A record 630 yachts are competing in what has become one of Europe's most important regattas

Cork Week Day 1 Those crews that managed to resist the considerable temptation to party until the early hours on the eve of this year’s Ford Cork Week in the famous tented city, could well have felt frustrated the following morning. Had they known the night before that flat calm conditions and overcast skies would give rise to a three hour postponement and the chance to sleep it off, the evening’s entertainment could have been a different story altogether. Instead, most boats milled around with their full complement of crew on deck until 2pm when racing started in a breeze that never topped 6 knots true. In the light breeze Class 0 managed to complete both races with Richard Matthew’s Barlo Pastics (skippered by Harold Cudmore) winning the first race with Roy Disney’s impressive sled maxi Pyewacket coming second. In the following race the results were reversed with Pyewacket taking line honours and the race on handicap leaving Barlo Plastics as the bridesmaid. Class 1 saw Malcom Thorpe’s Mumm 36 King Louis win the first race and David Wadsworth and John Mulcahy’s Audacious pick up the honors in the second race. Meanwhile class 2 and 3 fought it out in the harbour race with Jacobite winning class 2 and the X362 The Big Cheese winning class 3. From my position on the leeward rail (yes it was that light all day) of Ken Trench’s Prima 38 Diva, the chat was of the hot potato of crew eligibility. A last minute change to the status of one of our crew meant that after special dispensation from the race committee we were moved to the professional circus in class 0 along with a 10 point handicap penalty. Several other boats fell foul of the strict ruling that this event enforces, ensuring that professionalism remains a hot topic at Cork. Also much in discussion, was the issue of where to sleep when your options diminish in the wee hours. Catching a taxi after an evening out might be straight forward in most towns, but by Sunday morning there were more stories about sleeping rough than there were about rating discrepancies as crews found themselves stranded in a drinking Nirvana. I too now know how uncomfortable a boat show stand can be for the night when it becomes your bedroom. I’m hoping to find better accommodation as my bearings improve.

Matthew Sheahan