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Welcome 'Great Island Sailing Club', a New Yacht Club in Cork Harbour

19th March 2018
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Yachts competing off Cobh in Cork Harbour in the annual Cobh to Blackrock Race Yachts competing off Cobh in Cork Harbour in the annual Cobh to Blackrock Race Photo: Bob Bateman

Cork Harbour will have a new name in sailing this season - the Great Island Sailing Club, formed to ensure the continuance of sailing at Cobh, following difficulties which arose in Cove Sailing Club as it attempted to build a marina at Whitepoint.

The development is on an amicable basis between the two clubs, according to both.

“The aim is to ensure that sailing continues and develops in Cobh and the new club is open for membership and registration,” said Johanna Murphy, Commodore of the new club where the Sailing Secretary is Pat Coakley

Kieran Dorgan, Commodore at Cove Sailing Club, said that club is continuing to pursue the completion of the marina. “The Committee are working to resolve the situation and wish to support sailing/boating activities in any way it can. We are fully committed to getting the club through the current situation, the marina completed and to continue with sailing/boating in the coming years. The centenary anniversary of the club is due to happen next year and our aim is to have the marina in place for the people of Cobh.”

“Everyone is working together to ensure that sailing continues and develops. That is what we all want for the harbour and for Cobh. Concentrating on that is what the Great Island Sailing Club will be doing,” said the Great Island SC Commodore, Johanna Murphy. “Things are progressing after the difficulties which arose, which it was necessary to resolve to ensure the continuance of sailing activities.”

Meetings were held over the past few months to resolve the situation, when members expressed concern that sailing activities were being affected by the demands of developing the marina.

The outcome is a decision to form the new club, to which cruiser and dinghy sailing is moving, while Cove Sailing Club continues in existence, with its focus on the marina. Cove SC is making its resources of support boats and dinghies available to the new club.

Developing a marina is a challenging and financially demanding business. The plans of Cove SC were hit when an expected and, it is understood, promised financial support grant from the public body, SECAD, did not materialise. The Port of Cork, which encountered public opposition to its own plans for major development at Ringaskiddy amidst concerns, particularly at Monkstown, for its possible impact on sailing, expressed objection concerns about the Cove SC marina plans, apparently because of its own expansion of cruise line berth facilities at Cobh.

A formal launch is planned in May, with a programme for both cruiser and dinghy sailing and the continuance of junior training.

The new club will be involved in joint sailing with the Royal Cork YC and Monkstown Bay SC, the Naval sailing Squadron and Eddie English’s Sail Cork, according to Johanna Murphy.

• Podcast below

Published in Tom MacSweeney
Tom MacSweeney

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Tom MacSweeney

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Tom MacSweeney writes a weekly column for Afloat.ie. He also presents the maritime radio programme This Island Nation on community radio stations around Ireland.

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