Irish team deliver consistent display with second-place finishes

Commodores’ Cup team with commanding 99.5-point lead after tricky day on The Solent

 The start of race four with Ireland’s Antix in a clear position in the middle of the fleet on the fifth day of racing in the Brewin Dolphin Commodores’ Cup at Cowes. Photograph: David Branigan/Oceansport

The start of race four with Ireland’s Antix in a clear position in the middle of the fleet on the fifth day of racing in the Brewin Dolphin Commodores’ Cup at Cowes. Photograph: David Branigan/Oceansport

Fri, Jul 25, 2014, 01:00

Ireland’s Commodores’ Cup team emerged from yesterday’s three races with a commanding 99.5-point lead after a tricky day on The Solent in light winds and strong tides.

The three-boat squad delivered a consistent day on the windward-leeward course with the crews on Catapult and the chartered Quokka 8 scoring second places. Team captain Anthony O’Leary on Antix also had a second.

Catapult, owned by Marc Glimcher who has brought his US IRC champion boat to the aid of the Irish team, is also locked in a battle with another Ker 40 footer as Britain Red’s Cutting Edge is seven points ahead in the stakes to be the best performing individual boat. But this series is decided on team performance and each of the other eight squads appears to have at least one weak link that is dragging on their overall standings.

Just two opportunities remain to turn the tables on the Irish leaders. Today’s round the Isle of Wight that counts for bonus points could be the first. Despite pressure from competitors, the race management team is to press ahead with the 50-mile race in the face of a light wind forecast.

Tomorrow’s final is set to be a short inshore course, probably a windward-leeward type course similar to yesterday’s that allows shortening if the wind dies and counts for double-points. If either or indeed races turn into lottery results, the Irish team will need every one of their near 100-point margin to soak up any losses to secure the Commodores’ Cup for only the second time.

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