Displaying items by tag: Crosshaven
Crosshaven's volunteer lifeboat crew were paged at 45 minutes past midnight to the incident in the lower part of Lough Mahon after the report of a boat with one person on board believed missing after the collision with a navigation buoy.
The casualty boat along with its slightly injured owner were eventually located at a marina in Crosshaven. All teams were stood down shortly before 3.30am this morning.
Crosshaven's lifeboat crew on this service were helm Ian Venner, Vince Fleming and Kieran Coniry.
Geasley, a commercial fishing skipper from Cobh and a former RNLI volunteer at Dunmore East, and Lenihan, from Carrigaline, wanted to make a donation to the RNLI instead of putting wedding favours on the tables at their reception.
Lifeboat helm Kieran Coniry, along with fellow crew Ian O’Keefe and Catherine Levis, welcomed the couple to the station with the traditional bottle of champagne and thanked them on behalf of the RNLI for their generous donation, wishing them a lifetime of happiness together.
In other recent lifeboat news, Rosslare Harbour RNLI volunteers launched their all-weather lifeboat on Friday evening (18 July) to go to the aid of an 8m yacht with a broken rudder.
The yacht was bound for the south coast and was about 1.5 miles north of Rosslare Harbour. Visibility at the time was poor due to sea fog and the wind was a south-easterly Force 3 to 4.
The yacht, which was crewed by a father and his young son, was taken under tow by the lifeboat into the safety of Rosslare Europort.
#rnli - Crosshaven lifeboat volunteers were tasked by Valentia Coastguard to reports of a young man with leg injuries near Power Head this afternoon.
The pagers were activated at midday and the lifeboat under helm Vincent Fleming with Aiden O'Connor and Harry "Potter" O'Rourke, made best speed to a cliff area between Gyleen and Power Head.
Gyleen Coast Guard and helicopter Rescue 117 were on scene treating the casualty who sustained multiple injuries in a fall. Rescue 117 requested the lifeboat to evacuate the casualty by sea , followed by a winch from the lifeboat.
However, this also was deemed too dangerous and eventually the casualty was transferred direct to the helicopter for onward travel to CUH.
Sea conditions at the time were calm with good visibility.
#corkweek – Unsettled weather provided changeable conditions for the third day of racing at Volvo Cork Week writes Louay Habib. The day started with bright sunshine and balmy conditions, causing a short postponement for many classes and light rain (honestly!) and a stiffer breeze was encountered during the day. With many classes now completing six races, the discard has kicked in and front runners have become more apparent. What is plainly obvious from the results is races and places are being contested by seconds. Volvo Cork Week is providing exciting, close racing and ashore the craic is the same as ever.
Fleet A, composing of the fastest racer cruisers, competing in IRC One and IRC Two took on the Windward Leeward Course, which was 3 miles south east of Roches Point. Once a northerly breeze had settled, the fleet got a clean start in Race 5 racing upwind towards the shoreline. The breeze was light and the first leg proved to be crucial. Peter O'Leary was calling tactics today on Marc Glimcher's Ker 40, Catapult (Baltimore SC). "We crossed the line on starboard tack and tacked as soon as we could to head for the area of pressure on the right hand side of the course. The race was all about finding that extra pressure to get ahead of the fleet and into clear air."
Peter's brother Nicholas O'Leary is tactician on Michael Boyd's Grand Soleil 43, Quokka (Royal Irish YC). "Mark Mansfield on the wheel and myself were in total agreement that the right would pay" commented Nicholas. "We had both seen this scenario in the 1720 Nationals and it was clear to us."
Catapult scored their fourth win in a row in Race 5 and ended the day leading IRC One for the series by six points. Andy Williams' Ker 40, (Yealm YC) won Race 6, to move into second position on countback, from Richard Matthews Hakes 42, Oystercatcher XXX (Royal Burnham YC).
Quokka were unstoppable today, winning both of today's races to open up an 8.5 point gap for the series in IRC Two. Tony Ackland's Dubois 37, Dark Angel (Swansea YSC) is still in second place but a solid performance by Conor Phelan's Ker 37, Jump Juice (Royal Cork YC) has lifted the team up to third.
Fleet B, consisting of IRC 3, IRC 4, IRC 5 and the Sportsboat Class enjoyed three races on the Olympic Course, near Roches Point. with over 40 yachts racing on a tight triangular course.
In IRC Three, Pat Kelly's J/109, Storm (Rush YC) still leads the class after an intense battle. Robert McConnell's, A35, Fools Gold was the winner in Race 5. The intensity of the combat was evident by the top four yachts were only separated by an astonishing 12 seconds. Last year's class champion, Ian Nagle's J/109, Jelly Baby (Royal Cork YC) was the winner of Race 6 by just 23 seconds from Storm. However, the Kelly family racing Storm, finished the day on top by winning the last race of the day.
"The Olympic Course is a real test, especially the gybe mark, where yachts are converging for a manoeuvre all at the same time. Just a few seconds can make the difference between first and fifth." Explained Joss Walsh, trimmer on Storm. "The overall game plan was to keep with the yachts around us and try and compete with them for speed and avoid errors, which would be very costly. Pat Kelly has four sons on board, Storm is a real family boat but we are quite a heavy crew, which has made racing difficult in light conditions. We are all here to enjoy very competitive racing and a few pints at the club afterwards. We are here to win but having fun is just as important."
Former ICRA National Champion Storm leads IRC 3. Photo: Bob Bateman
Storm leads IRC Three by 10.5 points points from Paul O'Higgins Corby 33, Rockabill V, (Royal Irish YC). Jelly Baby is just half a point behind Rockabill V in third.
In IRC Four, Tim Cunliffe's Half Tonner, Insatiable (Royal Cornish YC) is the new leader having scored a 1,2,3 in today's three races. Paul Tingle's Corby 25, Alpaca (Royal Cork YC) has dropped to second place after struggling on today's Olympic Course. Peter Deasy's Bad Company (Royal Cork YC) had their best day so far, scoring a 4th and a win to move up to third in class. Ronan Fenton's J/35, Sky Hunter (Blackwater SC) finished the day in style, taking their first win of the regatta in Race 7.
Dave Lane and Sinead Enright's YaGottaWanna. Photo: Bob Bateman
In IRC Five, it is now six straight bullets to the boys from Cobh. Jason & Domonic Losty's Quarter Tonner, Illes Pitiuises (Cobh SC). However, the team have had to fight for their supremacy, winning Race 5 by 6 seconds and Race 6 by 35 seconds. Kieran O'Connell's Quarter Tonner, Bandit (Royal Cork YC) had a consistent day to have a solid position in second place for the series. Frank O'Regan's Orient Express (Cobh SC) is the smallest keel boat at the regatta and lies third, just one point ahead of Lane & Enright's J/24, Yagottawanna (Royal Cork YC).
In the Sportsboat Class Robin & Ben O'Mahony's 1720, Spiced Beef still leads the class after scoring a third and a race win today but two yachts came into the running with excellent results today. Julian Cook's Viper 640, Oh No, won the first two races putting pressure on Spice Beef but a fifth in the last race means that Spiced Beef have a five point lead for the series. Denis Murphy's 1720, Aquatack scored three second places today to move up to third for the class, just a point behind Oh No.
Lenny Donnery's No Knomes. Photo: Bob Bateman
In IRC One White Sail, George Pettifor's Beneteau 36.7, Foxtrot had an outstanding day in Cork Harbour, winning both of today's races to become the new class leader. John Downing's Samba drops to second place, just two points off the lead. Peter O'Donovan's X-372, X Tension scored a second and third place today to move up to third for the class.
Tom McNeice's Sigma 33, Minx III won both of today's races to open up a three point lead in in IRC Two White Sail. David Borry Crockett's Sigma 33, is second with Pat Vaughan's Contessa 33, Aramis in third.
Tonight's entertainment at the Royal Cork Yacht Club Event Village includes, traditional Bag Pipes from Sessiun Ceol followed by DJ Fadd Jnr, mixing the tunes after 10pm. Racing continues tomorrow, full results available here
Ted Crosbie at the tiller of No Excuse. Photo: Bob Bateman
#corkweek – The fast high performance yachts racing at Volvo Cork Week enjoyed the unique Slalom Course today, the triangular course has an offset mark which forces the crew to gybe half way down the reaching leg, providing high octane maneuvres in close quarters with other yachts.
Marc Glimcher's American Ker 40, Catapult (Baltimore SC) was launched on the Slalom Course today, scoring three straight bullets. Catapult's crew include, Royal Cork's Harry Durcan, the teenage national Optimist Champion, who was beaming from ear to ear. However it was far from easy for Catapult, which will be representing Ireland in the forthcoming Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup. Each race was won by just seconds with three high performance yachts pushing hard; Richard Matthews' Hakes 42, Oystercatcher XXX (Royal Burnham YC), Andy Williams British Ker 40, Keronimo (Yealm YC) and Anthony O'Leary's Ker 39, Antix (Royal Cork YC).
"That is the first time I have raced on a slalom course although it is an idea we have thought about back home in Maryland." Commented Catapult's Geoff Ewenson from Annapolis USA. "Conventional windward lewards are more tactical but this course is all about speed, boat handling and sail selection, which is more akin to modern yachts flying asymmetric sails and it is a very exciting discipline. We were by no means faultless today but we have got to be happy with our results and racing a new course set up was very refreshing, something we all enjoyed."
In IRC Two, Michael Boyd's Grand Soleil 43, Quokka (Royal Irish YC) had another great day. Quokka won the first two race but dropped to fourth for the last race of the day. After four races, Quokka has a slender lead for the class from Tony Ackland's Dubois 37, Dark Angel (Swansea YSC). Conor Phelan's Ker 37, Jump Juice (Royal Cork YC) had a consistent day resulting in third place by the close of play. The intensity of the racing in IRC Two produced a tie for second place in the first of today's three races between Jump Juice and Dark Angel.
Fleet B, consisting of IRC 3, IRC 4, IRC 5 and the Sportsboat Class enjoyed three races on the Windward Leeward Course, three miles south east of Roches Point.Warm sunshine and stable conditions prevailed,with blue skies and fresh breeze coming off the land to provide a perfect classic race track.
In IRC Three, Pat Kelly's J/109, Storm (Rush YC) was in impressive form scoring a win and a second in today's races to open up an 8.5 point lead at the top of the class. Paul O'Higgins Corby 33, Rockabill V, (Royal Irish YC) sailed consistently well today to move up to second in class. Robert McConnell's A35, Fools Gold (Waterford Harbour SC) is third.
In IRC Four, Paul Tingle's Corby 25, Alpaca (Royal Cork YC) had a great day scoring two wins and a second, to climb to the top of the class. Tim Cunliffe's Half Tonner, Insatiable (Royal Cornish YC) finished the day in style with a win, to place the Cornishmen just two points off the lead. Ronan Lyden's Corby 25, Aurora (Royal Cork YC) scored two second places today to move up to third.
"Champagne sailing!" smiled Paul Tingle, skipper of Alpaca. "12 knots of breeze, a great course and really competitive racing. I just love Cork Week and today was a very special day to be out on the water. The Corby 25 is a step-up for us this season and she is a far more physical boat that we are used to, so in the last race, we were a little tired and let or concentration lapse but what a day! We are off for a crew dinner and can't wait to get going in the morning."
In IRC Five, Jason & Domonic Losty's Quarter Tonner, Illes Pitiuises had another cracking day, to win all three races and have the only perfect scoreline of the 100 yachts competing at Volvo Cork Week. Last month, Illes Pitiuises won the Corinthian Division of the Quarter Ton Cup in Cowes and look like they have brought that scintillating form with them to Volvo Cork Week. Kieran O'Connell's Quarter Tonner, Bandit had a good day on the water, moving the team up to second place above Lane & Enright's J/24, Yagottawanna. Dermott Foley's Anchor Challenge and Frank O'Regan's Orient Express posted good results today on the windward leeward course.
In the Sportsboat Class Robin & Ben O'Mahony's 1720, Spiced Beef still leads the class, having scored two first places today. Mike Relling's Viper 640, Viper scored their first bullet of the regatta to keep hold of second place, but by only one point, from Jimmy Nyhan's 1720, Salve racing.
John Downing's Samba leads White Sail IRC One by just two points, after winning the first of two races today. Sailed along the stunning coastline west of Cork Harbour the fleet enjoyed spectacular views in bright sunshine and a moderate breeze. George Pettifor's Beneteau 36.7, Foxtrot won the second race of the day to lift the team to second for the class. Whilst, Bryan Heffernan's Dufour 365, Aisling scored a second and a third to place third after three races. The Heffernan Family include two members in their 70s, who could not race in the spinnaker classes, a prime example of why the White Sail class is included at Volvo Cork Week.
Tom McNeice's Minx III and David Borry Crockett's Upstart are both Sigma 33S and the two yachts are enjoying incredibly close racing. Only six seconds seperated the two yachts in today's first race. Minx III and Upstart are currently tied for the lead in White Sail IRC Two. Pat Vaughan's Contessa 33, Aramis is third and a win in today's first race has lifted Clive Doherty's GK29, Phaeton to fourth.
Tonight's entertainment at the Royal Cork Yacht Club Event Village includes; Samba Corcaigh Walking. Who are afloat, playing Samba drums around the pontoons. Brazil made be out of the World Cup but the party is still very much going on at Volvo Cork Week! Racing continues tomorrow,
Full results here
#corkweek – Crosshaven sparkled both on and off the water yesterday as all is in readiness for the official start of racing today at Volvo Cork Week 2014 writes Claire Bateman.
The aura of goodwill and smiling faces was in evidence everywhere in Crosshaven today. The Royal Cork Yacht Club was buzzing with last minute registrations of yachts still arriving, the sun shone non stop and there was a delightful summer breeze wafting around to keep the crews on the water.
Many of the yachts, particularly the visitors, took the opportunity to make an observance trip of the harbour both inside and out while others decided to take part in the practice races organized by the Race Committee and to iron out an last minute glitches in their final preparations.
Make no mistake, it is all very pleasant and amicable with a wonderful spirit of camaraderie but, just like any other sport, once the start is underway the competition comes into play.
With a good forecast for today of some 11 to 16 knots of nor westerly breeze conditions should be perfect for the in harbour race that takes the yachts up to a turning mark of Cobh and is a favourite viewing point with the general public. Given the forecast, the yachts may yet get to experience what is known as the "cathedral puff" a wind that may get deflected around the spire with sometimes interesting results!
It only remains to wish the best of luck to all competitors for a wonderful week of racing and to enjoy the extensive shoreside facilities organized for the week.
#CorkWeek – With a fleet of just over 100 boats, yesterday's official opening of Volvo Cork Week at Royal Cork Yacht Club was a proper parade of sail as the competitors readied their vessels for the days of racing ahead.
Members of the public turned out in droves to see the boats and enjoy the festivities of Sunday's open day, including fun fair rides and an open-top bus shuttle between the Royal Cork and Camden Fort Meagher taking in the breathtaking vistas of Cork Harbour.
Later came the official opening of Volvo Cork Week by Marine Minister Simon Coveney, together with VCW chair and club vice admiral John Roche and admiral Pat Lyons.
But Cork Week is about the action on the water, and it got off to a rapid start yesterday morning with the PYR Race Dash for Cash, which boasted a prize fund of €1,000.
The tightly fought battle saw Peter McCann with crew Arran Walsh, sailing a 420, emerge victorious to take the first prize of €500.00.
They were followed in second and third place respectively by John Downey and Sandy Remmington, and Alex Barry and Richard Leonard, both sailing RS400s.
As previously reported on Afloat.ie, it's set to be a challenging yet rewarding week ahead across the fleets, and particularly so in the big boat class as several Ker 40s will be gunning for new British IRC Nationals champion Antix.
#rnil – As Afloat.ie reported earlier Crosshaven Lifeboat were paged at 6.08pm (14 June) to a Dive Boat near Roches Point with an unresponsive diver on Board. The lifeboat met with the Dive Boat off Fort Camden and transferred volunteer Ian Venner, who immediately took over first Aid. The lifeboat was met ashore by Dr John Murphy and Crosshaven Coast Guard. First Aid continued until the patient was handed over to the ambulance service. Helicopter Rescue 117 from Waterford was also tasked.
Sadly, the diver later died in Cork University Hospital. Our Sympathies go to his Family and Friends.
Crosshaven lifeboat launched shortly after 10pm last evening after receiving reports that the RIB with four people on board was aground North of Hop Island. The lifeboat with volunteers Alan Venner, Con Crowley and Alan Barton on board quickly made their way to the Lough Mahon Area.
The Rib was eventually located on mud banks between the main shipping channel and the Douglas river channel after the casualty fired distress flares and turned on navigation lights. The lifeboat crew had to slowly work their way up the unlit channel until they were within a hundred metres of the casualty.
Crew member, Con Crowley successfully attempted to swim on his back across the mud with a tow line to the casualty vessel where he medically assessed all the casualties. One casualty was cold and wet after initially entering the mud to push the vessel off.
As the tide was turning and beginning to fill, the crew had to wait until enough water was under the casualty boat to haul it off the mud. Two of the casualties were then transferred to the lifeboat and Con Crowley helmed the casualty vessel back to Crosshaven.
The casualty vessel and the lifeboat arrived back at Station at 1.45am, was cleaned down and refuelled and readied for service at 2.30am
#cruising – Cruising is the hidden side of sailing, yet it's the choice for the majority of those going afloat. Whether it's day cruising, a longer venture in the annual holidays, or the dream cruise of a lifetime across oceans, this is our sport. Unlike racing, which generates its own narrative even if only through the recorded results, much of cruising would slip under the radar completely were it not for cruising awards. W M Nixon considers the latest annual batch from the Irish Cruising Club.
Cruising under sail seems to be the secret of eternal youth. Last night's Annual General Meeting of the Irish Cruising Club in Dun Laoghaire saw a distribution of awards to voyagers from all parts of Ireland who sailed successfully in many areas of the globe in boats mostly of modest size. Yet any outside analyst would soon have made the point that many of the achievers were of mature – sometimes very mature - years, and fulfilling a retirement dream.
But despite any ICC membership gathering these days being a sea of silver heads, age is the last thing they think about. This club of 550 members has become the mixture of an Active Retirement Association – very active indeed, as it happens – and a sort of seagoing extension of the Men's Shed movement.
If you were looking for an illustration of Ireland's changing demographics, and our very rapidly changing attitude as to what constitutes old age, you need look no further than the ICC. Time was when it was thought quite something when one of the club achieved the Golden Jubilee of their membership. But these days, it's no big deal to have been on the strength for fifty years, as the senior member is Joe FitzGerald of Crosshaven, who this year marks 70 years in the club, and he is closely followed by Douglas Mellon who joined in 1947 from Howth - he now lives on the Scottish Riviera in Kircudbright.
Joe FitzGerald of Cork is the ICC's most senior member, having joined in 1944. He served as Commodore from 1984 to 1987.
All those years ago when they took up their membership, it was thought perfectly normal for young men – married or otherwise - to take off for at least a fortnight's cruising every year, regardless of family demands which these days would be regarded as the prior commitment. In fact, nowadays so much emphasis is placed on family life and families doing just about every last recreational thing together, that younger married sailing people either do extremely short-hop cruising of the type necessitated by catering for the needs of all the members of the family, or else they don't cruise at all in the traditional sense - "Fun For All The Family" effectively rules out proper cruising.
Then too, modern life has so many other distractions - not least of them work demands which involve 24/7 attention - that the old-style easygoing simply-wandering-along holiday cruising is very much a minority activity. This means that at first it seems young people are not taking up traditional cruising at all. But with its deep experience garnered since its foundation in 1929, the Irish Cruising Club has learned to take the long view. It is not unduly concerned by the steadily rising age profile of its membership, and certainly every year there is a significant group of sometimes quite senior yet nevertheless increasingly active cruising enthusiasts joining the club.
They're the embodiment of the slogan that Sailing is a Sport for Life, and it's only politeness which prevents them saying that the subtle pleasures of cruising are wasted on the young. So when you look at the lineup of achievement represented by last night's awards, it's natural to wonder what these people did in earlier life, that they can nowadays afford the time, resources and dedication necessary to complete voyages of this quality.
The adjudication was done by Dave Whitehead of Kinvara on Galway Bay, himself no stranger to the ways of the sea while making long voyages in small craft. He breaks new ground by awarding three trophies at once to Sam Davis of Strangford Lough, whose Cape Horn and Pacific ventures with his Rival 41 Suvretta have been quietly bubbling away in the background of ICC activity for the past three years.
Sam Davis first featured in Afloat magazine in March and April 1981 when we ran his two-part account of his first ocean voyage, an Atlantic circuit from Strangford Lough between 1976 and 1979 with the 34.5ft West Solent Class Suvretta, a former racing boat he'd found in a derelict state and restored to ocean-going condition.
The 34ft West Solent class Suvretta in her offshore racing days in the 1950s when she was based in Belfast Lough. When Sam Davis did the Atlantic Circuit cruise with her in 1976-79, she carried a less loft mainmast, with masthead rig.
But even with Sam's improvements, she was still no more than a slip of a boat, so it says much for his grit and skill that he brought her through the Fastnet storm of 1979 as he sailed the final hundred miles back to Ireland. There was damage aloft, and he'd to get into Dunmore East unaided with jury rigging, but the job was done.
While in the Caribbean, he'd worked in charter yachts between times to make a shilling or two. But after he'd spent time back in Northern Ireland, he went abroad into serious seafaring in offshore service industries, working in places like The Gulf, the North Sea, the Amazon, the Red Sea and Malaysia, becoming a fully accredited Marine Consultant.
Yet if you ask him nowadays what he is and what he was, he'll say he's a farmer and former seaman, as his purchase some years ago of Conly Island in Strangford Lough (you can drive out to it when the tide is down) gives him the little bit of land, and an anchorage too, while "seaman" covers his many experiences in offshore work.
Sam Davis with his newly-acquired Rival 41, re-named Suvretta, in 2009. Photo: W M Nixon
Suvretta in the Beagle Channel in southern Chile. Photo: Sam Davis
Back in 2009 he bought a Rival 41, a hefty and able vessel, a sister-ship of Waxwing in which fellow ICC members Peter and Susan Gray of Dun Laoghaire went round the world 14 years ago. Sam re-named his new boat Suvretta, spent the winter sorting her out, and in 2010 he was gone, sailing south single-handed to eventually round Cape Horn and then spend a long time on the coast of Chile. He was delayed there as a ship broke drift and damaged the boat, but it was well fixed, and he voyaged on into the Pacific to many islands, including Pitcairn and the Tahiti group.
Restless anchorage. Suvretta in Bounty Bay on Pitcairn Island. Photo: Sam Davis
Eventually he fetched up for some time in Tonga, where he became enthused about the 73ft Vakas, the Pacific islanders' contemporary take on the classic Polynesian inter-island vessels (see Sailing on Saturday 11th January 2014). But by November 2012 it was time to head for home, so Suvretta sailed southeast for Cape Horn non-stop, and having rounded it, shaped her course for Port Stanley in the Falklands.
Suvretta rounding Cape Horn for the second time, 21st January 2013. It was only when the Horn was well astern that the weather deteriorated rapidly to make for a challenging approach to Port Stanley. Photo: Sam Davis
However, while rounding the Horn had been simple enough, the passage onwards to Stanley became increasingly fraught, running before rising storm force winds. Conditions were such that it looked for a while as though the lone sailor was going to be swept right past the islands, but he made the cut into shelter to such a nicety that he is awarded the ICC's Rockabill Trophy for Seamanship.
And then when Port Stanley was reached, a very fine passage had been completed from Tonga, so last night for that he was additionally awarded the ICC's Atlantic Trophy for the best voyage with a non-stop leg of more than a thousand miles. And then finally, after they'd spent the mid part of 2013 working their way up the Atlantic with the lone skipper particularly enjoying himself at ports on the Irish coast, Suvretta and Sam returned after three years to Conly Island. And they'd now done more than enough to also be awarded a third trophy - the ICC's premier honour, the Faulkner Cup.
Home again. Sam Davis back in Ireland, August 2013. Photo: W M Nixon
With such a high level of activity by many members, ICC adjudicators always find some final choices to be a very close call, so some years ago the Strangford Cup was inaugurated for the cruise which almost won the Faulkner Cup. This year it has gone to a fine cruise from Portugal to Madeira and through the Azores in detail before returning to Portugal.
John Duggan with his MG CS40 Hecuba in Horta in the Azores
John Duggan originally hailed from Malahide where he sailed, and he also sailed with the college teams while at Trinity College in Dublin. He cruised and raced offshore mostly in the Irish Sea, but having qualified as an accountant he decided to spread his wings internationally, and he became one of those key people who turn up as partners in one of the big four accountancy firms worldwide.
Eventually his career brought him to the company's offices in Lisbon. Living in Portugal suited him fine, so he put down roots and in time bought himself an interesting cruiser. Hecuba is a 1989 Canadian-built Tony Castro-designed MG CS40, a handsome 12m craft with good performance enhanced by an effective wing keel.
During his final years in the day job he gradually improved the boat with a mind to some proper cruising once he retired at 60, something which he planned with all a high-powered accountant's meticulous attention to detail. He remembers the final day at the office, when a friend on the other side of the world sent him an email: "Even the worst day of your retirement will be better than the best day at work".
Azorean whaleboat with Pico beyond seen during one of Hecuba's cruises from Portugal to the Azores. Photo: John Duggan
Maybe so, yet not everyone makes the changeover smoothly, but in John Duggan's case the challenge of planning and executing remarkably civilised yet challenging cruises has proven to be a complete new job in itself, but much more fun than number crunching. He goes to enormous trouble to make sure that his crews have as enjoyable and varied an experience as possible, yet all the time he is quietly keeping the project moving along while noting details and features of ports visited which might be of interest to fellow skippers, a habit which is the hallmark of the true cruising man.
When you live in Cascais with your boat based in the marina nearby, the Azores are the western isles which call you each summer. But unlike Scotland's Western Isles which are just a day's sail away across the Sea of the Hebrides, the Azores involve an immediate ocean voyage from Portugal of at least 500 miles. However, for 2013's cruise west, Hecuba made it a triangle, going first to Madeira before going on nor'west to the Azores which were cruised in detail before returning to Cascais after six weeks away, having logged 2390 miles, with the final tabulation being:
Hours spent close hauled: Zero.
Cross words exchanged: Zero.
Inevitably the two big awards dominate the scoresheet, but the ICC also has a host of trophies which reflect every level of club sailing activity. The Round Ireland Cup, for instance, is for the circuit which produces most information for the club's sailing directions, and in a year in which a goodly number went round, it was Donal Walsh of Dungarvan with his Moody 31 Lady Kate who best filled the bill.
Donal Walsh's Lady Kate anchored at Inishmurray off the Sligo coast during his detailed round Ireland cruise. Photo: Donal Walsh
As the Faulkner Cup was first won in 1931 by the 28ft cutter Marie, the Marie Trophy is for the best cruise by a boat under 30ft, and Mick Delap from Valentia Island with his Tamarisk 24 gaff cutter North Star fits into the size requirement with six feet to spare. He made a fine job of completing a two-summer circuit of Ireland by returning from western Scotland via the Irish Sea and Ireland's south and southwest coasts.
Mick Delap's Tamarisk 24 North Star from Valentia in Lowlandman's Bay in Jura in the Hebrides. Photo: Mick Delap
In all, the ICC has a dozen cruising trophies. But even so not everyone gets one in a typically busy year, so to encourage the newcomers they've the Perry Greer Trophy for first time log-writers, and it goes to Peter Mullan from the Quoile in Strangford Lough for his insightful account of a round Ireland cruise with the Jeanneau Sun Odyssey Sancerre.
Peter Mullan's Sun Odyssey Sancerre in the little harbour at Tory Island with the Donegal highlands beyond. Photo: Peter Mullan
All the logs, including the winning ones, were featured in the ICC's 180-page Annual 2013, which Honorary Editor Ed Wheeler managed to get to the members in time for Christmas. All this is done by voluntary effort, yet the Annual would stand up to professional comparisons, as it includes informative accounts of cruises in just about every part of the world, plus a report on the ICC Cruise-in-Company to the Isles of Scilly which was an outstanding success despite coinciding with some uneven weather in June.
The Irish Cruising Club flotilla in the Isles of Scilly during their successful Cruise-in-Company in June 2013.
Everyone to his taste. ICC member Brian Black went to Greenland for the sixth time, crewing on Aurora. This is Kangertitiatsivaq Fjord in high summer. Photo: Brian Black
There's more to the Club than the Annual, as the ICC's programme of producing constantly up-dated Sailing Directions for the entire Irish coast in two volumes is a continuous progression, with the latest 12th Edition of the North & East Coast Book due next month from Honorary Editor Norman Kean, whose home port is Courtmacsherry.
Thus it's clear that Ireland's cruising club is a truly all-Ireland organisation, and this year it will be celebrating its 85th birthday with a Cruise-in-Company to Glengarriff where it was founded on July 13th 1929. Yet despite its obvious significance, this is a club without premises. In the final analysis, it's a club of the mind, made up of kindred spirits. Heading such a body is a mighty challenge, and the changing of the watch is always a charged moment.
Last night David Tucker of Kinsale stood down after serving his three years as Commodore, and he was succeeded by Peter Killen of Malahide. His experience in club administration is long-lived – he was Commodore of Malahide YC when it became "Club of the Year" in 1980. But it was his cruising CV which next went into overdrive, as in 1993 he voyaged north to Iceland, circled it, and then sailed back in near-record time in an S&S 30. He then moved up to a Sigma 36 which he cruised to Greenland among other places, following which he cruised even further with a Sweden 38, and then in 2004 he took on his dreamship, the Amel Maramu 54 Pure Magic.
Peter Killen seems to have cruised this very special boat just about everywhere. Not least was deep into Antarctica, where he made a memorable arrival in zero visibility with icy conditions into the natural harbour in the extinct volcanic crater on Deception Island. It was all a long way in time and distance from five boats gathered in Glengarrif in the hope of forming a little cruising organisation back in 1929. But that's the way it is with the Irish Cruising Club.