Saturday, August 4, 2018

J/Crews Lead Volvo Cork Week

J/109s sailing Cork week J/109 JOKER II Wins Beaufort Cup, J’s Sweep IRC 2
(Cork, Ireland)- After over 40 hours of intense racing, Barry Byrne's Irish Defence Forces team, racing J/109 JOKER 2, have successfully defended the Beaufort Cup. Youen Jacob's Baltimore RNLI team, racing J/109 JUGGERKNOT, put the defending champions under serious pressure, taking the gun for the first race on the last day, but finished runner-up by just two points. Simon Coveney's Irish Defence Forces Team, racing JEDI, recovered from a starting penalty in the first race of the day to make a tenacious comeback taking the final podium spot for the Beaufort Cup.

“We’re over the moon, it’s more than we ever dreamed of,” said Byrne. “It’s a tough event to win, especially against the caliber of people we were up against – Olympians, All-Ireland champions and people like Tim Goodbody and other great sailors.”

Watch the Cork Week sailing video highlights here

J/109 sailing Cork Week, Ireland120 teams from eight different nations competed at Volvo Cork Week, enjoying six days of racing in the Celtic Sea and Cork Harbour on a variety of courses. This year, the biennial regatta organized by the Royal Cork Yacht Club, celebrated 40 years and Volvo Cork Week continued to provide fantastic racing, superb award wining facilities and great fun ashore.

The Beaufort Cup started with the challenging Fastnet Race on Monday 16th July, followed by three days of short-course racing to test the all round ability of the teams. Beaufort Cup entries feature 50% of the crew coming from active personnel in the Armed Forces and Emergency Services. 17 teams were racing from Ireland, Great Britain and the United States of America. The inaugural Beaufort Cup was held as part of the 2016 edition of Volvo Cork Week, Commandant Barry Byrne skippered the Irish Defence Forces to victory, and the team successfully defended their title. As a result, they once again nominate a charity to win €10,000.

Barry Byrne interview“The Beaufort Cup is part of Volvo Cork Week, and any team competing is eligible for the boat of the week,” commented Barry Byrne, the two-time winner. “The Beaufort Cup is challenging, and a test in a real environment of leadership, team work and resilience, which are all values of the services we represent. The inter-services rivalry is very exciting; something special that raises the level of the competition, whilst still keeping the friendly rivalry and banter, which is brilliant. The field really toughened up this year, everyone competing had done their best to raise their game. It is a great fleet and the fastest growing element of Volvo Cork Week.”

Watch the interview of Commandant Barry Byrne on Facebook here.

After five days of racing, the fleet was treated to a thrilling finale for the Beaufort Cup title. After winning the final race to take the title. So what more can we say about Commandant Barry Byrne’s achievement in retaining the trophy?

Well, for one, Byrne and his Irish Defence Force’s team sailing John Maybury’s J/109 JOKER 2 carried off the “Houdini act” more than once. For starters, their campaign to win the Cup started with a come from behind win in the Fastnet Race. Then, they went on through the week to fight off challenges from Youen Jacob with the Baltimore RNLI in Andrew Alegeo’s J/109 JUGGERKNOT, Tanaiste Simon Coveney and his Irish Defence Forces crew on the Irish National Sailing School’s J/109 JEDI.

The pressure was kept up to the very end. With three race sailed yesterday (Friday), Youen Jacob gained a point with a first to Byrne’s second in the first race. But, then Barry Byrne got back in the saddle with first in the second race, while Jacob was fourth.

J/109 JOKER 2 win Beaufort CupWhile the Byrne crew were ninth in the final race, which was won by Tim Goodbody with Simon Coveney second, Youen Jacob was held back to sixth, and Commandant Barry Byrne and his crew had retained the Beaufort Cup only a fortnight after winning the Corinthian Division and taking second overall in the Volvo Round Ireland Race!

So there it goes, Volvo Cork Week 2018. Nail-biting finish to the Beaufort Cup with victory again for Barry Byrne. Roll on 2020 and the Tricentenary!

In the IRC 1 Class, Jonathan Anderson's J/122 El Gran Senor (Clyde Cruising Club) was third. It was a good regatta for the team from the northern waters of Scotland!

J/122 wins class at Cork WeekThree J/Crews lead a sweep of the IRC 2 Class. Dunlop & Cox's J/109 MOJITO (Pwllheli SC) won the last two races to climb from third to first for a dramatic class win by a single point from Ronan Harris' J/109 JIGAMAREE (Royal Irish YC). Brian & Mary Jones J/109 JELLY BABY (Royal Cork YC) could well have won the class, save a steering problem in the penultimate race, which put the local team back to third, just two points away from victory.

So much attention was focused on the many J/109s in the Beaufort Cup series (with which we conclude this report) that it’s easy to overlook the fact that several others sister-ships were racing as standard entrants in Class 2. This series concluded with a battle for the class overall win between two of them, Ronan Harris’s JIGAMAREE from the Royal Irish YC in Dun Laoghaire, and the 2017 ISORA Champion MOJITO (Vicky Cox & Peter Dunlop, Pwllheli SC). In the end, MOJITO got it by a whisker, 14 pts to JIGAMREE’s 15 pts, which in turn was just one point ahead of sister ship JELLY BABY (Brian & Mary Jones, Royal Cork YC).
Sailing photo credits- David Branigan/Oceansport For more pictures and videos from Volvo Cork Week, follow on Facebook here For more CORK Week sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.