An intense battle began to unfurl yesterday in the waters below the historic Camden Fort Meagher in Crosshaven, Co. Cork.
For the next five days 52 of the world’s top female match racing sailors will compete for the title of 2014 ISAF Women’s Match Racing World Champion and the €10,000 prize fund. The regatta, which is being sailed in Cork Harbour, will conclude this Sunday (08 June) after a physically and mentally gruelling of 130 one-on-one scheduled races.
A beautiful sunny June morning greeted the crews as they travelled out to the race area at 9.30am. International Race Officer Peter Crowley ensured racing got underway on time and the freshening north westerly breeze made sure there was plenty of action for spectators.
Among the 13 international teams representing eight nations are two Irish entries skippered by Laura Dillon from Howth Yacht Club and Mary O’Loughlin from Royal St George Yacht Club in Dublin. The very first race was between Dillon’s Team Ireland 1 and Team Sweden 2 skippered by Caroline Sylvia. The first day nerves settled quickly and Dillon’s team matched Team Sweden 2 on their every move. Team Ireland 1 crew Maria Coleman (ex-Irish Olympian) commented “The day was challenging for everyone, ensuring you gained the maximum of your upwind boat speed however this let us down a little today, but we know we have the pre- starts nailed”. Unfortunately a mighty broach by Dillon cost the Irish team the race and it took some time to rectify.
Team New Zealand skippered by Claudia Pierce and crewed by her Irish team mates had a sparkling day. “We had a great pre start against Anne Claire Le Berre’s Team France pushing her out and making her do penalty turns at the start. This let us get away and sail clean for the race”.
However, it was the two Danish teams that dominated the day. World #1 Camilla Ulrikkeholm and World #4 Lotte Meldgaard Pedersen ensured straight wins for all of their respective races. They were followed closely by Stephanie Roble of the USA with only one loss of the day.
Further action is expected tomorrow, with a favourable breeze of between 10-15knts from the southeast. Spectators will be well entertained and looked after from Camden Fort Meagher.
Event organisers had planned a ‘Sail in the City’ festival for this Friday (06 June) but due to the forecast of heavy rain and strong winds the decision has been made to cancel the event.