Last Sunday was the penultimate day of the 2017 CH Marine Autumn Series, with all fleets except Sportsboats over in Cuskinny. The video debrief was again held after racing to a full house in attendance in the dining room. This Sunday is the last two races of the series followed by the CH Marine Autumn Series Dinner and Prize-giving at 1930 in the Club. Please book now if you have not already done so as it is now heavily booked. Before racing on Sunday, there will be a skippers briefing in the club at 0930 to discuss commercial shipping, please be there as it is important to sailing in Cork Harbour.
Last week also saw the launch of the Beaufort Cup 2018 NOR which is available on the Volvo Cork Week Website. Also, a big congratulations to Nin O’Leary of Ireland Ocean Racing on completing the 2017 Rolex Middle Sea Race, third boat across the line.
This winter we plan to set up an Under 25’s Keelboat Academy and would ask anyone interested in being part of this to please contact me on email@example.com. Parents – please pass this information on to your kids between the ages of 16 – 25.
Class 3 Report by David Lane
A day of splits in Class three from the off with the race one starting line bisected by an outward travelling dredger allowing bigger gains for the pin end starters. The Class three results were similarly split with the shallower drafted boats leading throughout against those who could not hug the banks upwind. A strong ebbing tide bolstered by rivers still full of the weeks rain creating the strong currents in the channel. Some boats glanced against the mud banks some caught their feet temporarily and some lodged solidly enough to necessitate retirement. The two J24s and the Trapper T250 took the top half of each of the days races with Conor Haughton’s NMCI1 Jade winning out overall in IRC and Denis Byrnes Cracker winning out in Echo.
Class 1 Report by Ria Lyden
Sunday the 22nd of October was a sunny, autumn day. The only hint of the weather drama of the previous days were the doubled up bow and stern lines, a couple of moorings out of place at Currabinny, and a noticeable swell around the Cage buoy. As that swell was a sure indication of a large swell out beyond Roches Point, Race Officer Peter Crowley compassionately opted to race inside the harbour.
The forecast was for 14 to 16 knots from the west, in the morning, moderating and backing to southwest during the day. There was a definite touch of autumn in that wind and woolly caps made their first appearance in the series. Low tide at Cobh was at 2pm, as it was only two days after the peak of the spring tide. The normally grey-green harbour water was a muddy brow colour from all the silt being carried down in the flooded rivers entering the harbour. The combination of almost spring ebb tide and the ‘fresh’ in the River gave a very strong out-going current.
For both races, Race Officer Peter Crowley set a windward-leeward course with a laid windward mark in the middle of the channel off Cobh, 300m to the west of the No 20 buoy and No 13 as the leeward mark. The starting line was just west of no 13. Race one had three rounds, shortened to two as the wind eased. Race two had two rounds. With such a strong ebb, the boats starting at the pin end of the line got out of the worst of the ebb first and did best. For the windward legs, the seven Class 1 boats hugged the edge of the bank. Jib choice was critical, particularly in the second race, when the wind went light. The windward mark was out in the channel and every metre to windward was hard won, trying to round it in the fierce ebb. Once around the windward mark, the fleet swooshed down the run, with the leeward marking coming up very quickly.
Spinnaker classes 2 and 3 and the two white sail classes had the same course, but no 20 was their weather mark in the second race. Near no 20, while the class 1 boats were continuing up the beat d the boats in the other classes were rounding the buoy, leading to a number of close encounters and rapid avoiding actions. The dredger going out and returning, and a cargo ship going out, added to the traffic to be avoided.
In race 1, Altair and Alpaca traded places all the way around the course, with Alpaca taking first in IRC and Altair second. Meridian was third. Jump Juice, which had retired from race 1, had a good lead in each leg of race 2 and took first place in IRC. Altair was second, Alpaca third and Meridian fourth. On ECHO, Alpaca was first in race 1, Ellida was second and Altair third. In race 2, Altair was first, Jump Juice was second, and Justus third.
Back in the Clubhouse, Nigel, Prof and Shane Hughes from North Sails, working with Isla Media, continued the ICRA training programme. They gave a great debriefing of the racing. They analysed the good tactics and the bad, the well -rimmed sails and the not-so-well-trimmed, the top spinnaker hoists and the others. It was a very clear presentation and there lots of pointers for improvement.