Racing as it should be

But more pork pies required!

We have travelled to Cowes for many years competing in events such as Fastnets’, Commodores Cups’ and UK IRC championships but our visit earlier in July this year beats them all hands down!

The Coutts Quarter Ton Cup offered three days of tight racing on windward leeward courses in the central Solent. Two Royal Cork Yacht Club Irish entries, Eamonn Rohans’ ‘Anchor Challenge’ and Neil Keneficks ‘Tiger’, joined an international fleet of 30 other quarter tonners to compete for the annual trophy.

Shortly after we arrived into Cowes two things became very apparent. The first was the welcome and sense of camaraderie which exists between boat owners and crews in this class. Crews actively mixed among each other, in some cases people renewing old acquaintances and in other cases people introducing themselves for the first time. Nowhere was this more apparent than on the first day when competitors remained on the dock for a few hours waiting for the breeze to fill in. This class is a club in the truest sense of the word and it was great to meet so many old and new faces over the course of the event.

It also quickly became evident the boats at this event mean business. The allure of this class is simply amazing, it attracting some of the best and most accomplished sailors in the Solent area and from abroad. Olympic medallists and coaches along with champions from many classes littered the dock all aiming to win the Quarter ton cup in this competitive, yet fun class.

The three days racing as expected proved super competitive over the tight windward leeward courses. While the racing in this class is under IRC it quickly became apparent that a more one design approach needs to be taken particularly as the top boats rate and perform so evenly. Seconds separated the boats throughout the three days racing both on the water and on corrected time. Despite this being the case no protests were heard - infringers instead adhering to the class secretary’s strict instructions to “keep it clean and do your turns”