Royal Cork sailor Patrick Crosbie added another line to his achievements – this time a long way from home waters. Transition year is a great year to venture on exotic shores and compete in events we would not initially think about attending. Patrick joined three Laser 4.7 sailors from Dublin (Mark Bolger, Sarah Cooney and Chloe Eggers) on a journey to Chennai, India to combine a cultural experience (or shock should I say) and an international regatta, the IIR 2012. To compete, Patrick had to dust off his Laser 4.7 sail as the 3 classes allowed were Optimist, 29er and Laser 4.7.
After 2 days of practice and acclimatizing to the hot and humid weather, he got to business as part of the TCS team composed by local Indians and the 4 Irish sailors coached by Thomas Chaix. One race was sailed the first day in 18kts. Patrick won it comfortably with superior boat speed. The second day saw the breeze dropping a little and the monsoon making an entrance with heavy rain. Patrick continued his domination with a further 3 bullets extending his lead to 8 points on Kerala sailor Prince Noble.
Day threee was wet and the wind never materialized so we were in early off the Chennai driving the city at the back of a 4×4 jeep and eventually racing in karts just before dark… Paddy did not win that one! The weather had truly changed and day 4 saw the PRO dodging showers and eventually securing 3 races in light and shifty breeze, bad luck and poor decision put Patrick on the back foot and with a 7th, a 3rd and an 11th (discarded) he saw Prince coming right back on his transom… At the end of the day Patrick retained one point of a lead with one day to go!
Prince was however very consistent and the game of discard was definitely in favour of the Kerala sailor. The final day was light, very light. The race went under black flag and Prince fell foul off it. Patrick still had to be top 5 to secure the trophy. Half way up the beat, Chloe Eggers was leading and Paddy was ok in 3rd or 4th when the breeze dropped to nothing and the PRO decided to cancel the race… A short wait later, the event was called off and Patrick was confirmed as the champion bringing the Pandyan trophy to Ireland for a year!
The other Irish results were Sarah Cooney (NYC) 6th, Chloe Eggers (RstGYC) 7th and Mark Bolger (BSC) 8th.