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The Royal Cork Yacht Club have welcomed the appointment of club member Stephen O’Shaughnessy as racing manager at Irish Sailing.

The Cork city native has extensive sailing experience, from the Mirror dinghies of his youth to the the ILCA7 team racing in the Firefly, not to mention keelboat racing both inshore in Dublin Bay and offshore.

Today he’s a fixture of the National 18 dinghy fleet in Cork Harbour and still regularly sails keelboats.

In his new role, O’Shaughnessy will support all aspects of competitive racing across Ireland — local, national and international.

Published in Royal Cork YC
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The Royal Cork Yacht Club is bringing back mixed dinghy racing on Wednesdays this September.

Following the return of the mixed dinghy fleet earlier this year, as previously reported on Afloat.ie, the club is now looking to expand further beyond the 29ers, 420s and National 18s to welcome any mixed dinghy boat — raced by competent helms and crews — to join the PY racing format for the new September league coordinated by Andy Jenkins.

Royal Cork’s Read Admiral for dinghies, Maurice Collins tells Afloat.ie that the initiative is part of his overall strategy to reinvigorate double-handed sailing at the club.

Racers of double-handed boats such as Topaz, Mirror, RS200, Magno, RS400 and Fireball are actively encouraged to join — and single-handers are more than welcome too.

For more details see the RCYC website HERE.

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After the high winds of Saturday’s opening day of the Royal Cork Yacht Club 'At Home' in Crosshaven, the second day made for a welcome change, with a flat sea and less wind.

Between cruisers and dinghies, the RCYC had 80 boats racing over the weekend in their annual ‘At Home’ regatta in Cork Harbour.

Saturday’s high winds and choppy waters made a testing day for cruisers and dinghies. Cruisers raced between the outer and inner harbours, registering up to 22 knots of wind gusts.

In the two races on Saturday, some boats reefed mainsails to manage the conditions. Others flew spinnakers, with a few challenging incidents.

In the cruiser classes, IRC Spin Division was won by Fiona Young’s ‘North Star.’

The IRC Spinnaker Division of Royal Cork Yacht Club's 'At Home Regatta' was won by Fiona Young’s Albin Express ‘North Star' Photo: Bob BatemanThe IRC Spinnaker Division of Royal Cork Yacht Club's 'At Home Regatta' was won by Fiona Young’s Albin Express ‘North Star' Photo: Bob Bateman

Michael McCann’s ‘Don’t Dilly Dally’ second. David Dwyer’s ‘Swuzzlebubble’ third.

Michael McCann’s Etchells 22 ‘Don’t Dilly Dally’ competing in the IRC Spinnaker Division of Royal Cork Yacht Club's 'At Home Regatta' Photo: Bob BatemanMichael McCann’s Etchells 22 ‘Don’t Dilly Dally’ competing in the IRC Spinnaker Division of Royal Cork Yacht Club's 'At Home Regatta' Photo: Bob Bateman

Ria Lyden’s ‘Ellida’ won ECHO Spin with North Star second and ‘T Bone’ (Tom Durcan/Clive O’Shea) third.

Ria Lyden’s X332 ‘Ellida’ won the ECHO Spinnaker Division of Royal Cork Yacht Club's 'At Home Regatta' Photo: Bob BatemanRia Lyden’s X332 ‘Ellida’ won the ECHO Spinnaker Division of Royal Cork Yacht Club's 'At Home Regatta' Photo: Bob Bateman

Whitesail Division 1 IRC winner was Ian Hickey’s ‘Cavatina.’ Kieran O’Brien’s ‘Magnet’ second. ‘BigMc’ (McGrath Family) third. ‘Cavatina’ also won the ECHO handicap, with Mike Ryder’s ‘Freya’ second and ‘BigMc’ third.

Kieran O’Brien’s ‘Magnet’ was second in Whitesail Division 1 IRC of Royal Cork Yacht Club's 'At Home Regatta' Photo: Bob BatemanKieran O’Brien’s ‘Magnet’ was second in Whitesail Division 1 IRC of Royal Cork Yacht Club's 'At Home Regatta' Photo: Bob Bateman

Whitesail Division 2 winner in both IRC and ECHO was the MacSweeney Family’s ‘Scribbler’. Second in the ECHO handicap was Rob Foster’s ‘Clodagh’ and third was Eugene O’Loughlin’s ‘Kerensa’.

In the dinghy fleets, the Laser ‘passage race’ from Blackrock to Crosshaven on Saturday was a tough challenge for the single-handers. The ILCA 6 winner was Joe O’Sullivan, with Robert Jeffreys second and Eve McCarthy third. Laser 4 fleet winner was Craig O’Neill, with Liam Duggan second and Tommy Hiras third. The ILCA 7 winner was Richard McGlade. Liam Duggan won ILCA 4 in Sunday's racing, with Craig O’Neill second and Eve McCarthy third.

Fast sailing in a 29er dinghy during Royal Cork Yacht Club's 'At Home Regatta' was won by Fiona Young’s Albin Express ‘North Star' Photo: Bob BatemanFast sailing in a 29er dinghy during Royal Cork Yacht Club's 'At Home Regatta' Photo: Bob Bateman

Fevas raced from Monkstown to Crosshaven on Sunday, won by Cathal and Ruadhan Jackson, second Harry Coole and Chris Granby, and third Aifric Barry and Florence Dennehy.

Racing on the Curlane Bank, the Toppers winner was Lucy Moynan, second Kate Dean and third Ruby Foley. Optimists Class winner was Hugh O’Neill, second Charlie McKibben and third Ayda Bruen.

The crew of the National 18 Ball 'n' Chain is hit by a gust going downwind during Royal Cork Yacht Club's 'At Home Regatta' was won by Fiona Young’s Albin Express ‘North Star' Photo: Bob BatemanThe crew of the National 18 Ball 'n' Chain is hit by a gust going downwind during Royal Cork Yacht Club's 'At Home Regatta' Photo: Bob Bateman

National 18s Class was won by Charles Dwyer and crew sailing ‘Nacho Boat’. Second ‘ Aquadisiacs,’ Colin Chapman and crew. Third ‘Peaky Blinders,’ Ronan Walsh and crew.

Bob Bateman's RCYC 'At Home 2023' Photo Gallery (Day One)

Published in Royal Cork YC

Breezy conditions which had a strong northwesterly at times tested the fleets in action in the first day of this weekend’s Royal Cork Yacht Club ‘At Home’ regatta on Saturday (26 August).

Our own Bob Bateman reports that the proposed format change that would have seen some fleets racing from Blackrock did not happen, with ILCAs and Toppers spotted returning to the club.

The National 18 class had a sprint series which consisted of three races on the Curlane Bank, where they were joined by mixed dinghies, two 29ers, a few 420s and an RS 200.

Clear leader on the day was Nacho Boat, helmed by Charles Dwyer, with three bullets. Second and third on the leaderboard respectively are Aquadisiacs (helmed by Colin Chapman) and Peaky Blinders (Ronan Walsh), both on 10 nett points.

Bob Bateman's RCYC 'At Home' 2023 Photo Gallery 

Published in Royal Cork YC
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Due to the poor weather on the South Coast at present, the Royal Cork Yacht Club has cancelled this evening’s (Thursday 6 July) opening race in the Thursday night July League for cruisers.

Published in Royal Cork YC
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Royal Cork Yacht Club members Christian Zugel and wife Sonia Rohan took line honours in Cowes on Saturday (1 July) in this year’s Round the Island Race.

RCYC’s former Olympian Tom McWilliam also featured among the crew of their Volvo 70, Tschüss 2, which was the first monohull to finish in Saturday’s race — and was awarded the Gold Roman Bowl for first place under IRC.

The performance only adds to the pedigree of the boat, which won the 2019 Rolex Fastnet Race as Wizard and the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 as Groupama.

The weather conditions could not have been better for Tschüss 2 — a strong breeze throughout the day and from the west enabling a spinnaker run from just before the Needles right the way to Bembridge.

Tschüss 2’s crew celebrate their line honours and award of the Gold Roman Bowl on arrival in Cowes | Credit: Royal Cork Yacht Club/FacebookTschüss 2’s crew celebrate their line honours and award of the Gold Roman Bowl on arrival in Cowes | Credit: Royal Cork Yacht Club/Facebook

Tschüss 2 completed the course in four hours, 11 minutes and 18 seconds with the mini maxi Notorious crossing the line in second place finishing in four hours, 19 minutes and four seconds.

Christian Zugel, owner and skipper of Tschüss 2 said: “We are delighted with our race performance today and securing line honours is fantastic — what better way to start a new programme on our new boat! Great sailing, great competition and a fantastic welcome from the Island Sailing Club.”

Tschüss 2 had been training for more than a week on the Solent and a practice race around the Isle of Wight but they did it clockwise — like the original America’s Cup route in 1851.

The tactician onboard, Neal McDonald said: “I’ve competed in the race a number of times and can say it was perfect conditions for Tschüss 2 today. It’s such an iconic race in a wonderful setting.”

Published in Royal Cork YC

The Winter League for cruisers at the Royal Cork Yacht Club in Cork Harbour will be for White Sails.

There will be six races, starting on Sunday, November 6 and concluding on Sunday, December 11, according to the Notice of Race issued by the club.

“All-in White Sail, results under IRC and ECHO, with the overall trophy awarded under IRC. One race scheduled each day, weather dependent,” the Notice says. “Daily prizes for 1st and 2nd only. Series prizes for 1st, 2nd and 3rd.

The League will be sponsored by O’Leary Insurances and is an open event, to include visiting boats.

Entry forms must be completed and are available on the RCYC website

Published in Royal Cork YC

The Royal Cork Yacht Club will host an evening of fine dining on Saturday 19 November with all proceeds going to support the club’s Paris 2024 Olympic 49er campaigners Séafra Guilfoyle and Johnny Durcan.

Enjoy a six-course meal prepared by renowned chefs including Victor Franca, head chef at Nua Asador; Nascimento Nunes, head chef at Paladar Restaurant and recently The Barn Restaurant; Shauan Murphy, pastry chef at the Michelin-star The Oak Room at Adare Manor; and Leticia Miranda, chef at the Michelin-star Mae Restaurant.

Dinner is at 8pm on the night with a drinks reception from 7pm. The dress code is smart. Places at €300 per person can be booked on the Royal Cork YC website HERE.

Published in Royal Cork YC

Evening cruiser-racing concluded in Cork Harbour with the final race of the August/September Whitesails League at the RCYC.

Evening cruiser and dinghy racing has also finished at Cove SC. Monkstown Bay Sailing Club dinghy racing is moving from evenings to Saturdays for September.

The June/July and August/September Friday whitesail leagues at the RCYC were both won by SCRIBBLER (Tom and Cormac MacSweeney). The dual success of the Sigma 33 was helmed respectively by the young brothers Oisin (June/July) and Rowan (August/September). They are also both Laser sailors at the RCYC.

Second in August/September was John O’Connor and John Hanley’s Impala FAST BUCK, and third Clive Doherty’s PHAETON. Second in the June/July League was Peter Webster’s, THISTLE and third was FAST BUCK.

Bob Bateman's RCYC Whitesails League and Prizegiving 2022 Photo Gallery

Published in Royal Cork YC

At the Royal Cork Yacht Club in Crosshaven, the August/September evening league has had three races and is being led in the Spinnaker Division under both IRC and ECHO handicaps by Ria Lyden’s X332 Ellida.

She is followed under both handicap systems, IRC and ECHO, by Denis Byrne’s Trapper, Cracker and Wan and Eric Waterman’s Saxon. In IRC Ellida has nine points, Cracker 11 and Saxon Senator 12. Close racing there.

In ECHO Ellida leads on six points, with Cracker and Saxon Senator both on 11. Paul O’Shea’s Sun Odyssey, Elegance, leads the whitesails fleet in the league series in both IRC and ECHO, followed by Kieran O’Brien’s Magnet and John O’Connor’s Fast Buck in IRC. Derry Good’s Exhale is second in ECHO, with Fast
Buck third.

Friday Whitesails league under IHS handicapping

The Friday Whitesails league which is sailed under IHS handicapping has also had three races and is being led by the Sigma 33 Scribbler (Tom and Cormac
MacSweeney), with Fast Buck second and Clive Doherty’s Phaeton third.

Published in Royal Cork YC
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Ferry & Car Ferry News The ferry industry on the Irish Sea, is just like any other sector of the shipping industry, in that it is made up of a myriad of ship operators, owners, managers, charterers all contributing to providing a network of routes carried out by a variety of ships designed for different albeit similar purposes.

All this ferry activity involves conventional ferry tonnage, 'ro-pax', where the vessel's primary design is to carry more freight capacity rather than passengers. This is in some cases though, is in complete variance to the fast ferry craft where they carry many more passengers and charging a premium.

In reporting the ferry scene, we examine the constantly changing trends of this sector, as rival ferry operators are competing in an intensive environment, battling out for market share following the fallout of the economic crisis. All this has consequences some immediately felt, while at times, the effects can be drawn out over time, leading to the expense of others, through reduced competition or takeover or even face complete removal from the marketplace, as witnessed in recent years.

Arising from these challenging times, there are of course winners and losers, as exemplified in the trend to run high-speed ferry craft only during the peak-season summer months and on shorter distance routes. In addition, where fastcraft had once dominated the ferry scene, during the heady days from the mid-90's onwards, they have been replaced by recent newcomers in the form of the 'fast ferry' and with increased levels of luxury, yet seeming to form as a cost-effective alternative.

Irish Sea Ferry Routes

Irrespective of the type of vessel deployed on Irish Sea routes (between 2-9 hours), it is the ferry companies that keep the wheels of industry moving as freight vehicles literally (roll-on and roll-off) ships coupled with motoring tourists and the humble 'foot' passenger transported 363 days a year.

As such the exclusive freight-only operators provide important trading routes between Ireland and the UK, where the freight haulage customer is 'king' to generating year-round revenue to the ferry operator. However, custom built tonnage entering service in recent years has exceeded the level of capacity of the Irish Sea in certain quarters of the freight market.

A prime example of the necessity for trade in which we consumers often expect daily, though arguably question how it reached our shores, is the delivery of just in time perishable products to fill our supermarket shelves.

A visual manifestation of this is the arrival every morning and evening into our main ports, where a combination of ferries, ro-pax vessels and fast-craft all descend at the same time. In essence this a marine version to our road-based rush hour traffic going in and out along the commuter belts.

Across the Celtic Sea, the ferry scene coverage is also about those overnight direct ferry routes from Ireland connecting the north-western French ports in Brittany and Normandy.

Due to the seasonality of these routes to Europe, the ferry scene may be in the majority running between February to November, however by no means does this lessen operator competition.

Noting there have been plans over the years to run a direct Irish –Iberian ferry service, which would open up existing and develop new freight markets. Should a direct service open, it would bring new opportunities also for holidaymakers, where Spain is the most visited country in the EU visited by Irish holidaymakers ... heading for the sun!