Light winds hampered the opening day of Cork Week Monday with some of the 500-strong fleet spending up to six hours at sea

Light winds hampered the opening day of Cork Week Monday with some of the 500-strong fleet spending up to six hours at sea. The event marks the European debut of the two MaxZ86 footers Pyewacket and Morning Glory whose continuing rivalry stepped up a gear in Ireland this week.

Their first race in Class Zero took in the scenic Harbour Course, starting outside Roche’s Point and passing in by the historic maritime port of Cobh.

Roy Disney’s Pyewacket took an early lead, extending up to three miles at one point before a lull just a few hundred metres from the finish brought Hasso Plattner and his crew back into contention just six seconds astern.

Disney took the bullet but was beaten by his German opponent by 20 seconds on IRC corrected handicap time.

However, the handicap difference has revealed a distinct difference between these supposed sisterships. Plattner sailed with his spinnaker pole on board, apparently at the Americans’ request to narrow the rating difference. Had they left this ashore, they would have gained another three points on their handicap.

Meanwhile the late breeze that brought Plattner his pyrrhic victory saw the smaller Class Zero boats sweep in behind on the ebb tide to oust the maxis to a mid-fleet standing after day one.

IRM class

The Farr 45 Rebel steered by Dave Lenz took first blood in a high quality IRM Class fleet here on the first day of racing at Cork Week.

Racing on the notorious Harbour Course, the race officers set an ambitious full course of 36 miles, perhaps keeping the big IRC Class Zero boats happy, such as the Z86s but for the smaller IRM boats it proved a long and frustrating day.

A double circuit across the Ringabella bay did not exactly tax the tacticians, rather it was down to the trimmers and helms to maximise the boatspeed on the simple straight line circuit.

The beat up towards Cobh had its lottery moments, and increasingly so the further up the natural harbour. Not for the first time at Cork Week was the colourful townscape, with its brightly painted houses and landmark cathedral, witness to some spectacular holes in the breeze swallowing the hopes of the race leaders.

While the Farr 52s, Chernikeeff 2 and Bear of Britain, did best to knit together the zephyrs and use their extensive sail inventories to their fullest advantage, well up to time was the Farr 45 Babbalaas, with Jeremy Robinson steering and Ossie Stewart on tactics. But they were snared by a voracious hole and had to watch as Rebel sailed around them, going on to win by just 32 seconds from Peter Harrison’s Chernikeeff.

Chernikeeff bumped Bear from the race after successfully protesting them for failing to respond to a luff on the first reach, when Chernikeeff’s rig touched Bear’s spinnaker. Andi Robertson