How the Irish won the Rolex Commodores' Cup

David Branigan - Oceansport /
A look back at last week's superb victory for the Emerald Isle
Last week’s Rolex Commodores’ Cup saw the Irish dominate from start to finish, earning a win for the team that has eluded the favourites on the last two occasions the biennial event has been held. The Irish three boat team comprised: Anthony O’Leary’s Ker 39 Antix as the ‘big’ boat, David Dwyer’s Mills 39 as the ‘mid’ boat and Robert Davies’ Corby 36 Roxy 6 the ‘little’ boat. The Cat 3s on the boats were Antix’s Dave Lenz and Peter O’Leary (son of the owner, fresh from his victory in the Star class at Skandia Sail for Gold), Andy Beadsworth on and Prof O’Connell on Roxy 6. From left to right: Anthony O'Leary, Roxy 6 skipper Andrew Claughton and David Dwyer with Justin Hogbin, Manager Communication of Rolex UK And they didn’t just slightly win. The Irish big and medium boats were the run-away leaders in their classes, while in the small boat class Roxy 6 was a close second to another stellar performer in this regatta, Christopher Opielok’s Corby 36 Rockall III of the Hong Kong team. There is no doubt that having put such a huge effort into past Rolex Commodores’ Cup the Irish were keen to win. On this occasion they fielded just one team, but this enabled them to focus their efforts. Several observers reckoned that the single team approach benefitted the Irish, with all three of their boats heralding from Cork, whereas on previous occasions there has been some distracting rivalry between the Cork and Dublin-based teams. Even marinerscove’s David Dwyer admitted as such: “That was a major factor all the way through. After 2006 with teams competing against each other, we couldn’t get that out of it. We came from Ireland to England and we just couldn’t stop it.” However Antix owner Anthony O’Leary disagreed, feeling that they may