Preparations underway for high-scoring 24-36 hour offshore race on Monday
Light winds on The Solent presented tricky conditions for the 27-boat fleet in the Brewin Dolphin Commodores’ Cup today that saw Irish boats to the fore.
Team captain Anthony O’Leary on Antix won both short inshore courses, cementing his record this year that included the overall British title here.
Marc Glimcher’s Catapult delivered a highly consistent day with a seventh and fourth place while Michael Boyd and Niall Dowlings’ Quokka 8 overcame a 23rd place in race one after a difficult start and were fifth in the afternoon.
Race one started in a light nor’westerly breeze but a big shift caught the boats that has headed inshore towards Osborne Bay then favouring the boats on the right. In the second race, Osborne again became a fraught zone when half the fleet were becalmed there.
The defending champions from 2012 are Britain Red who are currently in second overall while the France Green team are also very strong in third overall. The sole Scottish team hold a close fourth place, boosted by Eala Of Rhu that placed second behind Antix in both races.
“Team Ireland has made a strong start to what is a very long series so we must be cautious at this early stage,” commented Barry Rose of the Irish Cruiser Racing Association support team. “Tomorrow’s offshore race counts for bonus points that our boats in particular will relish. However, the forecast is for the winds to become light so it will be an especially testing race for every team.”
The fleet will start the offshore race at 9.25am on Monday morning and won’t return for at least 24 hours. Race management teams from the Royal Ocean Racing Club will set the course so that it could be shortened if the wind becomes too light to race though the forecast is for wind today at least.
Ireland won the Commodores’ Cup for the first time in 2010 and has return to Cowes with a fresh challenge for 2014 and is supported by the Irish Cruiser Racing Association (ICRA).