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Rolex Commodores’ Cup shaping up to be an international affair

With three months to go to the 10th edition of the biennial Rolex Commodores’ Cup the international fleet has every prospect of being one of the more exotic in recent times.   The headline foreign contingent is perhaps South Africa, participating at the regatta for the first time.  Hong Kong has confirmed it will be back following its happy venture in 2008.  Thereafter, the northern European teams – Ireland, France and the United Kingdom – that are the traditional backbone of the event – will be present in numbers.

Once more the Hong Kong team will be led by Jamie McWilliam, a well known native of the Parish, but perhaps  a more interesting twist to the series is the fact that The Hong Kong team will consist in its entirety of former well known and successful Irish boats.  The team is made up of Rockall 111, a Corby 36 owned by Chris Opielok in the small boat slot.  Rockall 111 is the former Rosie , which has a dominant history in Irish and UK racing.  The middle boat is Blondie 1V a Mills (King) 40 chartered by Anthony Day from Helmuth Hennig, both very well  known Hong Kong Racers.  Blondie 1V was second in class in the Rolex Commodores’ Cup 2008 and has an exceptional track record under her former  Irish owner.  The big boat is Mandrake, Nick Burns’ Mills 40.5, formerly Ngoni and Tiamat.  As  Tiamat she had an outstanding Commodores’ Cup in 2006 also under her previous Irish owner.

Meanwhile the Royal Cork Yacht Club has a strong team put together to compete in the 2010 event.  Roxy 6 looks resplendent lying at the Club Marina and will be sailed by Andrew Creighton.  Dave Dwyer’s Marinerscove.ie  has performed exceptionally well in recent times. Anthony O’Leary’s Antix with her new CH Marine logo on her boom  and her keel wrapped in polythene Americas Cup style looked formidable yesterday while having her hull polished in anticipation of the forthcoming Liebherr ICRA Nationals at Dun Laoghaire.

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