Ireland has regained the lead in the Rolex Commodores' Cup by just half a point

Following yesterday afternoon and evening’s short offshore race, Ireland has regained the lead in the Rolex Commodores’ Cup. After three races the team comprising Chris Brown and Peter Harding’s DK46 Fidessa-Fastwave, Colm Barrington’s Ker 39 Flying Glove and Eamon Crosbie’s Ker 32 Calyx The Voice and Data People are now on 21.5 points just half a point ahead of GBR Black.

Held in 8-11 knots of breeze, the race proved tactical, the boats having to deal with two knots of current as well as a significant windshift on the initial beat to Owers that many teams had read the wrong way.

One of the worst to suffer was Adam Gosling’s Beneteau First 44.7 Yes!. “We got some advice that the wind was going to go to the south in the long race so we went that way to get it first and of course it went the wrong way and we ended up at the top mark among the last few boats in the whole fleet,” admitted Gosling. “Fortunately we gained a whole load back on the run. We got that right and we sailed the boat really well. We’ve got some slightly bigger sails for the boat for this event and a new A sail, which is really quick.”

Despite the Farr 52 Bear of Britain leading the fleet around the course, they finished sixth on corrected time, while the Netherlands team’s Holmatro won her third consecutive race, an impressive 12 minutes ahead of GBR Black’s Exabyte III of Shaun Frohlich.

In class 2 the Irish team’s Flying Glove have also scored three wins in a row. This was despite falling foul of the shift. The skipper Colm Barrington commented: “It went way to the left, from 120deg at the start to as low as 89deg. Unfortunately we were on the right when it went left, but we cut our losses and went over to the left and got on the inside of the shift up to the mark. Fortunately on the long run down we gained our time back. Coming back from the Owers we went way inshore and we got out of the current quite a bit. It is quite tricky in there with lots of rocks and wrecks. I think we gained quite a bit on boats further out.”

Stephane Neve’s Paprec Recyclage in the France Blue team finished second behind the Irish boat for the third successive occasion too. “The Irish boat was very fast. The whole part upwind we were in front of him, but downwind he was so fast there was nothing we could do,” admitted Neve.

Finally in the small boat class John Shepherd scored his second victory of the day aboard his chartered Ker 32 Fair Do’s VI. As in the windward/leeward race in the morning he was followed on corrected time by GBR Red’s Jeronimo and the Irish Ker 32 Calyx The Voice and Data People.

The short offshore comes with a co-efficient of x1, compared to x0.5 for the windward/leewards and x2 for Friday’s Channel Race.

Today is Rolex Trophy day and the first start is scheduled for 1030.