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Well it doesn't get better than this; gusting over 20 knots with wind over tide, kicking up the surf, the penultimate day of Cork Week was a day for some ballistic racing and a few dramatic sailing moments writes Louay Habib.

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Full speed: TP52 Paprec Recyclage blew a headsail today. Photo: Bob Bateman

Super Zero

Racing kicked off with a beat across the approach to Cork Harbour in the open sea to Ringabella Bay for the big boat class. There was drama right at the start, as Stephane Neve's TP52 Paprec Recyclage came off a huge wave and down with a thump, blowing out their head sail. It took the French team minutes to recover, as the rest of the fleet blasted to windward. Austin Fragomen's TP52 Interlodge rounded the top mark first with Johnny Vincent's TP52, Pace in hot pursuit. They hoisted kites, exploding down the run at a good twenty knots, in a ball of spray.

The IRC Zero fleet then headed off into the confines of Cork Harbour and as if going in for half time, the harbour provided some refuge from the big breeze outside. Then it was back into the combat zone outside the harbour for some more on the edge surfing. The crew on Laidlaw and Gray's Farr 52, Bob, could hardly contain themselves; fully hiked out downwind, they were spotted whooping with delight, as they turbo charged through the surf, like a guided missile.

Austin Fragomen's TP52, Interlodge took the gun and the race win on big Thursday, Austin has wanted to do Cork Week for some time and helmed the boat in some truly awesome conditions. Not a bad effort for a man well past retirement age.

Johnny Vincent's Pace took second place in the race, to keep a two point lead overall. Interlodge are second and Bob third.

Irish Star Olympic sailor, Peter O'Leary has been sailing with Interlodge all week and had this to say after racing;

"The team have really enjoyed the week so far and today was just some of the best sailing that you can get. We had one big spin out, as a big puff came down off the headland, off Robert's Cove. We had a couple of trips down the mine, as we surfed into the waves in front of us, sending green water all the way down the deck."

J 109 European Championship

There were thrills and spills in the J 109 fleet today. The asymmetric one designs were truly launched downwind today and title contender, Robert O'Leary's Jeroboam, was flying when the pole failed to take the strain and buckled under load, forcing them to retire, pushing them down to third overall. John Maybury's Joker II got into difficulties on the lea-shore behind Roches Point. Bowman, Sean Paul White, bravely climbed the rig to free the tangled spinnaker but all on board were unhurt in the incident.

Today's race was won by Ken Grant's Scottish crew on Tigh Soluis, who get plenty of practice in these conditions. Brian Moreton's Juke Box was only 22 seconds behind and remains in second place for the title. Greg Burgess's Blue Jay did not fair as well today, coming 8th, but is still the overall leader for the J 109 European Championship.

IRC Zero

Anthony O'Leary's Ker 39, Antix was impressive today, winning by just over two minutes, O'Leary explains that crew work was paramount today.

"We have plenty of practice gybing in heavy weather and coming back downwind from Ringabella Bay, we put in a couple of great moves which was a key to our success."

Dave Dwyer's Mills 39, Marinerscove.ie was second in today's race. Richard Matthews, Humphreys 42, Oystercatcher XXVI went around the course like a rocket ship to take line-honours but were third on corrected time. Going into the last day. Nemo of Cowes leads the class but only by two points from Marinerscove.ie. So still all to play for in this very competitive class.

IRC One

Robert Davies' Corby 36, Roxy 6 had another great day, posting their third win on the trot but by a slender ten second margin, in an adrenalin pumping race lasting over three hours. With just one day to go, Roxy 6 is just a point ahead of Conor and Denise Phelan's Ker 37, Jump Juice. Richard Fildes Corby 37, Impetuous is only four points adrift. These three boats are pretty evenly matched for speed, expect some fireworks tomorrow.

IRC Two

Rob Mc Connell's X 35, Fools Gold reveled in the heavy going winning their first race at Cork Week 2010. Sailing Logic's Reflex 38, Visit Malta Puma were second but probably blew it right at the finish. Cutting it fine to lay the line, a big gust came down the track forcing them to spill out right in front of the finishing vessel. Paul O'Higgins Corby 33, Rockabill V had an early lead but eventually dropped back to third.

With one race to go, it could not be tighter with Rockabill V and Visit Malta Puma both on 12 points. Donal O'Leary's X 35, D-TOX could only manage 13th today but are still in third overall.

IRC Three

John Moorehead & Chris Ferres j 35, Bengal Magic have a six point cushion at the top of the class, scoring their fourth series win today on a triangular course inside the harbour. Ross McDonald's X 332, Equinox was second today and retains the runner up spot overall.

Dermot Cronin's J 35, Mumbo retired today with minor boat damage and is under serious threat from Martin Breen's Harley 33, That's Life! who were third today and are now only half a point off a podium place.

IRC Four

Paul Kirwan's Sigma 38, Errislannan was unstoppable in today's heavy weather race. Powering home to take the gun and a fourth bullet in the regatta, by just over two minutes. Paul & Deirdre Tingle's First 31.7, Alpaca could only manage fifth today but are still in second place overall. Conor Ronan's Corby 26, Ruthless has closed the gap and are only two points behind Alpaca with one day to go.

IRC Five

Ian Byrne's Sunfast 32, Sunburn had a disappointing day yesterday but the Howth Yacht Club boat had their best day at Cork Week today Winning by over a minute on correct time from John Allen's X 302 Antix. Ted Crosbie X 302 No Excuse was third. Vincent O'Shea's Corby 25, YANKS $ FFRANCS could only manage ninth place today but still leads the class overall by a twelve point margin. Mathematically, YANKS $ FFRANCS can still be over-taken, but it seems very likely that IRC Three is in the bag.

IRC Six

O'Brien, Kenefick & Kenefick are home but probably not dry after a feisty day on the water. Racing Quarter Tonner, Tiger must have been like a wild ride on a bucking bronco. Tiger have a straight set of bullets from six races. Flor O'Driscoll's J 24, Hard on Port was second, by under a minute on corrected time which almost assures Tiger of the class title. Jason Losty Custom 25, Woody was third today and is vying for third overall with Clem McElligott's Sigma 33, Sea Hawk.

Mixed Sportsboat

Malcolm Thorpe's King Louie was today's winner, scoring their first bullet of the regatta by a fair margin from Bryan Hassett's Dark Side. Michael Wilson's Yknot was third in the only race of the day but still holds the class lead by a three point margin, going into the last day of the regatta.

White Sail One and Two

A fair number of the White Sail fleet did not race today, Cork Week is a great place to race but also to watch and there is no doubt that many of the competitors in this non-spinnaker class were out witnessing some of the high performance boats honing around the race track.

There were familiar names to the winners in the White Sail Classes today; Philip Dilworth's Grand Soleil 40, Orna won today's race by over three minutes from Kevin Lane's Dufour 40, Aisha and Dan O'Neill's IMX 38 Xerxes in third. In White Sail Two, McCarthy, Clarke & McMullin's Half Tonner, Harmony beat Billy Duane's Sunlight 30 by over a minute. Tom McNeice's Sigma 33, Minx III did not come to the starting area but still retains third place overall.

Two races are scheduled for tomorrow, the last day for Cork Week 2010. There will be a few sore muscles, after the testing conditions today, but the race village is still buzzing with life. The most popular spot after racing is the bar at the Royal Cork Yacht Club. No doubt a few more stories were told there today, to add to the 290 year history.

High speed photos HERE.

 

Published in Cork Week

Big breeze and big seas created some mind-boggling action at Cork Week on Day Three writes Louay Habib. Torrential rain in the early morning, gave way to some sublime sunshine giving the competitors some classic Irish sailing. 15-18 Knots of breeze from the south with wind over tide, created swell with waves reaching three metres at times.

“I have been to every Cork Week bar one since 1988. Today was my favourite course, the Harbour Course. The big boats will be there on Friday. Where else can you see boats like that racing inside a natural harbour?”

Flor O'Driscoll, winner of Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta 2009

 

 


 

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Action from a breezy day three. Photo: Tim Wright

 


 

IRC Super Zero
The carbon-fibre flyers were racing on the tactical windward leeward course with the stunning backdrop of rocks near Roberts Cove. These boats light up in big conditions and the TP52s were an awesome sight surfing through the waves.

Gray and Laidlaw’s Solent based Farr 52, Bob and Austin Fragomen’s American TP52, Interlodge won a race each today putting pressure on Johnny Vincent, TP52, Pace who is still top of the class but Bob is now just two points behind them. Paprec Recyclage and Interlodge are tied for third place just behind the front two runners.

Many of the crew on Gray and Laidlaw’s Farr 52, Bob have sailed on the boat since she was first built in 2000. John Brinkers is one and was pleased with their performance today.

“That was tough going, especially the sea state, we got nailed a bit in the first race when the breeze died down for a stage of the race. The TP52s had made their time on us and in the fading breeze we couldn’t catch them up but we sailed well in the second race. Bob got a great start and managed to hang onto the TP52s upwind and rounded pretty much with them. The big call of the day came on the second lap. We spotted a shift and took a different side of the course to the other boats, we got right back at them to take our first win and put us right in the mix.”


IRC Zero

David Dwyer’s Mills 39, Marinerscove.ie had another solid day, posting a first and a third, pouring pressure on the class leader. Bernard Lambilliotte’s Swan 45, Nemo of Cowes is still leading but the margin has shrunk to just four points ahead of Marinerscove.ie. Kieran Twomey’s Corby 38, Gloves Off with Irish Olympic sailor, Mark Mansfield at the helm, is third on tie-break with French Ker 39, Inis Mor owned by Bernard Gouy.


IRC One
It was all smiles on Robert Davies, Corby 36, Roxy 6. Two races and two bullets sneaked them into first place on the leader board by virtue of more first places than Conor Phelan’s Ker 37, Jump Juice. These two are both locked on nine points with Richard Fildes’s Corby 37, Impetuous, still very much in the hunt, on eleven points.

J/109 European Championship
Greg Burgess’ Blue Jay had a perfect day on the Olympic Course and now have a commanding lead in their quest to win the European crown. There were two bullets today for the Welsh team of young Cardiff Bay J 80 sailors led by Burgess. Brian Moreton’s Jukebox is having a consistent set of results and was rewarded by claiming second place overnight. Robert O’Leary’s Jeroboam did not have the best of days and drops down to third.

IRC Two
Donal O'Leary’s X 35, D-TOX had a sensational day on the water, winning both of today’s races and propelling them above Paul O’Higgins’ Corby 33, Rockabill V and Sailing Logic’s Reflex 38, Visit Malta Puma. The IRC Two Class was on the Olympic Course today with the fleet screaming down the reach in flat water and excellent breeze. The class looks set to go to the wire, with the top three boats only separated by a single point, after discard.

IRC Three
This morning, John Moorehead & Chris Ferres J 35, Bengal Magic had won every race but they were not as flash today on the Slalom Course. This allowed title contenders to close the gap; Ross McDonald’s X 332, Equinox reveled in the heavy weather in the second race, taking their first win at Cork Week. Dermot Cronin’s J 35, Mumbo is in third.

IRC Four
Paul Kirwan’s immaculate Sigma 38,  Errislannan got back on track today, posting two wins by a handsome margin on the Slalom Course. Errislannan leads the class by four points. Paul & Deirdre Tingle’s First 31.7 Alpaca is second with Conor Ronan Corby 26, Ruthless in third. Tomorrow the class head for the Olympic Course, if the forecast heavy weather continues, expect the Sigma 38s to feature, especially Errislannan.

IRC Five
Vincent O’Shea’s YANKS $ FFRANCS is a light fast, Corby 25 and today’s lumpy conditions were not ideal but the team started and sailed the boat with precision and determination. Taking second place in the only race of the day, to keep a stranglehold on the Class. Denis Coleman’s sistership, Thunderbird did not fair as well, coming seventh in the only race of the day for the class and remains in second place but lost precious ground on the class leader. John Allen’s X 302, Antix still lies in third place.

IRC Six
This class is looking like turning into a two-horse race between skippers who know the marvelous stretch of water as well as anyone. James O'Brien, Kenefick & Kenefick’s Quarter Tonner, Tiger and Flor O’Driscoll’s J 24, Hard on Port. The Kenefick family live right on the Cork River, opposite the Royal Cork Yacht Club and Flor O’Driscoll was born in Cork and has sailed here all his life. Tiger has a straight run of five bullets but Hard on Port has been giving Tiger a good fight. Tomorrow, Flor’s team on the J 24 will need to beat Tiger on the multi-manoevre slalom course, if they are to have any chance of winning the class. O’Driscoll will be a happy man, win or lose, as he explains;
“I have been to every Cork Week bar one since 1988. Today was my favourite course, the Harbour Course. The big boats will be there on Friday. Where else can you see boats like that racing inside a natural harbour?”

Mixed Sportsboat and SB3 Class
Michael Wilson’s 1720, YKnot didn’t win either of today’s two races but two second places cemented their position at the top of the class. Bryan Hassett’s 1720, Darkside and sistership, Denis Murphy’s Aquatack, both scored victories today but slipped up in the accompanying races to fall behind YKnot. Tomorrow sees them tackle the tricky Slalom Course.

Ben Duncan & Brian Moran’s SB3 Sharkbite had a shocker today; being called over the start line on the Harbour Course picking up an 11th place. They are still leading, by virtue of discarding the race but are now far more vulnerable than this morning. Trevor D'Arcy’s SB3 Bullet lies in wait, just four points behind Sharkbait. The SB3 Class is back in the balance. Ronan Downing SB3, Profile Park, also fell foul at the start but still lies in third place.

White Sail One & Two
Philip Dilworth’s Grand Soleil 40, Orca enjoyed some fast reaching on the Trapezoid Course to win both of today’s races by a huge margin and is red hot favorite to win White Sail One. Kevin Lane’s Dufour 40, Aisha leads the chasing pack. Charles Broadhead, Jerry Collins and Ian Stuart Sigma 38, Persistance moves up to third.

White Sail Two is looking to have a clear favourite, Jerome McCarthy, Clarke & McMullin’ s Half Tonner, Harmony took a brace of wins today. The Rob Humphreys yacht was built in 1980 by RJ Priors and Sons and won a huge number of races at the height of IOR racing. Billy Duane’s Sunlight 30, Expression had another great day on the water. The 30 footer was dwarfed by the sea swell and excellent seamanship resulted in two second place finishes. Tom McNeice’s Sigma 33, Minx III failed to come to the starting area but still remains third.

Tomorrow, the forecast will be for some mighty big weather in and around the shores of Cork Harbour. However the weather this week has been very unpredictable and highly volatile, so who knows! Tomorrow is the penultimate day of Cork Week 2010, if the big boats do go out, it will be on the most exposed part of the racing area.

This evening the sun is out and setting over the tented village around the Royal Cork Yacht Club. Competitors will be looking forward to a concert on the main stage featuring Rock ‘n’ Roll band, FRED. Last night, The Marvels turned the dance floor into a sea of jumping party people, Cork Week will surely be rocking again tonight.

Provisional Results (subject to protest)

Super 0: 1 Pace (Johnny Vincent); 2 Bob (Gray, Laidlaw); 3 Paprec Recyclage (Ph Finance, Stephane Neve);

IRC 0: 1 Nemo Of Cowes (Richard Cotter); 2 Marinerscove.Ie (David Dwyer); 3 Gloves Off (Kieran Twomey);

IRC 1: 1 Roxy 6 (Robert Davies); 2 Jump Juice (Conor Denise Phelan); 3 Impetuous (Richard Fildes);

I RC 2: 1 D-Tox (Donal O'Leary); 2 Rockabill V (Paul O'Higgins); 3 Visit Malta Puma (Sailing Logic Limited);

IRC 3: 1 Bengal Magic (John Moorehead Chris Ferres); 2 Equinox (Ross McDonald); 3 Mumbo (Dermot Cronin);

IRC 4: 1 Errislannan (Patrick Kirwan); 2 Alpaca (Paul Deirdre Tingle); 3 Ruthless (Conor Ronan);

IRC 5: 1 Yanks $ Ffrancs (Vincent O'Shea); 2 Thunderbird (Denis Coleman); 3 Antix (John Allen);

IRC 6: 1 Tiger (James O'Brien, Kenefick Kenefick); 2 Hard On Port (Flor O'Driscoll); 3 Sea Hawk (Clem McElligott);

J109 1 Bluejay (Greg Burgess); 2 Jeroboam (Rob O'Leary); 3 Juke Box (Brian Moreton);

1720/Mixed Sports Boats: 1 Yknot (Michael Wilson); 2 Dark Side (Bryan Hassett); 3 Aquatack (Denis Murphy);

SB3 : 1 Sharkbait (Ben Duncan Brian Moran); 2 Bullet (Trevor D'Arcy); 3 Profile Park (Ronan Downing);

White Sail 1: 1 Orna (Philip Dilworth); 2 Aisha (Kevin Lane); 3 Persistance (Charles Broadhead, Jerry Collins & Ian Stuart);

White Sail 2 1 Harmony (Jerome McCarthy, Clarke & McMullin); 2 Expression (Billy Duane); 3 Minx III (Tom McNeice);

 

Published in Cork Week

A fickle breeze fluctuating between six and eight knots swept in an early morning mist at Crosshaven this morning for the second day of Cork week regatta. Curious dolphins were a regular sight on the race course popping up next to racing yachts, adding to the ghostly sailing atmosphere.

The breeze was from the southeast but barely rose above ten knots. Starts are always important but especially in light wind. Getting into clear air and not stalling the boat was paramount today writes Louay Habib. Photos by Bob Bateman.

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Picking up pace. Johnny Vincent's entry is in a commanding position after winning both races today. More Pace photos on the gallery here. Photo: Bob Bateman

IRC Super Zero

Johnny Vincent's Pace continues to impress, winning both of today's races by a comfortable margin. Tactician Jeremy Robinson has won the Rolex Fastnet Race, Rolex Sydney Hobart and is a former 505 World Champion.

"After a couple of minor errors early on, we sailed well today. It was a good team effort and we got off the line really well which is always important. I do enjoy coming to Cork Week. It has a very different atmosphere to some of the regattas that I compete in and there has always been a lot of laughs in Crosshaven." Commented Robinson, after racing.

Pace is out in front after four races, Gray, Laidlaw's Farr 52, Bob, jumps up to second after a great day out. Stephane Neve's French TP52, Paprec Recyclage, drops to third spot.

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King maker: Nemo of Cowes is leading IRC Zero class. More Nemo of Cowes photos on the gallery here. Photo: Bob Bateman

IRC Zero

Bernard Lambilliotte's Swan 45, Nemo of Cowes continued their impressive form, stretching out their lead in a class containing some red hot boats, bound for next month's Rolex Commodores' Cup.

"We are delighted with our results, so far." Commented main sheet trimmer Sam Richmond. "Getting into clear air has been pretty much vital. The boats behind us on the water have been mixing it up, slowing each other down a bit. We have a great crew on board but so have the other boats and we are taking nothing for granted."

Nemo of Cowes are now nine points clear at the top. Dave Dwyer's Marinerscove.ie had a much better day and is now second with Bernard Gouy's Ker 39, Inis Mor, helmed by the yacht's designer Jason Ker, moving up to third.

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Local Hero: Conor Phelan's Jump Juice leads IRC One by a small margin after Day two. More Jump photos on the gallery here. Photo: Bob Bateman

IRC One

The second race of the day provided the closest finish in any class on Day Two of Cork Week. The top four boats finished within 30 seconds of each other, after corrected time. This morning four boats were tied at the top; Conor Phelan's Ker 37, Jump Juice is now just a point in front of Richard Fildes' Corby 37, Impetuous with Robert Davies Corby 36, Roxy 6 lying third.

IRC Two

Paul O'Higgins' Corby 33, Rockabill V scored two wins today on the Slalom Course, rocketing them to the top of the class and pushing Sailing Logic's Reflex 38, Visit Malta Puma, into second place. Barry Cunningham's Corby 33, Contango lies in third.

IRC Three

John Moorehead and Chris Ferres' J 35, Bengal Magic scored their third consecutive win of the regatta during today's Harbour race. John and Chris have been coming to Cork Week for the last ten years.

"It is a great fun regatta and a lot less stuffy then some," commented John Moorehead enjoying a pint in the Heineken Bar. " The crew on Bengal Magic come from Bangor, Wales and Kerry in Ireland and we are all good friends enjoying a fine place to come and sail. The Harbour course had very light winds today, so we planned to get clear of the opposition, we got a good start especially as two boats near us decided to have a bit of a match which left the way clear for us.

Ringabella Bay was a decisive part of the race. A lot of boats parked up there but we had plenty of room and the leading boats got away from the rest and extend our lead."

Co-owner of Bengal Magic; Chris Ferres explains why they love coming to Cork Week. "Back home in Bangor we don't get fleets as big or as competitive as we do here. So we come to Cork Week to enjoy excellent racing but we enjoy the occasion just as much ashore, it is great that everybody is together, enjoying a few drinks after sailing."

In IRC Three, Bengal Magic are the overnight leaders with Ross McDonald's X 332, Equinox second and Dermot Cronin's J 35, Mumbo in third. These three boats are pulling away from the rest of the 22 strong fleet.

IRC Four

Paul and Deirdre Tingle's First 31.7, Alpaca won today's Harbour Race to claim top place. In a race lasting nearly four hours, Alpaca beat Conor Ronan's Corby 26, Ruthless by just seven seconds on corrected time. Paul Kirwan's Sigma 38, Errislannan was sixth in Race 3 but is leading the Sigma 38 fleet who are competing for their European Championships.

Kirwan is from Dun Laoghaire and has owned Errislannan since 1996 but the boat is over 20 years old. " There is a lot of elbow grease that goes into keeping her in top condition." Explained Paul Kirwan. " This is the only event that we get to race against other Sigma 38s. Cork Week is a very special occasion for us.

Today's race was always going to be a tall order for us to win. We give other boats a lot of time and in light airs with many legs, it is difficult to get far enough in front.

However we got a good start, we weighed up the options and decided to go for a spinnaker start at the pin end. The crew have been together for some time and I had every confidence that we could fly the spinnaker. We got away well and sailed a good race, perhaps we will fair better on the slalom course, where crew work becomes much more important."

IRC Five

Vincent O'Shea's Corby 25, YANKS $ FFRANCS looks unstoppable in the class with a perfect score line they have opened up a gap of seven points from Denis Coleman's Corby 25, Thunderbird. John Allen's X 302, Antix is third. Cork Week Chairman, Peter Deasy co-owner of Jeanneau Sunfast 32, Bad Company, had another consistent day, to move up to fourth place just ahead of a pack of boats.

IRC Six

Royal Cork Yacht Club Quarter Tonner, Tiger, owned by James O'Brien, Kenefick & Kenefick, scored yet another two bullets today making it four in a row, to stamp their authority on the class. Flor O'Driscoll's J 24, Hard on Port are still in second place and Clem McElligott's Sigma 33, Sea Hawk had a very good day on the water, scoring two podium finishes, to move up to third.

J 109 European Championship

Greg Burgess' Blue Jay is now the leader after posting a second and a first on the Slalom Course today. Robert O'Leary's Jeroboam drops to second and Brian Moreton's Juke Box had an excellent day claiming third overall. The racing in the fleet is incredibly close but the top three have opened up an eight point gap, in the eighteen strong class. However in a no-discard series, nothing is likely to be decided until the last race.

Mixed Sportsboat Fleet and SB3s

Michael Wilson's 1720, YKnot continued to shine with a bullet and a second to produce a narrow lead at the top. Bryan Hassett's 1720, Dark Side has dropped to third place and has been over taken by Denis Murphy's Aquatack who scored their first win at Cork Week, in the last race of the day.

Ben Duncan and Brian Moran's Sharkbait took another chunk out of the SB3 fleet today on the Trapezoid Course. They now have four straight wins and a seven point lead. Trevor D'Arcy's SB3, Bullet lies second and Ronan Downing's Profile Park retains third place overnight.

White Sail One and Two

Philip Dilworth's Grand Soleil 40, Orna is still top of the leader board in White Sail One but Kevin Lane's Dufour 40, Aisha proved they are not invincible, taking the gun on the last race of the day by 44 seconds on corrected time. Dan O'Neill's IMX 38, XerXes are still in third place.

White Sail Two

McCarthy, Clarke & McMullin's Half Tonner, Harmony should be in a good mood tonight, scoring two bullets propelling them five points clear of the field. Billy Duane's Sunlight 30, Expression managed two second places which lifts them up to second in the series. Tom McNeice's Sigma 33, Minx III were joint leaders this morning but now drop to third.

 

Published in Cork Week

Cork week's Class Zero reads like a who’s who of high performance racer-cruisers who start the biennial regatta in the morning. Dave Dwyer’s Mills 39, Marinerscove.ie is the in form boat, having been crowned us overall winner at last month’s RORC IRC National Championship, world class tactician, Andy Beadsworth is the lynchpin of the team. Anthony O’Leary’s Ker 39, Antix is brimming with talent and some of Ireland’s best Corinthian sailors on board. French sister ship, Inis Mor owned by Bernard Gouy is a proven competitor, a near winner of June's Round Ireland race and a frequent visitor to Cork Week. Mike Williamson’s King 40, White Heat has America’s Cup sailor, Simon Shaw at the back of the boat. All of these Class Zero boats will be competing in next month’s Rolex Commodores’ Cup. Richard Matthews’ Humphreys 42, Oystercatcher XXVI is the reigning class champion for Cork Week and will be tough to beat. Designer Tom Humphreys is on board, as is local legend Eddie English. Class Zero is looking like developing into a battle royale.


Competitors from all over the world have arrived in Crosshaven for the biggest sailing event in Ireland for 2010. The marina is buzzing with accents from Australia, Belgium, Canada, England, Fiji, France, Holland, Ireland, Isle of Man, New Zealand, Scotland, South Africa, United States and Wales.

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Tomorrow marks the start of racing for Cork Week and by early evening the regatta village will be a frenzy of activity, as thousands of competitors enjoy the full hospitality of the Royal Cork Yacht Club.

In Class Super Zero, there is the mouth-watering prospect of an international line up of turbo-charged TP52 ripping up the race course. Stephane Neve’s French TP52, Paprec Recyclage has Sebastian Destremau calling tactics, who has sailed with Russell Coutts and Paul Cayard. Austin Fragomen’s American TP52, Interlodge has an all-star cast including, Olympic Star sailor, at Crosshaven resident, Peter O’Leary. Johnny Vincent’s British TP52, Pace has the highly experienced big boat sailor, Jeremy Robinson in the afterguard and Volvo Ocean winner, Guy Salter running the pit.

Cork Week plays host to the J/109 European Championship and there will be 18 one design boats racing in tight formation at the regatta. Andy Budgen is racing on Stalker, the Scot has won the Laser 5000 UK Nationals, 49er UK Nationals and placed second in the 49er Worlds. Ian Nagle & Paul O'Malley’s Jelly Baby, John Maybury’s Joker II and Brian Morton’s Juke Box are amongst the fancied boats to lift the European title but Ken Grant’s Scottish based, Tigh Soluis were second in 2008 and will be a potent threat.  

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Class One has a huge variety of yachts, ranging from Lloyds of London’s Swan 53, Lutine to Robert Davies’ Corby 36, Mustang Sally. Conor Phelan’s Ker 37, Jump Juice is always hard to beat. Two A 40s go head to head, with Michel Peretie’s Stamina III locking horns with Paul Andersen’s Fujitsu and Sailing Logic’s two Reflex 38s, Jaguar Logic and Visit Malta Puma will be vying for top spot.

In Class Two, Paul O'Higgins’ Corby 33, Rockabill V is a proven winner and is one of three boats in the class from Cowes yacht designer John Corby. No less than four Reflex 38s will be battling it out on the water. Including Sailing West, skippered by Graeme Johnson. Wouter Borghijs’ Belgian A 35, Tontin is also a well-fancied boat.

John Moorehead & Chris Ferres, J 35, Bengal Magic is back to defend the Class Three title. ISA measurer, Martin Darrer’s Projection 35, True Penance is a local boat that should feature, Darrer also races J 80s, on the match racing circuit. Strata 6 from Suffolk, England is entered by the East Anglian Sea School and is one of many schools that will be racing at Cork Week.

Class Four is the battle ground for the Sigma 38 European Championships. Defending champion is National Yacht Club’s Patrick Kirwan, helming Errislannan. There will be stiff competition from UK based boats including; Nigel Goodhew’s Persephone of London and Chris & Vanessa Choules’ With Alacrity. Including the Sigma 38 fleet, Class Four has eighteen entries including First 31.7 Alpaca owned by Royal Cork members, Paul & Deirdre Tingle and Michael Wallace’s X 332, Felix, with past Ireland and British Lion Rugby international, Paul Wallace amongst the crew.

Class 5 has previous Cork Week winner, Brian Cusack’s Half Tonner, Dick Dastardly in the mix. They are likely to be racing in the same water as four Corby 25s; Ronan Lyden’s Aurora, Vincent O'Shea’s Yanks $ ffranks, Fergan Noonan & Robert Chamber’s Impetuous and Denis Coleman’s Thunderbird.

Class Six includes James O'Brien, Kenefick & Kenefick’s Quarter Tonner, Tiger and the highly experienced J 24 exponent Flor O'Driscoll, helming Hard on Port. Tiger beat Hard on Port at the recent ICRA Nationals and it is highly likely that these two will feature at the top of the leader board. This is the most diverse class of boats at Cork Week, with fifteen different yacht designs mixing it up on the water.

For the first time at Cork Week, the sportsboat classes will raced on all of the courses, rather than just windward leeward. New Zealand’s Ben Duncan helming Sharkbait is the boat to beat in the SB3s. In the 1720s, Bryan Hasset’s Darkside counts son David amongst his crew. David Hasset has represented Ireland in the Rolex Commodores’ Cup and was Commercial Director at Green Dragon for the 2008-09 Volvo Ocean Race. Malcolm Thorpe’s King Louie is back racing in the class, after several years of absence.

There are two White sail classes at Cork Week with a total of 43 boats competing without spinnakers. National Yacht Club member, Philip Dilworth, will be racing Grand Soleil 42, Orna. A previous class winner of the Dun Laoghaire to Dingle race, 2008 Cork Week winner and class winner at the recent ICRA Nationals. Tom McNeice’s Sigma 33, Minx III is back to defend their class title from 2008. The combined class of White Sail boats is the largest at Cork Week.

Racing starts on Monday 12th July for all classes. Weather forecasts are predicting a light airs start but several low-pressure systems are being monitored as they cross the Atlantic. Later in the week, the 16th edition of Cork Week could well provide a wild ride for over 220 yachts competing at the regatta.

Published in Cork Week

More than 2000 sailors are descending on Crosshaven for Cork Week writes Louay Habib. They will race in fourteen different classes over a variety of courses ranging from the complex harbour course to the fast Trapezoid Course in Atlantic swell. The Royal Cork Yacht Club is bristling with rigs, as competing boats, arriving from overseas, mingle with local boats. Visit Malta Puma, the race sailing school Reflex 38, arrived on Thursday night, having taken two and half days delivering the boat from the Hamble, near Southampton.

'We had a fantastic trip across the Irish Sea." Commented skipper Tim Thubron. "The delivery crew were a great bunch and I think we all thoroughly enjoyed the sail over as we had plenty of decent breeze. We are really looking forward to some competitive action on the water, I have been to Cork Week many times and it is a superb place to race. In fact we have already done a bit of boat on boat racing already; we came over with two other Reflex 38s and had a bit of a competition to make it to Crosshaven. We celebrated our safe arrival with an excellent meal at the Royal Cork Yacht Club.

Part of Visit Malta Puma's crew were father and daughter, Ekkehart and Jess Staufenberg who come from Norwich, on the East coast of England.

"I do a fair bit of dinghy sailing on the Norfolk Broads but this was my first time sailing offshore." Explained Jess. "It was a fantastic experience, something I will always remember. Before we left I was really hoping to see dolphins and sixty miles off Land's End, my wish came true, a pod of twelve came up around the boat; it was a really magical moment."

Racing at Cork Week starts on Monday 12th July and concludes on 16th July. Each evening the tented village will host live music, besides being a wonderful place to sail, Cork Week is also a great place to party!

 

Published in Cork Week

Plenty of action from Cork Harbour. Photography from Royal Cork's McWilliam series is on the gallery now from Bob Bateman.

Published in Marine Photo
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