The penultimate day of Cork Week will be remembered for some seriously feisty weather, torrential rain overnight continued through the morning and a thick sea fog and a building sea state produced what the Crosshaven locals call ‘proper weather’. With 20 knots of breeze and Atlantic swell, Cork Week’s Race Committee had the option of racing inside Cork Harbour and took it.
All classes bar IRC Zero and One were set a windward leeward course inside the safe confines of Cork Harbour but the visibility around the Moonduster mark ensured a tight course. Outside the harbour the big boat fleet managed to get one race in before the front drove through to leave a sloppy sea state and no wind, scuppering any chance of a second race today.
In IRC Zero, Piet Vroon’s Ker 46, Tonnerre de Breskens proved unstoppable again today, blasting through the surf to score yet another bullet. “I should buy a lottery ticket today!” Admitted mainsheet trimmer, Dave Lenz. “We had excellent breeze down the run and it literally shut down behind us, stopping all of our competition. The phrase rich get richer certainly applied to today’s race.” Piet Vroon and his team don’t even need to race tomorrow’s Harbour Course to win the class but Vroon insisted that Tonnerre de Breskens would be racing tomorrow. Michael Bartholomew’s Mills 40, Tokoloshe could only score a fifth today but is still second overall, whilst Jamie McWilliam’s Ker 40, Peninsula Signal 8 is third.
In IRC One, Richard Fildes’ Corby 37, Impetuous won Race 7 to stamp their authority on the class. Conor Phelan’s Ker 37, Jump Juice got the better of Richard Goransson’s Corby 36, Inga of Sweden today to leapfrog into second place. However, barring a shocker in tomorrow last race, Impetuous look to have won their class.
Getting IRC 2 away for the first race was not easy, there were hooters a plenty as two general recalls resulted in a third re-start with a black flag. Ian Nagle’s, J/109 Jelly Baby nailed the pin end and extended in clear air at the top mark to win the first race of the day with Gilles Caminade’s French A 35, Chenapan taking second. However, Hall & McDonnell’s J/109, Something Else got buried into the pack and scored a lowly ninth. Donal O’Leary’s X-35, D-Tox won the second race of the day but the big story in IRC 2 is that Something Else who have led from the start of the regatta have dropped to third place on countback from Chenapan and local Cork boat Jelly Baby are now top of the class. However, Something Else still leads the J/109s for the Irish title by just a point from Jelly Baby.
In IRC 3, Royal Cork’s Admiral Peter Deasy with Bad Company has opened up a seven-point lead after scoring two podium finishes today. Tim Cunliffe’s Half Tonner, Insatiable has their best day of the regatta. The Cornish team were spotted ‘fuelling up’ at the Royal Cork Yacht Club bar last night, obviously with the desired effect! However, Diarmuid Foley’s Quarter Tonner was out-gunned by the displacement yachts in today’s heavier conditions and drops to third. Brian Goggin’s Corby 25, Allure finished the day on a high, winning the last race of the day but by just two seconds.
John Twomey’s Sonar Baileen Ban has virtually sealed the win in IRC 4 with a second and first place today, but a battle is raging for second place. Finbarr Dorgan’s No Half Measures and Claridge and Fox’s Sigma 33, Excelle are on equal points and Nyhan & Buwalda’s Hunter 707, Outrigger is just a point behind.
The 1720’s were racing outside the Harbour today, which was a full on experience. However, some very experienced crews race the pocket rockets and all was well. Denis Murphy’s Aquatack won today’s race from close rivals Robin & Ben O’Mahony but there was only 7 seconds between them. Aquatack now have a four-point cushion virtually sealing the class win.
Take That, The Prodigy, Vengaboys, MC Hammer and House of Pain are just some of the top 90s bands that won’t be on the main stage tonight but Irish tribute band, Smash Hits will. Delivering a high-energy set to a packed crowd that will be looking to stretch some tired limbs after four days of hard racing at Cork Week.