Presiding over last Sunday's race of the Matthews Chandlery Autumn League at Crosshaven, Principal Race Officer Richard Leonard made an inspired choice of courses for the different fleets
This time working out of Clayton Love's Golden Apple, anchored due south of Roches Point, he conjured up three courses for the four starts required for the different fleets. In conditions that were somewhat frustrating with the light southerly breeze and a sloppy sea shaking the wind out of the sails, not to mention a tide that was ebbing at the start of the race and turned during the race, the sailors were presented with a strong challenge. Nonetheless for all the challenge, conditions were still excellent with the mild southerly and the fact that racing could take place well outside the harbour in what has been the mildest October since 1985. The weather mark for the larger boats in Class 1 was the Cork Buoy some four miles outside Roches Point and boats using the last of an ebb tide and sailing to the west fared best. This was a long beat in the conditions and on the downwind leg back to a laid mark off Trabolgan Mariners Cove, with what appeared to be acres of downwind sail, led the posse emerging out of the mist in the Hazy Autumnal conditions and went on to a magnificent win on the day by 3 minutes on handicap. As has been the form for many years, two helms, Anthony O'Leary, now sailing Antix Dubh, and Mark Mansfield now helming the Phelan's Jump Juice were seen to be enjoying their usual jousting match. The Twomey and O'Mahony Gloves Off took a more easterly course hoping to gain an advantage from the tide and garnered their best result to date with a 5th place out of the 24 boat fleet. In IRC 1 Dave Dwyer's Mariners Cove took first place followed by the Phelan's Jump Juice in second and Andrew Creighton's Mustang Sally third. In IRC 1 ECHO First place went to Kinsale's Dan Buckley in Justus, followed by Mariner's Cove and Kevin Lane's Aisha third, an excellent result for Lane in spite of having been involved in a tussle at the Cork Buoy. In IRC Restricted Class an incident took place between Rob McConnells Surfarosa from Waterford Harbour Sailing Club and David Scott's EOS from Kinsale resulting in a protest situation a hearing on which will be held before racing next weekend. Justus also won the Restricted Class 1 division, second went to Simon Coveney's Wavetrain and third was Diarmuid Good's Exhale.
In contrast the White Sail fleet sailed to a laid weather mark approximately one nautical mile between the committee boat and the Cork Buoy. They came back on their downwind leg goose winged endeavouring to manually hold out their Genoas as, unusually for this event, spinnaker poles are not allowed for this purpose during racing. Having rounded the bottom mark off Trabolgan they were then given a reach into W 2 at the mouth of the harbour before reaching back to the same mark and beating to the finish. In White Sail ECHO Stephen McCarthy's Nadie was first followed by Michael and Siobhan O'Donovan in Swift and in third place Brain Cudmore's Anne Again. In White Sail IRC Pat Vaughan's Aramis was first with Nadie second and Tom O'Mahony's Rapparee third.
The performance of the day went to Jerome McCarthy in Le Big Mac Class 2 IRC who sailed a blinder of a race on the windward/leeward course, In the first round he came into the bottom mark under spinnaker just ahead of Barry Rose's Obsession VI who appeared to lose way at the mark as a result and lost out by several seconds thrus allowing Yanks and ffrancs to gain valuable time. However, on the next round it was Vinny O'Shea in Yanks & ffranks who got ahead but, having a higher handicap, it was not enough to take the first place from Le Big Mac with Obsession VI relegated to 3rd position. The big loser on the day was Colm Dunne's Grin and Bear it who finished 13th. However, as there will be one discard if there are five races sailed in the series Dunne's 2.75 points from the first two races should stand to him. In Class 2 ECHO Denis Coleman's Thunderbird took first followed by Le Big Mac with George Radley's Miss Whiplash in third place as a result of having a great rounding of the leeward mark. Radley had sneaked in on starboard under spinnaker in the face of a number of boats coming in on port leaving him with his third place result in ECHO.
Class 3 also had a protest following a coming together at the leeward mark between the O'Sullivan Bros. Running Wild and Mike Allen's Vlad from CSC. This protest will also be heard prior to Sunday's racing. Sailing his first race of the league Ian Travers of Kinsale in Bandit took the first place in IRC3 on the day, the Nyhan/Buwalda Outrigger was second and third was Vlad. In ECHO 3 Vlad was first, followed by the Allen Nadia and third was Kieran Collins in Tambourine.
Racing continues on Sunday with first gun at 11.55 a.m.