The first Glandore Classic Boat Regatta was held in 1992 under the flag of Glandore Harbour Yacht Club. It was held over a long week-end and the combination of the venue – Glandore harbour’s natural amphitheatre – the warm welcome and the growing interest in traditional boats, ensured its success. It attracted a fleet of local and overseas traditional and classic boats, notable among which were the Galway Hookers, Paddy Barry’s St. Patrick – since lost in Glandore – and Michael Brogan’s MacDuach. A number of features of the first regatta, including the Sunday Parade of Sail, have lasted to the present day.
The 1994 regatta built on the success of the first. It was opened by the President Mary Robinson and saw the running of the first Glandore Summer School, which included lectures, exhibitions and demonstrations on the traditional boats of Ireland. The Sunday night fireworks display was introduced in 1994 and has been a feature ever since.
The Classic Boat Regattas of 1996 and 1998 also included the Summer School during the preceding week with the boat events largely at the weekend. These years saw the start of the growth of a West Cork traditional boat revival, with Liam Hegarty’s Shamrock and other replica boats. The Ilen, another historic Baltimore-built boat, recently returned from the Falkland islands, was the star of the 1998 regatta.
2001 saw a change of name to Glandore Classic Regatta and the arrival of a major sponsor Venson plc. A sparkling fleet of classic yachts was attracted to the regatta, including our old friend, the Fife Solway Maid and Blue Leopard. In 2001 we also saw the arrival of fleets, the Water Wags doing formation sailing under the baton of Hal Sisk and the first of the Heir Island Sloops, who have become regulars at the Classic Regatta since then. The Elsa and Querida also turned up and had a thrilling personal derby. The Fastnet Race for the bigger boats was added to the programme in 2001.
The fleet motif was continued in 2003 when 15 boats of the Howth 17 Class came to Glandore for a week of sailing, cruising and carousing. The Heir Island Sloops arrived in strength for a week-long regatta and the traditional west Cork types, including the Heir Island Lobster Yawls, were also represented. A fleet of the aristocrats of the classic circuit the Wm. Fife designed yachts, included our old friend Solway Maid, Sincerity and Clio, and also the Cork Harbour One Designs, Jap, Maureen and Elsa. The Fastnet race where Sincerity and Clio battled it out to finish within minutes of one another, was a feature of the 2003 regatta.
The 2005 regatta fleets were augmented by the SOD's the Shannon One designs who enjoyed four days of glorious fleet racing and the inaugural Irish Classic dragon Championship.
The Classic Regatta has developed since 1992 into an outstanding event where the masterpieces of the great age of sail mingle with traditional West Cork workboats for a week of sailing and spectacle. The closing parade of sail and fireworks display have become a must-see on the sailing calendar. This year, 2009, promises to be a great event once again.
Glandore Harbour Yacht Club – mail/post to: Claire Thompson, The Old Craft Shop, Leap, Co. Cork. Tel: +353 28 34676; or club (for contact during the Regatta only please): +353 28 33640
Have we got your club details? Click here to get involved