There were two races today to complete the series at the Student World Yachting Championships. Yet again the Irish team suffered gear falure in the provided boat but nonetheless were happy to have maintained their third overall under such difficult conditions.
The winners were the French team Euromed Loyd followed by the defenders Solent University of Britain and Cork CIT.
Well done to the CIT team who performed so well under the diffcult circumstances.
Hot off the press from George Kenefick and the CIT crew their latest bulletin has just arrived 10.30 pm.(Thurs) Today the SYWOC fleet endured some frustrating conditions with winds ranging from 2 to 22 knots in heavy swell. The race committee managed to get in only two races in the constantly changing winds, with one windward/leeward and a shortened coastal race. The Irish managed to fair well in the conditions despite, surprise surprise, breaking another piece of key gear, the jib halyard.
In the first race Team Ireland started well in the strong breeze but were unable to get into phase with the shifting conditions. The problematic boat seemed to be moving fast again today but some times just in the wrong direction. Coming onto the last downwind on the final lap of the course Ireland sat unhappily in 7th position. Halfway down the leg the wind managed to drop to almost nothing and shift 180 degrees three times. The race committee controversially decided to continue the racing with the French team leading. Ireland managed to gain only one place in the chaos but due to other teams being over the line at the start they were recorded as finishing 3rd.
The fleet had to wait over an hour to commence the second race. Eventually the race committee managed to get it all under way again when the wind picked back up to around the 15knot mark. This race was to be a coastal race of over 15 miles. With 30 seconds to go before the start, the Irish were dead set for a great start as the furthest boat to the pin. However the halyard holding up their jib went the way of many of their other boat parts and just gave way. The team did admirably to quickly set about switching the halyard and start without losing too much time. The Irish boat raced out to the right of the course and after 2 miles of clear air established themselves in second place going onto the next leg. Again the wind would not hold up and it dropped off just before their next mark rounding. Some of the problems surrounding dropping a jib and raising a spinnaker on the same halyard led to the Irish giving up second place to the English team on the run. Fortunately the race was shortened and Team Ireland recorded their second 3rd of the day.
Back on land yesterdays problems resurfaced as they still had to go into the protest room to argue their right to redress in two of yesterdays races and for the jib incident in the second race today. The team’s dashing legal representative Aidan McLaverty was the man charged with challenging the jury and race committee in the face of poor odds. In spite of this, twenty minutes after entering the dragon’s den, Aidan emerged with victory in all three battles. The team’s first place in the second race yesterday was reinstated and the two races that were affected by the gear breakages were scored with average points from the day. As a result Team Ireland have surprised many to come back from midfleet to sit in the top three going into the final races tomorrow. Sure that’ll be that!!
Earlier today (Thurs)
After two days of racing and eight races CIT with Skipper George Kenefick are now lying fifth overall. They had gear failure in Race 5 when they suffered a broken boom kicker and couldn’t finish the race. They had an OCS in Race 5, a second in Race 7 and a fifth in Race 8.
As with all events where boats are supplied, it is a bit of a lottery. Ireland were unlucky to draw a 2004 boat one of four of such vintage with Norway, Spain and Scotland having the other 2004 boats. The remaining eleven crews have boats ranging from 2007 to 2009. The boat is set up for speed but does not point well making it particuarly difficult to get a good start. Word from George this am is that they are struggling very hard to hold their lane at the start but can’t point and are not permitted to alter the setup of the mast. Due to the fact they are not able to point they are starting at the pin end of the line most of the time as they do have speed.
Racing continues today but having already been postponed owing to high wind we are still awaiting further news.
Yesterday the first day of racing permitted by the weather and a long day on the water, finally ended under the cover of darkness at 20.30hrs. The Bank of Ireland sponsored Team Ireland passed the night race’s finishing post in 5th position to cap off a mediocre day where the team recorded three 5ths and a 6th after 2 windward/leeward races, a two hour coastal race and the 23 mile night race. The Irish team skippered by George Kenefick often found themselves on the wrong end of large and frequent wind shifts and struggled to start races in strong positions. There were positives to be taken from the day however as they were able to gain a lot of ground on the downwind legs which helped them to finish consistently close to the leading pack. The tired minds of the crew now have to pick themselves up and turn their attentions to next three days of racing. There is still a lot more sailing to be had and the overall positions could change drastically before the end of the event.
Going into racing today Team Ireland are lying in fourth place. Euromed France Arthur Loyd lie in first position with the two British teams next in second and third.
Three years ago a CIT team, two members of which are sailing for the team this time round, managed to overcome a seven point deficit on the final day to take home the trophy. Cit are determined to see if they can repeat this feat and come home as champions.
The wind was blowing hard from early in the morning of the first official race day. The competitors arrived at the yacht club of Trinite sur Mer around 8.30.am. After a short meeting with the organizing committee the decision was taken: Postpone the races until 13:00hrs while waiting to see if the wind might drop.
Most of the crews took advantage of the unscheduled free time, working on their boats and going through every detail, thus preparing themselves to deal with the challenging conditions the race promised. Unfortunately time passed without any signs of improvement from the weather – on the contrary some gusts from time to time reached 35 knots!
Around 13:30hrs the committee decided as there was no sign of the wind abating they would cancel racing for the day.
Unfortunately, today is also looking unlikely that racing will take place but we will just have to wait and see.