Dark Angel takes honours at Cork Week

In the end, as with so many sailing regattas it was the weather that proved the final arbiter for Volvo Cork Week 2016. Thick mist outside Cork Harbour denied most of the racing classes their final day yesterday.

Not everyone was affected and the smaller boats and white sails entries racing inside Roche’s Point enjoyed perfect conditions.

So the results for most classes stand unchanged after Thursday’s Harbour Course and last night at the Royal Cork Yacht Club, Tony Ackland’s Dark Angel from Swansea was announced as the overall winner of the regatta.

After delivering a strong performance across eight races in Class 1, the Cork Week regular won his 11-boat class by eight points and included three race wins.

The lack of racing on the final day denied Conor Phelan’s resurgent Jump Juice from the RCYC a chance to close the half-point gap on Scottish entry Prim Suspect and had to accept third overall behind the visitor from the Clyde.

The Beaufort Cup series also ended with the result from Thursday unchanged and so Barry Byrne’s Defence Forces B squad on Joker 2 were confirmed as overall winners of the inaugural trophy that has already had expressions of interest from overseas for the next event.

“It’s a great honour to win it after a big effort that we planned it like a military campaign,” Commandant Byrne told The Irish Examiner last night. “We have nominated Crumlin Childrens’ Hospital to receive the charity prize-fund but in tribute to the Baltimore lifeboat crew who put up a serious fight, €1,000 of the €10,000 fund will go to the RNLI.” Byrne’s team won four out of the five races in the series including the opening race to the Fastnet Rock and back on Monday.

Meanwhile, the Royal Ocean Racing Club staged the first ever IRC European Championships at Volvo Cork Week and the overall winner was confirmed as Paul Gibbons renovated quarter-tonner Anchor Challenge from the host club.

The Class 4 entry was one of the fleets that did manage to sail yesterday and Gibbons finished with a race victory that ended the series of all first and second places in his ten-boat class.

The result saw Cillian Dickson’s Under 25 team from Howth held in second place overall despite a strong and consistent performance all week.

Dickson’s clubmate John Swan on Harmony in Class 3 was another contender for the IRC European title and although this class also had a race yesterday, the Howth boat finished second in the race. Although Swan still won his class, the final day result wasn’t quite enough to beat Gibbons better overall performance for the RORC title.

In individual class results, Anthony O’Leary’s Antix from the RCYC topped the Class Zero fleet of three boats with an unchanged score from Thursday.

“We had a tri-nations regatta – the British, French and ourselves this week. Fortunately, we came out on top!” O’Leary said last night. Tony Langley’s TP52 Gladiator placed second while Eric de Turkheim’s Teasing Machine from France was third.

The eight race series without a final day’s score meant the first major regatta win for Paul O’Higgins’ Rockabill VI from the Royal Irish YC in Dun Laoghaire, overall winner of Class 2. After a strong start to the week with a hat-trick of wins on Monday, lighter winds saw the JPK1080 slip back and the crew’s first place overall came under pressure from Rob McConnell’s Fool’s Gold from Dunmore East.

But weather or not the fresher winds yesterday would have seen O’Higgins bounce back up the scoreboard was immaterial as the regatta was decided in his favour with a point to spare and the Waterford boat took the runner-up place.

Third-placed Tim Goodbody on White Mischief, O’Higgins clubmate was pleased with his result in the 12-boat class. He was best of the four J109’s in his division and the result is his best in his first season with the boat having previously been a long-standing Sigma 33 competitor.

“This is a fantastic regatta and clearly run by sailors for sailors – I’ll definitely be back in two years time!” he declared enthusiastically yesterday.

Despite the poor visibility outside Roche’s Point that hampered the short courses that needed sight of the course marks, the boats that opted for either of the two Coastal Course fleets were able to get their final race completed.

George Sisk on Wow! from the RIYC ended the series as he had started with a win that secured overall victory in his class and went on to receive the Corinthian Cup for the event. In fact he was to receive his own trophy as he originally donated it to Cork Week ten years ago.

Racing inside the harbour, the white sails fleet secured their final race that saw five RCYC boats take the top places on IRC handicap, led by Tom McNeice with Minx III with Clive Doherty’s Phaeton and Judy McGrath’s Bonanza taking the runner-up places.


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