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Cobh Sailing Clubs Getting Back Together in Cork Harbour

22nd December 2019
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Signing the contract for Cobh Marina: Richard Marshall, Anne Ahern, Micheál O’Driscoll and Damian Ahern, committee members of Cove Sailing Club, with Paul Murphy of Byrne Looby and local councillor Cathal Rasmussen Signing the contract for Cobh Marina: Richard Marshall, Anne Ahern, Micheál O’Driscoll and Damian Ahern, committee members of Cove Sailing Club, with Paul Murphy of Byrne Looby and local councillor Cathal Rasmussen Photo: Colm McDonagh

With the competitive season now finished on the South Coast, attention turns to club activities ashore which will include annual general meetings and reviews of how the past season went and prospects for the year ahead.

Without a doubt the dominant part of 2020 will be the Tricentenary of the Royal Cork Yacht Club, but across Cork Harbour from that club at Crosshaven there is good news from Cobh, where the Royal Cork was once based before amalgamating with the Royal Munster and moving to Crosshaven.

The RCYC History notes: “By the 1960s changing economic and social patterns made Cobh less and less attractive as a base for the club. In 1966 the Royal Cork and the Royal Munster Yacht Clubs agreed to merge and the Royal Cork moved to its present premises in Crosshaven assuming the title The Royal Cork Yacht Club, incorporating the Royal Munster Yacht Club.”

Last year there were some difficult club movements in Cobh when a new club was formed - the Great Island Sailing Club. That was stated by its proponents to ensure the continuance of sailing at Cobh and that followed difficulties which arose in Cove Sailing Club as it attempted to build a marina at Whitepoint.

New Marina under construction

This year Cove Sailing Club reached and celebrated its centenary and signed the contract for a 30-berth marina at Whitepoint. That has been under construction across the river at Ringaskiddy, with completion and installation targeted for “well in advance of the 2020 season,” according to the club, whose Commodore, Kieran Dorgan, said it will provide “state-of-the-art facilities all-year-round and will accommodate both locals and visitors.”

The two clubs, Great Island and Cove have been discussing joining together again, according to my information and agreement has been reached so that a formal announcement is expected. Despite differences, close contact was maintained between the clubs, “in the best interests of sailing.” Johanna Murphy, who became Commodore of Great Island, also became the first lady elected Commodore of the South Coast Offshore Association where she has led a number of developments to bring clubs closer together.

SCORA is finalising an extensive programme for 2020 which, as well as racing, will include events to develop the social side of the sport, following the success of the Cobh-Blackrock Race, one of the highlights of the season on Leeside.

Dragons at Kinsale

Amongst the positive news from club reviews is that the Dragon Class at Kinsale Yacht Club had “a fantastic sailing season” according to its annual report, with the addition of two more boats to the fleet - TBD – James Matthews, Dave Good and Fergal O’Hanlon is one and the other is Scarlet Ribbons – Thomas O’Brien, Donal Small and Conor Hemlock. This brings the KYC club fleet to 7 and “there is talk of additional numbers joining the fleet next year,” according to the Class Committee.

The project is being completed with the support of Cork County Council, a Sports Capital programme grant, Port of Cork and SECAD. The selected contractor, Orsta Marina Systems Nederland BV, specialises in the design, supply and installation of floating breakwaters and pontoons for berthing of leisure and commercial vessels.

Listen to the Podcast here discussing the growth of interest in sailing.

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