Busy days ahead for south coast sailors

SUMMER sailing is over, but it’s a busy time for south coast sailors with Cove SC hosting the SCORA Championships and the RCYC hosting the ISA All Ireland championships this weekend while the weekend after that, the O’Flynn Exhams Autumn Regatta begin at Crosshaven.

The sailing instruction for the latter event are now available online and the harbour courses have been rewritten to improve them even further for this year’s month long series.

Racing will be on the first four Sundays of October with a minimum of two races a day and the final race on Saturday, October 30. Entries must be received at the RCYC before next Saturday after which date a late entry fee of €50 will be charged and will then be donated to the RNLI.

There will be two fleets, Zero, One, Two and 1720 called the REd Fleet with classes 3, 4 White 1 and 2 will be the Green Fleet. The Rolex Cup glamour fleet of Antix, Mariners Cove and Roxy all plan to take part.

In Race 19 of the Masts & Rigging Whitesail League at RCYC, Race Officer Joanna O’Brien and her team had their work cut out with Adrielle suffering engine problems and delaying the start together with a slight wind shift.

With a light northerly forecast to fade as the evening wore on, Whitesail fleet off on Course 101 to No 8, 107 and then back to Corkbeg while the other classes set off on a challenging target of No. 12, 13 and EF2.

Unfortunately, as the winds died and the ebb tide began to take effect, some did not make it back inside the time allowed. Only five Class 1 boats finished and one Class 2 with several retiring as they made their way back into Crosshaven in near darkness.

Class 1 IRC and ECHO went to Kieran Twomey’s Gloves Off with Martin Darrer and Colman Garvey’s True Pennance second and Frank Doyle’s Endgame finishing third but taking the HM Yachts series. In Class 2 the only finisher was Martin Fitzgerald and Niall McPhillips’ Magic Formula but it was Ted Crosbie’s No Excuse who took the overall series in IRC with Mark Mendell’s Wicked taking ECHO.

Class 3 IRC went to Paul Murray’s Prometheus with Tom MacSweeney’s SEascapes II second with the positions reversing for ECHO with John and Fiona Murphy’s Fast Buck taking third. In Whitesail it was Michael Lynch’s night with Lady Twinning ECHO comfortably ahead of Pat Vaughan’s Aramis WITH positions again reversed in IRC. Overall IRC went to Ian Hickey’s Cavatina with Aramis taking ECHO.

Saturday saw a large fleet from RCYC, Cove SC and the Naval Service YC taking part in the annual Naval Race which also doubled as the last of the Masts & Rigging Summer Series. Race Officer Barry Rose and his team sent the fleets on a beat from No. 7 over to Cage and then on a run up the harbour to No 11.

While Class 1 and 2 had two rounds before proceeding around 18 and on up to Haulbowline, the smaller classes had a slightly shorter beat with No 8 and 10 being used rather than Cage.

The blustery south west wind of around 14 kt gave some spirited racing and fortunately the forecast rain stayed off and all competitors finished before the departure of the Brittany Ferries service.

Class 1 IRC and ECHO went to True Pennance with Simon and Andrew Coveney’s Wavetrain second. Class 2 IRC went to Denis Coleman’s Thunderbird with Magic Formula in second but their positions again reversing in ECHO. Class 3 IRC and ECHO went to Dominic Losty’s Woody with Jimmy Nyhan’s Outrigger second in IRC and Fergal Coughlan’s Whythe Night second in ECHO.

Whitesail, however, provided the largest fleet with 12 boats participating. IRC went to Brian Heffernan on Aisling with Derek Dillon’s Big Deal second while in ECHO it was Eddie English’s Holy Grounder who took first ahead of Batt and Helen O’Leary’s Sweet Dreams.

The race was also scored under the RCYC Internal Handicapping System (IHS) used for Fridays and it was Bill O’Mahony on Julia B who took the honours ahead of Aisling with Pat Reidy and Tadgh O’Scannell’s Macha in third. For his efforts Bill was awarded the Naval Shell Trophy much to the delight of participants.

This series has been hotly contested and has provided some very close racing over the summer. In the end it was JJ and Marie O’Keefe on Slo Mo Shun who held onto their lead to take first ahead of Peter Webster’s Thistle with Pat Reidy and Tadgh O’Scannell’s Macha taking third place having just edged out Paul O’Shea’s Elegance in the last races of the series.

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