The combined prayers of the organisers and competitors were finally answered when the sea mist rolled back over Cape Clere yesterday to reveal a sparkling Long Island Bay where OD Neil Prendeville set up a start line for a course that took the fleet around the Calve Islands and inner harbour marks.
In a light south-easterly breeze and flat sea the spinnakers created a kaleidoscope of colour as the sixty strong fleet finished on the inner harbour line.
In Class One IRC it was a very productive day for the Parnell family who sailed “Black Velvet”to a fourteen second victory over Kieran Twomey’s “Gloves Off” while the ECHO trophy went to the Fleming/Hayes duo in “Indecision” with Gabby Hogan’s “Growler”in second place.
In Class Two IRC it was business as usual for Jason Losty and crew in “Illes Piteuses” as they crossed the line with almost five minutes to spare over Brian Goggin’s “Allure”, while in ECHO John Mc Gowan’s “Mackey G” from the Schull club, held off a strong challenge from Bill Appleby in “Cochise” to secure his first win in the series.
In IRC Three, Derek Dillon’s “Big Deal” continued on his winning way, with Dan O Donovan in “Second Count” having to settle for second place, while one of the biggest cheers at the prize ceremony on Schull main street went to Pat Barrett and Cathal Conlon who sailed “Y-Knot” to victory in ECHO, ahead of Nigel Dann’s “Val Kris”.
Class Four ECHO had another popular winner when local club member John Molloy sailing “No Fixed Abode collected his second trophy of the series when winning the race from Ted Buckley’s “Tete A Tete”,while in IRC Richard Hanley’s “Saoirse” claimed his third trophy.
In White Sail One IRC the Lacy/Blandford sailed “Sojurn” claimed another victory , while the Leary/Andrews/Roche combination in “Act Two”won ECHO.
The White Sail Two prizes all went to Schull boats,with Peter Morehead’s “Giggles”finishing ahead of Finbarr Butler’s “Moonfleet”and James and Deborah Crowleys’ “La Perle Noir”.
The final day of racing is underway today with the postponed Fastnet Race that counts for SCORA Offshore points taking place.