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A ‘World Cup’ Recovered for the Rankins!

6th September 2019
Sailors discuss the finer points of Rankin sailing Sailors discuss the finer points of Rankin sailing

Ardmore is a lovely village on the Waterford coastline, not far from Youghal. It’s a seaside resort and was once a busy fishing village, though that period has largely passed.

The meaning of its name in Irish is ‘Great Height’ and it is believed to be the oldest Christian coastal settlement in Ireland. According to legend, Saint Declan lived around there in the period 350–450 AD and ‘Christianised the area before Saint Patrick arrived in Ireland.

"It may not have the official stamp of ‘World Sailing’ but this ‘world cup’ has something unique – a successful revival of traditional sailing dinghies"

Now it is linked with Cork Harbour in another ‘Great Height’ and the revival of a unique ‘world cup’ of sailing, once held in Ardmore, now to be held out of Crosshaven.

It may not have the official stamp of ‘World Sailing’ but this ‘world cup’ has something unique – a successful revival of traditional sailing dinghies.

Fishermen in Ardmore had asked Eric Rankin in Cobh to build salmon boats for them and that underlined a connection between the area and the man who built the famous Rankin dinghies of Cork Harbour, whose renewal we have been following in Afloat.

Ardmore had its own fleet of Rankins, which were sailed and crewed by notable sailors from Cork when they raced together with local sailors at holiday time in the Waterford coastal village. They even held their own ‘world championships’.

That connection has brought to the Rankins now revived in Cork Harbour the ‘world cup’ from Ardmore, which will be raced for by the Rankin fleet which will be reaching its own ‘Great Height’ next week, September 14 and 15 during the DinghyFest in the harbour. Twenty Rankins are expected, which would be the biggest number to take to the water together since the revival that was orchestrated by Maurice Kidney from Cobh and Conor English in Crosshaven.

They will race out of the Royal Cork at Crosshaven and it should be some sight.

• To get a flavour of this ‘world cup’ for the recovered trophy, listen now to the Podcast where Maurice Kidney describes the Ardmore connection and the well-known names involved in the Rankins who are expected to sail. The first of the Rankins ever built will be racing, as he describes the contenders for the ‘world Rankin title’.

Tom MacSweeney

About The Author

Tom MacSweeney

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

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