Monkstown Bay and Cove Sailing Clubs have agreed a joint cruiser racing programme for this season which will set a new course in Cork harbour sailing, writes Afloat's Tom MacSweeney in the Evening Echo.
The neighbouring clubs have been in discussion for some time with the aim of engaging in joint racing. Like clubs around the country, it has been proving difficult to maintain cruiser racing, so getting together for inter-club racing is a way forward in strengthening interest in the sport.
Monkstown Bay SC cruisers concentrate on white sail racing while Cove has both white sail and spinnaker classes.
Both have agreed a series of inter-club white sail events, when cruisers from both will race together. They will also run their own club sailing programmes, so this could be the ‘best of both worlds’ for the sailors. It is a positive development, one to be welcomed in bringing clubs in Cork Harbour together.
While there may be some adjustments to the schedule as the season progresses, which can invariably happen with the best-laid plans, the agreed approach involves both clubs joining forces on Sunday May 21 and Saturday, May 27, starting together on the Cove SC line. Monkstown will, in the same month run its own weekly Thursday night league. Cove will launch its sailing programme with a formal announcement of the season’s plans on May 5.
On Saturday, June 3, the June Bank Holiday Weekend both clubs will race in Monkstown which will also be the Sea Hennessy Trophy for Monkstown boats, to honour that village’s much-revered sailor, the late Charlie Hennessy. The clubs will gather together again in Cobh on four Fridays in June – 9, 16, 23 and 30. A race to Kinsale, which will also be a ‘feeder’ for the Sovereign’s Cup there, is planned on Saturday, June 17. For boats not racing in the Cup series, this will be an overnight occasion, with a race back to Cork Harbour the following day.
In July Monkstown will hold its ‘At Home Regatta’ on Saturday, July 8, which SCORA, the South Coast Offshore Racing Association, is expected to support and on Saturdays, July 15, 22, 29, Cove will join MBSC in racing at Monkstown. On Sunday, July 23 racing will be in Cove.
August is generally the month when boats head West for holiday cruising, so no joint racing is planned, but they will gather again in September. On Saturday, September 2, the Ballinacurra Race will start from Cove and finish in East Ferry. Saturday, September 9, is the date scheduled for the annual Cobh-to-Blackrock Race and there are joint MBSC and Cove SC events planned on Saturdays September 16, 23 and 30.
Hopefully, this inter-club initiative will boost cruiser racing in Cork Harbour.