The first day of the Autumn League opened with a breakfast briefing from the Port of Cork followed by a presentation from Eddie English on tides, both of which were received very well. Following this it was time for all to pick up their gear and go down to the sea in boats. A flotilla of some 90 yachts, divided into red and green fleets, set out for the happy hunting grounds of the two race areas. Race Officer David O’Brien was in charge of the harbour course, which for the first day of racing was the green fleet, and Richard Leonard was in charge of the red fleet in the laid course area.
During race one both fleets suffered from very light winds. They started in a northerly, which turned into a westerly and finally ended up as a southerly. However, for Race two there was an improvement with a light southerly having filled in providing enjoyable racing .
Back at the club the aprés sail atmosphere was tremendous. With a lovely autumn day the competitors were able to mill around in the open air and wander in and out of the new patio area and laughter and bonhommie abounded as the racing was discussed and the big topic was the new format of two races a day which met with unanimous approval all round. There wasn’t a dissenting opinion to be found. There were boats from Schull, Kinsale, Foynes, Dunmore East, University of Limerick, CIT, Cobh and Dublin, and this provided the inevitable meetings of old acquaintances and friends. Groups were to be seen congregating everywhere and full use was made of the new patio/dining area.
2010 will be another Commodores Cup year and it was great to see three of the big names associated with the event join the fleet for some tuning up practice against one another. It was the intention also that the harbour course in the event could be used for familiarisation with the harbour course for Cork Week 2010. Speaking after racing with Mark Mansfield who helmed Tiamat to victory in IRC 0 in both races, with the crew including Davy Kenefick and Mel Collins, he said the new format was excellent and the Autumn League in Cork was an event where genuinely competitive racing was always assured. Similarly, Prof O’Connell, who had flown in last night from Saint- Tropez where he was competing on Michael Cotter’s Whisper in Les Voiles de Saint- Tropez, to sail on Blondie 1V, had nothing but praise for the event as had Dave Dwyer on Mariners Cove guest helmed by Star Class Olympic sailor and Star Class Eastern European Champion, Peter O’Leary, who was enjoying a weekend break from his work in Dublin. Similar views were expressed by White Sail Captain, Colin Morehead. He had been concerned about the handicapping of the bigger, faster boats, but this had all worked out very satisfactorily and Michael Murphy of Class four was very complimentary about the fact that the two races had worked out so well with little delay between them.
Eddie English who has been sailing in the October League for the past 35 years was equally enthusiastic but would have liked to have seen the inclusion of marks from East Ferry to Whitepoint on the Sailing Instructions. He made the point that if we got a day where it was blowing hard from either the east or the west that we would need to use the East Ferry/Whitepoint area for racing but he also did point out that the sailing instructions do allow for amendment in this area “additional courses may be added during the regatta at the discretion of the Race Committee”.
The prizes were presented by Irene O’Donovan from O’Flynn Exhams Solicitors and all in all an exceptionally enjoyable day was had by the large gathering present.
Some pics from the day on Bateman Gallery