Sunday 22 April 2018

Sailing: Dwyer's crew dig deep as Ireland extend lead

James Hall

In a strong show offshore, Ireland's Commodores' Cup team has extended its overall lead at Cowes following the conclusion of a 190-mile race that started on Tuesday. Dave Dwyer's won its class after an intense match with a former Irish champion boat.

In the overall standings for the event that has never been won by Ireland, the three-boat squad now has a 29.5-point advantage, while the Hong Kong team has moved up to second place as the main challenger.

While Dwyer's Class 2 boat won, team captain Anthony O'Leary on Antix scored a second place while the Class 3 entry Roxy 6, skippered by Andrew Creighton, was fourth.

In contrast to previous years, when this long course proved the undoing of Irish challenges due to light winds, this year saw constant fresh winds throughout the duration of the race on the English Channel that lasted almost 30 hours for the slowest boats.

"It was a grind and the lads on really dug deep and there was a good atmosphere on board," said tactician Andy Beadsworth. "We worked really hard and there a couple of moments when we could have had a disaster but we managed to bring it back from the brink."

Aside from a constant battle with Hong Kong's Blondie IV which, like the rest of that team, comprises former Irish racing boats, Dwyer's team had to contend with rounding-marks that were off their official stations and other navigational issues.

The entire team's focus now switches to the remaining three races of the series that continues with a long-inshore course today.

Irish Independent

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