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Highland Fling to compete at Cork Week

Strong line-up building for July's Irish extravaganza

Thursday April 22nd 2010, Author: Louay Habib, Location: Ireland

It only happens every other year and that is probably a good thing, because it takes Crosshaven that long to recover! With less than three months to go, Cork Week 2010, is taking shape with a huge variety of boats and competitors making plans for the regatta.

The big boat fleet is growing on a daily basis. Cowes-based Gray, Laidlaw and Heyward’s Farr 52 Bob is the latest entry over 50ft. A sound Super Zero Class is expected. The scratch boat at present is Irvine Laidlaw’s Wally 82 Highland Fling, back in Europe after racing in the Caribbean, but several modified TP52s will also be in the running, including Johnny Vincent’s Pace, which took a memorable scalp at the RORC Easter Challenge, when she beat TeamOrigin in one race. Also TP52 Interlodge, owned by Austin Fragomen of New York is making the trip across the Atlantic.

So far there are no fewer than 19 J Boats entered for Cork Week. The majority are J/109s competing for their European Championships, but when it comes to long deliveries. Neal Martin’s J 133, Jammy Dodger, takes the biscuit [oh perlease, Louay, Ed]. Neal Martin normally keeps the boat in the Solent but Jammy Dodger is heading for the Norwegian fjords, before heading south to Cork Week.

As Martin explains: “It is about 2,500 miles of sailing through Kiel, Copenhagen, Gothenburg and onto Norway. On the way back we will race to Shetland from Bergen with about 40 Norwegian boats. After that we will visit the west coast of Scotland before coming to Crosshaven. The crew will alter during the voyage but both myself and my Norwegian girlfriend, Randi. will be in Crosshaven. This will be my sixth Cork Week and we are all really looking forward to it.”

With nearly three months to go, 15 Beneteau’ are already entered. Tony McBride’s First 50 Novus Arca is making the trip from Scotland and RCYC members, Paul & Deirdre Tingle, will be back to defend their First 31.7 title from 2008.

The number of SB3s entered for Cork Week is down on 2008, not surprising as the SB3 Worlds in Italy is attracting the majority of the fleet. However, SB3s and other sports boats are very welcome at Cork Week. A convenient ferry service, Fastnet Line runs daily crossings from Swansea to Cork. Kiwi Ben Duncan will be racing SB3 Sharkbait at Cork Week, alongside Irish match racer Ric Morris. Many Irish entries and some from overseas are expected.

Paul Kirwan’s Sigma 38 Errislannan is entered. In 2008 they won the Sigma 38 Europeans at Cork Week and they are back to defend their title. From bow to stern, Errislannan is very much a family boat and they are up against some top opposition from the UK.

Ten Corby yachts are entered and more are expected including Robert Davies' brand new Corby 36 Roxy 6 which will be representing Ireland in the forthcoming Rolex Commodores’' Cup. Over a dozen boats are expected to be racing at Cork Week, tuning up for the country versus country, pro-am event in August.

However, Cork Week has a huge variety of boats and whilst the Gentleman’s Class may not have the high tech gear and elite sailors competing. The seamanship in the class is very apparent. National Yacht Club member, Philip Dilworth, will be racing Grand Soleil 42, Orna. A previous class winner of the Dun Laoghaire to Dingle race and 2008 Cork Week winner, Orna is obviously well sailed.

Entries are going well and we are pleased with the level of support, however there is room for plenty more and we hope that more yachts and crew will be racing at Cork Week in July and enjoying the hospitality of the Royal Cork Yacht Club and the community at Crosshaven,” commented Cork Week Chairman, Peter Deasy.

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