Big boat bonanza

Looking ahead to Cork Week 2010

Thursday January 21st 2010, Author: Louay Habib, Location: United Kingdom
As the early entries begin to gather momentum, Cork Week 2010 looks set to have a spectacular big boat class. The Mini Maxi Class is the hothouse of IRC racing and Niklas Zennström’s JV 72 Rán will be a magnificent sight, in Crosshaven, this summer.

Rán is skippered by Tim Powell who is a veteran of the Volvo Ocean Race and no stranger to Cork Week, having competed at Ireland’s most prestigious regatta many times over the years.

"Cork Week is always a fantastic regatta with interesting and varied courses plus the great Irish hospitality to boot and 2008 was no exception," said Powell. "Our plan at present is to race in Antigua Race Week then onto the Newport Bermuda race from there we intend to do Cork Week.

"Rán is a good all-round boat and we are looking forward to seeing how she performs on the wide variety of courses that we will experience in Cork. As we know the modified TP52's are very competitive under IRC so we shall have to looking over our shoulders a lot. It's a credit to IRC that last year the regatta came down to the final race on such different courses and we would not expect it to be different this year."

Whilst other maxis are expected, the signs are that as many as five IRC-modified TP52s will gather at Cork Week. Zennström's previous boat was narrowly beaten at Cork Week in 2008, now called Pace and owned by Johnny Vincent, the Judel Vrolijk designed flyer will be doing in battle at Cork Week 2010.

From the United States, Austin Fragomen's Interlodge will be highly fancied. Nigel Passmore’s Plymouth crew on Apollo will be there to add to there stunning performance in last year's Rolex Fastnet and the gathering of TP52s may tempt Charles Dunstone's Rio to make the trip across the Irish Sea. The British Keelboat Academy’s TP52, John Merricks II is concentrating on an offshore programme, but is firmly available for charter with or without a crack crew of young talented sailors.

Cork Week 2010 is set to have a spectacular big boat class but part of the reason for their attendance is the fantastic atmosphere offered by the Royal Cork Yacht Club. The announcement of a complimentary welcome on Monday night has been well received by the sailors heading to Crosshaven this July.

Declan Farmer, Marketing Manager for Heineken commented: "Cork Week has that eclectic element like no other, making it the perfect platform for Heineken Ireland to be involved in. It's a fantastic event that combines elite racing with a party spirit and we are extremely proud to be involved with Ireland's most prestigious yachting regatta."

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