What a difference a day makes……
It was a case of forget the sun-cream, pass me the waterproofs for competitors in Race 5 of the OneSails McWilliam series at Royal Cork Yacht Club. A clearing cold front with its heavy downpours gave way to steady rain and a cold north westerly breeze and but it did little to dampen the enthusiasm as 23 boats lined up for the start.
Race Officers Ronan Collins and Micheal Lynch sent Class 1 on Course 74 with a long beat up to Haulboline and a spinnaker run down the harbour against the incoming tide. The other fleets were set a slightly shorter course up to No 12 and then out to No.3 in White Bay. For both fleets their strategy for coping with the flood tide was critical especially as Class 2/3 had a second round out to E4 while the three Whitesail boats were given a shortened course. As the wind faded making spinnakers essential to make progress against the tide, this was a welcome decision!
In Class 1 first and second in both IRC & ECHO went to Kieran Twomey’s Gloves Off and Aidan Heffernan’ Indulgence second and Frank Doyles Endgame third in IRC with the Waterman’s Saxon Senator third in ECHO. In Class 2 Denis Coleman’s Thunderbird took first in both divisions with Vinny O’Shea’s Yanks & Franks second in IRC and third in ECHO and the Desmond, Deasy, Ivers Bad Company third in IRC with Mark Mendell’s Wicked second in ECHO. In Class 3 there was competition for Jimmy Nyhan’s Outrigger with Kieran Collins Tambourine taking first in IRC and second in ECHO with Outrigger second in IRC and first in ECHO with John & Fiona Murphy’s Fast Buck third. In Whitesail the competition was tight with Seamus Gilroy’s Split Point taking first, Tadgh Lynch in Lady T second and Peter Webster’s Thistle third but with only two minutes between the three boats on corrected time.
By contrast to the damp conditions of the previous days racing Race 3 of the Masts and Rigging Friday series was held beneath clear skies with a shifting light south westerly. Race officers Tommy Dwyer and Dan Cross sent the 15 competitors on Course 70. Tadgh Lynch on Lady T was the first to Corkbeg but was gradually reeled in by larger boats on the beat back to Cage. The run down via No7 and on to Cuskinny was tide assisted but the shifting wind direction meant constant attention to sail trim. Not surprisingly the early leaders were Derry Good’s Exhale and Aidan Heffernan’s Indulgence but the middle of the fleet saw some very closely matched racing while at the back the smallest boats of the fleet Kevin Higgins Achilles 24 La Maraquita and Mark Reardon’s 22ft Albin Viggen Eilie has their own battle. It was a long course, almost 8 miles, and tidal strategy was critical on the beat back to the finish. The departure of a tanker from the refinery jetty mid race meant that most boats opted to go straight across to the Curlane Bank. In the end it was Peter Webster’s Thistle who took first with Brian Heefernan’s Aishling in second and Colin Morehead’s Tranquilizer in third.