Irish fight back at Nations Cup

Racing resumed at 10:00hrs Friday morning for the penultimate day of the ISAF Nations Cup Regional Final in Kinsale, County Cork with the Irish team claiming four wins and climbing up the ranks to fourth. Tight racing was expected through out the day as Danish helm Mads Elber and his team tried to maintain their lead

The Flight 4 Match 4 resail between Ireland and Slovenia got away first. Trying to put the memories of their OCS behind them John Sheehy and his team from the Royal St George set about to try and claim victory over the Slovaks. An excellent pre-start manoeuvre allowed Sheehy to shake off his competitors and place him in the controlling position.

As the countdown went through it was Ireland who had the better boat speed off the line. However team Slovenia seemed to be able to point slightly higher and this allowed them to gain on the Irish. A very close tacking dual proceeded as they made their way up wind to the first mark. Those who could get the team work right here would take the advantage; the Irish did it with a very smooth and early set.

This allowed them to gain valuable leverage. A slight delay with the Slovenians allowed the Irish to lengthen the gap. As the Irish sailed ahead they also had a dying breeze which allowed the Slovenians to catch up. As both boats parked on the downwind leg all they could do was cover and put the jury to work as the luffing match ensued. As they reached the bottom mark the wind had picked up and it was the Slovenians to take the lead and the win.

The wind was a steady 15 knots through-out the afternoon however a few squalls with gusts in excess of 20 knots did hit the racecourse. For the Dutch team a crew member had to be taken ashore and brought to hospital with a minor head injury that required stitches after being hit with the boom

However by mid-afternoon everything was to play for. Denmark maintained their lead but the pack was closing in, by lunch time teams including Slovenia, Finland and Estonia all in joint second were vying for the hallowed spot in the Nations Cup Grand Final in Brazil.

As dusk settled over the ruins of Charles Fort on the penultimate day of the Nations Cup Regional Final it is team Denmark led my Mads Elber leading the event. Great Briatin (Guy Stephens) took the last win of the day as Solvenia who had incurred an early penalty did not release it in time to prevent the Britain’s crossing the line ahead.

This left Slovenia helmed by Orel Jure in second and Finland’s Jon Eriksson in third. Ireland had an exciting afternoon claiming four wins and climbed up the ranks to 4th. The remaining races for Round Robin 2 will be sailed tomorrow weather permitting as local forecasts show a deepening low pressure moving in with gusts of 30knots expected. Organisers have confirmed that a result can still be calculated if racing is cancelled tomorrow based on the races that have been sailed to-date.

Nations Cup - Overall Positions
1 DEN - 11 pts
2 SLO - 9 pts
3 FIN - 8 pts
4 IRL - 8 pts
5 POL - 7 pts
6 EST - 6 pts
7 GER - 5 pts
8 NED - 4 pts
9 GBR - 2 pts

Kinsale Yacht Clubis host to the ISAF Nations Cup 2009 Regional Final Europe (Open) II, from the 22-25th October 2008. The Nations Cup Regions Final is kindly sponsored of Cork, Cork County Council, The Irish Sports Council, Failte Ireland & Irish Examiner.

The Nations Cup Regional Final is a pre-qualifier to the Nations Cup Grand Final to be held in Porto Alegre Brazil, 23-28 March 2009. The ISAF Nations Cup is a global competition to find the world's top match racing nation and to develop match racing infrastructure around the world.