Irish entries produce stellar displays in RORC Caribbean 600

Conor Fogerty’s Sunfast 3600 Bam and the Michael Wright-chartered Lombard IRC 46 Pata Negra are flying the flag for the Dublin Club in the West Indies

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Irish offshore sailing fans can celebrate stellar performances in the West Indies Friday morning that look set to produce the biggest Irish trophy haul since Dubliner Adrian Lee’s overall win of the inaugural Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC) Caribbean 600 race, 10 years ago.

With George David’s Rambler 88 now confirmed as overall winner – completing a remarkable race treble – focus has turned to the various IRC class battles, two of which still have Irish boats very much in the frame.

Conor Fogerty’s Sunfast 3600 Bam and the Michael Wright-chartered Lombard IRC 46 Pata Negra are flying the flag for the Dublin Club and class wins in two divisions look likely as plucky Irish entries have consistently out performed much larger boats in the week long race.

High winds and mighty seas continued for the fourth day of racing yesterday. Eight teams have finished the race and 34 yachts have now officially retired, with 40 teams still racing last night.

Three boats with Irish links are in contention and are now all in the final Antigua-Barbuda-Redonda-Antigua triangle, with their finish at the south end of Antigua.

Among them is Irish Sailor of the Year Conor Fogerty, crowned earlier this month for his 2017 solo transatlantic victory, was leading the seven-boat IRC class three fleet with a commanding lead and a 50-mile windward leg left to the finish in Antigua.

Crewed entirely by amateurs, Fogerty’s Jeanneau Sunfast 3600 previously won class three in 2016.

In class one, Pata Negra, a boat chartered by Fogerty’s club-mate Michael Wright of Howth lies second in IRC one with USA J44 entry Spice, crewed in part by Dun Laoghaire’s National Yacht Club sailors, lies in third place.

Retire Among the 34 retirees, was the combined National YC/Malahide YC crew of Bernard McGranahan and Dermot Cronin with the J/122 Noisy Oyster, who had rounded most of Guadeloupe, but then had to retire.

Overall, race record’s tumbled with George David’s American Maxi Rambler 88 setting a new monohull race record of one day 13 hours 41 minutes and 45 seconds and completing a unique treble taking line honours, the new course record, and overall victory in IRC, all in the one fell swoop.

Elsewhere, before setting sail from Liverpool on August 20th, 2017, Clipper 2017-18 Race round-the-world crew member Roseann McGlinchey’s total sailing experience only consisted of three levels of Clipper Race training. Seven months and over 20,000 nautical miles later, it’s fair to say a lot has changed.

Since the race began McGlinchey and her HotelPlanner.com team have crossed three oceans and taken part in seven races, the highlight being a win in the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race Clipper 70 Class, which doubled as Race Five. But still the 24-year-old, who is from Lifford, in County Donegal, and studied in Derry-Londonderry, says she has trouble believing what she has already accomplished at the half way point of the race.

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