Ireland back in the Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup
Ireland is to return to the Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup hoping to repeat its hard fought victory in 2010. The RORC's flagship biennial event for three boat international teams manned by 'amateur' crews, will take place out of Cowes this year over 19-26 July.
Heading Team Ireland as Captain of the three-boat squad is once again seasoned campaigner Anthony O'Leary from the Royal Cork Yacht Club. He led the 2010 team to their first major Irish victory on the Solent and will again participate with his Ker 39 Antix.
O'Leary commented: "We are delighted to have the opportunity to return to the Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup and are looking forward to competing in what we believe to be one of the most challenging of events in the sailing calendar. We were all very disappointed to miss out in 2012 and are really looking forward to next July in the Solent."
Ireland's second boat will be Catapult, the Ker 40 owned by American Mark Glimcher, a previous US IRC National champion. The boat will shortly be shipped to Europe for an intensive crew-training phase. The crew will include a mix of the boat's regulars as well as Irish sailors, including Olympians Peter O'Leary and Dan O'Grady who competed on Catapult at last month's Key West Race Week.
Completing the three-boat Irish team is the Grand Soleil 43, Quokka, a past IRC Nationals winner in the hands of owner Peter Rutter. The boat has been chartered by Michael Boyd and Niall Dowling of the Royal Irish Yacht Club, Dublin. Boyd, Vice Commodore of the Royal Ocean Racing Club, will race on board Quokka in the Caribbean 600.
Barry Rose, ICRA Co-ordinator for the team explains: "Ireland has an impressive track record resulting in the 2010 team bringing home the Commodores' Cup. We also achieved notable performances in 2006 and 2008, but have been working for some time to ensure a top level Irish Team for this year's event having missed out in 2012. We have an intensive schedule and will have several months preparation time which is good."
Team Ireland's campaign will begin with the Warsash Spring Series and along with other regattas, includes the RORC Easter Challenge and IRC National Championship in June.
ICRA Commodore, Norbert Reilly, welcomed the development of such a high calibre team with a strong Irish crew on all three boats. The team will include sailors who won the Cup in 2010, combined with some new talent. There is also serious interest from a fourth boat to form a second team from Ireland and ICRA are inviting interest from another two boats to form Ireland Orange Team.