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Coastal Race Adds Spice to Kinsale Sailing Series

24th April 2012
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Coastal Race Adds Spice to Kinsale Sailing Series

#KINSALE –  It was back to the big winds and waves this week for the hardy competitors in the KYC Spring Series, with UK Halsey Sailmakers sponsoring events this week, and Des McWilliam himself out on the water checking up on his handiwork writes Peadar Murphy.

For Classes Zero, One and Two, the much anticipated coastal race was the order of the day, with OD Tony Ireson setting a varied and demanding course that tested the stamina of the fleets. Starting in the vicinity of the Bulman, a short beat to Sandycove was followed by a spinnaker reach to CentrePoint and then a two sail reach to the Old Head. The fleets were then faced with a long beat up to the green-coloured Black Tom buoy in Courtmacsherry Bay before launching into a rock and roll run back to the Old Head. Class Two boats headed for Centre Point at that stage, while the bigger boats reached eastwards to the eventually located (thanks Meridian!!) South East Mark and then back to base via Centre Point. With winds constantly above 20 knots at the start, many had taken in a reef and were flying smaller headsails, but by Black Tom, most of the reefs had been shaken out.

In Class Two, Mac Magic II showed their class in the conditions, overhauling the Desmond, Ivers and Deasy outfit on Bad Company at the Old Head and the Beneteau 31.7 showed everyone her transom from then on for a bullet in IRC. A fine provisional second in IRC for Clem and Wendy McElligott's Sea Hawk remains subject to protest due to a mark rounding issue. Iker Martinez was unavailable for comment on the matter as we go to press, but Sea Hawk could lose her pole position overall in ECHO and overall third in IRC if matters go against her! It couldn't be closer at the top of IRC Two overall with Brian Goggin's Allure and Bad Company tied on 14 points.

Class One saw Dave Scott's Eos storming back to winning ways while her arch-rival Jelly Baby had a day that will definitely be discarded by the Nagle and O'Malley team. In IRC, it's down to a single point between the two now, with the RCYC boat edging it. Watch out for some fireworks on Saturday!! Just three points separate the top four boats in ECHIO overall, with Jelly Baby shading it from Dan Buckley's Justus by a point.

Despite having been over the line at the start, and having difficulties with her kite, somehow Kieran Twomey's Gloves Off was still in the shake up at the South East mark, and in the beat up to Centre Point snatched the lead from Tom Roche's Meridian, which had led the fleet from the gun. Gloves Off claimed the bullet in IRC and now holds a three point lead overall from Conor Doyle's Freya, which broke her spinnaker pole as she headed east from the Old Head. John Godkin's Godot lies third overall in IRC, somewhat adrift, but with plenty of sea room between her and the remainder of the fleet. Meridian claimed the bullet in ECHO as her reward for her endeavours. Just 2.5 points now covers all five boats in ECHO with Meridian leading by her bow roller, and Godot and Tony O'Brien's White Tiger tied for second.

Class One boats dominate IRC Restricted with Jelly Baby, Eos and Justus making up the top three, but in truth it's between Jelly Baby and Eos at this stage.

East of Centre Point, OD Tony Small was marshalling Classes Three and Four on windward/leeward courses and his mark layers were kept busy with the shifting winds. In the first race, Finbarr Dorgan's No Half Measures got the better of Marron and O'Connell partnership on Bandit in Class Three IRC, but Padraig O'Donovan's Chameleon held on to claim her second bullet of the series in ECHO.

In Class Four IRC, Alan Mulcahy's Sundancer and Richard Hanley's Saoirse had the racing to themselves with Mulcahy continuing to string the bullets together and almost certain to claim the series overall. In ECHO, the story is much the same with Sundancer and Saoirse out in front, though the Higgins and Morrison duo on La Maraquita remain close enough to keep the top two on their toes.

For the White Sail fleet, OD Donal Hayes sent competitors up to the Spit Mark first, providing welcome entertainment to walkers on Kinsale's Scilly Walk. John Whelan's Wheels continued her eventful Spring Series outing taking up temporary residence on the sand bank off the Block House, but eventually got free. No such troubles hampered John Downing and Samba, which romped home ahead of Dave Akerlind's Paragon and Stephen Lysaght's Reavra in Class One, presenting a wonderful spectacle as they reached to the finish in unison with the returning Class Zero, One, Two and White Sail Two fleets! Overall, Reavra holds a two point lead over the Dann, Murphy and Hennessy team on Val Kriss with Paragon a further point behind. But with the discard not coming into play in White Sail until next week, it's still all to play for here.

The OD's foresight ensured that the Irish Lights Vessel Granuaile would indeed have the Bulman Buoy back in place after servicing it by the time the White Sail Two fleet arrived there. At that stage Kevin Murray's Objection! had built up a commanding lead and duly claimed the win from Billy Joyce's Windrose and Dave Cullinane's Delos. Windrose now leads by two points overall from Delos, but with Delos unable to take to the race course next weekend, there may be an opportunity for the ladies on Guiness Kann to swoop in to claim second spot. Objection! can't be discounted from a podium finish either following her fine finish this week.

The final series of races takes place on Saturday 28th April. If you wish to attend the Prize-giving Dinner, book your tickets now with Ann Kelly in KYC.

Published in Kinsale
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