Fine entry for Team Racing event

MORE than 100 sailors will compete in the Irish Sailing Association National Team Racing Championships from the Royal Cork at Crosshaven over the St Patrick’s weekend.

They are drawn from five universities, clubs from Dublin, northern Ireland, Britain and Cork, as well as two local schools.

Racing will start on Saturday at 11am and continue over the three days, with RCYC Admiral David O’Brien as principal Race Officer, Johnny Ross Murphy as Chief Umpire with the assistance on the water of 12 other very experienced umpires.

The sailors will be competing in three flights and on Sunday the fleet will be divided into Gold, Silver and Bronze, based on the results achieved on the first day. The objective is to ensure very competitive racing for each of the fleets.

John Cribben, President of the ISA, will present the prizes on Monday at 4pm. Off the water, Irish team captain John Sheehy will follow the Saturday evening competitors’ dinner with a talk on Ireland’s performance in coming fourth at the Worlds in New Zealand.

Meanwhile, the dreadful weather conditions forced the cancellation of the second race in the Southmoor Properties March League at Kinsale last weekend. Now the club sailing committee has decided to change the start time for all remaining races in the league to 12.00 in order to allow the race officer fit in a second race on a subsequent date when conditions are more favourable.

Elsewhere, Kinsale YC is currently extending the club marina and to facilitate the necessary dredging work the opening race of the Kevin O’Leary Nissan April League, scheduled for March 30, has been postponed.

The marina work is vital, of course, with the major Sovereigns Cup Regatta to be held at Kinsale, June 25-28, expected to attract a huge entry.

By this week 81 entries had already been received and Regatta Director Pat Pyne was not slow to express his delight.

“There has been a steady flow of entries coming in since December and as the majority of local boats have yet to officially confirm their participation the total is certain to increase significantly over the coming weeks.”

Among the top entries so far are former Sovereigns Cup champion Anthony O’Leary in his X-9 Antix and Colm Barrington in his Corby 38 “Gloves Off”.

The four-day, eight race biennial regatta has gained great popularity since its inception in 1995. The focus has been on the participating sailor and the organisers have gone to great lengths to provide a strong race management team and a varied apres sail entertainment programme.

A bonus this year is that the event incorporates the first Class Two National Championship. This is one of the most competitive fleets in Ireland and there is promise of a hot campaign to win the honour of the first national championship title.

The Royal Cork YC recently hosted a special “Navigators’ Dinner” at which nearly 100 yachtsmen and women and motor boaters received certificates in Day Skipper and Yachtmaster navigation. They had attended navigation courses run at various locations run by Eddie English and his team from International Sailing in Cobh.

More than 200 have attended the courses over the past six months, drawn from every county in Munster.

Royal Cork Admiral David O’Brien praised all those who took the courses and encouraged continued education to increase safety afloat.

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