As the tension was mounting at the start of the final day yesterday of the RORC IRC National Championship the international fleet from Belgium, France, Great Britain, Hong Kong, Ireland, Netherlands and South Africa were waiting to play out the final chapter of the championship.
The sea breeze filled in from the southwest at about 11.00hrs and the fleets readied themselves for the last two races of the championship. During the day, the southwesterly built from some six knots to sixteen knots with wind over tide, giving a nice swell and providing excellent racing conditions.
In IRC One Dave Dwyer’s Mills 39, Marinerscove.ie, continued their winning streak, with win number four in Race 7. Peter Rutter’s Grand Soleil 43, Quokka 8, who was chasing Marinerscove.ie for the series, took second but the epic battle was for third place between four boats who will be racing in the Rolex Commodores’ Cup: Christopher Opielok’s Corby 36, Rockall III, Robert Davies’ Corby 36, Roxy 6, who will sail for Ireland in the Commodores’ Cup, and Philippe Delaporte’s J 122, Pen Azen. In the last race Rockall III clinched third place pushing Roxy 6 to fourth.
Marinerscove.ie was declared overall RORC IRC National Champion successfully retaining their title, a feat only ever achieved once before by Justin Slawson’s Big Cheese in 2001. The win is particularly remarkable in that Marinerscove.ie has only recently been issued with a new higher rated handicap certificate and her flying form is reinforced by her success with her new rating.
Andy Beadsworth has a long association with David Dwyer and had this to say at the prizegiving: “Before the championship we decided that we would judge our performance by how well we sailed rather than the result and that still stands. I believe that we covered the basics well and got our risk strategy right. The crew work has improved since we won last year and a lot of that is down to a determined effort by everyone on board to reach and maintain a high standard of boat handling. That has enhanced our boat speed that is a crucial area in any kind of yacht racing. Marinerscove.ie is in great shape for the Rolex Commodores’ Cup.”
In IRC Zero another fiercely competitive class, Anthony O’Leary won Race three and finished fourth overall in the series.
While the results augur well for the Irish Commodores’ Cup Team, they also indicate the scale of the task ahead and the quality of the competition they face. With Cork Week fast approaching and some of the Commodores Cup contenders preparing to meet on the excellent racing courses off Crosshaven, we have more exciting competition ahead and the culmination at the Commodores’ Cup in August is truly a mouth watering event to look forward to.
Apologies for being a bit late with this report but was unable to post it last evening due to a glitch on the site.