The South Coast Offshore Racing Association (SCORA) honoured Claire Bateman at its annual general meeting held in the Royal Cork Yacht Club last night writes Tom MacSweeney. Claire, who died last year, was a stalwart of sailing journalism for Cork Harbour and coastal racing sailors. Her coverage of cruiser and dinghy racing was comprehensive and her dedication to the sport charted its development. With photographer husband, Bob, the couple were ever-present at sailing events. Their coverage spanned from major events to the smaller ones, providing an unrivalled level of sailing reportage on Afloat.ie in national and local media and was the foundation of the RCYC website.
Members expressed appreciation of the dedicated work which Claire had done for sailing, as she was remembered by the presentation of a memorial award to the “most enthusiastic boat in SCORA.” This was a photograph of the winning boat, Dave Lane and Sinead Enright’s J24 ‘Ya Gotta Wanna’.
Making the presentation Claire’s son, Rob, recalled how his mother had been encouraged by well-known Cork Harbour sailor Michael Wallace into the role which she adopted with the dedication and commitment which marked her approach to whatever task she undertook.
That commitment benefited sailing for very many years and was much appreciated by SCORA sailors. Her death has been a huge loss to the sport.
Her husband, Bob’s photography, once again recorded the success of the top sailors in SCORA whose awards for their victories during the season, presented at the AGM, were framed photographs of their boats in racing action. Taken by Bob, these are treasured prizes. He continues the work of recording sailing and racing in Cork.
The newly-elected SCORA Commodore, Kieran O’Connell, is Rear Admiral for Keel Boat Racing at the RCYC.
There was a big attendance at the annual meeting which agreed that a review of SCORA and its racing programme was needed. This follows a year when “SCORA dropped off the map” the members were told. More co-operation between South Coast clubs is needed, delegates agreed, with an emphasis on “bringing the fun back into sailing”.
Falling numbers participating in events and the urgent need to change that, by bringing newcomers into the sport, particularly younger people, were identified as crucial issues.