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The river Lee was bustling with young people in traditional currachs as Meitheal Mara hosted their first physical event in Cork Harbour almost two years.

Some 50 participants in over 20 boats took part in the Ocean to City Youth Event, covering the 4.5km from Blackrock Village to Lapp’s Quay.

The Ocean to City Youth Event is part of the main Ocean to City –An Rás Mór since the very first race in 2005. Due to restrictions this year, it was held as a standalone event.

This year’s race participants reflect the great diversity of Meitheal Mara’s Bádóireacht youth rowing and sailing programme. Crews included young people from Mayfield Neighbourhood Youth Programme, Foroige’s Big Brother Big Sister programme, CDYS Youth Work Ireland Gurranabraher, St. Joseph’s Foroige Mayfield, Educate Together class of 2019, Naomhóga Chorcaí Currach Club, Fionnbarra Youth Crew, Glanmire Foroige, Foroige Togher and members the Bádóireacht Youth Council including past pupils from Cork Life Centre.

Some young people have been rowing with Bádóireacht since as far back as 2017, however, many there today were only introduced to currach rowing for the first time two months ago.

Over the past twenty years, Bádóireacht has provided rowing and sailing programmes to thousands of young people that would not otherwise have had access to the water. Bádóireacht in particular works with young people from marginalised groups or communities that are vulnerable or at risk of isolation. Over the past two years in particular; as a provider of non-contact, outdoor sport; Bádóireacht has played a particularly important role in creating a space where young people can be active and sociable in a safe environment. Today’s Ocean to City Youth Event is a culmination of that work.

The event is a celebration of the resilience of the young people over the past 18 months, of their achievements in training for this race and to mark the return of many more events and celebrations on the water.

Ocean to City participant Liam McCormack said: ‘’We trained for the last three months with the Bádóireacht programme as well as with Naomhóga Chorcaí. It has been great craic getting out on the water every week – I probably would have gone mental without!’’

Over the past year, Bádóireacht has also worked with Togher and Glanmire Foroige groups to establish integration rowing programmes with young people living in Direct Provision accommodation. This work has resulted in two very successful rowing programmes taking place this summer. These programmes are building on Bádóireacht’s work with young people from migrant communities since 2017 and sees young people from Direct Provision centres taking part in Ocean to City for their third successive race.

Clare Hayden, Bádóireacht Manager, said: ‘’I’m thrilled to have delivered a physical event for our young people at last. They have shown fantastic resilience over the past year and we’re delighted to put on an event to celebrate them. Our rowing programme gives young people space away from what’s going on in their lives. It gives them skills that they can build on and grow in confidence. They learn to problem-solve, overcome challenges in difficult weather - and it is fantastic to see them come through that programme and complete the 4.5 km race.’’

The Bádoireacht programme and youth event are organised by Meitheal Mara, the community boatyard, training centre and charity located in the heart of Cork City.

Published in Cork Harbour

Cork Harbour Festival’s flagship Ocean to City race will be going ahead this June with an altered format.

Collaborating with national rowing associations in Scotland and Wales, this year’s Ocean to City will be part of a unique, international time trial series called the Five Miles From Home Series 2021.

The Ocean to City – Five Miles From Home is the second leg in the Series, and will take place 4-6 June 2021. The challenge can be joined from anywhere in the world; rather than asking participants to travel, Ocean to City invites people to participate in this international challenge from their home waters.

Taking part is simple! Just form a crew, plot a 5 mile (8047meters / 4.345nm) course, cover the distance as fast or as stylishly as possible during the designated time windows, submit your times and join the online celebration afterwards.

Coastal Rowing crews at the Ocean to City Race in Cork HarbourCoastal Rowing crews at a previous Ocean to City Race in Cork Harbour

The Five Miles From Home Series has a ‘Main’ and an ‘Alternative’ Challenge. The Main Challenge is open to fixed-seat rowing boats such as currachs, skiffs, gigs and yawls. The Alternative Challenge is open to kayaks, SUPs, canoes, dragon boats, offshore sliding-seat boats and outriggers. Incorporating a dedicated Under-19s youth category, the organisers are also keen to involve and celebrate young people on the water.

The full Five Miles From Home Series includes the Scottish Castle to Crane leg on 7-9 May and the Welsh Sea Rowing leg on 9-11 July. Participants can take part in the whole series, allowing them to compare and improve on their results as they progress, or just in one single leg. Each leg in the series has a 48-hour window during which the challenge has to be completed.

With covid-19 constraints making large events off-limits, it is hoped that by the summer restrictions will be relaxed sufficiently to allow clubs from across Cork Harbour, Cork County and beyond to organise their own Ocean to City - Five Miles From Home micro-events.

Adrienne Rodgers, Director of Services at Cork City Council said: ‘We have been very proud to be involved in the Ocean to City Race, as part of the Cork Harbour Festival, over the years. Although like a lot of other events, it is not as we know it this year, we’re concentrating on the positive and congratulate the organisers on the wonderful alternative concept of Five Miles from Home. It won’t replace the elation of an actual race, but it will give us all a focus, to work safely towards a great event.’

Not only will the altered format encourage rowers and paddlers to get back training and competing on the water, but participants will also be part of a big international challenge connecting boating communities from across the world. Welcoming a variety of human-powered, sea-going craft, Ocean to City aims for the event to be as inclusive, adaptable and enjoyable as possible!

Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr. Mary Linehan Foley said: ‘Cork County Council is especially proud to be a major sponsor of the Cork Harbour Festival, which has a strong legacy of celebrating seafaring culture, synonymous with Cork’s position as Ireland's ‘Maritime Haven'. We are delighted that our sponsorship of the ‘The Five Miles from Home’ initiative will help to sustain the festival despite COVID-19 challenges. Festivals and events strengthen the fabric of our communities and celebrate the very best of what our county has to offer, such as our spectacular coastline and rich maritime history. The Council’s continued support of festivals plays a key role in strengthening our tourism industry and ensuring Cork County is best placed to welcome visitors when safe to do so.’

Entries for Ocean to City – Five Miles From Home open on the 1st of March 2021 and participation costs €10 per boat per leg, or €20 for all three legs. For kayaks and SUPs it is €5 for one leg, or €10 for all three.

The organisers encourage rowers and paddlers to enter the Five Miles From Home Series with optimism and confidence. If, for whatever reason, participants are unable to complete the course on water, they can transfer their entry to the ‘Land Challenge’ and walk, wheel or run the 5 miles.

Paddlers at the Ocean to City Race in Cork HarbourPaddlers at the Ocean to City Race in Cork Harbour

Conor Mowlds, Chief Commercial Officer at the Port of Cork said: ‘During these challenging times, it’s really refreshing to hear that the Cork Harbour Festival’s flagship event, Ocean to City will go ahead, albeit in a different and exciting new format. The Ocean to City – Five Miles From Home is completely achievable and we would urge people to take part. Congratulations to all the team at Cork Harbour Festival, we are delighted to support this great event once again.’

Published in Coastal Rowing

With record-breaking sunshine and perfect conditions for the 28km row of Cork Harbour, this year’s Ocean to City race opened Cork Harbour Festival 2018 in spectacular style!

Cork Harbour and City were filled with colour, drama and great excitement with over 30 different types of boats all competing in Ocean to City – An Rás Mór on Saturday 2 June.

Click to see's photo gallery of the 2018 Ocean to City Race by photographer Bob Bateman.

Michelle Whooley, Festival Manager said, “Ocean to City is a very special event and really shows off what an amenity we have here in Cork, in our beautiful harbour and river. This year we had crews from the U.S., Germany, Spain, The Netherlands, United Kingdom and of course from Ireland who all left with great memories and want to come back again next year”.

Ocean to City 2018 results

Ocean Course – 28km 

1st 4-Hand working Naomhóg – Ocean 12 Naomhóga Chorcaí - Martin Schwedes
2nd 4-Hand Working Naomhóg – Ocean 13 Naomhóga Chorcaí - The Lotarians
1st Veteran Crew Ocean 28 Salcombe Estuary Rowing Club
2nd Veteran Crew Ocean 22 Dundrum Coastal Rowing
3rd Veteran Crew Ocean 30 London Cornish Pilot Gig Club, Hurricane
1st Cornish Pilot Gig 31 Zennar Gig Club Pensance – Melusine
1st Currach Ocean 43 West Clare Currach Club, Doonbeg
1st Racing Currach Ocean 43 West Clare Currach Club, Doonbeg
1st Celtic Longboat 52 Vartry RC, Challengers – Vartry Champion
2nd Celtic Longboat 56 Bois y Parrog – Angarahad
1st GRP (Miscellaneous) 39 Corporation of Trinity House – Trinity Tide
1st ICRF Ocean 63 Passage West - Barr an Che
2nd ICRF Ocean 59 Vartry RC Contenders – Vartry Contenders
1st St Ayles Skiff 22 Dundrum coastal rowing – Danny Boy
2nd St Ayles Skiff 16 Strangford Coastal RC, Northern Lights –
Sea Swallow
1st International Crew 31 Zennar Gig Club Penzance – Melusine
1st Women's Crew – Ocean 23 EACRC
1st Mixed Crew – Ocean 16 Strangford Coastal RC, Northern Lights
1st Crew Ocean 14 St Michaels Rowing Club,
Crockford - Dun Laoghaire Nua
1st GRP Ocean 63 Passage West Rowing Club
2nd GRP Ocean 45 Mount Charles Rowing Club
2nd International Crew 28 Salcombe Estuary Rowing Club
1st Mixed Currach 26 Naomhóga Chorcaí, NC 3
2nd Mixed Crew - Ocean 24 St Ayles Coastal Rowing Club
1st Veteran Currach Ocean 42 Naomhóga Chorcaí, x-man
1st Veteran GRP/plastic Ocean 40 London Port Health Authority
1st Veteran Mixed Crew - Ocean 61 Edermine Ferry Rowing Club, Boro
2nd Veteran Mixed Crew - Ocean 19 Dundrum Coastal Rowing, Mystic Wave
1st Wooden Boat - Ocean 14 St Michaels Rowing Club,
Crockford - Dun Laoghaire Nua
1st Working Currach Ocean 12 Naomhóga Chorcaí - Martin Schwedes
1st Sliding Seat Coastal Quad - Ocean 89 Courtmacsherry Rowing Club - Euro Diffusion
1st Single Sliding Seat - Ocean 75 Bantry, Andrew Hurley - Euro Diffusion

City Course – 22km

1st Currach - City 36 Naomhóga Chorcaí, Domestic Blisters - Caitlin
1st other boat type City 81 Whitegate Rowing Club 1
1st City 36 Naomhóga Chorcaí, Domestic Blisters - Caitlin
1st Mixed - City 81 Whitegate Rowing Club 1

City – Kayak Race – 22km

1st Veteran Kayak 246 Salmon Leap Canoe Club - Malcolm Banks
2nd Veteran Kayak 253 Cellbridge Paddlers Canoe Club
1st Expedition Kayak single 232 Tomas Walsh
2nd Expedition Kayak single 240 Lawrence Buckley
1st Kayak (CITY COURSE - OVERALL) 244 Tadhg de Barra
2nd Kayak (CITY COURSE - OVERALL) 246 Salmon Leap Canoe Club - Malcolm Banks
1st Unlimited Kayak 244 Tadhg de Barra
1st Women's Kayak 242 Heather Clarke
2nd Women’s Kayak 203 Sandra Bickerdyke

Monkstown – Kayak – 12km

1st Kayak Monkstown 362 Jamie Walsh
2nd Kayak Monkstown 360 Nigel Ducker
1st Veteran Kayak 360 Nigel Ducker
1st Single Sit on top Kayak 334 Chris Coady
2nd Single Sit on top Kayak 336 Fabian Murphy
1st Women's Sit on Top Kayak 342 Passage West R, Jill Treacy

Monkstown - SUP – 12km

1st SUP Jason Coniry Award 320 Paddy McCormick

Dragon Boat Race – 20km

1st Dragon Boat 93 Frankfurter Kanu-Verein 1913 E.V. (Fkv)

Blackrock Youth Race – 4km

Fiachra Ó Callanáin Memorial Trophy 110 Ballincollig, Luke and Jack
First Lassies 112 BBBS, Becky and Brenda
First Junior Crew 114 BBBS, Lee and John
Special Endeavour Award 119 Life Centre, William
First Veteran Crew 120 Life Centre, Cormac and Alan
First Adult Youth Crew 122 Life Centre, Adam and Zach
First Mixed Crew 124 Mayfield, Michael and Sarah
First Youth Crew 125 Glnthn/Bshpst, Linda and Tami
First Currach - Special Class 128 Naomhóga Chorcaí, Ciara and Eoghan

Published in Cork Harbour
Tagged under

Dragon boats, stand up paddle–boarders, coastal rowing skiffs and many more boat types besides came to the line for Cork Harbour Festival's Ocean to City Race and's Bob Bateman captured the action from the quayside. 

An Rás Mor, now in its 14th year, received a record-breaking entry! Over 200 boats and 600 participants from Ireland, U.S, Holland, Germany, Spain and Great Britain, are set to descend on Cork City for Ireland’s premier rowing race on Saturday 2 June.

Thankfully, all went off well and there was a great race unlike 2017 when, for the first time in its history the race fell to severe weather.

See Bob Bateman's gallery of images below

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Published in Coastal Rowing

#OceanToCity - Naomhóga Chorcaí kept eight titles Leeside in this year's Ocean to City Race, according to the Evening Echo.

Cork’s currach rowing club – and race hosts – dominated the currach classes in the annual coastal rowing fixture of the Cork Harbour Festival.

But teams from across the country and abroad were strong in what festival Donagh MacArtain described as one of the most competitive races on the water.

More than 200 crews descended on Cork Harbour over the bank holiday weekend for the flagship event of the 2016 festival, as previously reported on

The 12th running of the 28km race from Crosshaven to Cork City broke a new record for entries with some 600 rowers taking part.

The Evening Echo has more on the story HERE.

Published in Coastal Rowing

Over 200 crews are set to descend on Cork City this bank holiday weekend for Ireland’s premier rowing race, the flagship event of Cork Harbour Festival 2016. Almost 600 participants will take to the water for the gruelling 28km race from Crosshaven to Cork City. This is the 12th year of the race organised by Meitheal Mara, which since 2005 has brought thousands of rowers and paddlers to Cork to compete across a broad range of classes. Many participants are regular race goers, while many more take part for the fun and challenge of completing the course.

This year’s race brings crews from around Ireland, England, Holland, France, Portugal and the United States. Albany Irish Rowing Club, from New York, who will row a three handed currach, is one crew that can’t wait for the starting line. “We’re looking forward to rowing in the best race in the world, meeting the locals and enjoying the festival!” The Rockabillies, an all-female crew from Skerries, North Co. Dublin are returning to take on the Ocean to City challenge for a second time. “We’re training together with a mix of walking, gym, running and cycling. Last year was great fun and we just had to head back again – the Rebels know how to party!” This year will see an Australian surfboat compete for the first time. The Perranporth Maniacs are surfboat rowers from Cornwall, who compete in surfboat competitions throughout the UK and Europe. “We’ve heard many good reports from other rowers that have taken part in the Ocean to City, and look forward to a new rowing experience.”

The race starts at 11.30am at Crosshaven, with best vantage points from Camden Fort Meagher, whose café terrace has the perfect vista over Roches Point. Along the race route, Cobh Tourism will host the annual ‘Cobh Cheers!’, featuring live race commentary and family fun with the Cobh Animation Team. Passage West Maritime Festival hosts the Ocean to City Picnic at 12.45, which is the destination for the ‘Harbour Pedal’, Cork Cycling Campaign’s scenic morning cycle, which departs Lapp’s Quay at 11.30am.

The festivities at the city finish line at Lapp’s Quay warm up from 1pm, with live commentary, DJ Ian Fiasco, live music, the festival market and circus street performances. The prize giving ceremony wraps up events with the after-party celebrations kicking off from 7pm along Albert Quay!

Published in Coastal Rowing
Tagged under

Get ready for a carnival of maritime culture at this year’s Cork Harbour Festival, 4th-12th of June. Now in its second year, the festival presents a fresh perspective on everything the Harbour has to offer through a programme of over 50 unique and fun-filled events.

The festival begins with the Ocean to City – An Rás Mór on Saturday June 4th. This year marks the 12th edition of this iconic race, which sees over 150 hardy crews take to the water for the gruelling 28km route from Roche’s Point to Cork’s city centre. As a premier event in Irish and international rowing, the Ocean to City attracts crews from all over Europe. The race features over 30 different types of craft, from traditional Irish currachs, to Chinese dragon boats and stand-up paddle boards! Spectators can soak up the colour and festivities in many places along the race route, including Cobh, Monkstown, Passage West and Blackrock. Follow the race route by bike with the Harbour Pedal, bring a picnic to Passage, or enjoy thrilling acrobatics from Funky Fidelma and street performers at the finish line. Mingle with the many crews and treat yourself to a range of foodie delights at the festival market.

Cork Harbour Open Day on June 5th offers kayaking, surfing and coasteering tasters in East Cork, family adventure in Spike Island, crab fishing fun in Cobh, and historical re-enactments at Camden Fort Meagher. Turn a weekend stroll into a bird watching walk, get behind the scenes of the Irish Navy with a naval ship tour, or discover the work of ocean energy researchers at the MaREI Centre, Ringaskiddy.

Festival week continues to push the boat out, with event highlights including:
· Rocket Man’s Paddling Pantry: Jack Crotty a.k.a. The Rocket Man mixes his love of good food and fresh flavours with a kayaking adventure. Circumnavigate the city channels and enjoy Cork’s built heritage while being treated to a tasty lunch!

· River Runner and Green Drinks: The Opera House plays host to this moving documentary portrait of the River Lee from source to sea. The film uncovers the secrets of its oldest inhabitant, the Wild Atlantic Salmon, and the river’s unique forest delta, known locally as the Gearagh. The film is followed by Cork Environmental Forum’s ‘Green Drinks’, a chance to meet and chat with local and national environmental organisations.

· Morgenster Tall Ship: Visit the Dutch sail training ship ‘Morgenster’ during her stay in the city. The Morgenster will be docked in Cork on June 11th and Cobh June 12th.

· Lunchtime Lectures: The festival teams up with UCC’s History Department to bring an engaging series of mid-day lectures at St. Peter’s Church. Learn about the history of the Bordeaux wine trade with Ireland, the Hapsburg’s visit to Ireland in 1518, and the story of the Royal Navy during the 1916 Rising.

· Festival Cruise: Enjoy a summer’s evening cruise through Cork Harbour before mooring up for a tasty meal in Crosshaven

· Boats and Bites: The festival’s midweek celebration of boats and the freshest bites will include a seafood market and free taster sessions aboard a currach, dragon boat, powerboat and more!

· Night-time Kayak: A unique opportunity to paddle the city by night and explore Cork from a whole new angle.

· SUPing in the City: Dip your toes in with kayaking and Stand-Up Paddle Boarding taster sessions at the Lee Fields in Cork City.

Cork Harbour Festival aims to bridge the distance from city to sea through a programme that encourages people to discover the region. Festival Director Donagh MacArtain says, “The festival highlights the importance of the River Lee and Cork Harbour as a natural and cultural resource, and celebrates the communities and organisations at the heart of it. This year’s programme has something for everyone, whether you like to get active and get outdoors, are a regular or first time ‘boatie’, want fresh ways to enjoy some fun with the family, or want to soak up the harbour’s history and folklore.’’
Cork Harbour Festival is organised by Meitheal Mara, the community boatyard, training centre and charity located in the heart of Cork City. The Festival is sponsored by Cork City Council, Cork County Council, Port of Cork, Failte Ireland and MaREI, and made possible with the help of dozens of Event Partners and hundreds of volunteers.

Published in Cork Harbour

#oceantocity – Cork harbour waters featured a flotilla of over 180 Irish and international boats taking part in the Ocean to City, An Rás Mór on Saturday. A record number of boats competed in the race which saw competitors row 28km from Crosshaven's Royal Cork Yacht Club to Lapps Quay.

Blackrock Youth Course
1st Lassies Crew Tara & Pamela, The Pink Pirates, YAP Ireland
1st Lads Crew Adam & Jake, Mooju, TACT Project, Togher
1st Youth Crew William & Charlie, The Red Oars, Life Centre
1st Junior Kayak Daniel Redmond, Phoenix Kayak Club
1st Cooperation Ireland Crew David & Jack, Belfast/Lisburn
Ogra Cup Winner Mikey & Niall, The Daisy, Foroige Greenmount/Ballyphehane
Most Fiercesome Youth Crew Jack, Ciaran & Cliona, Belfast/ Lisburn Cooperation Ireland
Monkstown-Kayak Course
1st Woman Kayak #770 Catherine Molloy
3rd Veteran Kayak #753 Barry Marron, Inniscara Sailing & Kayaking Club
2nd Veteran Kayak #766 Sean Casey
1st Veteran Kayak #773 Patrick Sparrow
2nd Single Sit-on-top Kayak #753 Barry Marron, Inniscara Sailing & Kayaking Club
1st Single Sit-on-top Kayak #669 Chris Coady
3rd Single Touring Kayak #770 Catherine Molloy
2nd Single Touring Kayak #766 Sean Casey
1st Single Touring Kayak #773 Patrick Sparrow
Monkstown Course
1st 2-hand Currach #105 Churchfield Community Trust, An Dobharchú
Dragon Boat Course
2nd Dragon Boat #83 Dublin Vikings
1st Dragon Boat #84 Croí Cróga
City-Kayak Course
3rd Veteran Kayak #679 Lawrence Buckley, Blackrock Surfski Club
2nd Veteran Kayak #675 Tim Healy
1st Veteran Kayak #682 Malcolm Banks, Salmon Leap
1st Veteran Woman Kayak #648 Jan Albin, Snowdonia Canoe Club (Wales)
2nd Woman Kayak #606 Ruth McAuliffe, Phoenix Kayak Club
1st Woman Kayak #648 Jan Albin, Snowdonia Canoe Club (Wales)
1st Double Kayak #509 Patrick Pierce & Ruth Phelan
3rd Touring Kayak #654 Chris McDaid, North Mayo Sea Kayakers
2nd Touring Kayak #672 Edward Doody
1st Touring Kayak #675 Tim Healy
2nd Racing Kayak #679 Lawrence Buckley, Blackrock Surfski Club
1st Racing Kayak #682 Malcolm Banks, Salmon Leap
1st Single Kayak #682 Malcolm Banks, Salmon Leap
City Course
1st Veteran Crew #17 North Berwick Rowing Club, Speedwell (Scotland)
1st City Crew #17 North Berwick Rowing Club, Speedwell (Scotland)
Ocean-Relay Course
1st Traditional-style Relay Crew #2 Kilbrin Rowing Club, Cul Rowings
1st Relay Crew #59 Galley Flash Rowing Club
1st ICRF Relay #59 Galley Flash Rowing Club
Ocean Course
2nd Mixed Crew #39 North Berwick Rowing Club, Bass Rockets (Scotland)
1st Mixed Crew #62 Edermine Ferry, Still Mad For It
1st Veteran Crew #7 Naomhóga Chorcaí, Croi Na Nog
3rd Women's Crew #51 MYC Rowing Porthmadog, Porthmadog Ladies (Wales)
2nd Women's Crew #20 St.Kearns Rowing Club, Flaming Rowing Tigers
1st Women's Crew #8 Naomhóga Chorcaí, Neart na mBan
1st Single Sliding Seat Boat #13 Mersea Island Rowing Club, Lone Wolf (England)
2nd St Ayles Skiff #39 North Berwick Rowing Club, Bass Rockets (Scotland)
1st St Ayles Skiff #38 Coigach Rowing, Coigach (Wales)
1st 4-oared Wooden Boat #20 St.Kearns Rowing Club, Flaming Rowing Tigers
1st 6-oared Wooden Boat #72 Falmouth Gig Club, Kernow Bys Vyken (England)
1st Wooden Boat #38 Coigach Rowing, Coigach (Wales)
1st Mixed Crew Celtic Longboat #54 Aberystwyth RC, Aberystwyth Mixed (Wales)
2nd Celtic Longboat #52 Aberystwyth RC, Aberystwyth Men (Wales)
1st Celtic Longboat #53 Aberystwyth RC, Aberystwyth Vets (Wales)
2nd ICRF #68 Templenoe Rowing Club
1st ICRF #63 Arklow Rowing Club, Honey Badgers
1st GRP Crew #63 Arklow Rowing Club, Honey Badgers
2nd Racing Currach #29 An Spideil
1st Racing Currach #30 Doonbeg Currach Club
1st Working Noamhóg #7 Naomhóga Chorcaí, Croi Na Nog
1st Currach #3 Naomhóga Chorcaí, Fiolair na Mara
1st Ocean Crew #3 Naomhóga Chorcaí, Fiolair na Mara
Special Awards
Meitheal Mara Challenge #105 Churchfield Community Trust, An Dobharchú
Boat of the Day, Charlie Hennessy Cup #4 Avonmore II, Paul Tingle
Boat Builder of the Day #33 Jeremy Duffin, Strangfjǫrðr, Strangford Costal Rowing Club
Community Boat Build Prize #1&2 Kilbrin Rowing Club
First International Crew #53 Aberystwyth RC, Aberystwyth Vets (Wales)
Special Endeavour Award #754 Jason Coniry for the ''First ever SUP entry''
Cian Ó Sé Commemorative Trophy #11 Naomhóga Chorcaí, Cumhacht Ceithre Capall

Published in Coastal Rowing

#corkharbour – Celebrating ten years, the Ocean to City Maritime Festival returns for the ultimate oceanic urban experience and a programme of exciting events for the June Bank Holiday Weekend.

Taking place in Cork Harbour, one of the largest natural harbours in the world, Ocean to City is a true flagship event celebrating Ireland's unique maritime culture and heritage. Ocean to City offers something for everyone; from cheering on the spectacular fleet of boats at the many vantage points along the race, to a variety of boat trips, harbour tours, surf and sail tasters, kayak excursions, films, markets, music, craic and free family entertainment.

This year's festival programme is full of opportunities for the people of Cork to get out on the water and get a taste of maritime culture.

The festival offers a dramatic new way to explore the city with Corkumnavigation, Meitheal Mara's tidal guidebook exploring the 29 bridges and 8 weirs around the central island of Cork. Water thirsty folk can also enjoy the River Lee Kayak Expedition - paddling along the city quays and out to Blackrock Castle to see the city from a different view. All throughout the festival there are also lots of sailing, sea kayaking, surfing and powerboating tasters on offer for those seeking adventure.

For the landlubbers among you, there are also many fun and accessible events in the lead up to the big race; from Currach Exhibiton Uisce agus Adhmad and the City to Ocean - Cruise of Cork Harbour, to a Jaws Movie Night aboard the Bryan J. Kids especially will enjoy Cllr. Kieran McCarthy's Make a Model Boat project which is back on the 1st of June at Cork's Lough. Last year over 60 boats were submitted and this year promises all sorts of weird and wonderful creations.

The highlight of the festival, the 28km Ocean to City race An Rás Mór, takes place on Saturday 31st May. Now in its tenth year, it has grown from its origins as a race for traditional fixed-seat boats into an all-inclusive rowing event; embracing everything from traditional wooden working boats, currachs, skiffs, gigs and longboats to contemporary ocean racing shells, kayaks and canoes. The race attracts about 500 participants annually and this year includes crews from England, Scotland, The Netherlands, Spain and Canada.

For the big race day, Cork City and Harbour are awash with activities of all sorts. Spectators can follow the spectacular fleet of boats by bicycle, by boat or from the finish line at Lapp's Quay. Join a group of cyclists heading to Passage West for a first glimpse of boats; or stay close to the action and hop aboard the classic schooner Spirit of Oysterhaven to accompany the race through Cork Harbour.

Plan your race day with a stop along the route and some free family entertainment at one of our prime vantage points. Visit the festivities at Cobh's promenade, at the Passage West Picnic or watch the Youth Race set off with celebrations at Blackrock Castle. The finish line at Lapp's Quay will be a big party with live broadcasts and updates from the "Stream Team" along the route, a street market, Naval Tours of the L.E Aisling, kayak demos, street spectacle, music and much more.

Ocean to City is organised by Meitheal Mara, a community boatyard and nationally-accredited training centre in the heart of Cork city. Meitheal Mara is dedicated to promoting and fostering maritime culture and traditional skills through currach and wooden boat building.

For more information on the festival please visit or see the festival brochure for more details.

Published in Maritime Festivals

#CorkHarbour - Rowboat and kayak trips, harbour cruises, street markets and much more will be in store for Cork Harbour's maritime festival Ocean to City from tomorrow 1 June.

The highlight of the 10-day festival as it's been since 2005 will be An Rás Mór on Saturday 8 June, a 28km rowing race that celebrates Cork's unique maritime heritage and attracts entries from all over the world.

The course begins at Crosshaven and crosses Cork Harbour via Cobh, Monkstown, Passage and Blackrock before reaching the finish line at Lapp's Quay in Cork’s city centre.

An expected 500 Irish and international rowers will compete in a diverse range of vessels including currachs, Irish coastal rowing boats, Bantry longboats, kayaks, Cornish pilot gigs and Chinese dragon boats.

On-street entertainment, food markets and live music will also reverberate from the Lapp's Quay finish line throughout the day before the finale event and prize giving which will take place in the Clarion Hotel.

Other events during the week include the Dragon Boat Challenge tomorrow afternoon from 2pm-8pm at Lapp's Quay and kayak expeditions along the River Lee on Tuesday 4 June and Friday 7 June - not to mention the Cork City Marathon on Bank Holiday Monday 3 June.

For more see the festival programme HERE.

Published in Maritime Festivals
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Coastal Notes Coastal Notes covers a broad spectrum of stories, events and developments in which some can be quirky and local in nature, while other stories are of national importance and are on-going, but whatever they are about, they need to be told.

Stories can be diverse and they can be influential, albeit some are more subtle than others in nature, while other events can be immediately felt. No more so felt, is firstly to those living along the coastal rim and rural isolated communities. Here the impact poses is increased to those directly linked with the sea, where daily lives are made from earning an income ashore and within coastal waters.

The topics in Coastal Notes can also be about the rare finding of sea-life creatures, a historic shipwreck lost to the passage of time and which has yet many a secret to tell. A trawler's net caught hauling more than fish but cannon balls dating to the Napoleonic era.

Also focusing the attention of Coastal Notes, are the maritime museums which are of national importance to maintaining access and knowledge of historical exhibits for future generations.

Equally to keep an eye on the present day, with activities of existing and planned projects in the pipeline from the wind and wave renewables sector and those of the energy exploration industry.

In addition Coastal Notes has many more angles to cover, be it the weekend boat leisure user taking a sedate cruise off a long straight beach on the coast beach and making a friend with a feathered companion along the way.

In complete contrast is to those who harvest the sea, using small boats based in harbours where infrastructure and safety poses an issue, before they set off to ply their trade at the foot of our highest sea cliffs along the rugged wild western seaboard.

It's all there, as Coastal Notes tells the stories that are arguably as varied to the environment from which they came from and indeed which shape people's interaction with the surrounding environment that is the natural world and our relationship with the sea.

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