THE final series of races in Kinsale Yacht Club’s Spring Series will take place on Saturday with sailors anxiously watching weather predictions after a few hardy days this week.
Last Sunday they had big winds and waves for the fourth day of the series sponsored by UK Halsey Sailmakers from whom the legendary Des McWilliams was on the water watching the progress of the event.
With winds constantly above 20 knots at the start, many had taken in a reef and were flying smaller headsails but later in the day most of the reefs had been shaken out.
When Kinsale YC arranges something, they do it well and there was a great sight of sail with the fleet together as Class One reached to the finish with the returning Class Zero, One, Two and White Sail Two fleets.
There are interesting battles to be fought out this Saturday.
In Class Zero IRC Kieran Twomey’s Gloves Off holds a three point lead overall from Conor Doyle’s Freya. Just 2½ points covers all five boats in ECHO with Meridian leading by her bow roller and Godot and Tony O’Brien’s White Tiger tied for second.
In Class One it’s down to a single point in IRC between Eos and Jelly Baby from Crosshaven with the RCYC boat edging it.
Jelly Baby also leads ECHO by a single point from Danny Buckley’s Justus with Eos a further point behind. This will be a tough class on Saturday.
At the top of Class Two IRC it couldn’t be closer with Brian Goggin’s Allure and Bad Company, the RCYC Desmond, Ivers and Deasy boat tied on 14 points.
In Class Three ECHO Finbarr Dorgan’s Sonar No Half Measures leads in ECHO by two points from Padraig O’Donovan’s Fastnet 34 Chameleon.
Class 4 ECHO is led by Alan Mulcahy’s 25-footer Sundancer with ten points, two clear of Richard Hanley’s GK24 Saoirse.
White Sail Class One is led by Stephen Lysaght’s Reavra on 12 points, two clear of Val Kriss, while Class Two white sail sees Bill Joyce in Windrose clear with nine points of second-placed Delos, Dave Cullinane, on 11 points, followed by the ladies in Guinness Kann on 14, with Kevin Murray’s Objection having narrowed the gap behind them to just one point after an impressive win last Sunday.
There is plenty to keep crews on their toes in racing this Saturday, which will be followed by a prize-giving dinner in the clubhouse.
Developing youth sailing is very important for the future of the sport and clubs are now preparing plans for introducing newcomers to the sport this summer with training courses.
It is a great sight to see the fleet of the smallest of dinghies, the Optimists, with the youngest of sailors heading out for training from the RCYC in Crosshaven and, occasionally, I have marvelled at their ability and determination.
If you are interested in introducing your children to sailing now is the time to contact a club nearest to you where there will be a welcome and help given to your enquiry.
Information about clubs is available on the ISA website www.sailing.ie and look up the clubs and membership section for information.
You can also find a list of approved centres in the training section that run courses throughout the year.
“These centres and a number of clubs also provide training courses to introduce adults to sailing.
“Getting out on the water for the first time has never been easier,” says the ISA.
“Training centres and clubs are focused on getting new people out on the water in a safe and friendly environment.”
A crew of NUI Galway students and graduates who say that they want to “freshen up the sailing circuit in Ireland” has entered for this year’s Round Ireland Yacht Race.
There are 10 students in total and they will be one of the youngest teams ever to compete in the biennial event which will start at noon on Sunday, June 24 from Wicklow, run as usual by the town’s sailing club.
The Galway crew is made up of students and graduates. They have been sailing together in the university’s sailing club over the past few years and have chartered a 38-ft yacht for the race.
Skipper Cathal Clarke said the “vision of this project is to prove the wealth of sailing talent on the west coast and to encourage the next generation of Volvo Ocean Race sailors to get sailing.
“We aim to inspire other sailors from the region to undertake such projects in the future.”
The Volvo Race will be finishing in Galway the week after the university sailors go around the nation!
The sixth leg of the Volvo Race is on its way from Brazil to Miami, led this week by the Kiwi entry, Camper New Zealand, followed just two miles behind by Abu Dhabi’s Ador with Cork’s Justin Slattery aboard, while Puma from the USA is third eleven miles farther back, with the overall race leader the Spanish Telefonica twenty-three miles further adrift and the French Groupama, bringing up the rear five miles behind that.
Very close between first and last and over 4,000 nautical miles to go to Miami.
Sanya, the Chinese entry with Irish support from Discover Ireland, did not start this leg.