Bristol, 12th August 2008 – Barry Hurley, originally from Cork, but now living in Dublin, has finished runner up in both classes of the bluQube solo 1000, single handed yacht race. His boat ‘Dinah’ (a modified JOD35) was 2nd in the open class, which is based on the actual placings of boats as they cross the finishing line and also second overall in the coveted IRC* class.
The bluQube Solo 1000 involved 3 legs (Mylor, England to Kinsale, Ireland – 185 miles, Kinsale to Santander, Spain - 525 miles and Santander to Camaret, France - 290 miles, covering a total of 1,000 miles. Twenty boats competed in the race which set off from Falmouth (Mylor) on 29th June 2008.
Barry comments on his success, "I am delighted with my performance in what is one of the most challenging races I have ever participated in. During the winter my friend Bob Hobby (a fellow sailing enthusiast and editor of the on-line sailing publication www.sail.ie) and I gave my boat Dinah a complete refit. Everything inside was rebuilt to make her lighter, stronger and faster.
Fortunately the preparation really paid off. During the race the storms were appalling, especially on the second leg. I had everything thrown at me with winds blowing over 40 knots, but Dinah stood up incredibly well. Conditions were so bad in fact that more than half the entrants did not complete the course.”
Lack of sleep is a major problem for competitors who often have to resort to power-napping for 10 to 20 minutes at a time. Sleep deprivation can also lead to hallucinations; Barry commented, “At one point, Yoda from Star Wars was sitting at the bow of the boat giving me directions!”
He continues, “During the trip I had many high and lows, the lowest point was when I had to drop all the sails during a massive storm in the Bay of Biscay and lost my autopilot remote control over the side of the boat! However, leading the fleet 24 hours into the last leg, ahead of much bigger and more powerful boats was exhilarating and more than made up for the earlier problems.”
Barry aged 31, has been sailing for over 20 years and spends every moment he can on the water. In addition he is no stranger to pressure as he balances his sailing hobby with his job as Head of Finance Operations for O2 Ireland.
He concludes, "Completing the bluQube 1000 Solo means that I have gained automatic entry into next years OSTAR. At 3,000 miles, it is one of the most testing single handed Trans-Atlantic races. I am really looking forward to this new challenge.”
*The IRC is a system of handicapping sailboats and yachts for the purpose of racing. Managed by the Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC) it allows sailors to compete on an equal footing with larger yachts therefore results are based on the sailing skills of the helmsman alone.
Established in 1996, Symmetry is a software company that specialises in the development and supply of business-to-business financial solutions within the UK. The company’s core product, bluQube, is a fully integrated financial and management accounting solution aimed at organisations ranging in size from £3M turnover to £250M turnover and with user populations from 2 to 800+ users. www.bluqube.co.uk
About Petit Bateau
Petit Bateau was formed by a group of entrants in the 2000 OSTAR as a means of exchanging information and expertise. Since then it has grown to a membership of over 360 sailors in twelve countries. Joining is free. The only requirement is an enthusiasm for short handed and solo yacht racing. All levels of skill and experience are welcome. The current membership ranges from novices to OSTAR winners, circumnavigators and Olympic medallists.
The PB forum allows immediate access to a wealth of expertise and advice, plus an archive of “posts” going back over 7 years. PB members now cooperate in organizing an extensive programme of quality single-handed races. In 2008 they will range from a four race series based in the Solent through to a 1000 mile oceanic challenge sponsored by bluQube accounting solution which has been designated the official qualifier for OSTAR 2009.
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