Ford Cork Week guarantees some of the best racing this side of the Caribbean series’. We look at who’s who at this year’s event running July 13 to 19…

Ford Cork Week guarantees some of the best racing this side of the Caribbean series’. We look at who’s who at this year’s event running July 13 to 19?

Keen competition is certain given the quality of entries throughout the various classes for Ford Cork Week 2002. This year’s regatta takes place once again from the Royal Cork Yacht Club, with courses inside and outside Cork Harbour.

In Class IRC 0 fleet, which contains some of the largest boats (ranging from 40-48ft) one of the Corby designs, Gloves Off, will be sailed by Colm Barrington, who enjoyed a very successful competition at the event of two years ago. Other Corby 40s include, Converting Machine IV and Cracklin’ Rosie.

Return visitors, sure to sail competitively, are the Swan 651, Desperado, and Noonmark V. Other entries in Class Zero include Kirribilli, entered by Lynne Flynn of the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron; and Anthem, entered by Tom Gill of the New York Yacht Club.

Leading contenders in Class IRC 1 will be one of the IMX 40s, the Cajou, sailed by, Pierre Blayau. Another competitive yacht will be Jackhammer IV, a Farr 39.5, sailed by Welsh-based Andrew Hall. The class time spread is only 2 minutes 07 seconds per hour.

The HOD 35s and the IMX 38s are set to predominate Class 2. Morris Mitton, from Dublin, and his young crew, sailed his IMX 38, the Exclamation, very well at the Sovereign’s Cup last year and is expected to sail competitively at the Ford Cork Week. Several Swan yachts are also grouped within this class where the class time spread is very tight at 1 minute 55 seconds per hour.

Class 3 will be very keenly contested among the 36.7s. The class time spread is 2 minutes: 7 seconds per hour. Class 3 contains many 35 and 36 footers including J/35s, J/105s, VAL 35, 36.7s and X36s. The J/35s and X-36s are very competitive and they could be the overall winners.

Class IRC 4 contains a mixture of boats and there is no predominant class. (Irish Guide Dogs ‘Wild Goose’, in this class), The class time spread is 2 minutes 25 seconds per hour.

One of the keenly sailed 31.7s in Class 5 is entered by Martin Reilly of Sligo who with Joe English had chartered the mighty Leopard for the Round Ireland Race until it was wrecked off Spain so he will be hungry for action at Cork. Also in this fleet will be evergreen Humphrey Go-Kart, entered by Eamon Crosbie, Padraig Sweeney’s Beneteau C’Est la Vie and local sailor Eddie Nicholson in Silver Shadow. The class time spread is 1 minute 51 seconds per hour.

Class 6 contains two hot sub-classes, Formula 28 and the Sigma 33. Formula 28s were the highest performers last time within their fleet. One of them, Harry Edwards’ Billy Whizz and his crew would have been judged Boat of the Week by the new results system. The total time spread is just 1minute 50 seconds per hour.

Class 7 contains a fleet of nine Impalas and a strong favourite within that class could be Zulu, sailed by Colman Garvey.

1720s will be sure to create their usual excitement with 34 entries. This class, named from the founding year of the Royal Cork Yacht Club, has consistently matched every fleet for sheer speed and competitiveness. Local interest will focus on former Admiral of the RCYC Anthony O’Leary in Ford Racing, just back from winning the Scotland trophy for Best Visiting Yacht and the 1720 Class at the Scottish Series in Tarbert.