For a small sailing club to win an event at the prestigious ACC Bank Cork Week Regatta is quite an achievement. For boats from a single club to finish first and second is an outstanding result. That is exactly what happened for Mayo Sailing Club in Cork this year. X-Rated and Roxanne finished first and second respectively in the X332 Class. It’s no wonder the champagne corks popped.
To set the context, Cork Week is the biggest club regatta in Europe. It is the single most important sailing event in the country with 4,000 boats competing for prizes. The event is held every second year. In 2006 X-Rated, owned by John and Gair Gordon, Knockmore, Ballina, was the first boat from Mayo Sailing Club to win her class. This year four X332s from Mayo Sailing Club competed in the class. The racing was tough and challenging, the series was the best of eight races, with one ‘discard’ (the poorest race result is discounted ).
X-Rated was quick off the blocks on Monday, winning both races, and that proved to be crucial as the week progressed. Tuesday also had two races and Roxanne, owned by Robin Smith from Westport, won the first of these. The second was won by an English challenger called Brightwork and this was the only race of the week not won by either Roxanne or X-Rated. Wednesday had just one long race, called the Harbour Race, and X-Rated was victorious in this. Roxanne finished the regatta very strongly winning both races on Thursday, so everything came down to the wire for the final race on Friday.
At this stage, victory was certain for one of the two Mayo boats - the question was, which one?
Both boats had outstanding results for the week, three first places each and a scattering of seconds and thirds. X-Rated had discarded a fifth placing, leaving her in the driving seat, she needed to finish third or better and the series was hers. Roxanne needed to race as hard as she could and hope that X-Rated would slip down the fleet. Roxanne raced a superb final contest, starting well and leading most of the way. Her crew worked hard and she came in the clear winner of that last race. X-Rated started less well and her crew had to pull out all the stops to work their way back up the fleet, which they managed, ending up in second place and winning the class for the second time running.
Two other Mayo boats also competed in the X332 class, Xena owned by Ian and Ann Gaughan from Foxford, who finished in a very credible fourth place, and Excel, owned by Peter and Una Quigley from Westport, who were competing in their very first Cork Week and finished in ninth place.
Other Mayo boats making the long trip south to Cork for the event were Crozz, owned by Gerry and Maureen Daly, which finished 10th in the IRC 4 class, and Cuan Modh, owned by Ann Doherty, which competed in the gentleman’s class and won one race during the week. Seamus Salmon’s Saoirse also travelled down as a ‘mother ship’. All in all it was a wonderful Cork Week with fantastic sailing ranging from heavy weather and big seas, to light conditions which are challenging in their own right. The one constant was dry, warm weather, a true sailor’s delight.
This weekend Mayo Sailing Club hosts the Fireball Dinghy National Championships. The next events are the August Bank Holiday Weekend cruise to Inishboffin and the RNLI fundraising barbeque on Inishturkbeg on 10th August.