Marvin Gaye's 'Let's get it on' and The Stranglers 'Something better change' rang out over the air waves as the Volvo Cork Week fleet waited for the breeze to set in for the final day of racing. However, the wind was sufficient to allow for a full racing programme to decide the winners for the regatta. Performing well in light winds requires concentration, perfect boat handling skills and tactical acumen. The teams that mastered these factors reaped the rewards. Volvo Cork Week featured the entire Irish team for this month's Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup and all three yachts had magnificent results.
Michael Boyd's Grand Soleil, Quokka (Royal Irish YC) was the clear winner of IRC Two, winning seven of the eight races sailed and was awarded The Kinsale Kettle for Yacht of the Week and the Hugh Coveney Trophy as the overall winner of the Cork Harbour Race. Quokka along with Catapult and Antix will be representing Ireland in this month's Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup.
Only a broken spinnaker pole in Race 4 prevented Quokka from a perfect scoreline at Volvo Cork Week. Racing with IRC One meant that Quokka was always having to deal with boat on boat factors with faster yachts, even though Quokka was able to show a clean pair of heels to their own class, the teams achievement in a production yachts against world class opposition in racing yachts was impeccable.Michael Boyd led his team up to collect the Kinsale Kettle having already received the Hugh Coveney Trophy.
“Hugh was a legendary sailor for my generation, I feel very honoured to be presented with the trophy bearing his name, especially as his son Andrew presented it.” commented Michael Boyd, visbily moved by emotions. “Hugh will always be highly respected all over Ireland and overseas and leaves behind him a tremendous family. Hugh Coveney was an exceptional sailor and a great man - a legend of my generation. Winning the Kinsale Kettle is fantastic. The team on Quokka has put in a tremendous amount of hard work to win at Volvo Cork Week and our moral is high, we will do our best to win the Commodores' Cup back for Ireland.”
Marc Glimcher's Ker 40, Catapult (Baltimore SC) was the victor in IRC One. The crew work was slick and the tactical calls from local Olympian, Peter O'Leary, kept the bright red hull at the front of the fleet, taking Line Honours in every race bar one boding well for the fastest yacht in the Irish Team for the Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup.
Catapult's Boat Captain, Geoff Ewenson from Annapolis USA, was at the helm of the yacht and highlighted starts as an important aspect of the team's success. “With an even start line, coming in on Port tack, you are looking for a gap to tack into where you have enough space to be able to move the bow as you like but not so big that a competitor comes in and tacks under you. With light airs and current it normally pays to get up from the tide but the race course here has shifts that are just as important, even though we didn't have big breeze the racing was excellent.”
IRC One featured a tremendous battle for the podium with three boats just a point a part going into the final race. Anthony O'Leary's Ker 39, Antix (Royal Cork YC) finished the regatta in style winning the last two races to take second place in IRC One with Andy Williams' Ker 40, Keronimo (Yealm YC) third on countback from Richard Matthews' Hakes 42, Oystercatcher XXX (Royal Burnham YC).
Quokka was the clear winner of IRC Two winning seven of the eight races sailed. As with the big boat class, a close battle developed for the podium. Conor Phelan's Ker 37, Jump Juice (Royal Cork YC) took second place in the last race, to take runner up for the class, with Tony Ackland's Dubois 37, Dark Angel (Swansea YSC) taking third by just a point from Findlay & Anderson's Xp38, Roxstar (Clyde CC).
In IRC Three, Pat Kelly's J/109, Storm (Rush YC) had a shaky start to racing on the final day, placing 12th but 2nd place in the last race secured the all Irish team the class win. Paul O'Higgins Corby 33, Rockabill V, (Royal Irish YC) was second and Ian Nagle's J/109, Jelly Baby (Royal Cork YC) was third.
In IRC Four the winner was Tim Cunliffe's Half Tonner, Insatiable (Royal Cornish YC). The vintage half tonner was beautifully restored at Pendennis Shipyard in Cornwall. The Cornish team scored podium finishes in every race to win the class by ten points. Paul & Deirdre Tingle's Corby 25, Alpaca (Royal Cork YC) was second. Team Foyne's X-332, Dexterity finished the regatta in fine style, winning the last race by just 24 seconds, to tie on points with Alpaca, but after countback Dexterity was third.
In IRC Five, Jason & Domonic Losty’s Quarter Tonner, Illes Pitiuises (Cobh SC), was the resounding winner with nine straight bullets to the boys from Cobh, a fantastic achievement. However, the formula for calculating the overall winner meant that Quokka was awarded the Kinsale Kettle. Diarmuid Foley's Quarter Tonner, Anchor Challenge (Royal Cork YC) finished the regatta with two second places on the last day to take runner up for IRC Five. Kieran O'Connell's Quarter Tonner, Bandit (Royal Cork YC) was third.
In the Sportsboat Class Robin & Ben O'Mahony's 1720, Spiced Beef (Royal Cork YC) scored six bullets out of nine races to win the pocket rocket class. Denis Murphy's 1720, Aquatack (Royal Cork YC) was second by just a point from Julian Cook's Viper 640, Oh No (Royal Thames YC).
In IRC One White Sail, George Pettifor's Beneteau 36.7, Foxtrot has had an outstanding regatta, winning four out of six races to win the class. John Downing's Samba was second with Peter O'Donovan's X-372, X Tension third.
Tom McNeice's Sigma 33, Minx III won the last race to win IRC Two White Sail. David Borry Crockett's Sigma 33, Upstart was second with Pat Vaughan's Contessa 33, Aramis in third. Yesterday, Upstart damaged their head sail but in a show of corinthian spirit, which is the heart and soul of Volvo Cork Week, Tom McNeice lent their competitor a spare to allow them to compete fairly in the last race.
Volvo Cork Week Racing Chairman, Anthony O'Leary was quick to praise both the race management team and the staff of the Royal Cork Yacht Club. “To conduct such magnificent races in difficult conditions was highly commendable, congratulations should go to the Race Officers, Jack Roy, Robert Lamb and Peter Crowley and all of the management team out on the water. The Royal Cork Yacht Club has welcomed competitors to the club with open arms and Gavin Deane, all of the staff and volunteers, have worked tirelessly to make sure the competitors have had a memorable time. That result is ably assisted by good race management, sailors coming off the water happy are much easier to please at the bar!”
Adrian Yeates, Managing director of Volvo Car Ireland, was on hand to open the awards ceremony for the 2014 Volvo Cork Week Prize Giving Ceremony on the lawn at the Royal Cork Yacht Club. Compared by Eddie English, with speeches from John Roche, Chairman of Volvo Cork Week and Royal Cork Yacht Club Admiral,Pat Lyons.
The Volvo Cork Week Prize Giving was well attended, the music and the drinks were flowing long into the night. Souldriven playing live at the Volvo Cork Week Marquee followed by DJ - Bar with a bar extension until 2.00am! The legendary Craic of Cork Week went on long into the night.
Full results and pictures from the event are available at: www.corkweek.ie