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After a few negative years, resulting in some despondency about the future of cruiser racing, the annual meeting of SCORA, the South Coast Offshore Racing Association, had a more positive atmosphere, with a good attendance of skippers, boat owners and club representatives and quite a few practical suggestions about driving the racing scene forward.

SCORA Commodore Kieran O’Connell, who is also Rear Commodore for Keelboats at the Royal Cork YC in Crosshaven, has been talking up the levels of participation in the racing scene, so I was interested to find out if this was the case at the meeting.

In fact, it seemed to be so and was reflected with a wide-ranging debate, from developing Class 4 for the smallest boats, to bring more people into racing, to the length of races, a desire for more racing amongst Cork Harbour sailors outside of the harbour confines, developing more inter-club racing and how to bridge the gap where young sailors are lost to the sport, between dinghy racing and cruisers.

scora winners2017 Scora winners at RCYC Photo Bob Bateman

This practicality was reflected in a debate about the often contentious issue of boat handicaps. There was general agreement that the concentration on handicapping should primarily be at club level, where it could best be used to stimulate more participation locally and strengthen the clubs. Where boats wanted a national handicap to race in other locations, that would have to take account of and dealt with, but the emphasis should be in the clubs.

There was also a desire expressed for longer duration races, because shorter races discouraged participation.

Encouraging young people to move on from dinghies to cruiser racing was debated. “We are not getting enough young people from dinghies into cruiser racing,” was a generally agreed view. There is no obvious solution to this, but it was agreed that to encourage younger sailors into cruisers they had to be given specific roles aboard boats, not just brought onto a boat “to sit on the rail.”

Some things don’t change, but this meeting indicated that there is a lot of positive change and a better future ahead, it seems, for cruiser racing, which SCORA Commodore Kieran O’Connell says is on the increase, with more boats racing in the past season than previously.

Listen to Kieran O’Connell on my weekly Podcast below

Published in Tom MacSweeney

Connor Phelan's Jump juice will be among the winners saluted tonight at the South Coast Offshore Racing Association (SCORA) agm and prizegiving that will be held in the Royal Cork Yacht Club at 7.45pm writes Bob Bateman.

Cruiser–racer fortunes are on the up in Cork harbour according to SCORA Commodore Kieran O'Connell who gave a recent confident forecast that fleet numbers are on the 'way back'.

SCORA Yachts1 Tom McCarthy's Whistling Dixie was third in ECHO White Sails division. Photo: Bob Bateman

untitled 0733Conor Phelan's Jump juice is among the winners at SCORA tonight Photo: Bob Bateman

As well as Phelan's Class Zero and One victory, among tonight's other highlights is Tom Roche's first in ECHO in the same division with Kinsale Yacht Club entry Meridian.

RCYC entry Bad Company (Desmond, Ivers) was the IRC two winner with Waterford Harbour yacht Slack Alice skippered by Shane Statham second.

untitled 9Kinsale Yacht Club entry Meridian (Tom Roche) Photo: Bob Bateman

SCORA Yachts2Dan Buckley's Justus (yellow spinnaker) was third in IRC Zero Photo: Bob Bateman

A full list of prizewinners are below.

Among the matters for discussion at tonight' meeting will be the perennial question of Class Bands for handicapping. This is because the IRC certs change and consequently bands need updating on a regular basis.

SCORA Yachts5Waterford Harbour Sailing Club's Flyover, a Sigma 33, skippered by David Marchant was the IRC 3 winner Photo: Bob Bateman

Agenda

1. Finance
2. SCORA Leagues
3. Combine club league in Cork
4. Class handicap bands for 2018
5. ICRA Training Grants
6. ICRA Crew Point
7. AOB
8. Prize Giving

List of 2017 prizewinners: Scora league

Jump juice             Connor Phelan         1st IRC 0/1           2nd Echo

Meridian               Tom Roche               1st Echo 0/1        2rd Echo  

Justus                     Dan Buckley               3rd IRC 0/1           3rd Echo        

Slack Alice             Shane Statham         2nd IRC 2             3rd Echo

Bad Company     Desmond,Ivers           1st IRC 2             2nd Echo

Artful Dodger       Finbarr O Regan       1st Echo 2             3rd IRC

Cracker                 Denis Byrne               3rd Echo 3

Ye Gotta Wanna Dave Lane and Sinead Enright             3rd IRC 3

No Gnomes         Leonard Donnery       2nd IRC 3           2nd Echo

Flyover               David Marchant         1st IRC 3             1st Echo

Nieulargo            Denis Murphy          1st IRC W/S 1       2nd Echo

Indulgence           Aidan Heffernan       1st Echo W/S 1     2nd IRC

Magnet                 Kieran O Brien             3rd IRC W/S 1    3rd Echo

Prometheus         Paul Murray                 1st IRC W/S 2      

Bandit                   Richard Leonard         2nd IRC W/S 2    2nd Echo

Whistling Dixie   Tom Mc Carthy            3rd Echo W/S 2

Aramis                   Pat Vaughan              1st Echo W/S 2     2nd IRC

Scora Cork Harbour league

Alpacca                Paul Tingle                         1st all in IRC

No Gnomes         Leonard Donnery             1st all in Echo

Indulgance           Aidan   Heffernan             1st W/S IRC

Sea Dragon           Frank Caul                         1st W/S Echo

Published in SCORA

69 yachts have entered for the Cobh-to-Blackrock Race tomorrow writes Tom MacSweeney. This is the annual sailing race from Cobh to Blackrock which once marked the end of the sailing season in Cork Harbour. It no longer is that end-of-season fixture, because the sport has expanded its horizons into December for cruisers and year-round now for some types of dinghies. But the ‘Cobh/Blackrock Race’ as it is known is still a big attraction for all sailors, even those who would not normally be of the ‘racing fraternity.’ The race caters for all types of sailing boats, from dinghies to cruiser/racers. It is the day when a flotilla of boats of all shapes and sizes assembles off Cobh and sails to the city.

Some boats choose to take part as a cruise, but must carefully watch and avoid the racers for whom it is also part of the SCORA (South Coast Offshore Racing Association) League.

The history of the race goes back to before the time of Haulbowline Bridge being built when it started off Ringaskiddy where boats from Cobh, where the RCYC was then based and the Royal Muster YC in Crosshaven met. This was because the Crosshaven boats had access there via the ‘back channel’ past Spike Island. The building of the bridge to Haulbowline Island in the mid-60ds ended that and the race was then started from Cobh. Cork Boat Club once had a sailing section in Blackrock which raced in Lough Mahon and around Blackrock and had a ‘Home Regatta’ every year.

cobh blackrock sailingThe ‘Cobh/Blackrock Race’ as it is known is still a big attraction for all sailors, even those who would not normally be of the ‘racing fraternity.’ Photo: Bob Bateman

Until recent years the finish line of the race was off Blackrock Village which, depending upon the weather conditions, could be a struggle to reach having rounded Blackrock Castle! Afterwards boats moored against the Marina wall off Blackrock and the village was a colourful place as sailors gathered while the results were computed by Cove SC.

When Cork Port built its marina at the Custom House Quay and offered berthing after the race, the boats headed there after passing the finishing line set off Blackrock Castle.

That didn’t please the publicans in Blackrock, needless to say.

The race start will be off the Cobh Promenade. Cove Sailing Club are the organiser Mixed Dinghies and Dayboats will get their start gun first, at 1400 (2pm), followed by White Sail and then Class 1/2/3 cruisers and Sports Boats. The race is sponsored by Cork Port, Union Chandlery and the Sextant Bar.

The course is upriver from the start line at Cobh to the finish line at Blackrock Castle. “Competitors are advised to familiarise themselves with the navigation marks and depending upon weather conditions an extra leg may be included for specified Classes.”

The race time is chosen to suit the tide helping to carry boats towards Blackrock. But it has been known for some to go aground on mudbanks! From Lough Mahon there is the sight of Blackrock Castle, the delight of passing over the road traffic as it descends into the tunnel while the River Lee transports boats to the finish line.

Published in Cork Harbour

The South Coast Offshore Racing Association (SCORA) honoured Claire Bateman at its annual general meeting held in the Royal Cork Yacht Club last night writes Tom MacSweeney. Claire, who died last year, was a stalwart of sailing journalism for Cork Harbour and coastal racing sailors. Her coverage of cruiser and dinghy racing was comprehensive and her dedication to the sport charted its development. With photographer husband, Bob, the couple were ever-present at sailing events. Their coverage spanned from major events to the smaller ones, providing an unrivalled level of sailing reportage on Afloat.ie in national and local media and was the foundation of the RCYC website.

Members expressed appreciation of the dedicated work which Claire had done for sailing, as she was remembered by the presentation of a memorial award to the “most enthusiastic boat in SCORA.” This was a photograph of the winning boat, Dave Lane and Sinead Enright’s J24 ‘Ya Gotta Wanna’.

Making the presentation Claire’s son, Rob, recalled how his mother had been encouraged by well-known Cork Harbour sailor Michael Wallace into the role which she adopted with the dedication and commitment which marked her approach to whatever task she undertook.

That commitment benefited sailing for very many years and was much appreciated by SCORA sailors. Her death has been a huge loss to the sport.

Her husband, Bob’s photography, once again recorded the success of the top sailors in SCORA whose awards for their victories during the season, presented at the AGM, were framed photographs of their boats in racing action. Taken by Bob, these are treasured prizes. He continues the work of recording sailing and racing in Cork.

The newly-elected SCORA Commodore, Kieran O’Connell, is Rear Admiral for Keel Boat Racing at the RCYC.

There was a big attendance at the annual meeting which agreed that a review of SCORA and its racing programme was needed. This follows a year when “SCORA dropped off the map” the members were told. More co-operation between South Coast clubs is needed, delegates agreed, with an emphasis on “bringing the fun back into sailing”.

Falling numbers participating in events and the urgent need to change that, by bringing newcomers into the sport, particularly younger people, were identified as crucial issues.

Published in SCORA

Topics for discussion at next week's SCORA AGM and Presentation of overall prizes is a proposal for better collaboration between the local South Coast Clubs, which may help address the twin problems of falling fleet numbers and the poor number of youth dinghy sailors progressing to the cruiser scene.

The AGM will be held at the Royal Cork Yacht Club next Wednesday March 15th at 7.45pm.

Sailing Cork Harbour 5Judy Mc Grath's Impala 'Bonanza' with Barry Rose on the helm, rounds Cork Harbour's number 3 buoy

Several programmes were discussed at the recent ICRA conference and it is hoped to outline the various incentives available, which include cruiser training grants and the development of a new crew training curriculum.

A review of the current IRC class bands will take place with any possible alterations for the 2018 season.

The class winners of the overall SCORA league will be presented with a pictorial record, photographed by Afloat's Bob Bateman, at the various club events during the 2016 season. See a sample gallery below.

Sailing Cork Harbour 5George Radley's half–tonner 'Coregada' finished third in IRC class two in SCORA overall and won IRC class 2 in CH Marine Autumn League

Sailing Cork Harbour 5Jump Juice (Conor Phelan) in breeze

Sailing Cork Harbour 5Quarter Tonner Bandit (IRL 2611) leads the Sigma 33 Flyover 

Sailing Cork Harbour 5Frank Doyle's A35 Endgame, helmed here by Amy MacCarthy

Published in SCORA

The South Coast Offshore Racing Association (SCORA ) Annual General Meeting will take place on March 11th, 2016, at Kinsale Yacht Club at 8pm writes Claire Bateman.

The agenda is set out below and it looks like there should be a good evening of discussion and plans for the coming season. Another topic that will come up is the future of club cruiser racing (if any) other than the big events like Spring and Autumn leagues.

The season is looking good all round in all classes with lots of interest being shown from the Juniors through to the Seniors.

Light refreshments will be served and there will be a chance to renew acquaintances and for those receiving prizes to enjoy the anticipation.

AGENDA

1. Apologies

2. Commodore’s Report

3. Income/Expenditure Account

4. Election of Commodore

5. Class Bands:

Class Bands for 2016
Class 0 1.050 and above
Class 1 1.049 to 0.975
Class 2 0.974 to 0.916
Class 3 0.915 to 0.865
Class 4 0.864 and below

This is NO CHANGE from 2015.

6. 2016 Sailing Programme – what do the competitors want?

7. SCORA – last year we asked what future?

8. Following the whitesail discussion last year – what next?

9. Any other business

10. Presentation of Prizes

Published in SCORA
Tagged under

#scora – The South Coast Offshore Racing Association (SCORA) AGM held at Royal Cork Yacht Club (RCYC) last Friday writes Claire Bateman.

A large and representative audience attended and the meeting was chaired by SCORA Commodore, Ronan Enright.

A minutes silence was observed to respect those members who had passed away during the year with special mention being made of the former very popular Class Commodore, Vinnie O'Shea who died during 2014.

Prior to going into the business of the evening, a special presentation was made to the Class Secretary, Jackie Kenefick, who was leaving the position Many tributes were paid to Jackie for all her efforts.

Having gone through the formal business of the meeting the floor was opened to the members and a discussion took place on the function of SCORA itself.

Cove Sailing Club's Commodore, Adrian Tyler, made a presentation on the new marina due to be open for the 2015 sailing season.

Following a break for refreshments the attendance had a brief discussion on Whitesail but the Commodore felt that as the Whitesail attendance would not be enough to represent the views of the Class, a further meeting would be called to discuss this item.

As there was no further business the meeting concluded with a slide show of the 2014 sailing season followed by the presentation of prizes.

Published in SCORA

#kinsale – Sunday's racing at Kinsale Yacht Club in County Cork was overshadowed by the sad passing of former Scora Commodore Vinnie O'Shea. Vinnie had been a great supporter of Kinsale Yacht Club and was well known as the Skipper of Yanks & Francs. A minutes silence was held as a mark of respect prior to the start of racing in the MMD April league.

KYC Commodore Finny O'Regan extended his sympathy to Vinnie's family on behalf of all the members of Kinsale Yacht Club.

While last Sunday's conditions may have brought many thrills and spills, today's proved to be much calmer with winds of around 10 knots. However conditions were described as tricky with frequent wind shifts. Competitors were also treated to glorious sunshine throughout the day.

Freya (Conor Doyle) and Godot (Godkin & O'Donovan) are both tying on 9 points in Class 0 IRC with Freya taking the lead due to a better result in the last race. Meridian (Tom & Ursula Roche ) lead Class 0 Echo by one point, with Godot currently in second place.

In Class 1 IRC Rob McConnell's Fool's Gold has a full row of bullets to give him a resounding lead over Dan Buckley's Justus. In Class 1 Echo, Joker ( Broderick & Gibbons ) has a lead of 2 points over Fool's Gold ( Rob McConnell ).

In Class 2 IRC, Bad Company (Desmond, Ivers & Deasy ) with 3 bullets out of a possible 4, has a lead of one point ahead of The Main 4 (Salter & O'Regan ). Bad Company also tie on points in Class 2 Echo with Silkbreeze ( Ernie Dillon). Silkbreeze takes first place having won the last race of the day.

The lighter winds seemed to suit Bandit ( Marron & O'Connell) well, and resulted in 2 bullets giving them the lead in Class 3 IRC over the Sigma Flyover (David Marchant). KYC are dominating Class 3 Echo with Chameleon (Padraig O'Donovan) taking a one point lead over Sammy Cohen's Gunsmoke 2.

Sundancer (Alan Mulcahy) has pulled ahead in both Echo and IRC in Class 4. The White Sail Classes had 2 late entrants today making Class 1 White Sails now the largest class in the MMD Spring Series. KYC's Reavra (Stephen Lysaght) has a commanding lead of 5 points over clubmate Peter Kelly's Magic Elphin. Michael Lynch's Lady T has the lead in Class 2 White Sails over Kevin Murray's Objection.

Racing continues next Sunday.

Published in Ilen

#scora – Royal Cork Yacht Club's Ronan Enright was elected Commodore of the South Coast Offshore Racing Association (SCORA) at the cruiser racing association's agm at Kinsale Yacht Club at the weekend writes Claire Bateman.

Following two years at the helm of SCORA the very popular and hard working Vinnie O'Shea RCYC stepped down as SCORA Commodore and Ronan Enright of RCYC, proposed by the outgoing Commodore and seconded by John Stallard of KY was elected This was followed by the election of the three class captains resulting as follows: Class 1 Sean Hanley RCYC, Class 2 Pat Salter KYC and Class 3 Kieran O'Connell RCYC. The new Commodore then outlined the structure of SCORA and went through the programme for 2014.

The ICRA item on promotion of crew training and how to increase participation in cruiser racing was dealt with in a very professional manner by Denis Kiely who gave what can only be described as an impassioned presentation on the subject. This was listened to with great intensity by the large attendance and responded to with views from the various clubs. The study on this item is very much ongoing and ICRA will publish more detail as they study the matter and firm up on plans.

The attendance then enjoyed a slide show presentation and complimentary finger food before the presentation of the prizes.

The meeting was very well attended with representatives from Clubs all over the south coast with strong contingents from Waterford, Schull, Cove SC, Kinsale YC and of course RCYC and it was very heartening to see the interest displayed on all sides. SCORA is alive and well and new Commodore Enright is not about to delay as he has already announced plans to get the show on the road by holding a meeting very quickly with the Class Captains to get plans moving for 2014.

Published in SCORA

SCORA handicap bands for 2014 are on the agenda for the January 17th agm and prizegiving at Kinsale Yacht club but no changes from 2013 are proposed. The details for the meeting are as follows.  

AGENDA

SCORA AGM and PRIZEGIVING

DATE: Friday 17 January 2014

VENUE: Kinsale Yacht Club

TIME: 1930

1. Apologies

2. Commodore's Report

3. Income/Expenditure Account

4. Election of Officers

5. Class Bands: At a meeting on 13 Nov 2013 it was agreed to put the following to the AGM

a. Class Bands for 2013 Class 0 1.050 and above

i. Class 1 1.049 to 0.975

ii. Class 2 0.974 to 0.916

iii. Class 3 0.915 to 0.865

iv. Class 4 0.864 and below

This is NO CHANGE from 2013.

6. 2013 Sailing Programme - format of 2013 programme and changes for 2014 programme

7. Discussion on ECHO/IRC management 2014

8. Report on ICRA Recruitment and Training Initiative

9. Any other business

10. Presentation of Prizes

Published in SCORA
Tagged under
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