I was in Baltimore Sailng Club last week for the annual training camp run by the Optimist Association when 130 young sailors braved and overcame what were at times quite testing sailing conditions. I watched with admiration the impressive organisation of the event and the readiness of the youngsters to venture out on the waters of the bay when, I should honestly say, I would not have been over-anxious to do so myself. The Optimist Association is well-organised and they were at a club which is directing a lot of its efforts towards encouraging young sailors.
Baltimore Sailing Club undertook a major refurbishing and upgrading of its premises on the quayside in 2013 and also reinvigorated the organisational structure of the club which had been founded in 1956 as a Summer sailing club. This is the seasonal time when the population of the historic West Cork village is increased considerably by the influx of holidaymakers from Cork and further around the coast.
This weekend the Baltimore Laser Icicle Regatta is scheduled, deferred from the Christmas holiday period by bad weather. That will be followed at Easter when the club intends to introduce the RS200 to the classes which sail there.
Baltimore is setting a strong headline in the development of sailing.
Listen to the Podcast from my visit to Baltimore below and interviews with Michael Walsh, Club Commodore and Sheila O’Sullivan, Junior Sailing Organiser.