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Cork Harbour sailors are being offered a different opportunity this season – to turn left rather than right when they leave Roches’ Point at the mouth of the harbour…

This will be a new departure for Cork Harbour boats.

Apart from the annual race to Ballycotton, which was revived in 2017, they have mostly turned westwards to Kinsale and onto West Cork when racing.

Xhale Cork HarbourDerry Good's Xhale is a regular offshore sailor from SCORA having previously competed in Gas Rigs Race Photo: Bob Bateman

The South Coast Offshore Racing Association (SCORA) has included a new Coastal Race to dominate the June Bank Holiday Weekend for Cork Harbour sailors when Great Island Sailing Club will run a race to Dunmore East on the Waterford coastline.

“We are really happy to be running this race,” said South Offshore Racing Association Commodore Johanna Murphy, also Commodore at the Great Island Sailing Club in Cobh. “It’s the first time in many years that SCORA has ventured East for a race and Waterford Harbour Sailing Club will put on a great reception for all boats taking part.”’

The plan is to start the race at 8 a.m. on Saturday, June 1, at Roche’s Point.

Waterford Harbour Sailing Club will finish it at Dunmore East.

On the following day the SCORA Plan is for the Cork Harbour fleet to stop in Youghal for lunch to see the new pontoon they have on offer, according to Commodore Murphy.

The SCORA calendar for the season includes the Kinsale Spring Series, which starts this Sunday; Calves Week in Schull and the RCYC Autumn Series. The ‘Offshore League’ includes the Kinsale/Fastnet Race, the race to Dunmore East and the Kinsale/Baltimore ‘feeder’ race to Calves Week.

All White Sail Classes will be included in the SCORA Leagues, as well as the Spinnaker boats.

“SCORA ran a Sailwave Results software training day at the RCYC and Kinsale YC ran an evening about Class handicap bands,” according to the SCORA Commodore. “Also this year SCORA will be providing online registration for all boats wishing to race in any SCORA League. It will be mandatory to complete this form to be eligible for a result in 2019.”

The SCORA Committee, led by Commodore Johanna Murphy includes club representatives: Cian McCarthy of Kinsale YC; Mel Collins RCYC; Michael Murphy Treasurer/Schull Harbour SC; Henry Jeffries Monkstown Bay SC; Rene Wuben, Waterford Harbour SC and Kieran Dorgan Cove SC.

• Listen to the Podcast below

Published in Cork Harbour

SeaFest and Cork Harbour Festival are coming together for Ireland’s biggest maritime celebration, which will take place in Cork this June. Cork City Council and the Inter-Departmental Marine Coordination Group (MCG) present SeaFest, a national free and family friendly maritime festival, at the Port of Cork on 7 - 9 June. This will be the culmination of a weeklong celebration of Ireland’s rich maritime heritage, as the annual Cork Harbour Festival runs from 1 – 9 June, with over 70 events for all to enjoy. The programmes of both festivals will be announced in the coming weeks. 

Having been held in Galway for the past three years, Cork City Council and MCG — made up of government departments with responsibility for marine matters — will now present SeaFest from 2019 – 2021. More than 100,000 are expected to attend the national annual festival on Cork city’s quays, celebrating what the ocean has to offer.

Speaking on today’s announcement, Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr Mick Finn said: “We are delighted that Cork city will enjoy two festivals this June, with nine action-packed days of activities focused on the water. While Cork Harbour Festival will celebrate Cork’s rich maritime heritage, SeaFest will acknowledge the value of Ireland’s oceans and encourage national engagement with our seas. These two festivals will be a spectacular showcase for both locals and visitors alike, with an amazing variety of family-focused events, exhibits, talks, demonstrations, and workshops soon to be announced.”

Cork Harbour Festival Manager Joya Kuin added: “June will be a fantastic celebration of all things maritime, with Cork Harbour Festival returning with another jam-packed programme and SeaFest docking at the city’s quayside for the next three years. The collaboration of the two festivals will highlight to a local, national and international audience our rich maritime culture and how easily it can be accessed for all to enjoy.”

SeaFest is part funded by the Government of Ireland and the European Union under Ireland’s European Maritime & Fisheries Fund Operational Programme for the seafood sector.

Published in Port of Cork

#cruiseliners - The Port of Cork writes the Irish Examiner, is expected to take advantage of a lack of space in Dublin Port for large cruise ships when Brexit forces authorities in the capital to handle increased amounts of freight and cargo.

Transport Minister Shane Ross described a decision by Dublin Port to significantly reduce its intake of cruise ships in the next two years as a “temporary blip”.

But the port's decision has triggered frustration among tourism services and cruise companies, especially if the €50m annual industry is damaged.

In the Dáil, Mr Ross said he was keen to reduce any adverse impacts on tourism.

He said Dublin Port authorities had briefed him about its priorities for Brexit and the need for extra cargo space.

“Given space constraints, it was explained that cruise berths will have to be limited for a period from 2021 onwards to allow this construction work to take place, while ensuring the port can continue to handle large cargo volumes,” the minister explained.

The newspaper has more on the topic here.

Published in Cruise Liners

#ports&shipping- In the UK, Babcock International has closed its Appledore shipyard yesterday, bringing down the shutters on the site in north Devon after almost two centuries.

As The Times reports, workers described the day as “heartbreaking” as they walked around the shipyard, where nearly 200 vessels have been built since 1855.

In November Babcock had confirmed that it would end its lease in Appledore after 11 years. Afloat adds the final ship to be built at the facility is the Irish Naval Service newest OPV90 / P60 class LÉ George Bernard Shaw which was floated-out just over a year ago. 

The FTSE 250 defence company said that it had taken the “difficult decision” because it did not have enough work to sustain the facility. Babcock’s 199 staff at Appledore have been offered the chance to move almost two hours’ drive away, to Devonport, in Plymouth, on the opposite side of the county.

Afloat also adds the €67m OPV which was designated pennant No. (P54) is berthed in Cork City along Albert Quay where the public had free guided tours today and they will continue tomorrow on St. Patrick's Day. The guided tours will be made available by the ship’s crew between 14.00 and 17.00 hours.

Published in Ports & Shipping

Cork Port Company says that mooring and boating fees for use of the harbour will all be reinvested in the marine leisure sector. They are being increased for this year.

The port has increased the charges for having a mooring by €5 per annum and also increased the charge for boats over six metres (19 feet) to use the harbour. The mooring charge is exclusive of any maintenance, servicing or other costs incurred personally by the owner. The charge does not apply to yachts berthed on a marina.

The annual charge for craft “resident for a minimum period of 180 days in any year” is now €10 per metre “or part thereof”.

Visiting craft arriving within the port limits will face an entry charge of €9.50 per night, subject to a maximum weekly charge of €60.

More about this in Tom MacSweeney’s Podcast. Listen below.

Published in Cork Harbour

A Cork Institute of Technology sailing team has finished third overall at the Port of Los Angeles Harbour Cup event held this weekend. 

As Afloat.ie reported previously, Led by 29er dinghy ace Harry Durcan of Crosshaven on the helm and captain Grattan Roberts, the sole Irish team competed in the Los Angeles Yacht Club (LAYC) and Cal Maritime Sailing hosted event.

The regatta used the identically matched fleet of Catalina 37s provided by the Long Beach sailing Foundational, these boats are used in the prestigious Congressional Cup.

They raced against the top five west and top four east coasts American Universities that include the Naval and Coast guard academies over the course of a competitive 3-day event. The College of Charleston won overall on 25 points, California Maritime Academy was second on 32 and the Cork Harbour team third on 39 points.  See overall results here

cit sailing 2

Published in Cork Harbour

This Thursday, Cork Institute of Technology (CIT) Sailing team, led by 29er dinghy ace Harry Durcan of Crosshaven on the helm and captain Grattan Roberts, will be competing in the Port of Los Angeles Harbour Cup Invitational Regatta, hosted by Los Angeles Yacht Club (LAYC) and Cal Maritime Sailing.

The regatta uses the identically matched fleet of Catalina 37s provided by the Long Beach sailing Foundational, these boats are used in the prestigious Congressional Cup.

They will be racing against the top five west and top four east coast American Universities that include the Naval and Coast guard academies over the course of a competitive 3-day event.

Training has been taking place on 1720s the past few weeks. After placing sixth last year including a few race victories and four returning crew members, they are really looking forward to returning to Los Angeles to have another shot at a great event and try again for a podium finish.

CIT Regatta team

Helm-Harry Durcan RCYC/BSC -1st year
Tactician-Ronan Cournane KYC -1st year
Main-trim-Scott O’ Sullivan KYC -2nd year
Trim 1-Grattan Roberts RCYC -2nd year
Pit-Anna Carthy BSC -3rd year
Pit assist-Morgan McKnight FMOEC 1st year
Float-Georgia Keating RCYC 1st year
Mast-Jack Stoat CSC -1st year
Bow-Mark Murphy, SHSC -1st year
Coach -Adam Hyland

Published in Cork Harbour

Saturday, February 16th saw the Laser sailors of Cork gather for the final day of the Monkstown Laser Frostbite League, sponsored by CH Marine writes Chris Bateman.

The morning began with a mixed sky over the bay. Patches of blue were seen in amongst ominous-looking clouds. A fresh breeze blew from the south, whistling through shrouds on the Sandquay. The bay looked inviting; a dark blue in colour and a slight chop disturbing the water.

The sailors arrived in Monkstown as early as ever. Sails were heard before they were seen, flogging in the strong wind. Without delay, Race Officer Alan Fehily set a windward/leeward course at the entrance to Monkstown Creek. Raring to go, the competitors took to the waters in record time.

The sequence began for race one at 10:15am, the exact scheduled time. Ten sailors worked hard to hold their positions on the line until the gun went. It was a clean start and the dinghies were seen battling their way up the course. The breeze was shifty, threatening to knock the sailors over with every gust. It was all they could do to stay upright and they had to sail carefully for three rounds. Sundays Well sailor Paul O’Sullivan stayed ahead of the fleet for the majority of the race, holding off MBSC sailors Rob Howe and Ronan Kenneally. O’ Sullivan took first place, with Howe close behind in second. Kenneally followed up in third place.

In the radial category, MBSC’s Harry Pritchard was the only one to test the conditions. He sailed fast, mixing it in with the bigger standard rig sailors.

The second race was challenging, with gusts of 25 knots hitting the water. The conditions were typical for Monkstown Bay; holes in the wind and a strong flood tide dominated the course. Paths were picked carefully and it was all but decided at the finish line. Kenneally sailed well and took first place, just in front of Howe who finished second. MBSC’s William O’Brien finished close behind in third place.

The third and final race of the league began in a more constant wind, averaging roughly 15 knots down the course. It was close racing off the start line and all the sailors tussled up to the windward mark. Kenneally took the lead early and fought to hold his position. O’Brien was in hot pursuit, contesting the laser ace. Howe sailed close behind, carefully covering the fleet.

Kenneally crossed the finish line in first, winning the last race of the league. O’Brien followed in second, with Howe close behind in third place.

The final race concluded and the sailors went ashore. A prizegiving was scheduled for 12:30pm and all the competitors looked forward to the warmth of the Bosun. Eighteen races had not been sailed for nothing; all of the sailors had raced in earnest for the prestigious Yard of Ale trophy, over six cold Saturdays. In the end, MBSC sailors dominated the top four positions. Former UK Laser Olympic squad member Rob Howe finished in fourth position. In third position was the well-known avid National 18 sailor Charles Dwyer. In second place was the two-time Monkstown laser frostbite league winner Ronan Kenneally. The winner of the Yard of Ale trophy was your correspondent, who finished just a point ahead of Kenneally.

In the radial category, Harry Pritchard from MBSC finished in first position; he was also the first person to win in this category. He sailed well and by the end of the league he had lots of race wins under his belt.

All scheduled races had been sailed and it was in high spirits the competitors left the Bosun, ready to enjoy another season of laser sailing. Rest assured they will be the first to start next year’s season, at the next Monkstown Laser frostbite league.

Photos below by Bob Bateman

Monkstown Bay Laser dinghy1Brendan Dwyer (foreground) Photo: Bob BatemanMonkstown Bay Laser dinghy1Rob Howe Photo: Bob BatemanMonkstown Bay Laser dinghy1Paul O'Sullivan (foreground) Photo: Bob BatemanMonkstown Bay Laser dinghy1James long (foreground) and William O'Brien (background) Photo: Bob BatemanMonkstown Bay Laser dinghy1Harry Pritchard Photo: Bob BatemanMonkstown Bay Laser dinghy1Ronan Kenneally (left) And Chris Bateman Photo: Bob BatemanMonkstown Bay Laser dinghy1Tight downwind on Monkstown Bay Photo: Bob BatemanMonkstown Bay Laser dinghy1Rob Bateman Photo: Bob BatemanMonkstown Bay Laser dinghy1Chris Bateman Photo: Bob BatemanMonkstown Bay Laser dinghy1Paul O'Sullivan bears away in a gust Photo: Bob BatemanMonkstown Bay Laser dinghy1The Lasers get a clean start Photo: Bob BatemanMonkstown Bay Laser dinghy1Ronan Kenneally (left) second in the standard fleet and Harry Pritchard radial winner Photo: Bob BatemanMonkstown Bay Laser dinghy1Monkstown Bay Laser dinghy1Chris Bateman with the MBSC Yard of Ale trophy Photo: Bob Bateman

Published in Cork Harbour

Saturday, January 26th saw tough conditions on Monkstown Bay for day three of the Monkstown Laser Frostbite League sponsored by CH Marine.

The third day of the Monkstown Laser league was a story worth telling. The skies appeared at daybreak revealing black clouds scuttering at tremendous speed across Cork Harbour. Halyards were slapping against the masts and white horses were beginning to form in the bay. A windy day was in store for the competitors.

An ominous forecast showed winds gusting up to 37 knots. With the forecast in mind, the sailors arrived at the Sand Quay in time for a short briefing held at 9:30 am. Deciding the conditions were manageable, the toughened sailors enthusiastically rigged their lasers. The howling wind threatened to blow the boats over but this did not stop the sailors from launching into the wild conditions on Monkstown Bay.

"The howling wind threatened to blow the boats over but this did not stop the sailors from launching into the wild conditions"

Race Officer Alan Fehily called for a windward/leeward course situated at the entrance of Monkstown creek. The residents of Alta Terrace had a view of the sailors battling their way out to the course to be on time for the 10:15 start.

Some sailors stayed ashore having decided the conditions were too rough; this left eight sailors fighting for position on the start line for the first race. The competitors got off the line cleanly and began the first beat to the windward mark. It was a hard fought battle between MBSC sailors Ronan Kenneally, and series leader Charles Dwyer. Kenneally held his lead for the majority of the race all the while getting heavily contested by Dwyer. Kenneally crossed the finish line, securing first. Dwyer finished close behind. MBSC’s Chris Bateman finished third.

In the radial fleet, Robert McGarvey of Innascarra Sailing Club was the only radial sailor to brave the conditions. This saw him take first place, while still contesting the standard rig sailors.

The second race was no less difficult with the tide beginning to strengthen. The sailors had to pick their path carefully for the first upwind leg. The first to round the windward mark was MBSC’s William O’Brien. Fending off MBSC’s Brendan Dwyer and Chris Bateman, he held onto his lead for the first downwind leg. A tight battle on the final lap saw Ronan Kenneally slip through, to contest with O’Brien and Dwyer. The first to finish was Bateman and in second place was Kenneally. Brendan Dwyer took third position.

Sailing the radial rig, Robert McGarvey was mixing it in with the standard fleet.

The third and final race of the day was a race that the sailors will never forget. The race was started quickly and the sailors got off the line cleanly. It was a close fight between Charles Dwyer, Ronan Kenneally and Rob Howe. The wind began to increase and the leading sailors were the first to notice. All of a sudden the wind strengthened even more. Gusts of thirty knots were blowing across the water, lifting the spray off the tops of the waves. Masts were bent double, and the lasers were flying downwind with their sailors hanging on for their lives. Kenneally attempted a gybe, immediately capsizing and letting Howe through. Heavy weather specialist Charles Dwyer blasted away from the fleet, his boat throwing several feet of spray into the air. The leeward mark saw gusts of thirty-five knots hitting the Lasers. It was a race of survival, and the sailors were doing everything that could be done to stay upright. Charles Dwyer took first place, having held a comfortable lead. In second place was Rob Howe. In third place was Ronan Kenneally, having recovered his position well.

"The leeward mark saw gusts of thirty-five knots hitting the Lasers"

With a feeling of relief, the sailors went ashore. Sandwiches and hot drinks were waiting in the Bosun for the competitors where they could relax after a hard day's work.

Published in CH Marine Chandlery

Laser sailors gathered on Monkstown Bay for Day Two of the Monkstown Bay Sailing Club Laser Frostbite League, sponsored by CH Marine writes Chris Bateman.

The morning dawned with a thick dreary fog laying over every inch of Cork Harbour. A beautiful sunrise cheered up the scene by illuminating the fog and casting an icy golden look over Monkstown Bay. Scroll down for photo gallery by Bob Bateman.

Monkstown Bay Lasers1There was an early fog in Monkstown Bay for the Laser racing Photo: Bob Bateman

Not a breath of wind could be felt and as the fog lifted slowly, the bay was revealed to be still as a mill pond. The sailors were not put off by the conditions and onlookers could see the competitors taking ice off their boats and eagerly raising sails.

Monkstown Bay Lasers1Monkstown Bay was like a mill pond Photo: Bob Bateman

A cold light wind filled in from the North West, blowing the rest of the fog away just in time as the sailors launched their boats from the Sandquay.

Monkstown Bay Lasers1

Race officer Alan Fehily set a windward/leeward course at the mouth of Monkstown Creek with time to spare for the 10:15 start.

Monkstown Bay Lasers1

The start sequence began for the first race and fourteen laser sailors scrambled into position on the start line. The sailors got away cleanly and it was a drag race out to the favoured left side of the course. It was a close battle between MBSC sailors Ronan Kenneally, Alex Barry and your correspondent. The light winds made for heated racing with tacking and gybing duels occurring throughout the race. Alex Barry decided to switch from the smaller radial to the standard rig and was proving to be very fast in the light conditions. Barry held first position on the downwind leg but capsized before the leeward mark. Kenneally then took the lead and went on to win the first race. Bateman finished second, Alex Barry finishing third.

In the Radial fleet, MBSC’s Harry Pritchard revelled in the light conditions, winning the first race with a comfortable lead.

The second race proved difficult with the wind easing off to a steady five knots. The flood tide was becoming increasingly prominent on the course. Alex Barry poked out ahead of the fleet, rounding the windward mark in first. He was followed close behind in second by Inniscarra sailor James Long. Barry held on to his lead while steadily gaining distance on the fleet. All the action was behind him, with most of the fleet debating who has water at the leeward mark. In the end, Alex Barry took first position, this writer second and James Long in third.

In the Radial fleet, Harry Pritchard used local knowledge to get around the course the fastest way, and took first place.

Race three was more challenging than the rest. It was a battle between Alex Barry, Ronan Kenneally and Charles Dwyer. The wind slowly died away leaving the sailors becalmed. Pockets of breeze occasionally would hit the water. The course was shortened and the competitors finished the race at the windward mark. Alex Barry took his second win of the day. Ronan Kenneally finished second. Charles Dwyer who was on great form on the first day struggled in the lighter air but still managed to finish third, right behind Kenneally.

RCYC’s Sophie Crosbie took first place in the Radial fleet.

The Laser sailors then sailed ashore and were on dry land by 12 O’Clock. Hot drinks and sandwiches were in order, so the sailors gathered in Napoli to talk about what was another successful days racing.

Monkstown Bay Lasers1Monkstown Bay Lasers1Monkstown Bay Lasers1Monkstown Bay Lasers1Monkstown Bay Lasers1Monkstown Bay Lasers1Monkstown Bay Lasers1Monkstown Bay Lasers1Monkstown Bay Lasers1Monkstown Bay Lasers1Monkstown Bay Lasers1Monkstown Bay Lasers1

Results are downloadable below

Published in Laser
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