Clubhouse leader Tanit must now await Cavatina’s arrival

After five days of racing in predominantly light winds, Cavatina had until just after 2am to reach Wicklow

Clyde's Tanit, from the Serpent Yacht Club, got the better of Liam Shanahan's Ruth for the clubhouse lead in yesterday's Round Ireland Race climax, but celebrations for an overall handicap win were on ice last night in Wicklow until the performance of former double winner Cavatina – still at sea – could be assessed.

After five days of racing in predominantly light winds, Cavatina had until just after 2am to reach Wicklow, a scenario not uncommon with recent editions of Ireland’s 700-mile offshore classic.

Yesterday lunchtime, Ruth, of the National Yacht Club in Dún Laoghaire, looked all set to be the leader until a combination of light wind and adverse tides held her up within sight of the Wicklow finish.

With boats in the 36-boat fleet still to finish this morning, the Richard Harris-skippered Tanit is not guaranteed to be the overall winner, but as closest contender Cavatina needed to average over six knots for the remaining 70 miles and was only making four knots at teatime, it looked increasingly likely the Scottish crew would be declared 2014 winners.

With barely time to draw breath between proceedings at Wicklow – tomorrow’s BMW Royal St George YC regatta on Dublin Bay and the first race of Volvo Cork Week next Monday – there’s a packed fortnight ahead for Irish sailing.

Certainly, there is no stopping the Ruth campaign also slated for competition at Volvo Cork week.

Shanahan joins a fleet of 104 for the biennial regatta that will toast some fine Cork harbour campaign performances, not least Anthony O’Leary’s British IRC win in June. ICRA wins for Royal Cork yachts Jump (Conor Phelan) and Jelly Baby (Ian Nagle) will also be saluted as well as Cove Sailing Club’s win of the Corinthian Quarter ton Cup on the Solent by Jason and Dominic Losty’s Illes Pitiuses last weekend.

In one of the final tune ups before the Commodore’s Cup, Cork harbour will be the venue for Marc Glimcher’s American Ker 40, Catapult, O’Leary’s Antix and Niall Dowling and Michael Boyd’s Quokka, to come up with a game plan as to how Ireland’s single three boat team can outwit four French and four British teams to regain the Commodore’s Cup on July 19th.

Makes its debut

On Dublin Bay, a brand new foiling Moth dinghy, designed and built in Ireland, makes its debut tomorrow in a 12-boat fleet for the Frank Keane BMW Royal St George regatta. The new boat capable of speeds up to 30-knots by virtue of its hydrofoils is designed by Wicklow’s Chris Allen and will be sailed by pioneering Moth sailor John Chambers.

A week after the regatta – featuring a new try sailing initiative in club 1720s – the Royal St George hosts the biggest international sailing event of the year when it stages the Optimist European under-15 Sailing Championship from July 12th-20th. A sizeable contingent of the 254 competing boys and girls have already arrived in Dún Laoghaire. Tomorrow’s Leinster championships at the same venue – and with entries capped at 200 – has, as a result, a much more international line-up than usual.

A team of 14 Irish Optimist sailors will be among those representing 44 countries at the Euros, drawn from as far afield as Argentina, Bermuda, India, Japan, Hong Kong and New Zealand.

On Belfast lough, Top Australian crew Glenn Ashby is one of the crews competing in Monday’s F18 Catamaran World Championships at Ballyholme Yacht Club.

Cork's David Kenefick sailed into Cherbourg to complete his second La Solitaire du Figaro race in 23rd place overall from a fleet of 38 professional skippers.

David O'Brien

David O'Brien

David O'Brien, a contributor to The Irish Times, is a former world Fireball sailing champion and represented Ireland in the Star keelboat at the 2000 Olympics

READ MORE