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Crosshaven RNLI in Cork Harbour came to aid of two people on Wednesday (24 April) after their 30ft yacht got into difficulty.

The yacht’s crew who were on passage from Dublin to Crosshaven alerted the Irish Coast Guard at Valentia of a mechanical problem some five miles south of Roches Point and requested assistance.

The coastguard activated the pagers of the volunteer crew and the inshore lifeboat slipped moorings at 2.50pm with Aidan O’Connor in command, assisted by Clare Morgan, Jeff Lacarda and Maeve Leonard onboard.

The lifeboat made good time in a slight sea and was soon alongside the casualty vessel.

Checks were made of the yacht and its two occupants before it was decided that a tow was essential.

The yacht was brought into the nearest safe port at Crosshaven and safely berthed.

Shore crew for the call-out were Conor Barry, Gary Heslin, Michael Livingstone, Caoimhe Foster, Warren Forbes and Michael McCann. Launch authority was Hugh Tully.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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We’ve become so accustomed to the RNLI’s Yellow Wellies being used as receptacles for Lifeboat Fund-Raisers – with silent donations much preferred, and usually generously given - that we can easily forget they’re practical items of footwear. But Crosshaven Lifeboat Branch have decided to give a new twist to this by combining most known uses of the distinctive footwear with a series of Yellow Welly Fund-Raiser Walks every Sunday morning in May at 10.0am. And the route is along the comfortably flat shoreside path from the Royal Cork YC to Drake’s Pool and back.

Project testing under way at a secret shoreside location near CrosshavenProject testing under way at a secret shoreside location near Crosshaven

 The walks will start at the Royal Cork YC car-park (centre-right) and head west for Drake’s Pool. Photo: Robert Bateman The walks will start at the Royal Cork YC car-park (centre-right) and head west for Drake’s Pool. Photo: Robert Bateman

There’ll be prizes for the best-decorated childrens’ wellies on the day. And though the plan is to walk there and back for a “Brew With The Crew” in the Lifeboat Station afterwards, we’d be very surprised if participants at each extreme of the age spectrum aren’t allowed their cuppa even if they do get a lift back from the turning point.

For those who wish this well but can’t be there themselves, donations can be made here

Crosshaven Lifeboat Branch

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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The 1980s tend to get a bad press as a time when young people left the country in droves, searching for jobs that matched their potential and training. Those of us who stayed at home to battle on, but now find ourselves living in one of the allegedly richest countries in Europe, survived the bad times by generally not keeping overly close tabs on those who had made the Great Escape. For indeed, some had more or less vanished without trace, while others were rumoured to have made some sort of determinedly-sought breakthrough to become household names in their own household, or even better.

GETTING OUT IN 1985

One such is Ken Corry, now Commodore of the highly-regarded 1901-founded Los Angeles Yacht Club. Yet when he departed the intense Cork sailing scene in 1985, boats and sailing in his new life in California were barely even on the to-do list as he worked with increasing success on the lively West Coast, where the multi-opportunity California is nearly 15% of the entire US total economy, while New York state is only 8%.

Neill Love from Cork with Commodore Ken Corry at the Los Angeles Yacht ClubNeill Love from Cork with Commodore Ken Corry at the Los Angeles Yacht Club

DEEPLY INTO CROSSHAVEN JUNIOR SAILING

Yet back in Crosshaven he’d been completely invested in the junior sailing programme, having joined the Royal Cork YC as a kid in 1970, then moving up the ranks to race in the Mirrors and be a helm in the RCYC Team which beat Sutton Dinghy Club for the historic Book Trophy by a cool 17.5 points in 1976.

The most junior of juniors – a young Ken Corry at Crosshaven (left) with Eddie Tingle and the late Suzanne Crosbie. The lifejackets back then were so uncomfortable that where the rules said “Life Jackets Must Be Worn When Sailing”, the youngsters interpreted that to a very fine point, and in a less prosperous era of fewer items of equipment, life jackets could be used as fenders when the boats weren’t actually under wayThe most junior of juniors – a young Ken Corry at Crosshaven (left) with Eddie Tingle and the late Suzanne Crosbie. The lifejackets back then were so uncomfortable that where the rules said “Life Jackets Must Be Worn When Sailing”, the youngsters interpreted that to a very fine point, and in a less prosperous era of fewer items of equipment, life jackets could be used as fenders when the boats weren’t actually under way

Success! Forty-eight years after the event, the 1976 page of “The Book” show young helm Ken Corry (bottom left) proving his worth for Royal Cork in the annual tournament against Sutton Dinghy ClubSuccess! Forty-eight years after the event, the 1976 page of “The Book” show young helm Ken Corry (bottom left) proving his worth for Royal Cork in the annual tournament against Sutton Dinghy Club

MOVING UP THE ROYAL CORK SAILING RANKS

Then he went on to the National 18s for a couple of years before being elevated to a crewing role on Denis Doyle’s new Crosshaven-built Frers 51 Moonduster in 1981, going on to race with The Doyler in that year’s Admiral’s Cup including the Fastnet, and the Sardinia Cup in Porto Cervo in the Mediterranean in 1982. By 1984, he had been swept into the wave of enthusiasm for the J/24s, crewing both for Stephen Hyde in that year’s Worlds at Poole, and subsequently with Anthony O’Leary in the legendary Flying Ferret.

Fresh out of Crosshaven Boatyard in May 1981, Denis Doyle’s new Frers 51 Moonduster had a youthful crew – including Ken Corry – who took a while to realise just how much they needed to ease the backstay when running. Photo: W M NixonFresh out of Crosshaven Boatyard in May 1981, Denis Doyle’s new Frers 51 Moonduster had a youthful crew – including Ken Corry – who took a while to realise just how much they needed to ease the backstay when running. Photo: W M Nixon

But in the mid-1980s, the winters were long and the economic outlook was bleak, and in 1985 he fetched up in California, keen to work. The way his friend Neill Love back in Cork tells it, his reinvolvement – eventually to the highest levels – in the sailing scene in the new environment came about in a very laid-back style:

  • Sailed casually with friends for a number of years before becoming a partner (and now sole owner) of a Cal 40 in restoration project.
  • Joined Board of Directors (the Committee) in Los Angeles Yacht Club 2018
  • Launched superbly restored and successful Cal 40 in 2021
  • Commodore LAYC 2024

Joining the real club….the restoration of Ken Corry’s Cal 40 nears completion in 2021Joining the real club….the restoration of Ken Corry’s Cal 40 nears completion in 2021

It’s a beautiful story, and the involvement of a Cal 40 is the cream on the cake. Back in 1963, sailors of a modernist mind in Ireland were much taken by the new van de Stadt-designed Excalibur 36, virtually all fibreglass and with a spade rudder in the newest of the new styles, completely separate from the keel. There was an attempt to get an OD class going in Dun Laoghaire, but it had petered out by the 1970s, as moving from the very stylish and classic DB24s to the utterly plastic fantastic Excalibur was just too much of a leap.

CAL 40 IS CALIFORNIA’S ENDURING CLASSIC

But meanwhile, in California in 1963, Bill Lapworth unveiled the Cal 40, the same concept as the Excalibur 36, but with a more slim Pacific style in that very useful extra 4ft of length and enough traditional varnish-work – particularly a wooden cockpit coaming – to keep many traditionalists happy.

The ultimate restored Cal 40 – Stan and and Sally Honey’s Illusion sweeps into another ocean race win. After many years of massive successes on both the Pacific and Atlantic coats of the US with Illusion, Stan and Sally have gone over to the dark side with the purchase of a fully-powered trawler yacht, while Illusion has gone to Stan’s nephew “as he gets what she means”.The ultimate restored Cal 40 – Stan and and Sally Honey’s Illusion sweeps into another ocean race win. After many years of massive successes on both the Pacific and Atlantic coats of the US with Illusion, Stan and Sally have gone over to the dark side with the purchase of a fully-powered trawler yacht, while Illusion has gone to Stan’s nephew “as he gets what she means”.

To cut a long story short, you won’t see any Excalibur 36s making the offshore racing scene these days. Yet in the US on both coasts the Cal 40 wonderboat just keeps on winning, and restoring one – as super-sailors Stan and Sally Honey did with their hugely successful yet ancient Illusion, which had bullet holes in the hull when they took on the job - is looked on along the West Coast as an almost sacred duty for serious sailors.

Thus from being someone from a cosy Irish sailing community who was making a leap into the dark in moving to the Coast, Ken Corry is now very much at home at the heart of Los Angeles sailing and its finest traditions. Rather than travelling to visit, he is the one to be visited – he has had Neill Love calling by, and when his mother Sheila arrived, they were able to get together with Ron Holland down from Vancouver, and his daughter Kelly.

And so far, he seems to have comfortably resisted any projects to make the LAYC the Western Station of the RCYC, but may well be open to the idea that the RCYC becomes the Eastern Station of the LAYC.

Sailing folk from several homes in Ken Corry’s home club are (left to right) Ken’s mother Sheila, Ron Holland down from Vancouver, Ken Corry in one of the places he knows best, and Ron Holland’s daughter Kelly.Sailing folk from several homes in Ken Corry’s home club are (left to right) Ken’s mother Sheila, Ron Holland down from Vancouver, Ken Corry in one of the places he knows best, and Ron Holland’s daughter Kelly.

Published in Cork Harbour

After 50 years, there is a major change in sailmaking at Crosshaven, Cork Harbour’s dominant sailing centre.
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Outside the village, the loft associated with the legendary Des McWilliams and family is no longer a sailmaking centre.

Barry Hayes and his wife, Claire Morgan, who took over the business seven years ago, have moved sailmaking to a new loft at Carrigaline, a few kilometres away. In addition, they have opened the first sailing shop in the village of Crosshaven itself, an impressive premises looking out onto Cork Harbour, the marinas and the RCYC sailing grounds.

The new McWilliam Sailing Shop in Crosshaven in Cork Harbour was opened on Friday, November 17, 2023The new McWilliam Sailing Shop in Crosshaven was opened on Friday, November 17, 2023. The impressive premises looks out onto Cork Harbour

For this week’s Podcast, I discussed these changes at Sailmakers at The Square, Crosshaven, with Barry Hayes, who did not start his working life as a sailmaker - he was making chocolate when Des McWilliam convinced him to switch careers.

Sailmakers at The Square, Crosshaven

We discuss the modern changes in designing and manufacturing sails. He describes making canvas sails in Hong Kong, the long-lasting effect that had on his hands and how today, sails made from many different fabrics are also made to last longer.

Sailmakers at The Square, Crosshaven

Listen to the podcast and check out the photo gallery of the Sailmakers at The Square launch in Crosshaven below. 

 

Photo Gallery: Sailmakers at The Square Launch in Crosshaven

Published in Tom MacSweeney

RTÉ News reports on a multi-agency search and rescue operation for a child missing in the water off Fountainstown Beach near Crosshaven in Co Cork.

It’s understood that an eight-year-old child was swept out to sea on Tuesday afternoon (5 September).

The Shannon-based Irish Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 115 is on the scene along with local coastguard and RNLI units, gardaí, ambulance crews and divers, according to Cork Beo which has more HERE.

Elsewhere, a surfer was prounounded dead after he was pulled from the water near Portrush on Sunday evening (3 September). The Belfast Telegraph has more on the story HERE.

Published in Cork Harbour

The volunteer crew of Crosshaven RNLI were kept busy on Monday evening with two back-to-back callouts in Cork Harbour. The first callout came at 7.45 pm when the crew was alerted to a 19-foot motor boat with two people on board that had mechanical issues and an anchor that was dragging at Roches Point, near the mouth of the harbour. The crew quickly arrived on the scene and established a tow to Monkstown Marina.

As the lifeboat was berthing the casualty at Monkstown, Valentia Coast Guard diverted the crew to take part in a medical evacuation at Rushbrook Hotel. The National Ambulance Service requested assistance in extracting a patient with a lower leg injury from the shoreline. Cobh Fire Service was also in attendance. 

The patient was placed on the lifeboat by stretcher and taken to the ferry slipway before being handed back into the care of the paramedics. The lifeboat returned to the station at 10.50 pm, where it was washed down, refuelled, and declared ready for service once more at 11.30 pm. 

The RNLI crew involved in the operation included Alan Venner, Kline Pennefather, Molly Murphy, Conor Barry, Gary Heslin, Jeff Lasarda, Darryl Hughes, and Ian Venner. Michael McCann was DLA. 

This successful operation highlights the dedication and commitment of the Crosshaven RNLI to provide assistance to those in need.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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A member of the public alerted the Coast Guard to a stranded vessel with one person onboard near Spike Island and Haulbowline Island in Cork Harbour on Saturday afternoon (July 29th).

The Crosshaven lifeboat volunteers were called to action and launched at 5.40 pm. The crew, consisting of Alan Venner, Susanne Deane, and David Venner, located the 20-foot motor vessel at anchor near the Haulbowline bridges.

The skipper explained that he had experienced engine failure after leaving the slipway at Paddy's Point. The weather conditions at the scene were challenging, with a westerly Force 5 and choppy sea.

After establishing a tow, the crew returned the vessel to Paddy's Point and helped the skipper retrieve it to his trailer before heading back to the station. Helm, Alan Venner, commented, "all water users should carry a means of calling for help and to call for help in a timely manner." He also praised the member of the public who reported the incident.

The crew members involved in the operation were Alan Venner, Susanne Deane, and David Venner, while Gary Heslin, Jon Meany, Michael Livingstone, Kline Pennefather, and deputy launching authority Hugh Mockler participated in the launch and recovery.

In case of an emergency on or near the water, contact the Coast Guard by calling 999 or 112, or by using VHF channel 16.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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A number of derelict coastguard cottages in Crosshaven are to be converted into social housing, as the Irish Examiner reports.

Plans for 24 social housing units at the central location overlooking Cork Harbour echo those for Dun Laoghaire’s own former coastguard cottages approved last year.

A total 12 one-bed and 12 three-bed units will be developed at what had become an eyesore at the gateway to Crosshaven village.

The Crosshaven Coastguard cottages are facing the Royal Cork Yacht Club and its marina at the top of the photo. Crossahven Garda station is the white cottage on left. The new builds will be in the green area behind the cottages. The Crosshaven Coastguard Building is pictured in the foreground behind the cottages. Photo: Bob BatemanThe Crosshaven Coastguard cottages are facing the Royal Cork Yacht Club and its marina at the top of the above photo and pictured at the bottoon of the drawing below. Crosshaven Garda station is the white cottage on left. The proposed new builds will be in the green area behind the cottages. The Crosshaven Coastguard Building is pictured in the foreground behind the cottages. Photo: Bob Bateman

crosshaven plans

In addition, seven existing residences on the site will be turned into two-bed units by Cork County Council, who voted to approve the project recently.

The Irish Examiner has more on the story HERE.

Published in Cork Harbour

On Saturday, 28 January, Valentia Marine Rescue Sub Centre activated the pagers of Crosshaven RNLI Lifeboat volunteers in Cork Harbour to assist with a medical evacuation.

A fisherman became ill on board the Portuguese crewed 12M fishing vessel and required immediate evacuation to hospital.

The pagers were activated at 10.22 pm, and the lifeboat with James Fegan in command and with the crew, Susanne Deane, Jon Bermingham and Alan Venner were quickly underway to intercept the casualty vessel as it headed for Cork Harbour.

In slight seas, the lifeboat achieved 28 knots towards the vessel and met with the boat about 4 miles south of Roches Point.

James Fegan transferred command of the lifeboat to Alan Venner before going onboard the fishing vessel to assess the casualty and moving him to the lifeboat for a speedy return to Crosshaven. The lifeboat arrived back in Crosshaven at 11.30 pm and was met by the National Ambulance Service, who conveyed the patient to Cork University Hospital.

As the crew were Portuguese speakers with little English, the Valentia MRSC controller interpreted via radio relay with the lifeboat crew. Fortunately, the RNLI also had a Portuguese-speaking crewman, Jeff Lacerda, at Crosshaven, who could interpret for the Paramedics when the casualty was handed over to NAS.

The RNLI shore crew were Dave Venner, Ian Venner, Conor Barry, Jeff Lacerda and DLA Hugh Tully.

Commenting on the service, James Fegan said the evacuation went like clockwork, in no small measure due to the Valentia MRSC controller and Jeff Lacerda being able to communicate with the casualty vessel and casualty.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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On Sunday afternoon (15 January) Crosshaven RNLI volunteers were requested to launch and assist the National Ambulance Service and Cobh Fire Brigade to extract a casualty at Cobh.

It emerged that a young man had fallen on cliffs east of the pilot station at Cobh in Cork Harbour and suffered a serious leg injury.

NAS paramedics and fire service personnel were able to access and treat the casualty, but were unable to extract the patient.

Shortly after pagers sounded at 3.35pm, the inshore lifeboat was beached at the cliff base and its volunteers took on board the stretchered patient along with two paramedics for continuation of care.

They were subsequently transferred to Kennedy Quay, where the fire service assisted in extracting the casualty to the awaiting ambulance.

Commenting later, Crosshaven RNLU hailed the “good inter-agency cooperation by NAS, fire service and the pilot launch.”

The lifeboat crew on this callout were Ian Venner, Alan Venner, James Fegan and Caoimhe Foster. Launch crew were Kline Penefather, Conor Barry, Jeff Lacerda, Jennifer Grey, Jonny Bermingham and Kevin McCarthy.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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