Wednesday, July 27, 2016

J/109 Wins Volvo CORK Week Regatta!

J/109 Cork Week winners (Cork, Ireland)- Shrouded in sea fog, the final day of racing at Volvo Cork Week was curtailed to just one race for some classes. However, as the mist cleared, class winners appeared and the inaugural IRC European Champion went to the wire. Located outside Cork Harbour, the visibility was just too bad for safe racing for IRC Zero, One and Two and the results remained unchanged from the previous day. The Final Prize Giving was held at the Royal Cork Yacht Club, established in 1720, the antique silverware being presented includes some of the world oldest and famous trophies but the two biggest awards of Volvo Cork Week are brand new this year.

Commissioned by Irish Minister Simon Coveney, the Waterford Crystal Beaufort Cup has been won by Defence Forces B racing the J/109 JOKER 2, skippered by Cmdt Barry Byrne.  Defence Force B Team have nominated Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Dublin for the €10,000 award. However the winning team have donated €1000 to the RNLI Baltimore, who came second in The Beaufort Cup, as a show of their sportsmanship.

“To have so many teams and top quality racing in the first year of the Beaufort Cup is amazing,” commented Barry Byrne. “The offshore race around the Fastnet is one of the most enjoyable races I have ever done. We saw dolphins and whales literally the whole way round and eight boats rounded the Fastnet Rock within sight of each other. We already have confirmed interest from USA, France, Canada and Spain for 2018. The goal is to make The Beaufort Cup the biggest emergency and military services regatta in the world and I would like to applaud Minister Simon Coveney and Vice Admiral Mark Mellett for their continued support for the initiative and all of the teams that participated.”

It was great racing over the course of Volvo Cork Week; here is how it went down each day.

Day One
The week got off to a supersonic start with a fly-by of four PC9 aircraft passing over the start line of the Beaufort Cup fleet, heading for the Fastnet Rock for their offshore race. Thirteen teams entered the inaugural international services competition supported by the Irish Defence Forces, with a top prize of 10,000 Euros to a nominated charity.

For the remainder of the Volvo Cork Week fleet, there was racing on the first day in Cork Harbour and the Atlantic Approaches. A solid 12 knots of breeze from the North decrease during the day but a significant sea state remained for competitors on the Slalom Course and Windward Leeward course south of Roches Point.

IRC Two was extremely competitive, Ian Nagle’s Royal Cork team racing J/109 JELLY BABY was second for the day and Royal Irish skipper, Richard Goodbody racing the J/109 WHITE MISCHIEF finished the day with a second to secure a fourth in class.

J/109 at Cork WeekDay Two
The Irish Defence Forces team, racing the J/109 JOKER 2, and skippered by Cmdt Barry Byrne, won the inaugural Beaufort Cup’s 140-mile Fastnet Race, held as part of Volvo Cork Week. Racing continues for the Beaufort Cup with three days of inshore racing but the offshore win has put the team in the driving seat for the new trophy and 10,000 Euros for their nominated charity.

“We are over the moon.” smiled Barry Byrne. “Late last night in light airs, most of the fleet compressed together and we gybed out for more wind offshore and got it. From then on, we kept our position between the Fastnet and the boats behind to consolidate on that gain and those tactics got us through. But it was a tough fight all the way to the Rock and a tough slog all the way back.” We are looking forward to the inaugural Beaufort Cup Gala Dinner tonight, to meet our colleagues from overseas to discuss the challenges to come.”

J/24 sailing Cork, IrelandDay Three
The key to a top performance today was reacting to the squalls and shifts, emanating from the Old Head of Kinsale, sending a stream of pressure bullets down to Roches Point.

In the IRC 4 class, the Howth YC Under 25 team racing J/24 Ireland’s Eye Kilcullen took second and, as a result, was very much in the frame for the overall win in the IRC European Championship!

Day Four
One hundred yachts, of all shapes and sizes, graced Cork Harbour on the fourth day of Cork Week- the traditional “in the Bay” race made for quite a spectacle!  The weather lived up to the spectacular location with bright sunshine bathing the course for most of the day.

In the Beaufort Cup division, the J/109 JOKER 2 team sealed their win with yet another first place.  Taking sixth place was the Royal Engineers YC team on the J/109 TROJAN of UPNOR.

J/112E sailing Cork WeekSailing in the IRC Coastal Class 1 was the brand new J/112E sport cruiser- AQUELINA- owned and skippered by Sheila & James Tyrrell.  The more races they sailed, the faster they went!  Ultimately, they finished a solid third place, just one point out of second!

For the IRC Two class, a terrific battle for third place was won by Richard Goodbody’s Royal Irish team, racing the J/109 WHITE MISCHIEF. Their colleagues in the three other J/109s went 6th through 8th- Pat Kelly’s STORM from Howth YC, then Ian Nagle’s JELLY BABY from Royal Cork YC, then Michel Hiesweiller’s VRIJGEZEILIG from Cardiff Bay.

In IRC 4, the Under 25 Howth team, with skipper Cillian Dickson racing J/24 Ireland’s Eye Kilcullen took second place to remain in second overall for the regatta. Dave Lane & Sinead Enright’s J/24 YA GOTTA WANNA from Royal Cork YC took fourth place.

Finally, in the IRC Mixed Sports boat classes were two J/80s- Dominic Baxter & Ernie Dillon’s RIOJA took silver while Fergus Coughlan’s JEDI placed fourth.   Sailing photo credits- Tim Wright/   For more CORK Week sailing information