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.
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.
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
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!