Day one of the J80 Southern Match Racing Championships took place in the ISA J80 Sailfleet at the Royal Cork Yacht Club on Saturday. It was a case of the young bloods squaring up to the more experienced teams during a very successful day of racing.
Wind was from the South, light at the start of the day and building to 16/17 knots from the South/South East during the day. The Principal Race Oficer was Richard Leonard, using Purple Haze, generously provided by Miriam and Chris McMahon as the committee boat, and ably assisisted by the race management team. Umpires were Jimmy Nyhan, Denis Kiely, Grattan Roberts and John McCann.
The youngest skippers included Killian O’Keeffe and Freddie Cudmore. Other teams included Nicholas O’Leary, Maria Coleman, who skippered an all female crew, Martin Darrer and Brian Carlin.
Round Robin 1 was completed in full on Saturday and in anticipation of bad weather forecast for Sunday, the Race Officer managed to fit in three flights of Round Robin 2. Sunday dawned and with it came the promised forecast. With reefed mainsails and spinnakers not allowed, the fleet faced a strong southerly, a rolling sea coming in the channel and the fog horn at Roches Point blaring. The second Round Robin was completed and against all the odds Round Robin 3 got under way. However, by lunch time torrential rain and more wind arrived forcing the abandonment of the series but, each competitor having sailed 13 races and with thirty matches sailed in total, a clear winner emerged in the person of Nin O’Leary. A turn up for the books and getting stronger by the match young Fred Cudmore finished in second place. Martin Darrer’s team finished third with Brian Carlin fourth, Maria Coleman fifth and in sixth place, putting in a supberb performance, was 15 year old Killian O’Keeffe showing all the benefits of his many years in Optimist sailing.
It was a great experience for both the competitors and the internal race management team at the club.
A small selection of pictures from the event may be viewed on the Bateman Gallery.