Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

In association with ISA Logo Irish Sailing

Cork Harbour Festival’s Ocean to City - An Rás Mor is Back This Year for the Full Harbour Race!

24th May 2018
A Lagan Currach A Lagan Currach

Cork Harbour Festival grows each year, and its flagship event Ocean to City - An Rás Mor, now in its 14th year, has 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.

For the first time in its history, the 2017 Ocean to City became a shortened river race due to high winds forecast in the harbour, therefore it is with great excitement to have the full harbour race back for 2018.

Lagan Currachs

Alan MacNamidhe, who lives in Cork, is striving to become the first blind crew member to finish the full race course of Ocean to City. Alan was introduced to currach rowing two years ago during a Saturday public currach row in Cork City, which is facilitated by Naomhóga Chorcaí; and he has been rowing since. He started training for Ocean to City six months ago when the possibility of taking part came up in conversation. Alan will be rowing with Jack O ‘Keeffe, Ed O’Leary, John Tynan and Michael McLaughlin.

Crew members of Lagan Currachs will be travelling from Belfast to Cork to participate in Ocean to City this year in their 10 metre (33ft) currach. Lagan Currachs include members from across Belfast who formed this community group in 2016. A team of almost 80 volunteers helped build this magnificent craft which is crewed by 12 rowers. The currach is rowed weekly on the River Lagan and Belfast Lough.

The furthest travelled crew will be from Albany, the capital city of New York State. Members of the Albany Irish Rowing Club will be borrowing an Irish boat for the race from Jimmy Austin, member of Cork City’s Naomhóga Chorcaí.

Conor O’Geran of Phoenix Kayak Club has completed every race since the first race in 2005. Celine Kavanagh of Cahirsiveen has also never missed a race. Celine has either rowed, paddled or coxed each year of Ocean to City.

The Ocean to City Youth Race starts from Blackrock Harbour, covering a 4km stretch into the city. Youths typically participate in Meitheal Mara’s Bádoireacht programme - a unique boat building and rowing service for young people (ages 14 – 18) - before participating in Ocean to City. This year Linda Zajkiewicz will be rowing in her second Ocean to City Youth Race. Two days after the race she will be heading to Dublin to board the Pelican of London Tall Ship for a 10-day voyage. This voyage will see Linda sail back into Cork Harbour on the weekend after Ocean to City, to be part of Cork Harbour Festival again. The Ocean to City Youth Race will have currach rowers from South Africa, Pakistan and Sri Lanka taking part in the race this year!

This is the 14th year of Ocean to City – An Rás Mor, organised by Meitheal Mara, which since 2005 has brought thousands of rowers and paddlers to Cork to compete, challenge themselves and leave with a memorable experience. Many participants are regular racegoers, while others take part for the fun and challenge of completing the course.

There will be race commentary at the finish line by Cork 96FM Ken Perrott, as well as plenty of family fun featuring music, the festival market and circus street performances from 3.30pm at Lapp’s Quay and Port of Cork. Soak up the buzz, mingle with crews and celebrate the 14th Ocean to City Race, Saturday 2 June!

The full festival programme of over 70 events is available online here.

Published in Cork Harbour Team

About The Author Team

Email The Author is Ireland's dedicated marine journalism team.

Have you got a story for our reporters? Email us here.

We've got a favour to ask

More people are reading than ever thanks to the power of the internet but we're in stormy seas because advertising revenues across the media are falling fast. Unlike many news sites, we haven’t put up a paywall because we want to keep our marine journalism open. is Ireland's only full–time marine journalism team and it takes time, money and hard work to produce our content.

So you can see why we need to ask for your help.

If everyone chipped in, we can enhance our coverage and our future would be more secure. You can help us through a small donation. Thank you.

Direct Donation to Afloat button

It’s one of the largest natural harbours in the world – and those living near Cork Harbour insist that it’s also one of the most interesting.

This was the last port of call for the most famous liner in history, the Titanic, but it has been transformed into a centre for the chemical and pharmaceutical industry.

The harbour has been a working port and a strategic defensive hub for centuries, and it has been one of Ireland's major employment hubs since the early 1900s. Traditional heavy industries have waned since the late 20th century, with the likes of the closure of Irish Steel in Haulbowline and shipbuilding at Verolme. It still has major and strategic significance in energy generation, shipping and refining.

Giraffe wander along its shores, from which tens of thousands of men and women left Ireland, most of them never to return. The harbour is home to the oldest yacht club in the world, and to the Irish Navy. 

This deep waterway has also become a vital cog in the Irish economy. 


‘'s Cork Harbour page’ is not a history page, nor is it a news focus. It’s simply an exploration of this famous waterway, its colour and its characters.

Cork Harbour Festival & Ocean to City Race

Following the cancellation of the 2020 event, Cork Harbour Festival will now take place 5 – 13 June 2021, with the Flagship Ocean to City on 5 June

Featured Sailing School

INSS sidebutton

Featured Clubs

dbsc mainbutton
Howth Yacht Club
Kinsale Yacht Club
National Yacht Club
Royal Cork Yacht Club
Royal Irish Yacht club
Royal Saint George Yacht Club

Featured Brokers

leinster sidebutton

Featured Webcams

Featured Car Brands

subaru sidebutton

Featured Associations

ISA sidebutton
isora sidebutton

Featured Events 2020

Featured Chandleries

CHMarine Afloat logo
osm sidebutton
viking sidebutton

Featured Sailmakers

northsails sidebutton
uksails sidebutton

Featured Marinas

dlmarina sidebutton

Featured Blogs

W M Nixon - Sailing on Saturday
podcast sidebutton
mansfield sidebutton
BSB sidebutton
sellingboat sidebutton

Please show your support for Afloat by donating