Yachting World's Matt Sheahan reports from the rail of Ken Trench's Prima Diva at Cork Week...
Within 500 metres of the windward mark there was little prospect of laying on starboard and every chance of watching our rivals take a jump on us as we fell away from the lay line during the third day of Cork Week. Yet within seconds, our position relative to the mark improved dramatically – so much so that we were suddenly laying the mark and looking pretty smart with it. Just a few seconds later the navigator and tactician were preparing to take full credit for the smart call in identifying such a local tide effect and bringing us back into the race. Until that is, the real reason was revealed. David Aisher’s Yeoman 25 had snagged the windward mark and was storming off downwind with large dayglow inflatable in tow! Thanks all the same though.
Other than this there were few dramas for the Class 0 fleet. We’ve all got used to Pyewacket’s impressive speed and although the ‘inner loop’ Olympic-type course, (a square shaped course followed by a windward leeward leg), showed all the signs of providing some interesting tactical decisions, the result was more of a procession than a close quarters scrap. And a fight was clearly what most boats seemed to want at the start of the second race, when it took three starts to get the fleet away. In the process, Babbalas, one of the class favourites, seriously hampered her chances of end of the week Champagne by getting black-flagged on the third start.
Nevertheless, weatherwise there’s little to complain about with bright sunshine and 10-12 knots of steady breeze sweeping across all of the five courses for the entire day. It doesn’t get much better than this.
On the more practical side, we are now convinced that early sober nights don’t work, so it’s back to the usual regime along with the other 8,000 crews. Anyway, if you’re looking for a lift home after a good night partying, it’s easier to spot taxis in the daylight and safer crossing the road!