Matthews Autumn League Race Report
Racing Report Sunday 12th October
Definitely a day for patience ….
Sunday morning was misty with drizzle and hardly a breath of wind in Cork Harbour as over 80 crews waited anxiously to find out whether racing was likely to go ahead in the 3rd race of the Matthews Autumn League at the Royal Cork Yacht Club. It was hardly “October League” weather and was the third weekend in a row without any significant breeze. After a hour postponement Race Officer, Richard Leonard, gave the nod and boats commenced their procession into the harbour however the light and variable southerly wind which was beginning to build forced the Race Officer to reset the starting line twice so it was not until nearly 2pm that the first of the fleets were sent off. The course for Class 0/1 boats was down to Roches Point and back up to 12, two rounds. For Class 2 it was slightly shorter with E4 and No 12 while for Classes 3 and 4 it was shorter still involving No 3 then down the harbour to No 16. The Whitesail Classes went upwind for a bit before going down to EF4 then back to 5 for a finish. The harbour courses proved to be a useful compromise as the wind stayed light and the spring tide gained strength. Tidal tactics proved critical with boats clawing their way up both sides of the harbour. Dave Dwyer’s Marinerscove.ie was forced to retire having got just a bit too close to the rocks for comfort. The strong tide caused a few problems for Class 3 and 4 as they tried to round No 3 in mid channel. Boat speed and the timing of tacks proved crucial and Graham Marron’s Flashpoint undid the early lead of Peter Webster’s Thistle by rounding cleanly first time. The spinnaker run downwind was uneventful but with a 5pm cut off it was doubtful that all would finish and in the end both Stuart Nairn’s Maximum (Class 2) and Eddie Higgins La Maraquita were out of time. At this point, the half way stage in the league, all of the Classes are tight, particularly in ECHO with only a few points separating most of the top runners except for Class 1 ECHO where the Waterman brothers on Saxon Senator have established and early and (almost) unassailable lead. However if all races are sailed, race 5 will see a discard applied to the league which could make things really interesting!