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Displaying items by tag: Monkstown Bay Sailing Club

2020 was to be a year of special events in Cork Harbour. COVID 19 brought those plans to a crashing halt. The highest-profile hit was Cork Week and the events celebrating Cork 300, many of which are cancelled or in doubt at present. But tucked away in another part of the harbour lies a special club that had its very own anniversary this year.

Monkstown Bay Sailing Club came into being on Sunday, the 7th of June 1970. The six-strong committee of Mr Robert Cuppage, Mr Jack O’Driscoll, Mr Barry O’Connell, Mr Will O’Brien and Mr Dick Woodley was ably led by Mr Norcott Roberts.

Racing initially took place in Enterprises and other small dinghies on a handicap basis. The races were held in the evenings. The minimum subscription was 10/- which made you a founding member.

The village of Monkstown has always featured a strong sense of community and no place exemplifies this more than Monkstown Bay Sailing Club. Many families of founding members are still actively involved in the running of the club and as the club has grown in stature a full programme is conducted every year with no one left out. Class 1 and 2 dinghies still race of an evening and an active cruiser fleet races also.

Monkstown Bay first sailing courseMonkstown Bay's first sailing course

One of the first events organised by the club was an IYA sailing course. 40 aspiring young sailors attended, and the course was run by Mr Neville Eames.

To this day the courses have run introducing countless sailors to the pleasures and delights of sailing on Cork Harbour. In another consequence of the current pandemic, for the first time, in living memory, the sailing course has been cancelled. The sight of boats being rigged on a sunny morning by enthusiastic sailors will be sorely missed on the daily commute to work.

By way of compensation for the loss of the celebratory weekend, Monkstown Bay Sailing Club has commemorated their anniversary with a series of posts and commentary on their Facebook page and a series of WhatsApp messages to those members who are signed up to the various club groups.

In one of the initial posts, the twenty-seventh Commodore, Mr Ciarán Mc Sweeney greeted the membership with a wonderful letter commemorating the club’s anniversary and went on to announce the re-commencement of racing within guidelines in July for class 1 and a slightly restricted version for class 2.

It is also intended to run some training for level 3 and 4 junior sailors to complete their certificates.

Looking further ahead the club will exhibit items of historical interest in the Passage West Maritime Museum later in the year when it reopens. It is also noted that the anniversary celebrations have merely been postponed and an opportunity to celebrate will be taken later in the year as circumstances permit.

Published in Cork Harbour

“For the first time since1972 we must sadly announce that we are unable to run our Junior Sailing Course this year as planned,” Monkstown Bay Sailing Club announced this week. “After completing a risk assessment in line with Irish Sailing’s guidelines and in keeping with government advice we feel that, for the safety of club members, families and the wider community, this decision had to be taken.”

The popular Cork Harbour courses which introduce young people to the sport have been run annually in the summer months, June-July.

“We are looking at possible options to complete some courses towards the end of the summer for some of the levels,” the club said.

It is hoping to run a July dinghy league, though a format has not yet been decided.

Published in Cork Harbour

It was February 1st, and the hardy band of Cork Harbour Laser sailors regrouped for day three of the Monkstown Laser Frostbite League, in beautiful racing conditions. 

A low sun arose over Cork Harbour in the early hours of the morning. A slight chill in the air was enough to inflict a bite, but not enough to stop thirteen enthusiastic sailors from arriving on the Sandquay at 9 am. A windy forecast was on the cards and gusts of up to 27 knots were due later in the morning. The sky was cloudless and Monkstown Bay looked promising. 

A south-westerly breeze blew across the bay, peaking at a low 10 knots of wind. The tide was high and weak. The competitors launched their Lasers off the Sandquay, to join the race committee.

A windward/leeward course had been set, with a windward mark situated in the creek near Raffeen. The 10:10 am scheduled start was right on time and the thirteen Laser sailors found their positions on the small start line. Three minutes went by and race one was underway.

Monkstown Bay Laser dinghy RacingSailors in shot (Left to right) Fionn Lyden, Chris Bateman, James Long, Alex Barry (IRL)

Launching off the line was MBSC’s Ronan Kenneally, who crossed the fleet with a spectacular port tack flyer. This put him into the lead just ahead of the fleet. Conditions were tough, with a gusty wind mixing things up. Kenneally held his lead around the windward mark just in front of BSC’s Fionn Lyden MBSC’s Chris Bateman. But things were not all as they seemed and the ace Finn sailor (Lyden) sailed past Kenneally using his downwind skills. The breeze was increasing slowly as they sailed downwind. Bateman chose the opposite side of the course and managed to round the leeward mark just ahead of Lyden and Kenneally. Paths were chosen carefully as the competitors travelled upwind, working through the shifty wind. All remained vigilant and two rounds later, your correspondent took first place. Taking the second position was Lyden, with Kenneally following just behind in third.

In the Radial category, MBSC’s Harry Pritchard took first place, with MBSC’s Philip Doherty following up in second place.

Race two began with much more wind. There was now a steady 13-knot wind gusting up over 16 knots. The high tide was still weak and the competitors had no trouble beating up to the mark. Pulling away into the lead was Sunday’s Well sailor Paul O’Sullivan, followed by radial sailor Philip Doherty in second. The top mark was seeing heavy wind and a wild gust caught out O’Sullivan, as he spun into an almost-saved death roll. This capsize let Doherty pull into the lead, with Bateman just behind. Doherty blasted away from the fleet in the high wind and rounded the leeward mark in first. As they continued on the upwind leg, Doherty’s radial rig lacked the extra ‘grunt’ in the lulls, allowing your correspondent to sail through in the full rig. The last downwind leg saw Fionn Lyden sail through the radial sailor, followed up by MBSC’s Alex Barry. Taking first place was Bateman and in second place was Lyden. Light-weight sailor Alex Barry managed the heavy weather well and took third place.

In the Radial category, MBSC’s Phil Doherty showed heavy weather speed and took a comfortable first place. MBSC’s Harry Pritchard followed up in second, having struggled in the big breeze.

The wind had piped up for race three, the last race of the day. A strong, gusty wind blew across the land from the west. These are tricky conditions at best, with rogue wind shifts threatening to capsize the laser dinghies. The competitors set off and immediately started to work their boats to maximum speed. Leading around the windward mark was O’Sullivan, with Kenneally in second. A heavy gust of over 22 knots let Kenneally sail through O’ Sullivan. As the competitors planed towards the leeward mark, the wind was gusting over 25 knots. Your correspondent sailed around the leeward mark just ahead of Kenneally, with Lyden closing in. The wind whipped across the water, making the windward mark rounding a task. Lyden and Kenneally battled it out, with Kenneally sailing over the top of Lyden. The heavy wind was of no moment to the fleet as they all blasted downwind to the finish line. Taking first place was your correspondent. In second position was Kenneally, with Lyden sailing through into third. 

In the Radial fleet, Heavy weather specialist Phil Doherty took another win. Harry Pritchard finished up in second place.

So, a great end to what was an epic morning on the water. The sailors headed for shore, whipped with wind and spray. Warmth and rest awaited on shore, all the that was needed to relax after a hard morning’s sailing. 

Join us next week on the water, where the stellar race committee and mark layers will make sure you get the most out of your Saturday morning, and will never disappoint!

Published in Laser

On Saturday 25th of January, the Monkstown Bay Laser Frostbite league rolled around for day two of the month-long Cork Harbour series.

A mixed bag of weather conditions was in store for the competitors, with a dull sky and black clouds dampening the mood. The air was warmer than usual, so comfort levels were at their peak. A south-westerly breeze was blowing up around 9-12 knots. The Sandquay was busy, as a record number of sailors had arrived to enjoy the morning’s racing. 

MBSC Laser 2Richie Harrington (left) Chris Bateman (Right) Fighting for lead Photo: Ali Harvey

The start was due for 10:10 am, so Race Officer Alan Fehily and his crew were seen setting up a course in the early hours. The fleet launched with time to spare and could be seen sailing out into the channel under a heavy flood tide. A windward/leeward course was set opposite Alta Terrace. 

The 3-minute gun went off at exactly the scheduled time. The record-sized fleet of sixteen boats lined up on the start line, jousting for position. The competitors could be seen trying to stay below the line, with a very strong flood tide dragging them over early. One general recall later and the first race of the day was underway.

Laser dinghy Cork HarbourFionn Lyden (left) Chris Bateman (right) fighting for lead Photo: Ali Harvey

As the fleet converged at the top mark, it became apparent how much the tide was affecting the race. A perfect path had to be chosen, with most sailors heading to the left side of the course just outside the shipping channel. MBSC’s Brendan Dwyer took an early lead and extended that lead throughout the race. Challenging for second and third were Monkstown’s Chris Bateman and Fionn Lyden from Baltimore sailing club. Dwyer held them off until the third and final lap, where your correspondent managed to slip into first place, with Lyden in second. RCYC’s Johnny Durcan followed in third place. As the race carried on, Lyden sailed past Bateman on the downwind to finish in first place. Your correspondent took second position, with Durcan making up third.

In the radial fleet, MBSC’s Harry Pritchard took first place, with RCYC’s Michael Crosbie in second and MBSC’s Philip Doherty in third.

Race two began with the same strong tide but with a little less wind. The fleet was close as they made their way up the first beat, beginning the three-lap race. Tactics downwind were crucial, as the tide was head-on. Your correspondent took the lead early on, with Durcan following and MBSC’s Ronan Kenneally right behind. The sun had come out and the water was a clear blue. Bateman gybed away from the fleet onto the shoreline, while Durcan elected to stay out in the tide, but with more wind. By the end of the race, Bateman finished out in front with Durcan in second place. Kenneally finished in third position.

Laser dinghy Cork harbour2Bateman in lead, Durcan in second place Photo: Ali Harvey

In the Radial category, it was Pritchard taking first place, with Crosbie and Doherty following up in second and third. 

Race three began with MBSC’s Richie Harrington taking an early lead. Following in second place was your correspondent, with Durcan in third place. Harrington increased his lead throughout the race, in the light and tricky conditions. Brendan Dwyer sailed through on the last downwind, passing out Durcan and Bateman, but could not hold Durcan with his new-school tacking manoeuvres. Meanwhile, Harrington sailed across the line in first place with a comfortable lead. Durcan sailed into second, with your correspondent making up third place.

A tough morning’s racing was enough to finish off the competitors, and the laser dinghies were put to bed, to be woken again next Saturday.

Published in Laser

Monkstown Bay Sailing Club in Cork Harbour finally got their sixth annual Raft Race underway this morning, it having been cancelled due to weather on 26th December writes Bob Bateman

Fundraising for Pieta House, the charity that offers free support for those in suicidal distress or engaging in self-harm, competitors took to the water with all the fun and excitement that goes with raft racing.

Monkstown Bay Raft Race(Front Row) Alex Barry, Ken Murphy, Brian Dinneen. (Back Row) Aine Bogue, Conor O’Keeffe, (aiming to raise €100,00 for Pieta House by running 32 Marathons in 32 days) Nin O’Leary, Jenny Meade, Shane Kennedy

This was the sixth running of the event and this year funds raised were added to the pot for Conor O’Keeffe’s attempt at raising €100,000 for Pieta House by running 32 Marathons in as many days.

Photo gallery By Bob Bateman

 1120937The starting crews at MBSC

 1120944A Le Mans-style start

 1120955There were some late starters...

 1120980 1The Winning Team in the annual Monkstown Bay Sailing Club Raft Race. The team consisted of Alex Barry, John Downey, Steve Higgins, Sandy Rimmington and Aine Bogue

Competitors gave it their allCompetitors gave it their all

 1120996Sandy Rimmington and Alex Barry ensured that Nin O'Leary did not finish without a ducking in chilly Cork Harbour

Dave Kenefick on rescue boat duty keeps a watchful eye on this capsized craftDave Kenefick on rescue boat duty keeps a watchful eye on this capsized craft

Raft RaceRaft Racecraft were all shapes and sizes

Published in Cork Harbour

Monkstown Bay Sailing Club Laser sailors were afloat again today for the annual St. Stephens Day Race in Cork Harbour.

In light winds, Paul O’Sullivan was the winner of the Dr Magner Cup.

The St Stephen's Day fixture race precedes the MBSC Open Winter Laser Series that starts on Saturday, January 11th with First Gun at 10:10 (Boat Starts) as close as possible to the Sandquay.

There are three races per day scheduled. Open to all Laser and Radials. The series concludes on Saturday, February 15th

Published in Laser

Monkstown Bay Sailing Club’s October Cork Harbour dinghy league ended with Class 1 top place going to Laser sailor Ronan Kenneally. He had a total of 8 points from six races, winning two, second in three, discarding one placing. He was two points ahead of an RS400 and a GP14.

Sandy Rimmington and Richie Harrington in the RS 400 and Alex Barry and Ken Murphy in the GP finished on 10 points.

This resulted in a ‘tie-breaker’ where each race result throughout the series is taken into account. The RS200 crew had two firsts, a second and two thirds. The GP 14 sailors also had two firsts. They counted two thirds, but had one fourth, which cost them second place, pushing them to third overall.

In Class 2 Harry Pritchard sailing his Laser was well ahead overall, finishing on six points from eight races, seven of which he won and finished second in the other. It was a strong performance by the young sailor. Two Topper sailors were next. Cian McDonagh was second on 19 points and Frances Corkery third on 20.

Published in Laser

Saturday, February 16th saw the Laser sailors of Cork gather for the final day of the Monkstown Laser Frostbite League, sponsored by CH Marine writes Chris Bateman.

The morning began with a mixed sky over the bay. Patches of blue were seen in amongst ominous-looking clouds. A fresh breeze blew from the south, whistling through shrouds on the Sandquay. The bay looked inviting; a dark blue in colour and a slight chop disturbing the water.

The sailors arrived in Monkstown as early as ever. Sails were heard before they were seen, flogging in the strong wind. Without delay, Race Officer Alan Fehily set a windward/leeward course at the entrance to Monkstown Creek. Raring to go, the competitors took to the waters in record time.

The sequence began for race one at 10:15am, the exact scheduled time. Ten sailors worked hard to hold their positions on the line until the gun went. It was a clean start and the dinghies were seen battling their way up the course. The breeze was shifty, threatening to knock the sailors over with every gust. It was all they could do to stay upright and they had to sail carefully for three rounds. Sundays Well sailor Paul O’Sullivan stayed ahead of the fleet for the majority of the race, holding off MBSC sailors Rob Howe and Ronan Kenneally. O’ Sullivan took first place, with Howe close behind in second. Kenneally followed up in third place.

In the radial category, MBSC’s Harry Pritchard was the only one to test the conditions. He sailed fast, mixing it in with the bigger standard rig sailors.

The second race was challenging, with gusts of 25 knots hitting the water. The conditions were typical for Monkstown Bay; holes in the wind and a strong flood tide dominated the course. Paths were picked carefully and it was all but decided at the finish line. Kenneally sailed well and took first place, just in front of Howe who finished second. MBSC’s William O’Brien finished close behind in third place.

The third and final race of the league began in a more constant wind, averaging roughly 15 knots down the course. It was close racing off the start line and all the sailors tussled up to the windward mark. Kenneally took the lead early and fought to hold his position. O’Brien was in hot pursuit, contesting the laser ace. Howe sailed close behind, carefully covering the fleet.

Kenneally crossed the finish line in first, winning the last race of the league. O’Brien followed in second, with Howe close behind in third place.

The final race concluded and the sailors went ashore. A prizegiving was scheduled for 12:30pm and all the competitors looked forward to the warmth of the Bosun. Eighteen races had not been sailed for nothing; all of the sailors had raced in earnest for the prestigious Yard of Ale trophy, over six cold Saturdays. In the end, MBSC sailors dominated the top four positions. Former UK Laser Olympic squad member Rob Howe finished in fourth position. In third position was the well-known avid National 18 sailor Charles Dwyer. In second place was the two-time Monkstown laser frostbite league winner Ronan Kenneally. The winner of the Yard of Ale trophy was your correspondent, who finished just a point ahead of Kenneally.

In the radial category, Harry Pritchard from MBSC finished in first position; he was also the first person to win in this category. He sailed well and by the end of the league he had lots of race wins under his belt.

All scheduled races had been sailed and it was in high spirits the competitors left the Bosun, ready to enjoy another season of laser sailing. Rest assured they will be the first to start next year’s season, at the next Monkstown Laser frostbite league.

Photos below by Bob Bateman

Monkstown Bay Laser dinghy1Brendan Dwyer (foreground) Photo: Bob BatemanMonkstown Bay Laser dinghy1Rob Howe Photo: Bob BatemanMonkstown Bay Laser dinghy1Paul O'Sullivan (foreground) Photo: Bob BatemanMonkstown Bay Laser dinghy1James long (foreground) and William O'Brien (background) Photo: Bob BatemanMonkstown Bay Laser dinghy1Harry Pritchard Photo: Bob BatemanMonkstown Bay Laser dinghy1Ronan Kenneally (left) And Chris Bateman Photo: Bob BatemanMonkstown Bay Laser dinghy1Tight downwind on Monkstown Bay Photo: Bob BatemanMonkstown Bay Laser dinghy1Rob Bateman Photo: Bob BatemanMonkstown Bay Laser dinghy1Chris Bateman Photo: Bob BatemanMonkstown Bay Laser dinghy1Paul O'Sullivan bears away in a gust Photo: Bob BatemanMonkstown Bay Laser dinghy1The Lasers get a clean start Photo: Bob BatemanMonkstown Bay Laser dinghy1Ronan Kenneally (left) second in the standard fleet and Harry Pritchard radial winner Photo: Bob BatemanMonkstown Bay Laser dinghy1Monkstown Bay Laser dinghy1Chris Bateman with the MBSC Yard of Ale trophy Photo: Bob Bateman

Published in Cork Harbour

Saturday, February 2nd saw laser sailors competing on Monkstown Bay in Cork Harbour for the fourth day of the Monkstown Laser Frostbite League, sponsored by CH Marine writes Chris Bateman.

The morning began with a golden sunrise overlooking the eastern end of the bay. Beautiful beams of light reflected on the glassy water but alas not a breath of wind was in the air. A canvas of cloudless blue sky gave no signs of breeze.

Sub Zero temperatures were in store for the competitors. Regardless of the cold, twelve enthusiastic sailors arrived at the Sand quay bright and early to prepare for the mornings racing. Ice ridden covers were separated from the decks and ropes were unstuck from cockpit floors.

Monkstown Bay Laser dinghy racing Cork HarbourThe sailors feathered their way around Monkstown Bay in light wind Photo: Bob Bateman

One by one the sailors launched into the glassy waters. As the hustle and bustle of rigging diminished, a light breeze filled in from the north-west. Race officer Alan Fehily sprung into action, setting a windward/leeward course off Blackpoint.

The start sequence for the first race began right on time at 10:15 am. The competitors lined up, holding their positions until the gun went. The race began and it was an immediate search for clear breeze. The wind was uncertain, shifting through 30 degrees and occasionally easing away to nothing. The sailors persevered, suffering big gains and losses. MBSC sailors Charles Dwyer and Rob Howe led the race from the windward mark. However, on the first downwind leg the boats behind got hit by a gust of wind and overtook the leaders. For the rest of the race, MBSC’s Ronan Kenneally led the pack, with Paul O’Sullivan and William O’Brien in close pursuit. Local Monkstown sailors William O’Brien and your correspondent overtook Kenneally on the last downwind leg. Bateman finished in first with O’Brien close behind in second. Kenneally finished in third place right behind O’Brien.

Laser Monkstown BayLaser racing on Monkstown Bay Photo: Chris Bateman

In the Radial fleet, MBSC’s Harry Pritchard sailed fast and was heavily contesting the standard fleet. He finished in first place, staying ahead of RCYC’s Sophie Crosbie and Innascarra’s Robert McGarvey.

The competitors had every confidence in the wind for the second race of the day. A settled eight-knot breeze blew down the course. A strong flood tide swept up the bay, giving the sailors cause for concern as they made their way to the windward mark. The competitors were careful to avoid two sizeable container ships passing through the course on each downwind leg. Howe and Bateman led the fleet, holding their positions for the majority of the race. Bateman finished in first, with Howe right behind in second. Sundays Well SC sailor Paul O’Sullivan crossed the line in a close third place.

In the Radial fleet, Harry Pritchard held his lead to finish in first position.

"In a nail-biting finish, your correspondent took first place"

The last race of the day began in a solid ten knots with gusts of up to fifteen. Kenneally led the race from the start and rounded the mark in front of O’Brien and Howe. Kenneally held his lead until the last downwind leg, where he battled it out with Bateman. In a nail-biting finish, your correspondent took first place with Kenneally finishing no less than a metre away. Howe sailed across the finish line to secure third position.

In the Radial fleet, RCYC’s Sophie Crosbie finished in first place, holding off Pritchard and McGarvey for the majority of the race.

Despite the difficult conditions, three successful races were completed. All of the sailors had braved the cold. Arriving ashore, the sailors put their boats to bed and tucked them away on the Sand quay, where they would be taken out once again for next weekend's racing.

Published in Cork Harbour

A westerly wind of ten knots brought Monkstown Bay Sailing Club's Laser League to a conclusion on Saturday writes Bob Bateman.

Kinsale's Darragh O'Sullivan, who did not contest the final races of the series, was very much in evidence at the prizegiving to lift the coveted 'Yard of Ale' trophy that has been fought over 18 races in Cork Harbour.

Chris Bateman was second overall and first Junior. Ronan Kenneally was first Master and third overall.

Full results below

Monkstown Bay Laser League Results

Published in Laser
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