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The sixth race in the Royal Cork 'O'Leary Insurances' sailing League in Cork Harbour was a busy affair for Race Officer Micheal Lynch last Thursday night. He sent classes one and two out the harbour to Ringabella Buoy. Classes three and white sail stayed in the harbour on different courses. The breeze was from a westerly direction at six to 10 knots. The start was about two and a half hours before Low Water and it managed to stay dry, just!

Results Summary
1st in White Sail IRC Ian Hickey's Granada 38 "Cavatina"
1st in White Sail Echo Batt O'Leary's Sun Odyssey 36i "Sweet Dreams"
1st in Class 3 IRC Jimmy Nyhan & Maritta Buwalda's 1/4 Tonner "Outrigger"
1st in Class 3 Echo Sarah Hyde's J24 "Junebug"
1st in Class 2 IRC Ted Crosbie's X302 "No Excuse"
1st in Class 2 Echo Leonard Donnery's Nicholson 33 "No Gnomes"
1st in Class 1 IRC Kieran Twomey's Corby 38 "Gloves Off"
1st in Class 1 Echo  Coleman Garvey & Martin Darrer's Projection 35 "True Penance"

Published in Royal Cork YC

Royal Cork's Anthony O'Leary returns to New York's Invitational Cup next week for another crack at the Rolex event that has attracted 22 teams.

Despite no previous experience with the Swan 42, Anthony O'Leary's team from the Royal Cork Yacht Club got off to a blazing start at the 2009 Invitational Cup, scoring a third and two firsts in the opening three races. From there the team rode a bit of a roller coaster with three more top-five finishes, a 13th, and two 17ths. The end result was fifth, a bit disappointing given the quick start, but respectable, nonetheless. More importantly, it earned O'Leary and his team a return invitation.

When racing begins on Tuesday, September 13, at the 2011 New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup presented by Rolex, most of the 22 participating yacht club teams will be fresh from racing at the peak of the sailing season in the northern hemisphere.

Last year, O'Leary was named the Afloat Irish Independent Sailor of the Year for, in part, leading the Irish team to the win at the 2010 Rolex Commodore's Cup.

"We will continue to sail [the Ker 39] Antix up to mid-season in handicap fleets, as our boat is similar in characteristics to the Swan 42," says O'Leary of his preparations for the Invitational Cup. "Closer to September we will focus more on one-design sailing, which is really the ultimate challenge as shown in the Invitational Cup. Apart from our not finishing on the podium, there was not a single disappointing aspect of the 2009 regatta. The entire event was a great experience, superbly organized by a wonderful club."

O'Leary was still assembling his crew, but it will surely include some family members. Son Peter O'Leary sailed in the 2008 Olympics in the Star class while Nicholas O'Leary, a three-time All-Ireland sailing champion, served as the team's tactician during the 2009 Invitational Cup.

Three teams though – the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, Royal Cape Yacht Club and Yacht Club Argentino – which hail from below the equator, will be coming from winter to summer to race in Swan 42s for the championship title. "It is an honor for the Yacht Club Argentino (YCA) to participate this coming September," said Commodore Ricardo Galarce. "We are proud of sharing such an important regatta with well-known clubs from different parts of the world.

Besides, it is nice to share with all of them the same objective of competing with fair play and sailing which is what we love doing. We will go to New York Yacht Club's Harbour Court ready to have fun, but we will be doing our best effort to take the cup back to our beloved YCA in Buenos Aires." Galarce explained that even though it is winter in Argentina, the weather is not so cold and the sailors are used to sailing in this season. After the invitation to the event was published in the YCA magazine, any club member who wanted to join the team was encouraged to do so. A team selection was then made taking into account sailing resumes, technical skills and personalities, in order to form a complete, competitive and compatible crew.

Because there was a boat similar to the Swan 42 available for their use in Mar del Plata, the YCA team traveled 400 km to spend a weekend there performing intensive training, "with very good results and lots of learning as regards each of the crew members' functions and movements," said Galarce. "We then carried on our training in Buenos Aires, always trying to sail in boats similar to the Swan 42, which we know is an excellent boat, which demands a lot from its crew." With only two of the crew having previously sailed in Newport – Santiago Braun and Francisco Billoch who each sailed the Onion Patch Series in 1972 – the YCA team is studying the weather forecasts, tides and winds, in order to gain some local knowledge. And the team hopes to become familiar with the Swan 42 in the short time between their arrival and the start of the Invitational Cup. "We know it won't be an easy regatta," concluded Galarce. "We are proud of being able to sail alongside sailors who belong to the most distinguished sailing clubs in the world. We wish them all good luck, and we hope to share great fun on the water."

In Australia where the average sailing temperature for the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia's (CYCA) winter series is 20 degrees Celsius (68 Fahrenheit), sailing is a year-round activity, and all of the CYCA team members race throughout the year in various club events. Most of the CYCA crew that will travel to Rhode Island sailed together for the first time in April on the Corby 49 Vamp in the New South Wales IRC championships, finishing third overall. Vamp then finished second in Division 1 in the recently concluded CYCA Winter series. "None of us have experience in the Swan 42s although most have sailed in similarly equipped and designed yachts over a range of sizes up to the TP52 class," said David Fuller, CYCA Team Manager. "Whereas we have not had many opportunities to sail together, most of our crew have continued to sharpen their skills on other boats in the various races and regattas along the Australian coast and overseas." CYCA tactician Evan Walker is one of those who have been away from Sydney, having recently been at Weymouth, England, to coach an Elliot 6m team at the 2012 Olympic test event.

Before coming to Newport, however, Walker will be racing as tactician in the Cartagena round of the Audi MedCup with an Australian Soto 40 team. "Hopefully the week of sailing as tactician in Spain will have me hitting my straps by the time I arrive in Newport," said Walker, a CYCA Youth Academy graduate who has seen success as a match racing skipper. "I'm very excited to be competing in the Invitational Cup and I'm sure we'll have an enthusiastic team bonding session on our arrival in Newport." David Hudson, skipper of the team from the Royal Cape Yacht Club (RCYC) in South Africa was also at the Olympic test event. "Regarding our preparation for the Invitational Cup, it's obviously not as convenient for us as it would be if the event took place towards the end of our racing season," said Hudson. "However, winter training in Cape Town is perfectly feasible from a weather point of view. At 34 degrees south we have a Mediterranean climate with warm dry summers and cold wet winters, and although we have recently had some snow on the mountains just to the east of our sailing waters, Cape Town seldom gets really cold."

And while none of the RCYC team has any experience racing Swan 42s, they too have been training on a variety of boats of similar size. "We are all looking forward to the challenge," said Hudson. John Martin, RCYC's Commodore and team manager, lived on yachts from the age of eight and cut his teeth in 1971 aboard a new Swan 37 imported to South Africa specifically to do the Cape to Rio race, starting as bowman and working his way back. So it is very apt for him to be sailing a Swan 42 in this regatta, all these years later.

Not only is Martin the most famous yachtsman in South Africa but also he is well-known internationally. "Newport has great memories for me," said Martin. "During my single- and double-handed sailing career, 1981–1991, I had the honor of winning a few races, most importantly, winning the last leg of the 1986/87 BOC Singlehanded Round the World Race which finished in Newport. It is with great delight that I return with a very competent and competitive sailing team to represent the club of which I have been Commodore for the past three years."

An official practice for the 22 yacht club teams will take place on Monday, September 12, from 1300-1700, followed by the opening ceremony for the Invitational Cup. Five days of racing will ensue, with the first warning signal scheduled for 1100 each day.

The winning team will be confirmed at the conclusion of racing on Saturday, September 17. In addition to Rolex, which for 2011 and 2013 is the presenting sponsor, Sperry Top-Sider and Nautor's Swan have also returned, and are joined by Atlantis WeatherGear, as sponsors to enhance the experience of competitors as well as those who will be following the races.

The New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup presented by Rolex NYYC's Harbour Court will host 22 yacht club teams – representing 16 nations from six different continents – with racing on NYYC Swan 42s on Rhode Island Sound and Narragansett Bay from September 10-17, 2011. By country, the roster of participating teams is: Yacht Club Argentino (ARG); Cruising Yacht Club of Australia (AUS); Royal Bermuda Yacht Club (BER); Royal Canadian Yacht Club (CAN); Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club (HKG); Real Club Nautico de Barcelona (ESP); Nyländska Jaktklubben (FIN); Itchenor Sailing Club, Royal Ocean Racing Club and Royal Yacht Squadron (GBR); Norddeutscher Regatta Verein (GER); Royal Cork Yacht Club (IRL); Yacht Club Capri and Yacht Club Punta Ala (ITA); Japan Sailing Federation (JPN); Royal Norwegian Yacht Club (NOR); Clube Naval de Cascais (POR); Royal Cape Yacht Club (RSA); and Eastern Yacht Club (Marblehead, Mass.); Annapolis Yacht Club (Annapolis, Md.); Newport Harbor Yacht Club (Newport Beach, Calif.); and New York Yacht Club (Newport, R.I.) from the USA.

Published in Royal Cork YC

Royal Cork Yacht Club Admiral Paddy McGlade presided over the Crosshaven Club's annual 'At Home' Regatta yesterday, an event dedicated to families with entertainment this year from the Carrigaline Pipe Band. Among a number of  fun events such as Tug 'o' war,  the highlight was the intense competition on the water for the Optimist parents race. All the action on the Afloat gallery by Bob Bateman here.


Royal Cork's Patrick Coveney in calm seas for the 'At Home' Optimist race

Published in Royal Cork YC

Next year's Cork Week regatta at Royal Cork Yacht Club, one of Ireland's biggest sailing events, has changed dates from 30th June – Friday 6th  July to 7th-13th July 2012  following consultation with both local and overseas participants.

The decision was made to change the date of the biennial event because it would have otherwise have clashed with Britain's Round the Island Race on June 30th.

Published in Cork Week
There was a nice sized fleet sailing in Cork Harbour last night for the third race of Royal Cork's 'O'Leary Insurances League', a race that was even calmer than last Thursday writes our Cork Harbour Correspondent. The start was about two hours before High Water. The breeze came from a S.S.W. direction at 3 to 8 knots, more than on Dublin Bay where racing for the DBSC fleet was cancelled last night. 

Results Summary:
1st in White Sail IRC Micheal Lynch's Sun Odyssey 32i "Lady T"
1st in White Sail Echo Micheal Lynch's Sun Odyssey 32i "Lady T"
1st in Class 3 IRC Jimmy Nyhan & Maritta Buwalda's 1/4 Tonner "Outrigger"
1st in Class 3 Echo Tom & Cormac MacSweeney's Sigma 33 "Seascapes"
1st in Class 2 IRC Paul & Deirdre Tingle's First 31.7 "Alpaca"
1st in Class 2 Echo Leonard Donnery's Nicholson 33 "No Gnomes"
1st in Class 1 IRC Donal O'Leary's X35 "D-Tox"
1st in Class 1 Echo Frank Doyle's A35 "Endgame"


Published in Royal Cork YC
A total of 30 boats competed for the title of RS Feva National and Open Champion in Cork Harbour this weekend. The overall winner, with five first places, was RCYC's David Whitaker with Jil McGinley crewing. SCROLL DOWN FOR BOB BATEMAN'S PHOTOS. The event was sponsored by

Nine races were set over three days by Race Officer Richard Leonard, with racing mainly on the Curlane bank. Despite challenging visibility on the first day, racing conditions were good all weekend, with winds strong, but not overpowering. RCYC boats perfomed strongly in their home waters, taking the first three podium positions.

In the Gold Fleet, Whitaker and McGinley led from the outset, holding first position from day 1. Sean O'Brien and Louise Shanahan, RCYC took first place in the Silver Fleet. First Girl was won by Greystones SC duo Lisa Smith and Kate Hayes.

An extra race was held on the second day, Saturday, resurrecting an old tradition of a crew's race back to the Royal Cork Yacht Club. The crews race was won by 11 year old Sarah Cudmore, RCYC.

Gold Fleet:
1st David Whitaker, Jil McGinley (RCYC), 10pts;
2nd Marc Cudmore, Sarah Cudmore (RCYC), 24pts;
3rd Sam McGinley, Richard McGinley (RCYC), 27pts;
4th David Johnston, Louise Flynn Byrne (Howth YC), 31pts;
5th Seafra Guilfoyle, Philip Brownlow (RCYC), 33pts.

Silver Fleet:
1st Sean O'Brien, Louise Shanahan (RCYC)
2nd Ciara Byrne, Megan Hayes (Greystones SC)
3rd Blaithnaid O'Connell, Rosanna Cassidy, (RSTGYC)

First Girl Helm: Lisa Smith and Kate Hayes (Greystones SC)
U13 Winner: Jamie Tingle, Criofan Guilfoyle (RCYC)
U14 Winner: Nicky Delamer, Conor Howard (Howth YC)
U15 Winner: Dermot Lyden, Brian Stokes (RCYC/BSC)

Published in RS Sailing
The Cork harbour fleet has started to build again with a number of boats having returned from a successful Calves Week writes our Cork Harbour Correspondent. The second race in the Royal Cork 'O'Leary Insurances League' was a bit warmer than last Thursday and calmer!

The breeze came from a Westerly direction at 6 to 10 knots. The start was about 2 hours after high water. It was a gentle evening sail. The Race Officer Jim Sheeran managed to get everybody over the finish line despite the dying breeze.

Results Summary:
1st in White Sail IRC Ian Hickey's Granada 38 "Cavatina"
1st in White Sail Echo Micheal Lynch's Sun Odyssey 32i "Lady T"
1st in Class 3 IRC & Echo Jimmy Nyhan & Maritta Buwalda's 1/4 Tonner "Outrigger"
1st in Class 2 IRC & Echo Denis Coleman's Corby 25 "Thunderbird"
1st in Class 1 IRC & Echo Donal O'Leary's X35 "D-Tox"

Published in Royal Cork YC
The first race in the Royal Cork O'Leary Insurances League" was a bit cooler than previous Thursdays but it was still a pleasant one for the Cork harbour cruiser fleet writes our Cork Harbour Correspondent.

The breeze was coming from the North West at 12 knots with gusts up to 20 knots. The start was about 3 hours after low water.

The youngest (at the age of three) Race Officer in the Royal Cork was Alex O'Connell, ably assisted by his Father Kieran. They set an excellent course (No.99). Which kept the crews busy with all points of sailing. The fleet was a bit lighter than usual because a number of boats were competing in Calves Week.

Here is last night's results summary:

1st in White Sail IRC Ian Hickey's Granada 38 "Cavatina"
1st in White Sail Echo Micheal Lynch's Sun Odyssey 32i "Lady T"
1st in Class 3 IRC Paul Murray's Impala "Prometheus"
1st in Class 3 Echo  John & Fiona Murphy's Impala "Fastbuck"
1st in Class 2 IRC Ted Crosbie's X302 "No Excuse"
1st in Class 2 Echo Leonard Donnery's Nicholson 33 "No Gnomes"
1st in Class 1 IRC & Echo Mary O'Keefe's X332 "Tux"

Published in Royal Cork YC
The last race in the Royal Cork Timberland League was another excellent night's racing writes our Cork Harbour Correspondent. The weather gods were with us three Thursdays in a row! The breeze was coming from the North 8 to 12 knots. The start was about two hours after high water. The Race Officer Paul O'Shea set an excellent course (No. 65). We had a long beat to No.13 which had us short tacking on a falling tide under Spike Island. We were even debating how we would share the last Mars Bar if the unthinkable happened (low water 22.00). Fortunately no one succumbed to the mud, others would call it good seamanship! After No.13 the rest of the course gave us a chance to brush up on our gybing techniques, we were all much better this week, the lighter breeze may of helped.

To top the evening off, it was nice to see the National 18 crews enjoying themselves outside the Club Bar (after a busy day of racing) while we were motoring up the river!

On the results front:

White Sail IRC Tom McNiece's Sigma 33 "Minx 111" got the number 1 slot last night and also got first in the League.
White Sail Echo Micheal Lynch's Sun Odyssey 32i "Lady T" got the number 1 slot last night and also first in the League.
Class 3 IRC Jimmy Nyhan & Maritta Buwalda's 1/4 tonner "Outrigger" got the four bullets in the League including last night, what a performance! They were also first overall in Echo.
Class 3 Echo Paul Murray's Impala "Prometheus" got the number 1 slot last night.
Class 2 IRC Ted Crosbie's X302 "No Excuse" had an excellent race last night coming first and first overall.
Class 2 Echo Derry Nash's First 31.7 "Catalpa" came first overall.
Class 2 Echo Mark Mendell's Sun fast 32 "Wicked" got the number 1 slot last night
Class 1 IRC Kieran Twomey's Corby "Gloves Off" came first overall.
Class 1 IRC Donal O'Leary's X35 "D-Tox" got the number 1 slot last night.
Class 1 Echo Frank Doyle's A35 "End Game" came first overall.
Class 1 Echo Aidan Heffernan's Dehler 36 "Indulgence" got the number one slot last night.

Published in Royal Cork YC
Every four years the National 18 Championship or as it is known, the Cock O'the North, comes to Crosshaven and this year Class Captain Peter O'Donovan had the brainwave to stage a reunion for the Class writes Claire Bateman. Much endeavour by Peter and his willing band of helpers has gone into the 2011 event. Indeed, many boats that were lying discarded only a month ago have been dug out and revamped to arrive at Crosshaven looking like new. The fulfillment of this dream was the largest ever start line of 18s in the capable hands of Race Officers David O'Brien and Peter Crowley for the practice races today (Sun) and it included very welcome visitors from IOMYC, RFYC, Tamesis, Blackwater SC, Lymington Town SC, Cologne from Bofham SC, Gloucester SC, Baltimore SC and our near neighbour Monkstown Bay.

It was decided to give the fleets a long start line to cater for the differing speeds of the categories of 18s involved. A south west breeze of some 12 knots made for nice sailing and there was plenty of close competition as the boats rounded the weather and spreader marks.

For the racing proper starting tomorrow the fleets will be split with the Classics FG at 11am and will sail round the cans courses with plans to have the morning races finished in time to visit the local hospitality centres. The Ultimate fleet will start racing at FG 11.30am and it is expected that, weather permitting, they will sail outside the harbour.

Published in Royal Cork YC
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