Sigma classes add to bustle

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The Independent Online

As if Ford Cork Week were not a bustling enough affair, with an entry of nearly 500 boats this year, it also plays host to both the Sigma 33 and 38 national championships within a busy programme of racing which takes place here from tomorrow onwards.

The 33s have mustered a fleet of nearly 80 boats, twice as many as the class chairman Jack Kelly had hoped for.

The 38s, in addition to taking part in many feeder races, most of which started yesterday, begin their championship proper with an overnight race tomorrow.

The biennial event is now the second biggest regatta in the British Isles, behind only Cowes Week - an event which is swollen by a considerable number of day boats to over 700 craft.

It attracts entries from southern and northern Ireland as well as England, Scotland and Wales, and has deliberately focused itself on club racers rather than professionals - though there are many here who have served their time on top Grand Prix boats.

With a mixture of short and medium length day races, plus a vigorous social programme ashore, it shares with the Rover Series at Tarbert an appeal that has made it one of the most popular destinations in the calendar.