Congratulations to Tommy Dwyer and Crew, Willie Healy and Peter Hassett on bringing the Cock back home. See full results.
Iconic Cork Harbour dinghy sailor Tom Dwyer rolled back the years to prove that he still has what it takes in winning the National 18 title last week at Hayling Island in the Eastern Solent. Dwyer crewed by Willie Healy & Peter Hassett led throughout the week despite strong competition from the likes of Scotland’s Urqhart twins, professional sailor Mark Dickers and former winner Colin Barry.
Many sailors believe that winning the practice race is bad luck and indeed Dwyer may well have thought so when he suffered a broken rudder in race eight of the ten race series. Still leading at that stage the breakage allowed the Urqharts to close the gap significantly taking two bullets in races seven and eight. It was to get worse for the Cork team with their worst result of the week in race nine leaving a straight ‘winner takes all’ shootout in the tenth and final race. Initially the Urqharts got off to a poor start but they showed their excellent ability to climb back up to third just one place behind Dwyer.
However Dwyer dug deep into his 45 years of National 18 sailing to show skill and absolute determination. With the Scots closing in, Dwyer sailed them to the wrong side of the racecourse. In doing so they lost three places but Dwyer managed to somehow jump into the lead, a lead he would only extend to the finish and take a victory that would send the Cock o’ the North and the Cork Harbour Trophy back to the Royal Cork once again.
In the hugely competitive Classic Fleet, Colman Garvey’s Nimrod crewed by Roy Darrer and Brian Heneghan made it a Royal Cork double in taking home the Orion Trophy. In a fleet that even included an Olympic sailor, Nimrod showed her ability throughout the week to take a convincing win and with it give Garvey the Classic title for the third year running.
With the success of the event at Hayling Island it is appropriate that next year’s event will take place at another once of the UK’s premier dinghy sailing venues in Abersoch in Wales. With only an hour’s drive from Holyhead a large Cork contingent can be expected.