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The first race of Cork Week 2022 got underway this morning (Monday, July 11) in light airs and slack water from the Naval base at Haulbowline in Cork Harbour.

Royal Cork Race Officer Clem McElligott positioned at the base's Signal Turret briefed Beaufort Cup competitors by VHF radio on their course to the Fastnet Rock and back in some decidedly light air conditions. 

The Beaufort Cup fleet prepare to start the Fastnet Rock RaceThe Beaufort Cup fleet prepare to start the Fastnet Rock Race Photo: Bob Bateman

 The US Marines team on the First 40.7 Escapado get the media treatment Photo: Bob BatemanThe US Marines team on the First 40.7 Escapado get the media treatment Photo: Bob Bateman

The Beaufort Cup is the International Inter-Service Sailing Regatta, being hosted by the Royal Cork Yacht Club and supported by the Irish Defence Forces.

Ross Deasy and Clem McElligott get the Beaufort Cup fleet started Photo: Bob BatemanRoss Deasy and Clem McElligott get the Beaufort Cup fleet started Photo: Bob Bateman

A specially commissioned Perpetual Trophy in honour of Sir Francis Beaufort, creator of the Beaufort Scale, will be presented to the overall winner at the end of this week's series of races.

Starting flags are hoisted(Above and below) Beaufort Cup Starting flags are hoisted Photos: Bob Bateman

Above and below Beaufort Cup Starting flags are hoisted Photos: Bob Bateman

The fleet crossed a start line between Haulbowline and the Whitepoint shoreline at Cobh. 

The competition has seven entries from the British army (x2), Irish defence forces (x2), a Royal Navy team, an RNLI crew and a team of US Marines.

  • Indulgence, Dehler 36, Aidan Heffernan, IRL 2805, Defence Forces Ireland
  • Bayonet, Beneteau First 36.7, Darren Szymanski, GBR 1975L, British Army
  • Trojan, J109, Helen Stamp, GBR 7005R, British Army
  • Jolly Jak Tar, J109, David Warwick, GBR 8541R, Royal Navy
  • Nieulargo, Grand Soleil 40 B+C, Denis & Annamarie Murphy, IRL 2129, Crosshaven RNLI
  • Escapado, First 40.7, Germaine Williams, GBR 1321L, US Marines
  • Meridian, Salona 45, Tom Roche, IRL 4076, Defence Forces Ireland

Denis & Annamarie Murphy's Nieulargo, a Grand Soleil 40 B+C is racing with a Crosshaven RNLI crew Photo: Bob BatemanDenis & Annamarie Murphy's Nieulargo, a Grand Soleil 40 B+C is racing with a Crosshaven RNLI crew Photo: Bob Bateman

Tom Roche's Meridian a Salona 45 is sailing with a Defence Forces Ireland crewTom Roche's Meridian a Salona 45 is sailing with a Defence Forces Ireland crew Photo: Afloat

The fleet will leave the rock to port and return to Cork Harbour via Daunt Rock. 

Lt Commander Grace Fanning , Captain of LE Roisin escorted the six-boat fleet to the Cork harbour mouth at Roches Point.

Above and below: The Navy vessel LE Roisin escorted the Beaufort Cup fleet out of Cork Harbour on the race to the Fastnet Rock and back Photo: Bob BatemanAbove and below: The Navy vessel LE Roisin escorted the Beaufort Cup fleet out of Cork Harbour on the race to the Fastnet Rock and back Photo: Bob Bateman

Above and below: The Navy vessel LE Roisin escorted the Beaufort Cup fleet out of Cork Harbour on the race to the Fastnet Rock and back Photo: Bob Bateman

Cork Week's Ross Deasy with Beaufort Cup Race Officer Wendy McElligott, Captain Ken Minehane and Race Officer Clem McElligott at the Naval Base's signal turret for the first race of the Beaufort Cup to the Fastnet Rock Photo: Bob BatemanCork Week's Ross Deasy with Beaufort Cup Race Officer Wendy McElligott, Captain Ken Minehane and Race Officer Clem McElligott at the Naval Base's signal turret for the first race of the Beaufort Cup to the Fastnet Rock Photo: Bob Bateman

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Volvo Cork Week kicked off with a fun-filled Family Day on Sunday that was preceded by an official opening by Royal Cork Yacht Club Admiral Kieran O'Connell and Taoiseach Micheál Martin TD, and Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney TD.

The regatta takes place in Crosshaven from 11-15 July.

According to Afloat's WM Nixon, one of the reasons people are coming from far and wide - in addition to many ports nearer the venue - is because the international sailing community was very impressed by the dignified, exemplary and innovative way in which the Royal Cork Yacht Club under Admiral Colin Morehead dealt with the seemingly total setback of not being able to stage their long-planned Tricentenary in 2020

After a four year hiatus, guests eventually gather for Cork Week 2022 and RCYC's tricentenary celebrations Photo: Bob BatemanAfter a four-year hiatus, guests eventually gather for Cork Week 2022 and RCYC's tricentenary celebrations Photo: Bob Bateman

There was fun and adventure for families across the whole village of Crosshaven, from the Royal Cork Yacht Club to Camden Fort Meagher and everywhere in between, including the famous Pipers Fun Fair and boat trips from Hugh Coveney Pier on the Cailin Or.

Cork Week enjoys events both on and off the water events, as they celebrate the tricentenary of the oldest yacht club in the world after events were cancelled in 2020 due to the pandemicCork Week enjoys events both on and off the water events, as they celebrate the tricentenary of the oldest yacht club in the world after events were cancelled in 2020 due to the pandemic Photo: Bob Bateman

This year's emphasis is on sustainability with coastal walks, competitions, games, and a new coastal market in the Marquee at the Yacht Club. A children's workshop with Marine Scientist and Volvo Car Ireland Brand Ambassador Finn van der Aar also took place, and RedFM will broadcast live from the event.

The biennial Cork Week regatta draws spectators from far and near and the atmosphere in Crosshaven, home of the Royal Cork Yacht ClubThe biennial Cork Week regatta draws spectators from far and near, and the atmosphere in Crosshaven, home of the Royal Cork Yacht Club Photo: Bob Bateman

As Afloat previously reported, the fleet is in. This morning (Monday, July 11th), the action on the water gets underway for the event that incorporates three championship events - the 1720 European Championships, which will include 47 1720 boats that were designed in Cork, the Irish Cruiser Racing Association (ICRA) National Championships and the Dragons South Coast Championships – in addition to the renowned Beaufort Cup for international uniformed service personnel, which encompasses a race around the Fastnet Rock and back to Cork.

Royal Cork Yacht Club will host a Classic Yacht Regatta for the first time this year as part of Volo Cork Week. It promises to be a fantastic viewing spectacle with some famous classic racing yachts on display Royal Cork Yacht Club will host a Classic Yacht Regatta for the first time this year as part of Cork Week. It promises to be a fantastic viewing spectacle with some famous classic racing yachts on display  Photo: Bob Bateman

Royal Cork Yacht Club will host a Classic Yacht Regatta Classics at Crosshaven: Cork Harbour one designs Jap and Elsie alongside the just restored Lady Min, and coming up river is the 1919 Erin Photo: Bob Bateman

The 37-foot classic yacht French yacht Persephone on her berth at Crosshaven Photo: Bob BatemanThe 37-foot classic yacht French yacht Persephone on her berth at Crosshaven Photo: Bob Bateman

At least one competing boat only arrived at the Crosshaven venue this morning, having had success in the UK at the weekend.

There will be a Ladies' Day charity lunch in aid of the Crosshaven RNLI on Wednesday, July 13th, with Volvo brand ambassadors Amy Huberman and Brendan Courtney, which is a total sell-out.

Anna-Marie Fagan, Vice Admiral of the Royal Cork Yacht Club and Co-Chair of Volvo Cork Week and David Thomas, Managing director of Volvo Car IrelandAnna-Marie Fagan, Vice-Admiral of the Royal Cork Yacht Club and Co-Chair of Volvo Cork Week and David Thomas, Managing director of Volvo Car Ireland

Anna-Marie Fagan, Vice-Admiral of the Royal Cork Yacht Club and Co-Chair of Volvo Cork Week, said, "I'm looking forward to welcoming sailors from around the world back to the stunning Cork Harbour. It will be an exceptional week of sailing, and we have a fantastic family day planned for everyone in Cork to enjoy. We have a packed schedule on and off the water".

Published in Cork Week

After a four-year hiatus, it took a long time coming, but now the fleet has arrived, and there is great excitement in Cork Harbour for Monday's first races of Cork Week 2022 Regatta for a fleet of almost 200 boats.

This weekend, on the eve of Cork Week 22, Crosshaven and Royal Cork Yacht Club was buzzing with pre-race activity as visiting sailors arrived for the week of racing running from Monday, July 11 to 15.

Competing boats have been arriving for some time, some of the first sailing in at the end of June after the conclusion of the ISORA and SCORA recreation of the Dun Laoghaire to Cork K2Q races

Royal Cork Marina is a hive of activity on the eve of Cork Week 2022Royal Cork Marina is a hive of activity on the eve of Cork Week 2022. Photo: Bob Bateman

The special prize of the Prince of Wales 300th Anniversary Trophy will be awarded at Monday's prizegiving to the winning boat from the Falmouth feeder race.

Visitor Pata Negra on her Crosshaven berth, she is the biggest boat in Cork Week's IRC ZeroVisitor Pata Negra on her Crosshaven berth; she is the biggest boat in Cork Week's IRC Zero Photo: Bob Bateman

Three main fleets comprise Cork Week 22, and the biggest of these is the ICRA Irish Cruiser Racer championships.

Anthony O'Leary's red Cape 31 is ready to race. This is the Cape 31s first Irish tour and IRC Zero will have the addition of the new one-design on their race course.Anthony O'Leary's red-hulled Cape 31 is ready to race. This is the Cape 31's first Irish tour, and IRC Zero will have the addition of the new one-design on their race course. Photo: Bob Bateman

The international fleet is approaching nearly 200 boats and racing under IRC and ECHO rules; the Irish ICRA National Championships will be competed for as part of the week as Afloat previewed here.

On Monday, the IRC 0, Cape 31, and IRC 1 will race on the Harbour course. IRC 2 will run on a laid course, as will the 1720 sportsboats. There will also be coastal courses for the non-spinnaker and classics, and the Beaufort Cup fleet will race to the Fastnet Rock and back. See the event schedule below.

The legendary Imp returns to the water for a pre-Cork Week regatta tune up Photo: Bob BatemanThe legendary Imp returns to the water for a pre-Cork Week regatta tune-up Photo: Bob Bateman

A resurgent 1720 class will celebrate its 30th anniversary with a large fleet of 47 boats.

The 47-boat 1720 fleet are an important part of Cork Week celebrationsThe 47-boat 1720 fleet is an integral part of Cork Week celebrations Photo: Bob Bateman

It is undoubtedly a varied fleet, and the latest high-end keelboat tech will be on display with the Cape 31s and some early vintage craft such as the club's own Cork Harbour One Designs.

The flags are flying in Crosshaven for Cork Week 2022 Photo: Bob BatemanThe flags are flying in Crosshaven for Cork Week 2022 Photo: Bob Bateman

With the most modern and the oldest craft racing over a wide range of Cork Harbour courses, It's all shaping up to be a fitting 300th tribute to Royal Cork Yacht Club and its regatta week that has its own origins as far back as July 1970 as Afloat's WM Nixon relates here.

Cork week 2022 event schedule

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It may seem a bit odd to talk about Volvo Cork Week 2022, which gets going this weekend, as being “the exuberant expression of the spirit of Cork sailing”, when any detailed study of the hugely-varied entry list eloquently affirms the global interest which this “especially special” event is attracting. But the fact is that part of the reason people are coming from far and wide - in addition to many ports nearer the venue - is because the international sailing community was very impressed by the dignified, exemplary and innovative way in which the Royal Cork Yacht Club under Admiral Colin Morehead dealt with the seemingly total setback of not being able to stage their long-planned Tricentenary in 2020. The supportive feeling is such that with some semblance of normality being restored, there is a real desire to show profound appreciation for Tricentenary+Two.

Since the lockdowns, the RCYC – now with Kieran O’Connell as Admiral - has been among the national and international leaders in heading the slow emergence from the pandemic, in the full and responsible awareness that we’re not out of the woods yet. Post-pandemic, it seems there’s a significant cohort of people in all sports who have become distinctly picky in making their personal programme decisions, and organisers of other sailing events have shared the awareness that the long-term weather forecasts may play the final role in determining whether or not to contemplate taking part.

The home place. Royal Cork YC at Crosshaven successfully balances its international role with being an integral part of its local community. Photo: Robert BatemanThe home place. Royal Cork YC at Crosshaven successfully balances its international role with being an integral part of its local community. Photo: Robert Bateman

This may seem a weak-minded approach to those who still live by the “We’ll go, come hell or high water” attitude of previous generations. But people today running major clubs and their top events have to live in the real world, and in the circumstances it seems to this observer that a healthily-varied entry list of 200 craft comprised exclusively of keelboat classes is very good going in the circumstances of 2022.

And with any luck, summer is at last arriving to greet them, even if too much good weather poses the problem of calm. It’s one demanding sport for sure, this crazy little sailing game of ours….. Yet for 302 years now, the Royal Cork Yacht Club in its various manifestations has adapted to altering circumstances by changing in order to stay the same.

Unique heritage. One of the two Peter Monamy 1738 paintings of the fleet manoeuvres of the founding Water Club of the Harbour of Cork. Courtesy RCYCUnique heritage. One of the two Peter Monamy 1738 paintings of the fleet manoeuvres of the founding Water Club of the Harbour of Cork. Courtesy RCYC

Despite its grand status, there has always been this genuine element of the local club about it. It may be a local club whose trophy cabinet has regatta silverware dating back to 1825 and beyond, it may be a club whose art collection includes two maritime masterpieces of its fleet sailing from 1738 by the highly-regarded Peter Monamy, and it may be a yacht club whose very name elicits international recognition in every corner of the sailing world. Yet at its home port of Crosshaven, the Royal Cork, in its slightly eccentric and healthily organic headquarters, is very much an integral part of the community.

But while being community-based, the club has never been reluctant to send forth international racing challengers, so much so that for many years it had the habit of giving any returning winner a nine gun salute as she sailed past the club battery. For although there used to be an impression that racing played no role in early club activity, in fact a detailed study of the monumental club history (published 2005) reveals that a form of racing – preferably with a significant purse of money involved – was part of club activity from at least 1765.

Britannia arriving into Cork Harbour for the 1896 RCYC Regatta with her topmast housed for offshore sailing. Photo courtesy RCYCBritannia arriving into Cork Harbour for the 1896 RCYC Regatta with her topmast housed for offshore sailing. Photo courtesy RCYC

Thus if RCYC boats were also going abroad for competitive sport, it naturally followed that they were keen to extend the hand of friendship for visiting racing boats, and last weekend a pioneering race from Dublin Bay to Cork Harbour in 1860 was re-sailed as the K2Q – the Kingstown to Queenstown.

Back in 1860, the hope was that the boats coming to Cork would have a few days of local racing, as they’d just completed a week of racing in Dublin Bay, but energy was running out. Nevertheless Royal Cork events were part of the established regatta circuit by the 1890s, and as this poster from 1898 reveals, the idea of “the weekend” being event-friendly was still in its infancy. The regatta was staged on a Monday and Tuesday in late July, and in those less programmed times, plenty of members of the public could take the train out from Cork city to watch the racing from the Cobh
waterfront.

In the less formally time-structured 1890s, it was perfectly acceptable to stage the Annual Regatta on a Monday and Tuesday. Photo courtesy RCYCIn the less formally time-structured 1890s, it was perfectly acceptable to stage the Annual Regatta on a Monday and Tuesday. Photo courtesy RCYC

But with other sports and interests challenging for people’s leisure time, and with the scheduled working week becoming increasingly mainstream, the idea that sailing expected a spectator element receded, and personal participation became the priority.

Thus it was the growth of offshore racing which led to Cork Week as we know it now. Through the 1950s and 1960s, the number of RORC races and suchlike finishing in Cork increased, and when the plans for celebrating the RCYC Quarter Millennium in 1969-70 were taking shape, with 1970 in particular providing a whole slew of Cork-finishing races, it was suggested again – as it had been in 1860 – that once they were in Cork, the visiting boats might enjoy a few days of racing.

FIRST CORK WEEK IN 1970

In fact, the take-up for that first modest Cork Week on July 1970 was only about thirty boats, because pure offshore racing was still seen as the supreme sport. But after the Irish Sea Offshore Racing Association came into being in 1972, a biennial Race Week became part of their programme, and in 1976 they brought it to Cork with considerable numbers.

Not surprisingly, their hosts said this is ridiculous, we should be organizing this ourselves, and in 1978 under RCYC Admiral Archie O’Leary, the first Cork Week in its recognisably modern form was staged.

Having done quite a few since that first tentative one in 1970 in three different boats ranging from 35ft to 50ft, I’m inevitably of that cohort which reckons the glory days were in some nonexistent golden era in the remote past. That’s the way it is, and I’ve no doubt that many racing from Crosshaven next week will reckon this is the greatest Cork Week ever.

The One and Only – the legendary Imp returns to the water on Thursday this week. Photo: Des Corbett(Above and below) The One and Only – the legendary Imp returns to the water on Thursday this week. Photo: Des Corbett

The One and Only – the legendary ImpPhoto: Barry Hayes

Certainly, the stage is being set with the one and only George Radley adding to the excitement of the countdown by launching the completely re-furbished Ron Holland-designed 39ft masterpiece Imp of 1977 vintage, in order to have her first sail in years as recently as yesterday. This is all in a very rapid countdown towards readiness for charter for Volvo Cork Week by two knights of the realm from the Royal Yacht Squadron, heavy hitters who also happen to be taipans of Hong Kong.

ICRA CHAMPIONSHIP A CENTRAL FEATURE

The successful J/109 Mojito will be racing for Pwllheli SCThe successful J/109 Mojito will be racing for Pwllheli SC

Nearer home, the J/109 Mojito from Wales (Vicky Cox & Peter Dunlop) has got herself to Crosshaven by winning the K2Q, but in her class in Volvo Cork Week she’ll be up against the current miracle boat, Mike & Richie Evans’ J/99 Snapshot from Howth for titles including the big one, the ICRA Championship. Snapshot won last year’s Sovereigns at Cork when just out of the wrappers, and then this year in their first tilt at an offshore major, the brothers placed second overall - by just five minutes – in the tough SSE Renewables Round Ireland Race from Wicklow, an achievement which included taking this slip of a racer successfully through the boat-breaking 40 knots-plus headwinds and maelstrom of seas out beyond the Skelligs and the Blaskets.

“The Born-Again Boats” - 1720s at full chat in Cork Harbour. Photo: Robert Bateman“The Born-Again Boats” - 1720s at full chat in Cork Harbour. Photo: Robert Bateman

It’s a matter of real regret that John Minnis’s champion A35 Final Call II can’t make it after serious rig damage in the recent Bangor Town Regatta, but in any case perhaps the real story is in the large turnout of Sportsboat 1720s, celebrating their 30th Anniversary at their birthplace. With competition at this level and all within a very manageable financial proposition, it’s being suggested that the 1720 has taken thirty years to become an overnight success. That completely overlooks their turnout of 60 boats for their Euros in Cork Week 2000, but with the way the world is in 2022, history is being reinvented every week.

This gives a small idea of what a fleet of 40-plus 1720s will look like – there are 26 boats in this image. Photo: Robert BatemanThis gives a small idea of what a fleet of 40-plus 1720s will look like – there are 26 boats in this image. Photo: Robert Bateman

And history is also being revered with the introduction of a diverse Classics Division, in which the star turn is the 1971 Sparkman & Stephens-designed Opposition, ex-Morning Cloud, surely one of the most attractive boats ever built, and defying her 51 years with lasting elegance.

The Sparkman & Stephens-designed Opposition – seen here in 1971 as Morning Cloud – is still looking superb at 51 years.The Sparkman & Stephens-designed Opposition – seen here in 1971 as Morning Cloud – is still looking superb at 51 years.

Full entry list here

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Cockle Island is a small club in the village of Groomsport on Belfast Lough and members there will be rooting for one of their own who is racing the only Northern entry in this year’s Cork Week, Shaun Douglas in his Beneteau 40.7 Game Changer. The bigger nearby Ballyholme Yacht Club will be following Douglas too for he is also a member there.

Had John Minnis’s Archambault 35 not sustained rig damage during Bangor Town Regatta forcing his withdrawal, there would have been another Northern boat.

Shaun’s crew includes John Conor, Hayley Simms, Colin and Deidre Coffey, Lucy Marten, Garth Maxwell, Reggie Harris and Michael Ennis, several of whom are Cork first-timers, and they are all looking forward to this big gathering. Shaun himself has competed in Cork Week many times, the last being about 15 years ago in a 1720 sportsboat when he won the Irish Nationals.

Game Changers’ last big event was Bangor Town Regatta in June where they were 3rd in Class 2 and they also won Royal Ulster’s Copeland Islands race in May. Last year Game Changer took top prize in the inaugural Royal Ulster to Strangford Lough Race.

Game Changer is on the way to Cork at the moment. Shaun says “We are really looking forward to taking part in the Royal Cork’s 300 celebrations and competing in a really competitive fifteen-strong Class 1 fleet”.

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The SB20 National Championships that were scheduled to take place as part of next week's Volvo Cork Week 2022 Regatta have been axed.

Running from Friday 8th July to Sunday 10th July in Cork Harbour, it is understood the decision to pull out was taken on Tuesday (July 5).

SB20 Class Chairman James Dowling said "We had a number of late cancellations, some Covid related, and the numbers weren’t stacking up". 

With the Worlds coming to Dublin Bay this September, a strong Irish fleet was initially expected for the three-man sports boat class as part of the 200-boat Cork Week lineup.

"It was with great regret that we had to cancel the Nationals", Dowling told Afloat.

Up to seven boats had entered including one from France, according to the Cork Week entry list. 

Commenting on the decision, Royal Cork's Alex Barry told Afloat: "It is unfortunate the class were forced to cancel. It was no doubt a difficult decision to make but we wish the class and our own Royal Cork sailors the best for the upcoming Worlds in Dun Laoghaire".

"RCYC were very understanding and assured us that we would be welcome back at a future date," Dowling said.

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Royal Cork Yacht Club will host a Classic Yacht Regatta for the first time this year as part of Volvo Cork Week Regatta starting next Monday.

The 37-foot classic yacht Persephone, the 1919 classic Erin, the famous Opposition (Ex Morning Cloud), and Cork Harbour One Designs Jap and Elsie are among the famous classic racing yachts making their way to Cork Harbour.

The first yacht to step up to the plate to join Cork Week's Classic Division was Opposition, the gold standard classic 40ft S & S design which Ted Heath raced to outstanding all-round success in 1971.The first yacht to step up to the plate to join Cork Week's Classic Division was Opposition, the gold standard classic 40ft S & S design which Ted Heath raced to outstanding all-round success in 1971.

The first yacht to step up to the plate to join Cork Week's Classic Division was Opposition, the gold standard classic 40ft S & S design which Ted Heath raced to outstanding all-round success in 1971.

It’s the first year that a dedicated Classic Yacht Regatta will be hosted by the Club, and it will be a fantastic viewing spectacle for shoreline onlookers over the week (Monday-Friday).

37-foot classic yacht PersephoneThe 37-foot classic yacht Persephone

Recommended viewing points include Camden and the Church Bay in Crosshaven, the new Haulbowline Island Amenity Park, Ringaskddy as well as the promenade in Cobh. Classic French boats will also arrive as part of the Bastille Day celebrations.

the 1919 classic ErinThe 1919 classic Erin

Yachtsmen and women from around the globe are expected in Cork next week to enjoy both the on and off-the-water events, as they plan to celebrate the tricentenary of the oldest yacht club in the world, after events were cancelled in 2020 due to the pandemic.

Cork Harbour One Designs Jap and ElsieCork Harbour One Designs Jap and Elsie. Photo: Bob Bateman

Yves Lambert from the Atlantic Yacht Club in France, who will be participating in his yacht Persephone, a 37-foot Tina designed by Dick Carter, said, “In 2020 we had plans to attend and help the Royal Cork Yacht Club celebrate its Tricentenary, enjoy some Irish beers with our Irish friends and everything else Cork has to offer. Sadly, Covid put stop to our plans in 2020 and indeed the Royal Cork’s Tricentenary celebrations. When we were advised of a classic class at Volvo Cork Week in 2022, we had to come. A 302-year-old birthday does not happen so often I guess, so if we were looking for a good reason to come, it arrived just in time!”

The regatta will incorporate four championship events - the 1720 European Championships which will include over 40 1720 boats that were designed in Cork, the Irish Cruiser Racing Association (ICRA) National Championships, the Dragon South Coast Championships, and the SB20 Nationals– in addition to the renowned Beaufort Cup for international uniformed service personnel, which encompasses a race around the Fastnet Rock and back to Cork.

Published in Cork Week

Racing at Volvo Cork Week starts 11th of July, after a four-year hiatus. The Royal Cork Yacht Club was 300 years old in 2020, but due to Covid the regatta couldn’t happen. Waiting two more years to celebrate the first tricentenary of any yacht club has not blunted the enthusiasm for Cork Week, if anything, the legendary Craic of Crosshaven will be bigger than ever writes Louay Habib

The international fleet is approaching close to 200 boats for Cork Week and, racing under IRC and ECHO Rules, the Irish ICRA National Championships will be competed for as part of the week.

Visitor Pata Negra is the biggest boat in IRC Zero

Lombard 46 Pata Negra - on charter for Cork WeekLombard 46 Pata Negra - on charter for Cork Week Photo: Rick Tomlinson

At the top end of the size scale, the well-travelled and highly successful Lombard 46 Pata Negra is the largest boat in the class and is chartered to Joe Brito from Rhode Island USA.

 Jamie McWilliam's Ker 40+ Signal 8 Photo: Afloat Jamie McWilliam's Ker 40+ Signal 8 Photo: Afloat

Tim Kane from the Royal Irish YC will race Extreme 37 WOW and Jamie McWilliam is bringing a crew from the Royal Hong Kong YC to mix with local sailors racing McWilliams Ker 40+ Signal 8.

Tim Kane's Royal Irish YC Extreme 37 WOWTim Kane's Royal Irish YC Extreme 37 WOW Photo: Afloat

Andrew McIrvine’s British Ker 39 La Reponse will be taking on the international fleet, the boat was formerly Anthony O’Leary’s Antix. 

La Réponse competing in the RORC IRC National Championship  in June Photo Rick TomlinsonLa Réponse competing in the RORC IRC National Championship in June Photo Rick Tomlinson

Cape 31's first Irish tour

IRC Zero will have the addition of the new one-design Cape 31 Class on their race course. 

Dave Maguire’s Cape 31 Valkyrie from Howth Photo: AfloatDave Maguire’s Cape 31 Valkyrie from Howth Photo: Afloat

The Cape 31 Class will race for the inaugural Cape 31 Irish National Championships under one-design rules. 

Darren Wright’s Cape 31 Adrenaline Photo: AfloatDarren Wright’s Cape 31 Adrenaline Photo: Afloat

It is the first proper meeting of the Irish boats with Anthony O’Leary’s RCYC Antix joining the Irish Cape 31s from Howth YC; Dave Maguire’s Valkyrie, Dan O'Grady Aja, and Darren Wright’s Adrenaline.

Dan O'Grady's Cape 31 Aja Photo: AfloatDan O'Grady's Cape 31 Aja Photo: Afloat

Anthony O’Leary’s RCYC Cape 31 Antix Anthony O’Leary’s RCYC Cape 31 Antix Photo: Rick Tomlinson

British ‘Cape Crusaders’ making the trip to Cork Week are Lance Adams’ Katabatic and Michael Wilson’s Shotgun. 

Lance Adams’ Cape 31 KatabaticLance Adams’ Cape 31 Katabatic Photo: Rick Tomlinson

Round Ireland Class Winner Darkwood competes in IRC One

Mike O’Donnell’s Hamble-based J/121 Darkwood Photo: AfloatMike O’Donnell’s Hamble-based J/121 Darkwood Photo: Afloat

The highest-rated boat in IRC One is Dubliner Mike O’Donnell’s Hamble-based J/121 Darkwood. Racing inshore after their class triumph in the Round Ireland Race, the Darkwood crew has plenty of Irish talent, including past RORC Commodore Michael Boyd, Barry Hurley, and Kenny Rumball.

First 50 Checkmate XX, sailed by ICRA Commodore David Cullen and Nigel BiggsFirst 50 Checkmate XX, sailed by ICRA Commodore David Cullen and Nigel Biggs Photo: Afloat

New to the fleet is the Irish First 50 Checkmate XX, sailed by ICRA Commodore David Cullen and Nigel Biggs, who were struck with COVID on the eve of the Round Ireland and could be worth watching especially given their recent showing in the K2Q 160-mile race from Dun Laoghaire to Cork for Cork Week.

Paul and Deirdre Tingle's X4ºAlpacaPaul and Deirdre Tingle's X4ºAlpaca Photo: Bob Bateman

There is no one who loves Cork Week more than Royal Cork’s own Paul and Deirdre Tingle who will be racing their X4ºAlpaca.

Mills 39 Zero II, is the former all-conquering Mariners Cove, which is chartered to Nick Burns from the Royal Hong Kong YC.

Mills 39 Zero II Photo: Rick TomlinsonMills 39 Zero II Photo: Rick Tomlinson

The Hong Kong invasion also includes Adrian McCarroll’s team, which have been coming to Cork Week for 20 years, they will be racing First 40.7 Playing Around.

Happy Daize Photo: Rick TomlinsonJames Chalmers' J112 Happy Daize Photo: Rick Tomlinson

Top competition from Great Britain includes Louise Minchin and Chris Jones’ J/111 JourneyMaker II and J/112 Happy Daize, skippered by James Chalmers.

 Louise Minchin and Chris Jones’ J/111 JourneyMaker II Louise Minchin and Chris Jones’ J/111 JourneyMaker II Photo: Rick Tomlinson

IRC Two Packs the J109s

Pat Kelly’s family team on Storm II from Rush and Howth Yacht Clubs Photo: AfloatPat Kelly’s family team on Storm II from Rush and Howth Yacht Clubs Photo: Afloat

A vast array of boats will be racing in IRC Two, with some close duels expected. Assume fireworks from the pack of J/109s racing, especially from the Kinsale YC team on Finbarr O'Regan’s Artful Dodjer, third overall in the Round Ireland Race, and Pat Kelly’s team racing the highly successful Storm that was Boat of the Week in Bangor Town Regatta.

Finbarr O'Regan’s Artful Dodjer from Kinsale Yacht Club Finbarr O'Regan’s Artful Dodjer from Kinsale Yacht Club Photo: Bob Bateman

Two of the latest J Boat designs, the J/99, will be in action with Michael and Richard Evans’ team from Howth YC racing Snapshot, second overall for the Round Ireland Race, taking on Wayne Palmer’s British team racing J/99 Jam.

Wayne Palmer’s British team racing J/99 JamWayne Palmer’s J/99 Jam Photo: Paul Wyeth

Michael and Richard Evans’ team from Howth YC racing SnapshotMichael and Richard Evans’ team from Howth YC racing Snapshot Photo: Bob Bateman

Highly competitive Half Tonners include two from the Royal Cork YC; Ronan & John Downing racing Miss Whiplash and David Dwyer’s Swuzzlebubble.

David Dwyer’s Half Tonner SwuzzlebubbleDavid Dwyer’s Half Tonner Swuzzlebubble Photo: Afloat

Ronan and John Downing's Half Tonner Miss WhiplashRonan and John Downing's Half Tonner Miss Whiplash Photo: Bob Bateman

Norbert Reilly’s team from Howth YC, racing Ghost Raider, will also be in the mix. Watch out for J/97 Jeneral Lee from Howth YC, sailed by Colin & Kathy Kavanagh, which is a proven winner. Steve Hayes’ First 34.7 Magic Touch from Greystones SC was second in the Coastal Class at Cork Week 2018 and switches up to IRC Two.

Quarter Tonners to do Battle in IRC Three

The 2019 Overall ICRA Champion X-302 Dux sailed by Caroline Gore-Grimes’ Howth YC team will be one to watch in IRC Three.

X-302 DuxX-302 Dux Photo: Afloat

A battle is expected among the Quarter Tonners. Pick of the classic designs are Anchor Challenge sailed by Royal Cork’s Conor Phelan and Sam Laidlaw’s Quarter Ton Cup winner; Cowes-based BLT. Colman Garvey and Kieran Kelleher’s Munster team will be racing Diamond.

Sam Laidlaw’s Quarter Ton Cup winner, BLT Photo: Photo Rick TomlinsonSam Laidlaw’s Quarter Ton Cup winner, BLT Photo: Photo Rick Tomlinson

Anchor Challenge sailed by Royal Cork’s Conor PhelanAnchor Challenge sailed by Royal Cork’s Conor Phelan Photo: Bob Bateman

Kieran Kelleher’s DiamondKieran Kelleher’s Diamond Photo: Bob Bateman

After IRC time correction, if the breeze is up, the Under 25 teams in the J24s should hopefully give the Quarter Tonners a run for their money, as will Royal Cork’s North Star, sailed by Fiona Young, and Pat Collins’ Ealu from Baltimore SC.

Fiona Young's Albin Express North Star Photo: Bob BatemanFiona Young's Albin Express North Star Photo: Bob Bateman

Coastal Fleet is a good mix of designs

Denis Hewitt & Others on the Mills 30 Raptor from Dublin Bay Photo: AfloatDenis Hewitt & Others on the Mills 30 Raptor from Dublin Bay Photo: Afloat

The Coastal Fleet is a mixed fleet of cruising designs. Denis Hewitt & Others Mills 30 Raptor will be defending their win in 2018 with a team from the Royal Irish YC.

Royal Cork’s J/122 Jellybaby (Jones Family) Photo: Bob BatemanRoyal Cork’s J/122 Jellybaby (Jones Family) Photo: Bob Bateman

With a strong Cork entry, local knowledge of tides could give the upper-hand in the Coastal Fleet. Royal Cork’s J/122 Jellybaby sailed by the Jones Family, and Frank Doyle’s J/112 Cara will be in the knowledge zone. Watch out for Patrick Burke’s First 40 Prima Forte, the Royal Irish team finished third in the 2018 Coastal Class on a previous boat.

Pete Smyth’s Sun Fast 3300 Searcher Photo: AfloatPete Smyth’s Sun Fast 3300 Searcher Photo: Afloat

Also, Pete Smyth’s Sun Fast 3300 Searcher from the National Yacht Club, will be quick on reaching legs in a solid breeze.

21 boat Non-Spinnaker Class is the biggest at ICRA Nationals/Cork Week 

Varying in size from Clive Doherty’s Westerly 29 Phaeton to J/122 Damacle raced by Jan and Susan Van der Puil. With 21 teams already entered the Non-Spinnaker Class is the largest class racing at the ICRA Nationals. Race reports for this class will focus on the progressive handicap system ECHO, where time corrections may alter after each race result. Darren McCann’s Dufour 35 Tailte will be defending their ECHO Class win from 2018. Clodagh O’Donovan’s Beneteau 35 and Thomas O'Mahony’s Hanse 31 Loch Grèibe were both on the podium in 2018.

IRC boat entry list is here

Published in Cork Week
Tagged under

When anybody asks how the concept of the Cork 1720 Sportsboat Class first came to see the light of day in Crosshaven in the early 1990s, the response these days tends to be “Which version of the story would you prefer?”. For in all, more than 160 of these Tony Castro-designed 26ft dayboats with bulb keel, retractable bowsprit and mighty gennakers were to be built, and at Cork Week 2000 their fleet mustered more than 60 boats.

Local names like Mansfield and O’Leary took on visitors like Ainslie, Barker and Spithill. It was undoubtedly a highlight of class history. Since then, the 1720s have waxed and waned as a class, but at the moment Class Captain David Love is happy to report that they’re definitely in full-on waxing mode in Ireland, with growing classes at Crosshaven, Dun Laoghaire, Kinsale, Baltimore, Dunmore East, and Howth, such that they’re looking to have 48 boats racing in the Europeans within Volvo Cork Week from 10th to 15th July.

The design may have been around for thirty years, but the 1720s still look bang up-to-date

MULTIPLE EXPLANATIONS FOR ORIGINS OF CLASS

Failure is an orphan but success has many fathers, and Class Captain Love is the very soul of diplomacy in not apportioning individual credit for the class’s beginnings thirty years ago, and its growing current success. Back in the day when they started racing, I was told that it was basically a group of National 18 sailors on Cork Harbour who wished to re-create the very special spirit of their wonderful centreboard class on a larger canvas, yet with a sit-on rather than hang-out keelboat.

But equally these days, they’ll tell you there was a very significant inspirational input from Half Ton and Quarter Ton sailors who wanted to transpose the best of their sport into a more straightforward value-for-money One-Design boat which carried no hint of a suggestion that racing nights at sea would be on the agenda.

The absolute simplicity of the concept continues to be one of the 1720’s best featuresThe absolute simplicity of the concept continues to be one of the 1720’s best features

And now, with everyone from the Lollipop Lady to the Meter Reader telling us that global recession is on the way if it isn’t here already, the 1720s have the USP of offering incredibly good value. They’ve survived to become inexpensive. There’s virtually no wood in them, they’re of a generation of fibreglass which lasts for ever, and you can still find de-commissioned yet perfectly usable 1720s at the far end of somebody’s uncle’s hayshed if you only know how to ask the right questions.

FINDING PHILANTHROPIC SAILMAKERS

Admittedly the chance of finding a decent suit of sails with these rural relics is remote. But as we all know, Ireland’s sailmakers are a soft-hearted and incredibly philanthropic group of folk who will respond favourably to requests for substantial discounts when you use the magic password “1720”, with perhaps a Masonic handshake to be sure to be sure.

And finally, there’s the fact that, with a crew of five, they’re notably labour-intensive boats. Thus they provide a purpose in life for young people who might otherwise be listlessly loitering on street corners, their day jobs taken over by electronic instruments and machines. Indeed, it can only be a question of time before Social Security grants are available to anyone who can show that their 1720 provides healthy, mind-stimulating activity for at last ten hours a week for four young (and not-so-young) people who might otherwise be deflected into a wasted life of anti-social inactivity.

The big warm winds of the Caribbean provide ideal 1720 sailing The big warm winds of the Caribbean provide ideal 1720 sailing 

Thus there’s a lot to celebrate in the fact that the 1720s will be providing fantastic sport for at least 240 people during Cork Week, and there’s even more to celebrate in this remarkable class’s survival and regeneration over thirty years. So although every night will be party night, on Tuesday 12th July in Crosshaven it’s going to reach stratospheric heights with the 1720 30th Anniversary party.

MEDALLISTS AT THE BOYNE

For those who don’t know, it’s called the 1720 Class simply because 1720 was the year of foundation of the Water Club of the Harbour of Cork, the direct antecedent of the Royal Cork Yacht Club. Now as it happens, on the 12th July in the other end of Ireland, some people will be celebrating an earlier contest, which took place in 1690. In that, the people from around Cork tended to be on the side which won the Silver Medal. The Silver Medal from the Battle of the Boyne is not something to be sniffed at. But nevertheless the 30th Anniversary of the Cork 1720 on 12th July 2022 at Crosshaven will be much more fun.

The 1720s are still as much fun to sail now as they were thirty years ago.The 1720s are still as much fun to sail now as they were thirty years ago

Published in Cork Week
Tagged under

The announcement of the IRC class bands gives a first look at the various classes for next month's Volvo Cork Week Regatta. 

Class Zero will now benefit from the addition of the new Cape 31 class, which will have six boats and will also include the inaugural Cape 31 Irish National Championships. It is the first proper meeting of the Irish boats with Ant O'Leary's Antix also joining the Irish fleet fresh from Hamble.

Anthony O'Leary's redhulled Cape 31 Antix competing at the RORC IRC Nationals on the Solent Photo: Paul WyethAnthony O'Leary's red hulled Cape 31 Antix competing at the RORC IRC Nationals on the Solent

At the other end of the scale, the well-travelled and successful Pata Negra is the largest boat in the Class which will be joined by the latest WOW, an Extreme 37, and the well-rated Ker 39 La Response.

Andrew McIrvine's Ker 39 La Réponse Photo: Rick TomlinsonAndrew McIrvine's Ker 39 La Réponse Photo: Rick Tomlinson

The J121 Darkwood competing in the Round Ireland race is owned and campaigned by Dublin’s Mike O’Donnell who is UK based Photo: AfloatThe J121 Darkwood competing in the Round Ireland race is owned and campaigned by Dublin's Mike O'Donnell, who is UK-based Photo: Afloat

In Class 1, the highest rating boat Darkwood owned and campaigned by Dublin's Mike O'Donnell has had a great season to date and will be much fancied assuming they get over the gruelling Round Ireland Race.

the First 50 Checkmate XXThe First 50 Checkmate XX from Howth Photo: Afloat

New to the fleet is the First 50 Checkmate XX who were struck with COVID on the eve of the Round Ireland and could be worth watching. Zero II, the former Mariners Cove, is still highly competitive, whilst local boat Alpaca will also be worth watching.

Class 2 is a more mixed affair with a wide range of boats and performances. Boats fancied include the half tonners, particularly the highly successful Swuzzlebubble, which has been brought to Cork by the Dwyer family whilst Jeneral Lee had good form recently. The J109s are always serious contenders, and this year's runner-up in the Round Ireland, the Evans brother's J/99 Snapshot is clearly also on form.

cSwuzzlebubble, which has been brought to Cork by the Dwyer family Photo: Afloat

Class 3 should be a battle of the Quarter Tonners, but hopefully, the Under 25 teams in the J24s should hopefully give them a run for their money. If the breeze is up, the 2019 overall ICRA Champion, Dux, could shine again.

The 2019 overall ICRA Champion, Dux, an X332 from HowthThe 2019 overall ICRA Champion, Dux, an X332 from Howth Photo: Afloat

The Coastal Fleet is a mixed fleet with a strong Cork entry who may have the upper hand when it comes to local tides and wins. Boats to watch in this Class include the latest J122, local boat Jellybaby owned by the Jones Family, whilst visitors Searcher and Prima Forte may upset the locals here. Several other boats have serious potential, and wind strength will have a lot of influence on this fleet.

Pete Smyth's Sunfast 3600 Searcher was a class winner of the National Yacht Club RegattaPete Smyth's Sunfast 3600 Searcher was a class winner of the National Yacht Club Regatta Photo: Afloat

The J122 Jellybaby owned by the Jones Family of Cork Harbour Photo: AfloatThe J122 Jellybaby is owned by the Jones Family of Cork Harbour Photo: Afloat

The Non-Spinnaker Class varies in size from the GK29 Phaeton from RCYC to another local boat, the J122 Damacle. With 19 boats so far entered, this will be a most interesting class to track results during the week.

ICRA trophies will be awarded to each of these Classes, including Irish Sailing medals and potential places at the annual Irish Sailing All Ireland Sailing Championships.

The fleets will be racing to Cork in a race from Falmouth in the UK and the brand new K2Q Dun Laoghaire to Cork Harbour race

Published in Cork Week
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Page 6 of 23

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