We attracted a lot of attention at Cork Week because as we discovered when we arrived there we were the first ever Australian Entry at Cork Week, we were surprised to hear this but although many Australian crews have raced at Cork – we entered as sailing on behalf of our home club Manly Yacht Club so we were officially the first Australian team to enter and Manly Yacht Club is therefore officially the first Australian club to have an entry at Cork Week which is held every two years.
As a result we featured in three national newspapers and on national radio! We also had a daily blog on www.sail-world.com under the title Cork Week 08 – The Aussie View
Sailing as Blackheart on a Jeanneau SO42 we had mixed results all week but everyone was thrilled with the whole event and the variety and quality of racing.
Overall conditions were light with just one day (Day 2) of strongish winds.
What winds there were, however were generally westerly which come straight off the Atlantic and can be pretty cold, so the crew were rugged up more than they would have been for a winter’s day racing in Sydney.
Weather conditions aside there were absolutely no complaints about the quality of the racing. There are five days of racing from Monday to Friday and each division is assigned to a different course on each day. So we knew in advance what course we were due to sail. These courses ranged from the trapezoid, to the harbour course with windward/leewards, olympic and slalom courses in between.
The favourite of these amongst the crew was the slalom course, which involved a long work to windward and then a zigzag of sorts. We had never sailed a course like this and loved it for its intricacy. The course had its detractors amongst some crews (particularly one design fleets) who felt than there was no opportunity for making big gains on long legs. We disagreed however, we felt that it was a nice change to have a course where the accuracy of the combined crew work and skill was put to the test due to having several gybes on each round. The crews who didn’t make any mistakes made the gains. Needless to say the Blackheart crew executed all of their gybes perfectly and in silence, a rare achievement on a racing yacht!!!
The harbour course also proved challenging due to strong tides as we raced up a narrow channel in light winds. Three boats ran aground on a sandbank and had to retire.
Off the racecourse, the race village, which is set up for the duration of the week, has to be seen to be believed. It is a tented village containing no less than five huge bars, food and retail outlets, a supermarket, chandlery and a large arena where a concert was held every night. With over 5000 sailors and 10,000 locals partying in the tented village every evening there was something for everyone!
The crew made up of Jane Roberts, Susan Strath, Jackie Morgan, Rebecca Sadleir, Laura Thomas, Paul Goodyer, David Parle and Anne Hogan and skippered by Chris Stockdale enjoyed themselves thoroughly and have already vowed to make a return trip in 2010.
The team was sponsored by Blackheart Adventure Industries and Suunto Watches and are very grateful for the support they received
The trip was organised by us here at Manly Sailing which is owned and operated by Anne Hogan and Chris Stockdale. Manly Sailing is planning on attending Antigua Race Week next year and Cork Week in 2010 so anyone who is interested can get in touch with us on www.manlysailing.com.au
But in the meantime we’ll be racing at Airlie Beach Race Week and Hamilton Island Race Week on Manly boat Copernicus with it’s owner and skipper Greg Zyner and more Manly Yacht Club Crew, so we hope to have some great results to report on from there.
The Airlie Beach Regatta Crew are: Greg Zyner, Chris Stockdale, Penny Meakin, Sally Stone, Al Thomson, Helen Buckland: all MYC members
The Hamilton Island Race Week Crew are: Greg Zyner, Leanne Zyner, Chris Stockdale, Jim Nixon, Rebecca Sadleir, Donna Bruce, Ian Dennewald, Stephen Teudt, Anne Hogan: again all MYC members.