Cork Week 2004, which starts this weekend, is shaping up to retain its title as one of the world's premier sailing events

Cork Week 2004, which starts this weekend, is shaping up to retain its title as one of the world’s premier sailing events. A total of 550 entries have signed up and yachts have been pouring into Crosshaven all week. Some of the fastest racing machines ever seen at this regatta including the likes of Roy E. Disney’s and Hasso Plattner’s MaxZ 86s Pyewacket and Morning Glory will ensure there’s plenty of excitement on the racecourse throughout the week.

Another boat to watch this week and one which could steal the limelight from the Max Zs in Class 0 is Full Pelt X owned by Stephen Fein and helmed by Jo Richards. With an IRC rating of 1.704, compared to the 1.648 of the MaxZ86s, Full Pelt will making her racing debut and it will be interesting to see how she performs.

Returning to defend his title in the IRM Class with his Farr 45 Wolf is Glynn Williams from Royal Southampton YC. Since last competing at Cork, Wolf has been victorious in the New York Challenge and the Europrix 45 nationals at Cowes. Williams and his crew are not surprisingly keen to make it two in a row at Cork.

Babalaas Bach will be back on the start line to defend her title in the 1720 fleet. The class is using the event as its national championship and has so far attracted 29 boats. The Hunter 707 class with 22 boats, and Laser SB3 with 17 entries each have their own class, while the remaining sportsboats, with classes such as the JS9000, Viper 640 and Beneteau First 211 will sail in the Mixed Sportsboat fleet.

Racing starts on Monday 12 July and runs through until to Friday 16 July inclusive, with a mixture of fixed and laid courses, including windward/leeward, Olympic -type, round the cans and coastal course.

For the latest news from the racecourse, keep logging on to . Andy Rice will be reporting from Cork throughout the week.

For a complete entry list click here.