club. The fleet has enjoyed numbers in excess of 25 to 30 boats at its most recent championships but this year’s event is shaping up to be something special with a fistful of former champions deciding to rejoin the fray and relive old memories and try to put the current crop of recent younger winners under a little pressure.

Current form would have to recognise Daragh Mc Cormack, last year’s champion on home waters, in his exceptional boat Innocence no 188, as the firm favourite. He won the Munster’s earlier this year and dominated the Skerries regatta last weekend. In the hands his club mate Vincent Mc Cormack Innocence was also a clear winner in a competitive fleet at the Leinster’s during the Volvo Regatta earlier this month.

Innocence MermaidMermaid National Champions 188 – Innocence helmed by Darragh McCormack and crew Mark McCormack and Johnny Dillon Photo: Ted Kelly

Regular winner Jonathan O'Rourke in Tiller Girl 77 will be certain to be in the hunt as will Mark Boylan, the youngest ever winner a few years ago in a very windy Galway Bay.

Sam Shields, twice winner, has bought the famous Helen 76 and completely rebuilt her and would have high expectations of being in the frame with his experienced crew.

Also returning is the noted Rush sailor Paddy Dillon, another former winner, in Wild Wind 131 who will be anxious to build on his experience with the outstandingly successful J 109 Storm Team over the last couple of years. A solid 2nd in Skerries as his first outing in years consolidates his credentials for consideration as a serious contender.

Mermaid Clinker 100 and 119 2Mermaid racing comes to Cork Harbour in August Photo: Afloat

Long-time Mermaid stalwart, Derek Joyce has refurbished his unbeatable steed from the 2000s, Zeila 187 and he will be attempting to match Roger Bannon’s record of six wins over the years. It is also expected that Roger Bannon might be there with rumours circulating that Kate Grimes is returning from Dubai especially for the event to crew for him.

News is also circulating of several rebuilding projects around the country with the hope that some may make it to the starting line in Crosshaven, including Nichapando 114 and Perhaps 111.

Exciting times for this iconic class!

Published in Mermaid
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