The opening day of racing for the Class 0 - IRC yachts competing in Ford Cork Week, saw 1996 Soling Olympian, Andy Beadsworth, who will represent Great Britain in the Soling class at the forthcoming summer Olympics in Sydney, join skipper Harold Cudmore aboard Barlo Plastics, a John Corby-designed Oyster 41.5 ft prototype yacht.

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The opening day of racing for the Class 0 – IRC yachts competing in Ford Cork Week, saw 1996 Soling Olympian, Andy Beadsworth, who will represent Great Britain in the Soling class at the forthcoming summer Olympics in Sydney, join skipper Harold Cudmore aboard Barlo Plastics, a John Corby-designed Oyster 41.5 ft prototype yacht.

After a cloudy start to the day and notably light airs, the first race got underway at 1420 in a breeze of 5 – 6 knots. Barlo Plastics chose the starboard end of the line and secured a clean start from Olympic helmsman Beadsworth. Barlo Plastics was up with the leaders and tacked away from the fleet to gain a clear advantage from her rivals, including four Farr 40s, before rounding the first mark in a strong fifth position. The 26-strong Class 0 fleet sailed a Figure 4 course, in procession, about three miles South of Roches Point. Cudmore and his crew, which includes some of the UK’s best names in yachting such as Lou Varney, Guy Barron and Ian Moore, crossed the line in fifth to take first place on handicap.

The second race got underway in a slightly increased southerly breeze of 6 – 7 knots and saw Barlo Plastics secure their second clean start of the day, this time in bright sunshine. A second place behind Roy Disney’s Pyewacket confirmed Barlo Plastics as joint overall leader in Class 0 following an encouraging first day’s sailing. Skipper Cudmore said: “We have sufficient pace against the Farr 40s, our main rivals in the fleet, and we are keeping up with the big boats in our class including Pyewacket and Highland Fling. We are very pleased with our boat speed as we seem to have a slight edge against the other boats. Andy Beadsworth [helmsman] did a grand job at the start, and his Olympic-trained skills came into play early.”

Commenting on today’s successes Beadsworth, a former Youth World Champion in the Laser class, said: “We got a flying start which puts us in a great position, we hit the line at real pace and certainly put the wind up our main rivals, showing what a threat we are. The conditions were difficult and frustrating but the important thing is we emerged pretty well.”

Beadsworth’s vast match racing experience as a four-time winner of the RYA National Match Racing Series, as well as considerable success overseas on the World Match Racing Circuit, has made placing his 26ft Soling in a commanding position on the race course second nature. He continued, “This is very different to racing my Soling at Sydney, but just being out on the water keeps you competitively sharp and that’s the reason I am here.”