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Displaying items by tag: Royal Cork Yacht Club

The Royal Cork Yacht Club, the oldest yacht club in the world, today launched its online entry system for the prestigious Volvo Cork Week 2020 regatta which will see hundreds of boats and thousands of yachtsmen and women from around the globe compete on the waters around Cork Harbour from July 13th – 17th.

The world-renowned biennial regatta, first held in 1978, is expected to attract a bumper fleet of entries and will this year incorporate the Irish Cruiser Racing Association National Championships, 1720 European Championships, the Beaufort Cup, a Classic Yacht regatta and the southern championships for the International Dragon Class.

All qualifying boats entered in Volvo Cork Week 2020 will automatically be entered into the ICRA National Championships, the pinnacle of the Irish inshore cruiser racing calendar which will see the Irish National Champion declared.

Volvo Cork Week has historically been regarded as a ‘must-do’ regatta on the international sailing calendar due to its unparalleled reputation for exhilarating competitive racing over a variety of race courses in fair sailing waters and its incredible line-up of post-racing off the water entertainment and social activity.

mariette corkMariette will attend Cork300 celebrations this July Photo: Bob Bateman

This year’s Volvo Cork Week has extra special significance as it forms a key part of the Royal Cork Yacht Club’s historic ‘Cork300’ celebrations marking what is the oldest yacht club in the world’s tricentenary.

Volvo Cork Week Director of Racing, Rosscoe Deasy said: "I look forward to welcoming sailors from around the world to Cork Harbour in 2020 in celebration of the Royal Cork Yacht Club's tri-centennial year. We have a packed schedule and the season's centrepiece will be the renowned Volvo Cork Week in July. Notably, the 2020 regatta will also include championship events such as the IRC Europeans, the ICRA Nationals, the 1720 Europeans and the Beaufort Cup.

1720 racing cork week1720 Euoprean racing will be staged as part of Cork Week Photo: Bob Bateman

“Since 1978, every Cork Week has delivered a unique mix of top-notch competition afloat & top-class entertainment ashore, and next year will be no different. In fact, judging by the interest received and the stories of glory days already being retold, Volvo Cork Week 2020 will set a new standard on both counts. This event has been 300 years in the making, no sailor should miss it.”

Richard Colwell, Commodore of the Irish Cruising Racing Association said, “The ICRA is delighted to be partnering with the Royal Cork Yacht Club to hold the Irish Cruiser Racing National Championships as an integral part of Volvo Cork Week 2020. We encourage all of the cruiser racing fraternity in Ireland to travel and take part in what promises to be an exciting and competitive event, as part of Royal Cork’s broader Tricentenary celebrations. With visitors from countries all over Europe, it is important that Irish Cruiser Racing shows the strength that we have across all classes from White Sails to Cruiser 0 at the National Championships and so contribute to the competitive racing expected.”

A bumper fleet of more than 50 yachts from Ireland, UK, Netherlands, Spain and elsewhere around Europe is expected to compete in the 1720 Sports Boat European Championships as part of Volvo Cork Week 2020. The race committee is particularly pleased to host this European Championship event due in part to the fact that the original idea for the 1720 was conceived by a group of committed racing members of the Royal Cork Yacht Club. This distinctive class of boat also took its name from the year in which the club was founded.

Beaufort Cup racing for Military and rescue teams as part of Cork Week 300 celebrations Photo: Bob BatemanBeaufort Cup racing for Military and rescue teams as part of Cork Week 300 celebrations Photo: Bob Bateman

The third edition of the Beaufort Cup, the prestigious international inter-services sailing regatta, will also be hosted by the Royal Cork Yacht Club with the support of the Irish Defence Forces, during Volvo Cork Week. A specially commissioned perpetual trophy in honour of Sir Francis Beaufort, creator of the Beaufort Scale, will be presented to the overall winner of the regatta which will entail a mix of challenging offshore and tactical inshore racing, including an overnight race around the iconic Fastnet Rock and back to Cork. International teams from their associated national emergency services are invited to compete in this prestigious competition, with the proviso that 50% of each team must be active in the service they represent.
Volvo Cork Week will also host a dedicated Classic Yacht Regatta for the first time in 2020. Classic Yachts from around the globe will sail to Cork to celebrate ‘Where It All Began’ and partake in three days of racing in and outside Cork Harbour. This event will also provide a fantastic viewing spectacle for shoreline onlookers.

Ross DeasyRoss Deasy, Cork Week Regatta Organiser

In addition to this, the International Dragon Class will return to Volvo Cork Week in 2020 following their very successful outing in 2018, to hold their Southern Championships in Cork.
Royal Cork Yacht Club is also delighted to host the recently announced 2020 IRC European Championships, organised by the Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC), during Volvo Cork Week 2020. The Notice of Race and online entry for this much anticipated standalone event offering a varied race programme, with a mixed range of courses set in and around Cork Harbour, is expected to be available shortly.

As always, the atmosphere in Crosshaven, home of the Royal Cork Yacht Club, will be second to none both during and ahead of Volvo Cork Week 2020, with a series of national and international races to Cork taking place in the run up to the five-day regatta.

These include the highly prestigious Morgan Cup race - organised by the Royal Ocean Racing Club since 1958 - which will cross the Celtic Sea to Cork for the first time ever with the support of the Royal Yacht Squadron and the Royal Cork Yacht Club. This 324nm race will carry an attractive points-weighting for the 2020 RORC Season Points Championship and is expected to attract a substantial fleet. The line honours winner for this race will be the first recipient of a specially commissioned perpetual trophy graciously donated to the Royal Cork Yacht Club by His Royal Highness, the Prince of Wales, to honour the club’s tricentenary and the close relationship between the United Kingdom, Ireland and its sailing communities.

morehead monaco farnon6Vice-Admiral of the Royal Cork Yacht Club and Cork300 Chairman, Colin Morehead (left) with His Serene Highness Albert II, Sovereign Prince of Monaco (centre) and Royal Cork Admiral Pat Farnan

Meanwhile, the historic Kingstown to Queenstown feeder race from Dun Laoghaire to Cobh will take place on July 9th, enhancing the build-up to Volvo Cork Week 2020 with a re-enactment of what is acknowledged as the first-ever offshore race to take place in the British Isles, in 1860.

A competitive fleet will also set sail on an 800nm race from Heligoland, Germany, to Cork, Ireland, on July 4th competing for the Robbe and Berking German Offshore Trophy, arriving ahead in Ireland of the historic Volvo Cork Week 2020.

Vice-Admiral of the Royal Cork Yacht Club and Cork300 Chairman, Colin Morehead, said: “The biennial Cork Week regatta has seen many friendships and memories created since it was first held in 1978. I would encourage everyone to return to Cork Harbour next year and join us in celebrating Where It All Began by participating in Volvo Cork Week 2020 and help restore its status as Europe’s largest fun regatta.

Online entry to Volvo Cork Week 2020 opens here from 10:00hrs Thursday 28th November.

Published in Cork Harbour

Today's fourth race of the O'Leary Winter League at Royal Cork Yacht Club was not for the faint-hearted writes Bob Bateman.

Strong wind over tide produced testing conditions in Cork Harbour that led to the dismasting of Kieran O’Brien's MG335 Magnet. O'Brien now lies third in the White Sail division after counting a retiral from today's race.

Shelly D (Michael Murphy) had a block collapse that also led to their retiral from the White Sail Division.

RCYC OLeary league1Anthony O Leary's modified 1720 Antix leads the IRC SPIN division overall

RCYC OLeary league1Annamarie and Denis Murphy's Grand Soleil 40 Nieulargo is lying second in the IRC Spinnaker Division

RCYC OLeary league1Richard Leonard's Bolero, Bandit

RCYC OLeary league1Mike Ryder's Freya, a Dehler 37

RCYC OLeary league1The fleet at Royal Cork Marina

Full results here

Published in Royal Cork YC
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Junior sailing achievement was honoured at Royal Cork Yacht Club's laying up supper and youth prizegiving at the Crosshaven Clubhouse at the weekend writes Bob Bateman. 

A full house was in attendance to salute Optimist champion James Dwyer Matthews who won the main prize donated by Roy Disney from a shortlist of five top RCYC achievers.

RCYC Admiral Pat Farnan presented the prizes in the company of the club's flag officers and junior class captain, parents and sailors.

RCYC Junior 20191James Dwyer Matthews receives his prize from RCYC Admiral Pat Farnan (right) and Rear Admiral Dinghies Brian Jones

RCYC Junior 20191Robyn Lynch took a lead roll in “Try Sailing. Fiona Young (left) made the presentation

RCYC Junior 20191Fiona Young Mixed Dinghy Class Captain makes a special award to Chris Bateman

RCYC Junior 20191RCYC Junior 20191Celine McGrath and Fiona Young

RCYC Junior 20191Rear Admiral Dinghies Brian Jones addresses the Junior Prizegiving

RCYC Junior 20191The Optimist Class Captain Craig O’Neill

RCYC Junior 20191Copper Fleet winners Fionn Hayes and Olin Bateman

RCYC Junior 20191

RCYC Junior 20191JAndrew O'Neill first in silver

RCYC Junior 20191JP Curtin ist Gold Liam Duggan 2nd Gold Harry Moynan 3rd Gold Optimists

RCYC Junior 20191James Coakley, Ella O’Neill, Julie O’ Neill, Pat, James Murphy, Richard Mc Sweeney, Justin Lucas,Jamie Verrer,James Dwyer Matthews.RCYC Junior 20191

RCYC Junior 20191RCYC Junior 20191RCYC Junior 20191RCYC Junior 20191

RCYC Junior 20191RCYC Junior 20191RCYC Junior 20191RCYC Junior 20191

 DSC3426The Frank Thompson Memorial Perpetual Cup for outstanding contribution to RCYC Dinghy Sailing to Barbie and Clayton Kohl included in the picture are Admiral Pat Farnan and Rear Admiral Dinghies Brian Jones

Published in Youth Sailing
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In a brisk northerly breeze, Royal Cork Yacht Club's O'Leary Insurance Group Winter Series reached the halfway stage this afternoon with three great days of sailing so far this November writes Bob Bateman.

Crews were back on Cork Harbour waters today after Friday's RCYC clubhouse celebrations for the Summer League prizegivings that Afloat featured here

Anthony O'Leary's modified 1720 sportsboat 'Antix' continues to lead overall in the IRC Spinnaker Division but Annemarie and Denis Murphy's Grand Soleil Nieulargo is up to second place. 

"Race Officers Clem and Wendy McElligott made good use of the harbour with Course 65"

Race Officers Clem and Wendy McElligott used the opportunity presented by the stiff breeze to make good use of the harbour and set course 65 to give crews plenty of chances to demonstrate their skills, especially in the spinnaker fleets.

Unfortunately, a startline collision took place between Cavatina and Jelly Baby with some resulting damage.

Jelly Baby Hull damageHull damage on the J109 Jelly Baby after today's race course collision

The Winter League has four divisions; Club ECHO Spinnaker, CLUB ECHO White Sails and IRC Spinnaker and IRC White Sails with ECHO White Sails the biggest with 14 entries.

Bob Bateman's photo gallery is below. Full results here

The startline for race threeThe startline for race three

John Hanly and John OConnors Fast BuckJohn Hanly and John OConnor's Fast Buck

NieulargoNieulargoMia Murphy with Nigel Young on NieuglargoMia Murphy with Nigel Young (left) on Nieuglargo

nieulargo breezeNieulargo (owned by Annmarie and Denis Murphy) with Mia Murphy on helm revelling in the conditions

Alan Mulcahy Runaway BusAlan Mulcahy's Runaway Bus

Approaching Mark in Cork HarbourApproaching a turning mark in Cork Harbour

 DSC3147(Above and below) A gybe on Antix DSC3147

 DSC3147 DSC3147 DSC3147 DSC3147

PB170738Race Officers Clem and Wendy McElligott

PB170738PB170738PB170738PB170738PB170738PB170738Ian Heffernan’s IndulgencePB170738PB170738PB170738PB170738PB170738PB170738

Published in Royal Cork YC
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A Royal Cork Yacht Club members forum at Crosshaven reviewed the 2019 racing season, ECHO handicapping and discussed options for 2020 last night before the club held its league prizegiving.

The winners of its series of year-long club leagues in Cork Harbour were applauded and presented with a fine range of trophies.

Prizes were presented by the Club's Rear Admiral Kieran O'Connell.

Another club prizegiving will be held on December 7th where the Club's own sailor of the year award will be made.

RCYC League prizegiving1The super line up of RCYC League Prizes

Winners Photo Gallery by Bob Bateman below 

RCYC League prizegiving2Kieran O’Brien's “Magnet”, second in RCYC Superleague is presented with his trophy by RCYC Rear Admiral Kieran O'Connell (right)

RCYC League prizegiving3Sean Hanley's ”Luas” Fitzgerald’s Menswear IRC W/S 3rd and Ronan Enright Solicitors League 1st in Spinnaker 2 Division

RCYC League prizegiving4Ria Lyden's” Elida” winner of Ronan Enright Solicitors League Echo Spinnaker 1

RCYC League prizegiving5Frank Desmond's “Bad Company” winner of Ronan Enright Solicitors League IRC Spinnaker 2 IRC

RCYC League prizegiving6Jim Hughes's Club 1720 2nd IHS in Ronan Enright Solicitors League

RCYC League prizegiving7Batt O’Leary's “Sweet Dreams” Winner IHS in Ronan Enright Solicitors League

RCYC League prizegiving8Molly Murphy ”Nieulargo” winner of Club Echo Spinnaker Division North Sails League. Pictured With Nigel Young of North Sails RCYC League prizegiving9Kian Jones “Jelly Baby” winner of North Sails League IRC spinnaker Division

RCYC League prizegiving10Mark Ivers of “Bad Company”, Winner Of North Sails League Spinnaker 2 Division

RCYC League prizegiving12Wendy Mc Elligott” Sea Hawk” Fitzgerald’s Menswear LeagueWinner Club Echo Spinnaker Division

RCYC League prizegiving13Mary Jones “Jelly Baby” winner Fitzgerald’s Menswear IRC1 Spinnaker Division RCYC League prizegiving14Eugene O’Loughlin “Kerensa” 3rd Fitzgerald’s Menswear IHS Division

RCYC League prizegiving15(Above and below) Clodagh O’Donovan, “Roaring Forties”, winner Of the best performing Boat on IHS for the year

RCYC League prizegiving17

RCYC League prizegiving18Ian Hickey “Cavatina” winner of the best performing White Sail boat

RCYC League prizegiving19(above and below) Denis Byrne, winner of the best performing boat of the year in Spinnaker 2

RCYC League prizegiving21

RCYC League prizegiving20Brian Jones “Jelly Baby” Winner of the best performing boat in Class 1

Published in Royal Cork YC
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A gathering at the Royal Cork Yacht Club in Crosshaven this month celebrated the 40 consecutive years that the Moody 30, Shelly D and her various crews, have competed in the Autumn league writes Bob Bateman.

Purchased in 1978 at the Southampton Boat Show by Derval and Michael Murphy, after a meeting on the Moody boat show stand with designer Angus Primrose, she was delivered to Kinsale in Easter 1979.

Over the years she has been a regular competitor in all south coast events spending most of the summer months in Schull, West Cork before returning to Crosshaven in Cork Harbour for the annual winter series.

PA061181Shelly D, the Moody 30 sailed in her 40th Autumn League in October Photo: Bob Bateman

In the early eighties, she competed regularly in the Cork to Jersey and Kinsale Isles of Scilly offshore Races, with crew members, some of whom met again at the function, after a gap of up to 35 years.

With engine number three recently fitted, all are looking forward to season 41 which will include the RCYC 300 celebrations.

 DSC2840(above) Owners Derval and Michael Murphy and (below) celebrating the big 40 with friends and family at the Royal Cork Photos: Bob Bateman

 DSC2921

Published in Cork Harbour
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Anthony O'Leary's modified 1720 sportsboat 'Antix' was in a dead heat with Richard Leonard's Bolero Bandit in the second race of Royal Cork Yacht Club's O'Leary Insurance Group Winter Series writes Bob Bateman.

O'Leary still leads overall in the IRC Spinnaker Division with Leonard second and the Sunfast 32 Bad Company in third place.

Today's race featured an all-in start for the combined fleet for the Winter League that has four divisions; Club ECHO Spinnaker, CLUB ECHO White Sails and IRC Spinnaker and IRC White Sails with ECHO White Sails the biggest with 14 entries.

 DSC2942Today's light air second race of the Winter League Photo: Bob Bateman

Results here

Published in Royal Cork YC
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Anthony O'Leary's modified 1720 sportsboat 'Antix' leads IRC Spinnaker Division One after today's first race of Royal Cork Yacht Club's O'Leary Insurance Group Winter Series writes Bob Bateman.

After a dull start for the opening race, the day turned out to be very pleasant for this time of year giving competitors 15-knots of breeze from the west.

Traditionally, Clem and Wendy McElligott act as Race Officers for this RCYC league and so it was again this year.

Today's opener featured an all-in start for the combined fleet for the Winter League has four divisions; Club ECHO Spinnaker, CLUB ECHO White Sails and IRC Spinnaker and IRC White Sails with ECHO White Sails the biggest with 14 entries.

RCYC OLeary League1JellyBaby the Jones family J109 is second to the mod 1720 Antix after the first race of the RCYC O'Leary League. Photo: Bob Bateman

The course chosen was 73 that provided a running start at Cage (at the entrance to Crosshaven) across the harbour to the Corkbeg mark, then a beat back across the harbour again nd then a run to East Ferry 4, another beat to No.20 off Cobh and then a run down to East Ferry 2 and out of the harbour to Corkbeg and a finish line at Cage.

Scroll down for photo gallery

RCYC OLeary League1RCYC OLeary League1RCYC OLeary League1RCYC OLeary League1RCYC OLeary League1RCYC OLeary League1RCYC OLeary League1RCYC OLeary League1RCYC OLeary League1RCYC OLeary League1RCYC OLeary League1RCYC OLeary League1RCYC OLeary League1RCYC OLeary League1RCYC OLeary League1

Results are here

Published in Cork Harbour
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You thought 2019 was quite the busy sailing year in Ireland? Believe me folks, after writing last Saturday’s marathon review of one very special season, we went through the weekend in a state of mental meltdown which wasn’t helped by knowing that this weekend would naturally require an anticipation of what’s coming down the line in 2020.

But the fates are kind. So much is going to be happening afloat and ashore in the sailing and boating context in 2020 that reinforcements will be available at every juncture to look after details. So today’s piece is in the very broad strokes category rather than delving into the minutiae, giving some sense of what it will be like to live through the various special occasions and events which are going to be fired at us from nearly every Irish sailing centre.

Yet no matter which way you look at it, the Tricentenary of the Royal Cork Yacht Club is the beginning, the middle and the end of everything that will be happening in Irish sailing in 2020. Three hundred years. Three hundred? Is it something that we really grasp in any meaningful way?

Oh for sure, the latest global genetic research suggests that the first true ancestors of Homo Sapiens first appeared 200,000 years ago, living blissfully beside a large and verdant lake in the midst of what is now the Kalahari Desert in southern Africa. Evidently, in those days climate change was already past its infancy, but it’s the certainty of those 200,000 years which give pause for thought. Set against that, and the age of Newgrange or the Pyramids or other inert ancient monuments, and the 300 years of Cork sailing isn’t even the blink of an eye.

royal cork aerial3 Recreational sailing from Cork Harbour may have had several different locations for its main focal point over the centuries. But the one true flame of the spirit of sailing has burned throughout, and is very much alive and well at today’s Royal Cork YC headquarters at Crosshaven. Photo: Robert Bateman

But the Royal Cork Yacht Club is still very much alive and relevant to life in 2020. It may have moved its location from time to time in Cork Harbour, and it may have started life as the Water Club of the Harbour of Cork in 1720. But through these mutations, and through times of widely varying prosperity, the spirit - the vital spark of the club - has never been extinguished. In 2020, we’re going to have to grasp just what 300 years really mean in truly human everyday terms, because it’s likely that most of us – other than historians, archaeologists or whatever – think that the average human lifespan is probably the most comprehensible unit of historic time measurement, and anything beyond that is just so ancient as not to be thought about at all.

Fortunately, we have a very solid foundation on which to assess the story of Cork and world sailing. In 2005, the Royal Cork Yacht Club published its full history, based on its extensive and ancient archives which had been in the dedicated voluntary care of Dermot Burns for some time, and they got professional historian Alicia St Leger to make sense of it. The result of it all – so beautifully designed and produced by Tony O’Hanlon that it won national book and printing awards - was one massive and weighty tome.

We’re talking of a mighty volume 33cm (1ft 1in) x 24cm (9.5ins) and 5 cm (2ins) deep, weighing 6.75 lbs (3.1kg), with 480 pages and more images, illustrations and photos than you could count, every one of them an historic gem set in a book of breath-taking beauty For some readers, its sheer size is daunting. It’s definitely serious desk reading. But every page provides something of pure gold, and if you want a genuine sense of what 300 years is really like in a way to which sailing folk can relate, it is required reading, while also being a treasure trove of information which, in 2020 with its special celebrations, is more important than ever.

book 1829 cup4This typical page from the Royal Cork Yacht Club History - published 2005 - gives the detailed story of the 1829 Cork Harbour Regatta Cup (now in the club’s collection), which was won by Caulfield Beamish’s 42-ton cutter Young Paddy by a boat’s length. It was a very popular victory, as the boat – which achieved additional success elsewhere - was owner-designed and built locally on the shores of Cork Harbour. Reproduced by courtesy RCYC

Thus the book, nearly 15 years after its publication, continues to be an enormous credit to the Flag Officers, Committee, support volunteers and production team who created this priceless record with the full support of the membership of a club which is - in numerical terms of those living within everyday reach and actively involved – really quite a modest outfit, even if its very distinguished overseas membership significantly boosts the numbers.

So we’ll return to the History of the Royal Cork YC in due course today as we close in on July 2020, when global sailing and international powerboating fixes its focus firmly on Cork Harbour. That said, anyone coming to Ireland simply for the Cork festivities has it easy from the logistic points of view, as they’re thinking of just one thing in one month in the one place. Yet those of who actually live in Ireland in what we hope will be a summery place for the season that’s in it will have to work our way through a programme which would be quite busy even if the Royal Cork’s Megafest weren’t taking place.

These are some of the building blocks of the year in which this Tricentenary is taking place. In 2020:

  • Lough Ree Yacht Club is 250 years old.
  • Lough Erne YC is 200.
  • Howth Yacht Club is 125.
  • The Round Ireland Race from Wicklow on June 20th (now sponsored by SSE Renewables) celebrates its 40th Anniversary.
  • The GP14 Worlds are in Skerries from 25th to 31st July
  • The International Fireball Worlds take place at Howth from 5th to 14th August
  • The International Dragon Gold Cup is at Kinsale from 5th to 11th September

All the clubs with special celebrations will be looking for their place in the sun during 2020 while deferring to the Royal Cork’s unique and deservedly exalted status. And those clubs are also going to have to build any special happenings around the established pillar events which structure the season for cruiser-racers and occasionally One Design classes.

These include the Scottish Series from May 21st to 25th, the biennial Wave Regatta at Howth from Friday May 29th to Sunday May 31st, the developing season-long 2020 ISORA programme as the summer (we hope) takes hold, the SSE Renewables Round Ireland Race from Wicklow on June 20th, and the Bangor Town Regatta on Belfast Lough from 25th to 28th June, which will include the Sigma 33 Championship.

On top of that, 2020 is an Olympic Year, and with some good fortune Ireland will have a national place in the 49er class to add to the Laser Radial placed already secured in Tokyo by the time the Sailing Olympiad gets going at Enoshima in Japan from 27th July to the 6th August. That said, if we don’t get a direct skiff place, there’s a better-than-vicarious participation through Saskia Tidey of the Royal Irish YC, who has teamed up to secure a place in the 49er FX on the British squad with Charlotte Dobson of Scotland.

Meanwhile, back home the much-enjoyed Calves Week in West Cork swings into action with its proven success of a four day format starting at Schull on Tuesday August 4th. And though Cork Harbour in August will not be at quite the same white heart of energy it expended during July, RCYC will be staging at least three more national events in August with an emphasis on smaller boats, with the Open Championships for the National 18s, the Lasers and the Optimists.

national 18s cork5The latest version of the National 18s undergoing evaluation in Cork Harbour, which played a leading role in their introduction. The class will be holding their Annual Championship in August at Crosshaven as part of the RCYC Tricentennial celebrations. Photo: Robert Bateman

All three have special associations with RCYC, with the latest version of the National 18s, in particular, being more or less a home-grown (and club-financed) RCYC project, while the Optimist Opens in 2019 saw a Crosshaven/Kinsale winner in James Dwyer Matthews, though the class’s upper age limits will mean a new name on the title in 2020.

Yet as Dwyer Matthews won the 2019 series at Howth in the final race in a total fleet of 185 boats which included participants from 11 nations, the remarkable International Optimist Dinghy Association of Ireland is likely to be looking to honour the Royal Cork YC’s Tricentenary in its own way with a total fleet of more than 200 and even more international participation, for all that it’s a national open championship.

By the time those stratospheric numbers have been achieved, the frenetic pace of July 2020 in Crosshaven, as steadily brought together by Colin Morehead and his Cork300 Committee, will have become the latest chapter in the RCYC’s colourful history, and the basis of it is provided in the incomparable book of the club history.

A new chapter has already been added with the unique twinning of the Royal Cork YC with the Yacht Club de Monaco, and the recent international launching of the Tricentenary by Prince Albert II of Monaco in the YCM clubhouse. In sailing terms, the 300 years of the Royal Cork is quite something, but in absolute terms it pales somewhat when set against the 624 years that have seen he Grimaldi family holding sway as the Princes of Monaco, where they have been the ultimate stakeholders since 1395. There probably wasn’t a lot of recreational sailing going on in Ireland at that time…….

morehead monaco farnon6Colin Morehead, Chairman of Cork300, Prince Albert II of Monaco, and RCYC Admiral Pat Farnan at the recent launching of Cork300 in the Yacht Club de Monaco, which has a unique twinning arrangement with the RCYC, and will be giving its full support to the Tricentenary Celebrations.

Much is being made of the fact that the Royal Ocean Racing Club’s annual Morgan Cup Race is going to be from Cowes to Cork on July 8th, with a major trophy being presented by the Prince of Wales. For although Cork’s own Harry Donegan with his famous Gull was one of the participant-founders of the RORC after the first 1925 Fastnet Race with Gull third overall, while the new club continued to use the Fastnet Rock as a mark of that course, the first RORC Cowes to Cork race didn’t occur until 1954, when the winner in some decidedly heavy weather was Adlard Coles’ Nicholson yawl Cohoe II, while second overall was Geoffrey Pattinson’s big Robert Clark sloop Jocasta.

gull sailing7 Harry Donegan’s 17-ton cutter Gull of 1898 vintage is one of the most important boats in Cork sailing history. He owned her from 1921 until his death in 1940, and was a founder member of the RORC with participation in the first Fastnet Race of 1925, in which Gull placed third. Gull was also at Glengarriff for the foundation of the Irish Cruising Club in 1929, an event in which Harry Donegan played a central role. As keen for racing as he was for cruising, he was founding Honorary Secretary of the Cork Harbour One Designs from 1895. Photo RCYC

Adlard Coles – best-remembered these days for his book Heavy Weather Sailing - then took Cohoe II for a cruise in southwest Ireland, which is more or less what is planned for the cruising-minded visiting fleets after the mighty Tricentenary Fleet Review in Cork Harbour on Sunday July 12th. The skipper of Cohoe II particularly liked Dingle, at a time when that now-legendary port wasn’t on many cruise plans. But the rest of the RORC couldn’t give up racing, and their next venture was the Cork to Belle Ile Race, which was won by Jocasta.

jocasta cork8 Geoffrey Pattinson’s 55ft Robert Clark-designed alloy sloop Jocasta leaving Cork Harbour at the start of the 1954 RORC Cork-Belle Ile Race, which she won. Jocasta had come to Cork in 1954’s first RORC Cowes-Cork Race, which is going to be repeated in the RORC Morgan Cup Race on Wednesday July 8th 2020.

Subsequently, RORC races terminating in Cork Harbour tended to be from an Irish Sea start, but in 1970 for the Quarter Millennium, they’d a Cowes-Cork Races again, and in 1974 they’d another one, with line honours taken by Eric Tabarly with the 70ft Pen Duick. He made a point of visiting Carrigaloe in the upper harbour where his family’s Fife-designed cutter (the first Pen Duick) was built in 1898, as were several of the still-extant Cork Harbour One Designs, another Fife creation.

cork harbour od9The 1896-built Cork Harbour One Design Imp heading seawards at full power. The 1890s were a notable decade for yacht-building around Cork Harbour Photo Tom Barker

The superbly-sheltered character and much-indented shoreline of Cork Harbour means that – unlike Dublin Bay – there are many places where it has been possible to set up boat-building locations, and over the centuries since the time of the Water Club and beyond, new Cork-created yachts have appeared from these different locations to go on to build national and international reputations, vessels such as Caulfield Beamish’s owner-designed Young Paddy from the late 1820s.

The rush of creativity in the 1890s was typified by Pen Duick, while more recently the hotbed of ideas which was the Cork area in the 1970s to 1990s - when designers such as Ron Holland and Tony Castro, highly skilled boatbuilders like Killian Bushe, and Dick Leonard and his team at Crosshaven Boatyard, together with sailmakers like the McWilliam brothers – put Royal Cork racing achievement central stage.

Pen duick10Eric Tabarly’s famous 43ft cutter Pen Duick, another creation of the Cork Harbour energy of the 1890s. She was built to a Fife design in Carrigaloe in 1898.

The emergence of exceptional sailing talents to match these boats - people like Jimmy Payne and his son Somers, Clayton Love Jnr, Ted Crosbie, Harold Cudmore, Denis Doyle, Anthony O’Leary and Mark Mansfield - to name only eight out of a host of greats – is yet another aspect of a story so continuous and complex that its existence is probably the best we can hope to see acknowledged during 2020 when everyone will be busy getting on with celebration afloat and ashore, living in the present while being aware of this remarkable saga of sailing which has made the Royal Cork YC what it is today.

OLeary Antix Modern superstar – Anthony O’Leary’s 39ft Antix, RORC Yacht of the Year in 2014.

You’re never far from sailing history like this in Cork Harbour, and it’s way back beyond 1898 that we go for the origins of the other race which will be bringing fleets to Crosshaven, the pioneering 190-mile Dublin Bay to Cork Harbour Race of 14th July 1860, which was probably one of the first recognisably modern offshore races to be staged anywhere in the world.

The original account was in Hunt’s Yachting Magazine in the summer of 1860, subsequently, it appeared in To Sail the Crested Sea, the history of the first fifty years of the Irish Cruising Club published in 1979, and in the RCYC History of 2005 the story is told again – on page 155.

So although some other versions of the finishing order in the fleet of sixteen yachts seem to be circulating at the moment, the records with the RCYC on what became known as the Kingstown-Queenstown Race have it that the winner – finishing off Cobh in the lightest of airs at 5.20 am on the Monday July 16th – was the 39-ton cutter Sibyl, owned by Sir John Arnott and sailed by the renowned amateur skipper Henry O’Bryen, while second just three minutes later was the 80-ton cutter Peri (J W Cannon), and third only two minutes astern at 5.25 am was the 90-ton schooner Kingfisher (Cooper Penrose).

There were no handicap calculations in those pioneering “ocean match” days, so the Sibyl’s win was doubly sweet, as the entry fees were based on tonnage, and as the fourth smallest boat in the race, Sibyl’s payment was only 19 shillings and six pence, whereas the largest racer – the 167-ton schooner Mirage which was well off the pace – had to shell out four pounds three shillings and six pence for the doubtful pleasure of being beaten boat-for-boat by a vessel a quarter of her size.

kingstown cobh entry list12 The original entry listing for the first 190-mile Kingstown-Queenstown Race of 14th July 1860, including the varied entry fees. The winner – by just three minutes – was the 39-ton Sybil, listed No 6, owned by Sir John Arnott and sailed by renowned amateur skipper Henry O’Bryen. Courtesy RCYC

That Henry O’Bryen was able to find the last few minutes of concentration to take a win was quite something when – as the Hunt’s Magazine report put it – “the excitement was painfully intense”, for the ace amateur had spent the entire race on deck, and reportedly nearly always on the helm. As the Kingstown-Queenstown Race is going to be sailed again on July 9th 2020 to bring the Irish Sea fleets to the Tricentenary, by the time the fleets converge for the Review of July 12th, his achievements will be even better appreciated.

Once the Review has been completed, Volvo Cork Week 2020 gets underway on Monday July 13th, and includes the ICRA Nats and the European IRC Championship. But with demands on boats being at such a height, the Inter-services Racing for the Beaufort Cup, won by Commandant Barry Byrne and the Defence Forces crew in 2016 and 2018, is currently scheduled to be staged on Monday 20th July.

Meanwhile, the many cruisers which have been assembling will be heading west in a cruising tradition which is probably as old as the Royal Cork itself, and certainly was very central to the two-year Quarter Millennial celebrations in 1969-70. With Volvo Cork Week in full swing in and off the harbour, the pace will be different, but we can expect the RCYC to take it all in its stride, as they have been doing for three hundred years.

thunder child13The offshore powerboat Thunder Child, a project of Safehaven Marine led by Frank Kowalski, holds the Round Ireland & Rockall Record. The Cork300 programme will include a Powerboat Festival featuring a race to the Fastnet Rock and back to Cork Harbour.

And included somewhere in all this will be a major powerboat race. John Ryan of County Wicklow and Frank Kowalski of Safehaven Marine in Youghal have been upping the ante on serious offshore powerboat records with an Irish connection in recent years, and most appropriately the Royal Cork is the custodian of a trophy for the fastest powerboat time from Cork Harbour to the Fastnet Rock and back.

It’s appropriate because, somewhere at the heart of the current Royal Cork clubhouse building complex, there’s what was originally the 1923-built Cork Motor-Boat Club designed by architect Jim Buchan. They’d no sooner got it built than sailing types began moving in, then the Royal Munster YC from Monkstown moved down and took over, and then in 1967 the Royal Cork from its old base in Cobh moved across harbour for a reverse takeover of the Royal Munster in which, in due course, the Royal Munster was swallowed completely, with Crosshaven now home to the Royal Cork Yacht Club.

cork harbour motorboat club14Architect Jim Buchan’s design for the Cork Harbour Motorboat Club at Crosshaven in 1923, which was quickly absorbed into the Royal Munster YC and enlarged, and then further enlarged after the RMYC was amalgamated with the Royal Cork YC in 1967.

But what goes round comes round. Those motor-boaters of 1923 will be remembered. The accessibility theme which Colin Morehead and his team have been taking as the core of their Tricentenary programme has a very positive attitude towards grown-up powerboat racing, and another main event around a Powerboat Festival on 11th July will be a race to the Fastnet, and maybe on to the Skelligs as well. After three hundred years, if the RCYC think it might be worth giving it a whirl, a whirl is what it will get.

The programme is being adjusted to take account of boat availability realities, but at the moment the basic form in Cork Harbour is:

  • Friday 3rd July-Sunday 5th July: Seafest
  • Saturday 4th July-Tuesday 7th July: Feeder Cruises arrival
  • Saturday 4th July-11th July: Water Club Cup (Inter-club, 1720 Sportsboats)
  • Tuesday 7th July-Saturday 11th July:
  • Cruise Fest: Fleet/Class/Gatherings; Classic & Supperyacht Gatherings; Traditional Boat Gathering: Naval Gathering; Harbour Support Events; Feeder Races Arrivals.
  • Saturday July 11th: Powerboat Festival
  • Sunday 12th July: Fleet Review (all boats)
  • Monday July 13th Cruises in company depart
  • Monday July 13th – Friday July 17th Volvo Cork Week including ICRA Nats.
  • Saturday July 18th – Saturday July 25th: Glandore Classic Regatta
  • Monday July 20th Beaufort Cup
  • August – Championship Weeks back-to-back for National 18s, Lasers and Optimists

As we said at the beginning, this is only a very broad strokes outline stage – precision is emerging with every passing day. And as Autumn 2020 takes over, we hope that somebody remembers that, back in 1970 to round out the Quarter Millennium, the Royal Cork staged the annual Helmsman’s Championship, as it then was. Of the six finalists, five are still happily with us – Harold Cudmore, Maurice Butler, Owen Delaney, Michael O’Rahilly and the winner, Robert Dix. With the Royal Cork finally winding down a little after this Year of Years, some sort of Golden Jubilee event for them in the conclusion of Tricentennial Celebrations surely could be fitted in?

rcyc large15 Crosshaven, home of the Royal Cork Yacht Club. Could there be a more natural place to enjoy sailing? Set among green fields in a friendly village with a commodious yet sheltered harbour immediately accessible, and an interesting coastline on open sea within easy reach – Crosshaven has it all.

Published in Cork300

There was plenty of sailing action in Cork Harbour from Oppies to 50-footers today and there was some shuffling of places at the top of the IRC leaderboards after today's brisk racing at the Royal Cork Yacht Club's Horgan's Quay Cork Autumn Series held writes Bob Bateman.

Class Zero of the league had a start near White Bay then a short beat to No 5 and what amounted to a sleigh ride downwind for five miles to Cork buoy with a stiff cool breeze in the glorious winter sunshine.

royal cork autumn league 422This weekend's White Sails fleet course

A strong 3.7-metre ebb tide made for some tough upwind legs beats for all classes.

All other classes sailed in-harbour courses, the seven 1720s flew small kites such were the conditions.

Denis Murphy's Grand Soleil 40 Nieulargo continues to lead at the top six-boat fleet Class Zero fleet. Conor Phelan's Ker 37 Jump Juice stays second and is now three points off the lead.

royal cork autumn league 42Denis Murphy's Grand Soleil 40 Nieulargo

The two RCYC boats have established a good margin over a third-placed Kinsale entry, the Salona 45 Meridian skippered by Tom Roche, 11 points behind.

royal cork autumn league 42Conor Phelan's Ker 37 Jump Juice

royal cork autumn league 42The Kinsale Salona 45 Meridian skippered by Tom Roche

In eight boat Class One IRC, there is no change at the top as Kinsale's Elan 333 Artful Dodger (Finbarr O'Regan) still leads but after seven races sailed Paul & Deirdre Tingle's X-34 Alpaca is now second by a single point from the Jones family J109 Jelly Baby. 

royal cork autumn league 42Elan 333 Artful Dodger (Finbarr O'Regan)

royal cork autumn league 42Paul & Deirdre Tingle's X-34 Alpaca

royal cork autumn league 42The Jones family J109 Jelly Baby

Ronan & John Downing's Half-Tonner Miss Whiplash is now fourth.

royal cork autumn league 42Ronan & John Downing's Half-Tonner Miss Whiplash

The Cove Sailing Club Sonar, No Half Measures skippered by Ewan O'Keeffe has moved into the lead in eight boat class two IRC. O'Keeffe overtook Denis Byrne's Trapper T250 Cracker from Royal Cork Yacht Club but is on the same 11 points. Third is  Sean Hanley's HB31 Luas.

royal cork autumn league 42Denis Byrne's Trapper T250 Cracker

royal cork autumn league 42Alan Mulcahy's Quarter Tonner Runaway Bus from Kinsale Yacht Club is sixth

There is no change in the leaderboard after 12 races in the 1720 sportsboat fleet. Anthony O'Leary's Antix leads and second in the six-boat fleet is Tom Durcan and Clive O'Shea's T Bone four points behind O'Leary. Third is Olympic Finn campaigner Fionn Lyden sailing Spiced Beef. 

royal cork autumn league 42Anthony O'Leary's Antix

royal cork autumn league 42Tom Durcan and Clive O'Shea's T Bone

royal cork autumn league 42Fionn Lyden's Spiced Beef

The Whitesail One division is now led by Denis Ellis's First 35 Mazu from Cove Sailing Club.

In the seven boat White Sail Two fleet Kieran O Brian's MG335, Magnet stays on top.

royal cork autumn league 42

Full results here. Bob Bateman Photo gallery below.

royal cork autumn league 42royal cork autumn league 42royal cork autumn league 42royal cork autumn league 42royal cork autumn league 42royal cork autumn league 42royal cork autumn league 42royal cork autumn league 42royal cork autumn league 42royal cork autumn league 42royal cork autumn league 42royal cork autumn league 42royal cork autumn league 42royal cork autumn league 42royal cork autumn league 42royal cork autumn league 42royal cork autumn league 42royal cork autumn league 42royal cork autumn league 42royal cork autumn league 42royal cork autumn league 42royal cork autumn league 42

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About boot Düsseldorf: With almost 250,000 visitors, boot Düsseldorf is the world's largest boat and water sports fair and every year in January the “meeting place" for the entire industry. From 18 to 26 January 2020, around 2,000 exhibitors will be presenting their interesting new products, attractive further developments and maritime equipment. This means that the complete market will be on site in Düsseldorf and will be inviting visitors on nine days of the fair to an exciting journey through the entire world of water sports in 17 exhibition halls covering 220,000 square meters. With a focus on boats and yachts, engines and engine technology, equipment and accessories, services, canoes, kayaks, kitesurfing, rowing, diving, surfing, wakeboarding, windsurfing, SUP, fishing, maritime art, marinas, water sports facilities as well as beach resorts and charter, there is something for every water sports enthusiast.

At A Glance – Boot Dusseldorf 

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40474 Düsseldorf
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Fax: +49 211 4560-668
Web: https://www.boot.com/

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