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News 2001
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LCSC at Cork

There were two boats entered under the LCSC banner at Cork Week 2002 but, as you would expect for an event rumoured to provide the best beer tents west of Munich, a large number of members also found places on a selection of other boats.

The LCSC entries originally comprised two Sigma 38s, Arbitrator and Sigmaverick, the former skippered by Peter Hopps and the latter by Sarah Callaghan. Despite being 2nd fastest Sigma round the Rock west of Cork last year, Sigmaverick this year (suffering engine blow out) failed to make it past Weymouth. Following a frantic search for another boat and a cross country trip to Falmouth, her crew chartered Summer Wind (a Jeanneau Sunfizz 40) to take them to Ireland. Summer Wind was re-entered in Class 4, but her crew soon realised that cruising to some local anchorages would be more suited to a boat whose racing days, if ever, were clearly long behind her.

LCSC represenation in the 25 strong Sigma 38 fleet was thereby reduced on Arbitrator, Mefisto, recent winners of the St Malo RORC race and with Andrea Thompson on board, and Supernatural with Ben Luddington. Arbitrator, under a new owner and skipper, faced the burden of having won the event in 2000. To remove any expectation of a repeat performance her crew was recruited, in the LCSC bar, largely on ability to party rather than having ever sailed together. The first few races demonstrated this clearly, with Arbitrator's crew noting an absence of noise and general panic levels in the opposition when rounding marks or indeed doing any manoeuvre involving more than simply steering. The 2nd last day finally saw them gaining their first top 3 position, despite the crew being so excited on rounding the last windward mark still 3rd that no-one had thought to bring the spinnaker up on deck. Having learned this lesson, amongst many others, the final day saw a jubilant crew coming 1st and 2nd, to gain 4th overall, one point and one place ahead of Mefisto and with Supernatural finishing 18th.

Competition in the Prima fleet was similarly intense, with club members on board Oz Privateer, Bounty Hunter and Kylidh. These finished 11th, 10th and 9th respectively in a fleet of 15, and with the last day's races again proving a happy hunting ground for the club as both Oz and Kylidh managed 2nd places. The X332s boasted a fleet of 29 boats at Cork, with assorted club members on X-Pression and X-rated. The latter, in finishing 13th, got the measure of the fomer at 17th, despite the absence of the crew mascot one morning nearly leading to a certain club member being left on the pontoon.

With light winds there were some days when starts proved tricky for even the Irish to organise. The Sigma 38s were getting increasingly tetchy on Wednesday, with the clock ticking past 4pm and the X332s in the race ahead of them about to try their 4th shot at getting a clean start (by now a black flag). Cue the radio from 'Lobster 1' (aka Rebel, an Irish Sigma so named after threatening to go round a lobster pot in the shambles of the (subsequently abandoned) overnight race) to the start boat. 'We turn into pumpkins if we are not in the bar by 5pm'. Response from Committee boat; 'Would that be a good thing or a bad thing?' Such is Cork Week.

High pressure racing, in warm light winds, builds up a big thirst. Fortuitously the Murphy's brewery is close at hand, as are an extraordinary number of hostelries to supplement the array of bars in the official enclosure. Corinthians at Cork, it seemed, were to be found in just about any one of them.

We will be back!
Hilary Cook



Copyright © London Corinthian Sailing Club, 30 Jul 2002