Tommy Mueller edges ahead
Day two of the Brewin Dolphin Dragon Gold Cup in Kinsale, Ireland gave the 60 strong fleet another tough work out as they completed race two of the series in big seas and winds of up to 28 knots from around 220°.
After an initial general recall the fleet got away cleanly at the second time of asking. At the first mark those who had worked the centre left came out on top with Hungary's Ferenc Kis-Szölgyémi, sailing Bear, leading the fleet from Germany's Tommy Mueller on Sinewave, second and Dane Frank Berg on My Way, third. Hard on their heels came a pack of boats led by Ireland's Martin Byrne in Jaguar, whose port tack approach fell foul of starboard tacker Dane Joergen Schoenherr on African Queen. Although Byrne rounded the mark ahead he then had to do a pair of turns to exonerate himself and by the time he'd pirouetted his way down the spreader leg he had been passed by Jens Rathsack, in Jeanie, Germany's Klaus Diederichs on Fever and Russian Dimitry Samokhin on Strange Little Girl.
Kis-Szölgyémi did his best to defend on the first run, but he was no match for the impressive speed of Mueller. By the first gate Mueller had the lead with Kis-Szölgyémi second, Schoenherr had moved up into third and Diederichs was fourth, just ahead of Berg. Having rounded the gate in eighth Byrne decided it was time to get his skates on and up the second beat he worked the shifts that came through under a heavy rain squall to best advantage. By the second weather mark he was up into third behind Mueller and Schoenherr and just ahead of Kis-Szölgyémi, Diederichs and Poul Richard Hoj-Jensen on Danish Blue.
Down the second run both the breeze and the wave height had increased and as the sun broke through the dark clouds the fleet made a spectacular sight surfing flat out against a backdrop of rolling Irish countryside. At the second gate Schoenherr had closed up on Mueller but it wasn't enough and on the final beat Mueller stretched out his lead again leaving Schoenherr to trail him across the line. The battle for third place was fraught and was only decided in the closing moments with Diederichs crossing the line just ahead of Byrne and Hoj-Jensen.
In the overall standings overnight leader Lawrie Smith, aboard Alfie, exacerbated a knee injury sustained yesterday and struggled to finish the race crossing the line in 18th place so drops down into seventh overall. Today's race win takes Tommy Mueller to the top of the league table with five points while Poul-Richard Hoj-Jensen's steady fifth means he remains in second overall on seven points. Joergen Schoenherr has jumped up into third place and is just a single point behind Hoj-Jensen with Dimitry Samokhin fourth on 11 points and Martin Byrne fifth on 15.
In the Corinthian Division for the all-amateur crews today's race winner was Germany's Reemt Reemtsma, sailing Caroroo, who also claimed sixth place in the overall division. Second place went to France's Remy Arnaud on Legend, Frank Berg was third and local boy Cameron Good on Little Fella was fourth. In the overall Corinthian standings Reemtsma now leads the fleet on four points from Good on five with Berg third counting eight points and Arnaud fourth on nine points.
This evening the crews are enjoying a cocktail reception, supported by Kinsale Town Council and OPW, at the historic Charles Fort, which has guarded the entrance to Kinsale Harbour since the 17th century.