Quick off the mark Mustang Sally takes the overall lead

AFTER a morning of gale force winds and torrential rain, racing finally got under way at Kinsale and the third race of the Kevin O’Leary Nissan April League turned out a great one.

OOD Alan Crosbie posted a one-hour postponement and, on cue, the rain stopped and the southerly gales gave way to a fresh southwesterly of 20 knots, although the sea was still rough. The fleets gathered for the start at the Bullman area and a windward leeward course suited all competitors. Black Head was the weather mark for Class One and Hake Head the mark for Classes Two and Three, with Bullman Buoy the leeward mark for all classes.

The Class One fleet had the perfect start, taking the bias at the committee boat end. Quick off the mark was Eamon Rohan’s Mustang Sally, with yacht designer John Corby aboard testing her performance after recent alterations. The Corby 41 Mariners Cove, with David Dwyer, once again took line honours, this time by over three minutes, but Tom Roche’s Beneteau 47 Isobar carved through the fleet and outclassed the hybrid racing machine to win Echo on handicap, with Simon Coveney and Paul Hyde second on Dark Angel. In the overall context, that left Isobar leader from Aidan

McSweeney’s Felix, Conor Phelan’s Endeavour back in third. In IRC, Mustang Sally won from Dark Angel with Mariners Cove third. Overall Mustang Sally now leads from Anthony O’Leary’s Antix with Felix third.

There was some commotion in the final minute before the gun for the Class Two start when Kieran Dorgan’s Merlin was the subject of a barging incident at the committee boat end. Raymond McGibney on Dis-a-ray and the McCarthys on Checkmate immediately protested and Merlin was disqualified. The beat to Hake Head mark had very close racing and first around was the Sunfast 32 Bad Company, with MacMagic and the Sigma 33 Sea Hawk close behind. Multiple spinnaker gybes were needed on the downwind leg to the Bullman Buoy and good seamanship and exciting racing conditions occurred as the Class One and Class Two fleets met at the next rounding off the Hake Head mark. The final leg called for a spinnaker, which carried the boats to the Farmers Rock where headsails were hoisted for the sprint to the Charles Fort finish line.

In Class Two Raymond McGibney’s Dis-a-ray dominated, winning in both handicaps and now leading in both overall as well. In IRC, Clem McElligott’s Sea Hawk was second and Henry Kingston’s Quicksilver third. Overall Quicksilver lies second, MacMagic third. In Echo, Dan Buckley’s Hydaway was second and Sea Hawk third. Overall Eddie Nicholson’s Silver Shadow is second and Pat Salter’s Gemini third.

Class Three had the same placings in both handicaps, Pádraig O’Donovan’s Chameleon first, Kevin O’Regan’s Huntress second, Mike Sexton’s Granny Knot third. Overall in IRC, Huntress leads from Granny Knot and Chameleon and in Echo, Granny Knot leads from Chameleon and Huntress.

In the White Sail Fleet Brian Cudmore on Ann Again won from Dave Akerland’s Paragon, but overall Paragon leads from Ann Again, with Tony O’Brien’s Stormcrow third.

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