The penultimate day of Cork Week 2004 was dominated by the news of Hasso PLATTNER'S decision to withdraw Morning Glory from the event.
The decision appears to be a result of the intense rivalry between the German maxi and rival Z86-footer Pyewacket owned by Californian Roy DISNEY.
Yesterday (Thursday) saw Morning Glory protest Pyewacket over allegedly failing to give space when rounding the leeward mark during the first race of the day. The protest was upheld by a five-member International Jury but Morning Glory has already ended its series and did not start the afternoon race.
Meanwhile, the final day of racing for the 499-boat fleet sees few classes with certain outcomes though most have narrowed their contenders to just a few boats. Inevitably, the tented village at the Royal Cork Yacht Club was the liveliest it has been all week last night (Thursday) with crews taking full advantage of the extensive entertainment options.
In the 1720 Sportsboat fleet, Graeme SCOTT'S King Quick leads the class while pre-event favourite Anthony O'Leary on Antix has just Friday's racing to make the eleven-point leap from fifth overall.
The Laser SB3, X332, Impalas, Mixed Sportsboats, Gentlemen No Spinnaker and ECHO classes are all wide open among the leaders in each.
Just Class 3 under IRC handicap is certain with Robin AISHER'S Yeomantix continuing her three-day lead of the 39-boat division with an eleven point lead and a sixth place discard.
Hanging in the balance is the outcome of several classes such as the IRM fleet where Peter HARRISON'S Chernikeef 2 holds a slender two-point lead over David MCLEAN'S Babbalaas.
George SISK'S Wow from Dublin leads Class 1 with a two-point lead from Christopher SHARPLES' Maverick 2. In Class 6, Howth Yacht Club's Anthony GORE-GRIMES has one of the best scores of any boat in the regatta counting four firsts and an eighth.
Class Zero will be close affair though Disney's Pyewacket seems to be the clear favourite. The battle for second and third places remains open however and Robert ELLIOTT'S Erivale continues to hold Colm BARRINGTON'S Flying Glove in check.
Full reports, results and images are available on the event website.