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.
For the inaugural IRC European Championship, the top three boats all came from different IRC classes and the result was incredibly close. The antique silver IRC European Champion Trophy, presented by the Royal Ocean Racing Club, will not be going far. Royal Cork YC’s Paul Gibbons racing Quarter Tonner Anchor Challenge was the winner. John Swan’s Howth team, racing Half Tonner Harmony, was second winning the Royal Cork Perpetual Salver. Tony Ackland’s Swansea YC team, racing Dubois 37 Dark Angel was third and was awarded the prestigious prize of the Kinsale Kettle for Boat of the Week.
“This has been such a fantastic regatta, Volvo Cork Week is very competitive, and we had a real fight on our hands to win our class, let alone the IRC European Championship. I would like to thank my crew, without a good team we would never have achieved the success. We will definitely be back to defend our win in Marseille next year.”
Commissioned by Irish Minister Simon Coveney, the Waterford Crystal Beaufort Cup has been won by Defence Forces B racing Joker 2, skippered by Cmdt Barry Byrne. Baltimore RNLI racing True Penance, skippered by Nicholas O’Leary was second and Police Service N I racing Freya, skippered by Conor Doyle, was third. 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.”
Anthony O’Leary’s Ker 40 Antix from the Royal Cork Yacht Club are the IRC Zero champions, beating strong opposition from Tony Langley’s British TP52 Gladiator and Eric De Turckiem’s French A13 Teasing Machine. The class was fiercely contested with both Antix and Gladiator taking three wins a piece in the seven race series. Antix won the class by just one point.
Tony Ackland’s team from Swansea YC, racing Dubois 37 Dark Angel, dominated IRC One. Jay Colville’s First 40 Forty Licks from East Down YC Northern Ireland was second in class and Royal Cork’s Conor Phelan, racing Ker 37 Jump Juice was third, beating off a strong challenge from Charlie Frize’s Scottish team, racing Mills 36 Prime Suspect. The team from Clyde CC were the winners of the Hugh Coveney Trophy, for the best team under IRC in The Harbour Race.
Paul O’Higgins Royal Irish YC team, racing JPK 10.80 Rockabill VI, corrected out to win IRC Two by four points from Robert McConnell’s A35 Fools Gold. A terrific battle for third place was won by Richard Goodbody’s Royal Irish team, racing J/109 White Mischief. RORC Commodore Michael Boyd, racing Irish JPK 10.80 Audrey was fourth and William Wester’s Dutch team, racing Grand Soleil 37 Antilope was close behind in fifth.
In IRC Three, John Swan’s Howth YC team, racing Half Tonner Harmony was the runaway winner, scoring five bullets at Volvo Cork Week. Patrick Farcy’s French JPK 9.60 Cavok won the last race of the championship to snatch second by a single point from Paul & Deirdre Tingle’s Royal Cork team, racing X-34 Alpaca.
Simon Henning’s Guernsey YC team, racing 1720 Alice, was the run away winner of the Mixed Sportsboats Class. George Sisk’s Farr 42 WoW won a close encounter in IRC Coastal Class 1. Nick Ogden’s Ulula and Sheila & James Tyrrel’s J/112e Aquelina was just a point behind the winner. Martin Breen’s Port of Galway Team won IRC Coastal Class 2, winning three of the four race series. Jimmy Nyhan’s Out Rigger was the winner of the Club Regatta Fleet, with three straight bullets. Tom McNeice’s Sigma 33 Minx III was the winner in the non-spinnaker class, which was only decided on the last race of the seven race series. The non-spinnaker class is growing at Volvo Cork Week and proving extremely competitive. Of the 12 entries this year, six teams made the podium during the regatta. Kieran McCarthy’s Voxpro team won the Try Sailing Challenge, the initiative has received much acclaim and interest with 120 people applying to join the initiative across Ireland.
After the final prize giving, the entertainment at the Royal Cork Yacht Club was in full flow, with headline band The Frank & Walters, on the main stage. A memorable fireworks display lit up the Owenabue River, as the revellers partied the night away at the Royal Cork. The 2017 IRC European Championship will be held in Marseille, France and the next Volvo Cork Week will be held at the Royal Cork Yacht Club 7-13 July 2018. The tricentenary of the Royal Cork Yacht Club will be celebrated in 2020.
For full results: www.corkweek.ie