Every four years the National 18 Championship or as it is known, the Cock O’the North, comes to Crosshaven and this year Class Captain Peter O’Donovan had the brainwave to stage a reunion for the Class. Much endeavour by Peter and his willing band of helpers has gone into the 2011 event. Indeed, many boats that were lying discarded only a month ago have been dug out and revamped to arrive at Crosshaven looking like new.
The fulfillment of this dream was the largest ever start line of 18s in the capable hands of Race Officers David O’Brien and Peter Crowley for the practice races today (Sun) and it included very welcome visitors from IOMYC, RFYC, Tamesis, Blackwater SC, Lymington Town SC, Cologne from Bofham SC, Gloucester SC, Baltimore SC and our near neighbour Monkstown Bay.
It was decided to give the fleets a long start line to cater for the differing speeds of the categories of 18s involved. A south west breeze of some 12 knots made for nice sailing and there was plenty of close competition as the boats rounded the weather and spreader marks.
For the racing proper starting tomorrow the fleets will be split with the Classics FG at 11am and will sail round the cans courses with plans to have the morning races finished in time to visit the local hospitality centres. The Ultimate fleet will start racing at FG 11.30am and it is expected that, weather permitting, they will sail outside the harbour.
Bateman Gallery here
At Royal Cork Yacht Club this afternoon there was a great air of activity and a palpable excitement in the air. Hacksaws were sawing at a great rate, fittings were being screwed into place, 18s were on their sides, bows were being taped over and new sails were being unfurled before being rolled up again. Their enthusiasm was certainly infectious with some sailors going out testing boats they had borrowed or restored and rigs were being given final adjustments and there was a tremendous spirit of camaraderie throughout the club. However, no doubt this will disappear during the hours of racing during the coming week only to be rediscovered during the Aprés Sailing activities as only the 18 sailors know how!!
All this because somebody had the clever idea of having a class reunion to mark the 2011 Cock O The North.
A practice race will be held tomorrow (Sun) when all 53 entrants including five Classics and Penultimate and Ultimate boats take to the water. Tomorrow’s practice race day may even be the most interesting day of the week with the entire fleet taking part together before splitting into their respective classes on Monday for the commencement of the Championship proper.