The sun may have been missing from the scene this morning at Crosshaven and the skies may have been dark and overcast but the wind was blowing, There was a very definite buzz in the air and a spring in every sailors step as they arrived in their droves to set forth on the second day of the O’Flynn Exhams Autumn Regatta at the Royal Cork Yacht Club.
The wind was gusting some 26 knots on the marina but by the time the boats had reached the comittee boats for the start of racing the east wind had moderated to some 10/12 knots later going north easterly and was obviously going to provide a good day of sailing. The two Race Officers had put their heads together on the courses and decided to sail both fleets within the harbour and this proved to be an outstanding success. Race Officer David O’Brien was today on Classes Three, Four and White Sail 1 and 2 and the committee boat “Sabrone” was kindly provided by Admiral Paddy McGlade who was on board for the racing. Richard Leonard’s committee boat “Capta Ventum” was kindly provided by Pascal Healy who was also on board to watch the day’s events unfold.
There are exceptionally high spring tides at the moment and this exercised the minds of all the sailors to keep out of the strong tide and on the other hand to avoid going aground on any of the banks around the harbour. In this regard the one casualty was Peter Webster’s Thistle from Class Four which went aground and spent some time waiting for the incoming tide.
The tight courses and the strong tide coupled with the nice sailing breeze made for close racing. John Crotty was a very happy man sailing the 1720 Two 2 Tango and winning the class for the second week in a row. Class One is of course a very competitive class and the four X332s enjoyed very close racing. Class Two also saw very close racing between Bad Company and Wicked. However, the day in Class Two belonged to Shane Statham of Waterford Harbour in Slack Alice who ended first overall both in IRC and ECHO. In White Sail 2 Clive Doherty had an excellent day winning IRC1 and Ernie Dillon received a rousing reception when his name was called out in the same class for wining ECHO.The combination of the fleets racing in the magnificent harbour today added greatly to the buzz with yachts flying everywhere and the fleets moving around with the greatest of ease. Some were up off Cobh while others went to a laid mark off the Aghada shore. It was certainly a huge success on the part of the race officers and added greatly to the enjoyment as was heard from the sailors in their aprés sail get together. There were three protests from the racing today but one was withdrawn and the other two were resolved amicably so all was well and the prize giving presided over by Aeibhín Cahalan of O’Flynn Exhams brought a fitting finish to the day.