With 18 to 20 knots of a west/south west wind with wind over tide it was a certainty that racing was going to be exciting and challenging on the penultimate day of the Cork Week racing schedule and like the last supper the best wine was being kept for the last.
All racing was started within the harbour and what a day it turned out to be. Super Zero Class was to glory in the conditions today and, if one may be forgiven for saying so, the biggies really revelled in the conditions and it separated the men from the boys. These boats were able to ride out all the conditions and really enjoy blasting downwind through the foaming surf. Paprec Recyclage blew a headsail at the start and in the time it took them to recover the rest of the fleet had taken off downwind like greyhounds out of the traps. However, recover they did and as they took off on a downwind leg a crewman went forward to at the mouth of the harbour to ready the jib for the next leg, she stuck her nose in a wave and washed the crewman and sail along the deck. Austin Fragomen in Interlodge rounded the top mark in first position with Johnny Vincent in PACE on his tail. When they broke out their spinnakers down the run at some 20 knots they could hardly be seen for the spray they raised. However Interlodge was not to be caught despite rounding up off Ringabella and finished the race in style in first place.
As it happened the Irish Naval Patrol Vessel L.E. Niamh was returning to the Naval Base after a month long trip to South America and the Port of Cork tugs Gerry O’Sullivan and Alex put on their water canons to greet her and it made for a very fine spectacle with all the yachts racing in the harbour.
In the J109 class they had excellent racing but Robert O’Leary’s Jeroboam got into some difficulty and had to retire which knocked them to third place overall. John Maybury’s Joker 11 got her spinnaker wrapped around the top of the mast and put out a call for help. Several RIBS responded, including your scribe, and Archie O’Leary’s Nelson also responded. The first RIB to arrive put a line on board to prevent their inexorable progress towards the shore. Meanwhile Bowman Sean Paul White had climbed the rig to cut loose the spinnaker while being tossed around like a rag doll but did the business and came down via the forestay. Happily all on board were unharmed.
In IRC ZERO Anthony O’Leary had an impressive win today with Dave Dwyer’s Marinerscove.ie in second place. Richard Matthews Oystercatcher took line honours but was third on corrected time. We will have to wait with bated breath for tomorrow’s results in this class. IRC One is also a nailbiting wait with Rob Davies’ Roxy 6 winning today leaving her one point ahead of Conor and Denise Phelan’s Jump Juice with Richard Fildes Impetuous only four points behind.
Most of the classes are pretty tight and nerves will be fraught going into racing tomorrow but by prize giving time it will all be over and the competitors will be returning from whence they came by land and sea no doubt tired and weary but hopefully also exhilarated and looking forward to their next return visit.