Thomas Chaix reports:
After a year off, the 420 Currabinny cup was once more sailed in Cork harbour as part of a “festival of dinghy sailing” on the 3rd and 4th of November alongside the optimist and laser End of Season.
All boats were local, there was a bite in the air and the breeze was up on both days. Capsizes, fast pacing and spray in the face were at the menu for all teams!
Saturday was sailed on the bank in a Westerly. What a better start than getting Currabinny woods in the way of the windward displaying random shifts and crazy gusts. Peter McCann and Arann Walsh were on form dominating the day on speed but were caught making costly mistakes leaving the overnight lead to Harry Whitaker crewed by his coach Thomas Chaix who ruthlessly took advantage of these mistakes.
Sunday was probably a bit windier but being northerly, the shifts had become more manageable and somehow it became easier to sail and speed became one of the main key for success. The first race was sailed in 14-15 kts and it provided a close battle between 3 boats with 4 changes of lead: After a smart windward layline (or a lucky shift!), Peter and Arann started their reach just ahead of Harry and Tom and Cliodhna Ni Suileabhean and Jil McGinley just 30 boats length adrift. The second beat was close but Harry managed to overtake and start the second run ahead with Peter hot on his eel… the 3rd beat started as a tight control from Harry over Peter. This benefitted Cliodhna who crossed the 2 boats by playing pressure better and started the run ahead. But it was not to be and the girls struggled to fly the spinnaker on the final reach allowing Harry to storm pass them just meters away from the finish. The wind picked up during the following race. Harry and Tom built a massive lead whilst behind it was carnage with capsizes and retirements. The final race saw a 5th win for the pair with Sophie Browne and Anna Kelly in 2nd.
So the cup left Robbie English cabinet (where it stayed for 3 years) to write the first line of Harry Whitaker 420 achievements.