The big boats were thrown into confusion on day 2 of Cork Week which resulted in flurry of protests from disgruntled competitors.

The big boats were thrown into confusion on day 2 of Cork Week after some procedural errors by the race committee brought a flurry of protests from disgruntled competitors. In the IRM division, Farr 52 Chernikeeff 2 sailed for the finish line after just one lap of the light wind windward/leeward race, believing she had heard a message over VHF radio that the course had been shortened. Peter Harrison’s team sailed past the twin leeward marks towards where they expected to find the finish, only to discover it hadn’t yet been laid.

Helmsman Ian Budgen turned the wheel and took Chernikeeff 2 back towards the leeward marks, but her four-minute advantage over rival 52 Bear of Britain had now been converted to a two-boatlength disadvantage. A tacking duel ensued(see photo), with Bear’s helmsman Stuart Childerley bouncing Budgen out to the right-hand side of the course. Bear hooked into a breeze line on the port layline that Chernikeeff never found and Kit Hobday’s young team came home easy winners. Chernikeeff sought redress in the protest room for their aborted journey to the finish line and were awarded two minutes back on their time. More protests are yet to be heard in the IRM division, but for the time being Rebel appears the class act, with the red IC45 having won both races to date.

For the Z86s that led the IRC 0 division around the mist-bound course, it was an easy victory for Roy Disney’s Pyewacket as Morning Glory repeated her tendency to start overcautiously. Hasso Plattner’s team have managed to win most of their duels with Pyewacket at other regattas this year, but they will have to step up their game if they are to prevail at Cork. They were denied a chance to fight back yesterday afternoon as the race committee wisely decided to cancel the second race for the big boats, the light airs dwindling to nothing. The DK46 Erivale leads the IRC 0 division, helped by a strong contingent of professionals including Tim Powell at the helm, along with Gerry Mitchell and Andy Hemmings.

For the Cork 1720s, racing at this regatta represents a return to the sportsboat’s spiritual home. Leading the fleet after three races, however, is Craig Mitchell’s Solent-based boat Mr & Mrs, although there is plenty of Irish talent chomping at his heels, notably Anthony O’Leary in second place. After two frustratingly light days, more wind and sunshine is forecast for day 3 today, which could bring a change of fortune in many classes.