THE Irish Commodores’ Cup team came, sailed and simply wiped the floor with the opposition, in the process racking-up the largest winning margin in the regatta’s 22-year history.
Up against eight other three-boat teams in the biannual event – which features mainly amateur sailors with a restricted number of professionals allowed – the Irish trio led from the start and were never seriously challenged.
The chasing pack did exchange positions though.
Even after a poor performance in the penultimate race round the Isle of Wight, team Ireland went into Saturday’s final race with a hefty 94.5 point advantage.
And in yet another day of Mediterranean-like conditions with a searing sun and light winds, the Irish just demolished the opposition.
In typically dominant fashion, all three of their boats finished in the top four on corrected time in the final race.
Ireland ended the Brewin Dolphin Commodores’ Cup with 268 points and an unprecedented lead of 173.5 points.
‘The amount of work that all 31 people have put in over the last five or six months has been considerable,’ said Ireland team leader Anthony O’Leary.
‘We are very lucky that it all paid off in the end.
‘There is a lot of experience with three boats and it gelled very well and there was great encouragement from one boat to the other.
‘You don’t often get a chance to sail as a team – which is the really good thing about this event.’
Aside from the winners, those with the largest smiles at the end were the French, who had committed four teams.
Going in to the final race, France Green was in second spot, but dazzling performances by France Red and France Blue demoted their compatriots along with the highest placed UK team, GBR Red, which dropped from third to fourth.