Fantastic weather brought plenty of sailors out on the water last weekend.
Once again Race Officers Mel Collins, Micheal Lynch and Miriam McMahon threw away the course card for the last of the OneSails McWilliam May series at Royal Cork Yacht Club. In a light and sometimes shifty south westerly breeze they opted to send all of the fleets out the harbour against the strong flood tide. This made the choice of route tactically important and meant that lining up for mark rounding needed to be spot on to avoid being carried below the marks.
In Class 1 IRC Martin Darrer and Coleman Garvey’s True Pennance took first on the night in both IRC and ECHO with Kieran Twomey’s Gloves Off second and Ria Lyden’s Ellida third in IRC while in ECHO there was a tie between
Frank Doyle’s Endgame and Aidan Heffernan’s Indulgence. Overall IRC went to Gloves Off, Ellida and Endgame. ECHO 1 overall went to Endgame, Ellida and Indulgence. In Class 2 IRC it was Denis Coleman’s Thunderbird first on the night with Vinny O’Shea’s Yanks & Franks second and Ted Crosbie’s No Excuse third. In ECHO Ronan Lydon’s Aurora took second behind Thunderbird with No Excuse again in third. Overall ECHO 2 went to Thunderbird with the Desmond, Deasy Ivers, Bad Company in second and Derry Nash’s Catalpa in third while IRC 2 went to Thunderbird, Bad Company and Yanks & Franks.
The Class 3 boats again enjoyed some very tight racing. On the night first in IRC went to Kieran Collins Tambourine with the Kenefick / Obrien / Holland team on Manzanita a close second and Jimmy Nyhan’s Outrigger third while in ECHO Outrigger took first ahead of Tambourine with John and Fiona Murphy’s Fast Buck third. Overall Outrigger took first in both IRC and ECHO with Tambourine second in ECHO and third in IRC and Fast Buck third in IRC but second in ECHO. In Whitesail Seamus and Maeve Gilroy on Split Point continued their winning ways with third successive win with Peter Webster’s Thistle second on the night ahead of Tadgh Lynch’s Lady T. The welcome appearance of Billy Duane’s Expression into the fleet at such a late stage could have caused a disturbance but in the end it was Split Point which first on countback having tied on 11 points with Lady T. Thistle took third only 1 point behind.
Compared to the usual Friday night courses Race 5 of the Masts & Rigging IHS series was a veritable marathon from Weavers Point to Ballycotton. Racing started in a 10kt ESE breeze which saw the 7 boat fleet make good progress towards the Pollock Buoy. Beyond Pollock the race began to resemble the “Tortoise and Hare” fable except the hare won with Derry and Hilda Good’s Exhale arriving in Ballycotton in just over 3 hours followed an hour later by Batt & Helen O’Leary’s Sweet Dreams. By mid afternoon the ebb tide was at its peak and this coincided with a drop in strength of the sea breeze all of which made for frustrating sailing. While offshore tacks of around 130 degrees meant some eastward progress this was negated when boats tacked back inshore to stay out of the tide with ground tracks 20 -30 degrees west off the course actually steered. This had a huge impact on the later boats. Colin Morehead’s Tranquilizer and Micheal Lynch’s Lady T made up the middle group taking around 5 hours while at the back of fleet Peter Webster’s Thistle, Simon Brewitt’s Callisto and Bryan Cahill’s Ella struggled to make any progress at all taking almost 6 hours to do the 15 mile course. All adversity was forgotten once a few pints had been consumed, the prizes awarded and tales of “strategy’s I should have taken” were recounted. Despite the duration of the race the IHS handicaps were not greatly affected. Later in the evening the race fleet was joined by several of the Royal Cork cruiser fleet and an enjoyable session was had by all. Royal Cork Yacht Club would like to thank all of those who assisted in making our return to the Ballycotton a memorable one.