No Confusion as women set record

Sligo Weekender Tuesday, July 06, 2004

THEY may have been abroad a boat called “Confusion” but there is no doubt about the fact that three Sligo women were part of a crew that set a new sailing record last week.
Sisters Fionnula Carter (24) and Eithne Davis(32) from Rosses Point and their friend Laoise Forkan(22) from Drumcliffe were part of an all female crew which took part in last week’s round Ireland race.
There were part of an eight-strong crew aboard “Confusion”, a 36.2 feet long X362 Sport sailing vessel owned by Doctor Brian Scanlon from Kilrush, County Clare, and skippered by his daughter Ruth.
They were one of 50 boats taking part in the 704 mile-long race around the coast of Ireland, which started and finished in Wicklow.
Although they finished almost a day behind the winners, their 32nd placing was still a creditable performance, considering they had one of the smallest boats. Most of the others were over 40 feet and one French craft was 60 feet.
“They thought we were mad taking part in the boat we had”, Fionnuala Carter told the Weekender.
They broke the existing record for an all-female crew by 10 hours in completing the race in five days, three hours and 52 minutes, having started on Saturday week last and finished on Thursday last.
Indeed Fionnuala reckons they could have done better but for problems they encountered off the west coast.
Very strong winds pushed them ahead at a great speed and at one stage they were lying sixth. But that stormy weather also forced them about 40 miles out into the Atlantic and other boats passed them.
In the Atlantic they encountered waves of up to 50 feet but Fionnula said they were so busy they hadn’t time to feel worried.
She also said that because of the conditions they were unable to cook so they were very grateful for the survival pack food sponsored by local firm MacSharry and Foley.
Overall, Fionnula described it as a great experience. “We laughed our way around it”, she said.