Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Yacht Designer Ron Holland on Beating the English

20th June 2018
Ron Holland addresses a crowded bar at Kinsale Yacht Club Ron Holland addresses a crowded bar at Kinsale Yacht Club Credit: Bob Bateman

Ron Holland has been back in Ireland this week, at two yacht clubs he knows well - Kinsale Yacht Club and the Royal Cork Yacht Club at Crosshaven, across the Owenabue River from Currabinny where he designed race-winning yachts.

“If you want to be famous in Ireland, beat the English,” he told me when we talked in Kinsale.

“We took these boats, Golden Apple and Irish Mist, to England and beat the hell out of the English. So I became quite famous in Ireland in the 70s and that was fun.”

Ron HollandRon Holland signs a copy of his new book for KYC Commodore Dave Sullivan Photo: Bob Bateman

This is one of the stories he recounts in his book, ‘All the Oceans,’ from Cardinal Publishing, which he has been promoting on his book tour in Cork. Over 400 pages and with 200 photographs it recounts his life journey from his first sailing dinghy, a 7-footer, yes just seven feet, in New Zealand, to the designing of superyachts.

Kinsale Yacht Club BarThe gathering for Ron Holland at Kinsale Yacht Club Photo: Bob Bateman

He is photographed with the 7-footer at the end of the book – “Quite a nice way to finish the story of a sailing lifetime.”

Ron will be back in Ireland in September, visiting clubs in Dublin.

For this week’s Podcast, I started by asking him what was the attraction of sailing for him. In the interview, he has a strong message for young people - not to fear educational failure, but to be determined and to grab opportunities, which has been his personal experience, leading not only to Irish but international fame…

Listen to my Podcast interview with Ron Holland below.

Published in Tom MacSweeney
Tom MacSweeney

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Tom MacSweeney

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Tom MacSweeney writes a weekly column for He presents the monthly programme Maritime Ireland on Podcast services and Irish radio stations.

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