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Royal Cork Yacht Club is running an ICRA training initiative at its forthcoming CH Marine Autumn Series commencing on October 1st.

ICRA announced the availability of this grant at their annual conference earlier this year and it has enabled the Royal Cork to partner with sailmakers North Sails Ireland to run an on–the –water race training programme during their Autumn Series that is previewed by Afloat.ie here.

RCYC's Kieran O'Connell gave a brief outline 'North Sails Ireland will be active on the water before and during racing. The aim is to offer trim and set up advice before the start and then once the Flag drops to film the racing and debrief in full in the Club house the same day'

O'Connell added that 'this will be a great addition to this year’s CH Marine Autumn series at the Royal Cork and we would like to thank ICRA for their support and North Sails Ireland for working with us on this exciting new addition to the series'.

Published in Royal Cork YC

Royal Cork Yacht Club has shaken up the format of its 2018 Volvo Cork Week Regatta following an exit survey of competitors at the 2016 event.

A brand-new format for the regatta that runs from 9th – 14th July 2018 offers cruiser–racers the option to choose from the multi–series format of the new event.

The new event will feature 12 competitive classes in IRC and ECHO handicaps. There is racing for the Volvo Cork Week Cup, Club Regatta Day, Inshore Races, the Beaufort Cup, plus a new 'Offshore and Wrecks' series. 

rockabill Cork weekDublin Bay JPK10.80 Rockabill competing in 2016's Cork Week Harbour Race Photo: Bob Bateman

'We are always looking for new and exciting ways to make the regatta better for you the competitor. This year is no different, RCYC's Kieran O'Connell, the Cork Week Chairman, told Afloat.ie

'On receiving the results of the survey carried out after the regatta in 2016, one thing became very clear to us. Every individual competitor’s needs and wants are very different', O'Connell explained.

Using the survey as a guide, the Volvo Cork Week committee spent a lot of time looking at how best to offer a tailored experience to as many competitors as possible. We have always said that Volvo Cork Week is a regatta run by sailors for sailors, so we decided adhere to this mantra and create a regatta built by sailors.

O'Connell says some of the possibilities at the 2018 regatta are:

· If you as the competitor enjoy coming to Cork Week for 5 days of world class racing and great entertainment then that is on offer.
· If you as competitor enjoy coming to Cork Week but find it hard to get five days off, then we have a three-day series and that is on offer.
· If you enjoy just doing the longer offshore style racing both fully crewed or shorthanded, then that is also on offer.
· If you would like to hold your class championships finishing on the Saturday then, you said it, that is on offer too. 

Download the advance notice of race below

All Afloat.ie's Cork Week coverage in one handy link here

Published in Cork Week

Royal Cork Yacht Club's Fitzgerald Menswear sponsored August/September League finished last night in autumnal conditions with most boats finishing in the early darkness! The westerly breeze was up and down throughout the race, averaging 14knts. High tide allowed the fleet to use the full inner Cork harbour.

PRO Dave Coveney used course 70, sending the fleet on a beat up to Cage buoy from Cork Beg. The fleet then freed sheets to no7. Some of the fleet hoisted their spinnakers. Then it was fetch down to 13, back to 9 and then a final beat and finish at Cage.

 DSC4111Bad Company Photo: Bob Bateman

Alpaca led the fleet from the start and finished first on corrected time thus moving her to first overall for the IRC All In six race series. Bad Company finished second in the race to maintain her second overall for the series. Denis Byrne’s ‘Cracker’ finished 4th on corrected time and finished third overall in IRC.

 DSC4111Cracker Photo: Bob Bateman

Denis won the ECHO handicap series overall with Richard Leonards ‘Bandit’ second and Ria Lyden's ‘Ellida’ third overall.

The White Sail IRC and Echo league was won by ‘Scribbler’ with the MacSweeney family crewing throughout the six race series. Second overall IRC went to Peter Webster’s ‘Thistle’. Peter and crew also finished third overall in Echo. Aramis (Pat Vaughan) came in third in IRC and Elegance (Paul O’Shea) finished second overall in Echo.

The Friday Night Whitesail Fitzgerald Menswear League concluded evening racing and was also won by Scribbler with Thistle second and Upstart (Barry Crockett) third.

Published in Royal Cork YC

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 new offshore racing entity, 'Ireland Ocean Racing', that will put Royal Cork Yacht Club's Nicholas O'Leary (31) at the helm of the IMOCA 60 Hugo Boss on the 2020 Vendée Globe start line is sailing off Cork Harbour.

As Afloat.ie reported previously, the demo sails are part of the launch of the world–girdling project that will arrive into Dun Laoghaire Harbour on Wednesday or Thursday. O’Leary, son of Royal Cork's Anthony and Sally O'Leary, wants to be the first Irish sailor to complete the non–stop round the world challenge. He'll be following in the wake of plucky Enda O'Coineen's ill–fated Kilcullen that was dismasted in the last race off New Zealand in December.

Hugo Boss 3852(Above and below) The Ireland Ocean Racing Team onboard Hugo Boss. Photos: Bob Bateman

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O'Leary's team say he is expected into Dublin Bay on August 30. 

Read more in WM Nixon's blog: How Much in the Sponsorship Pot for all These Irish Offshore Sailing Superstar Hopefuls?

Published in Vendee Globe

The location proposed for the floating storage and regasification operation which the Texas-based LNG (liquefied natural gas) company, Next Decade, wants to put into Cork Harbour, is to the west of Whitegate Jetty and inside Dognose writes Tom MacSweeney in Cork's Evening Echo Newspaper. If it goes ahead, this will be a major change in the appearance of the harbour and have considerable implications for boating in the popular area known as the ‘Fox and Cover’.

Dognose is the area around the green No,5 harbour buoy where the ‘Corkbeg’ racing mark is located, longstanding and renowned amongst the sailing fraternity. The area, underneath Fort Carlisle, is a popular weekend leisure anchorage that has been used by generations of Corkonians.

The project underlines the commercial pressure for industrial development in the harbour, the current list of which includes the expansion of Cork Port at Ringaskiddy, the controversial Indaver incinerator there, about which Bord Pleanala has said it will announce its decision next week and this LNG/FSRU proposal.

Floating storage and regasification’ projects (FSRU) use ships to store and transfer liquefied gas, an operation requiring great care. NextDecade was founded by Kathleen Eisbrenner, an Executive Vice President of LNG at Shell, CEO and also founder of Excelerate Energy, which built FSRU vessels and developed ‘Re-Gas ports’. Excelerate opened Teeside Gasport near Middleborough in the UK in 2007, but it was underused, closed in 2015. Re-opening has been announced by another company, Trafigura. Ireland’s gas supply has come under scrutiny over Brexit and issues about security of supply.

Published in Cork Harbour

The exotic if brief spell of summer as we all remember it from childhood may be drawing to a close writes W M Nixon. But while it was at its height, photographer Bob Bateman captured the mood in Cobh with this gallery of images (below) which gets the unique flavour of that extraordinary Cork Harbour town, terraced above the sea, as it puts on its best face for the annual visit of the American Training Ship State of Maine.

As revealed by Jehan Ashmore in Afloat.ie earlier, the TS State of Maine is in effect a floating maritime university. It speaks volumes for the most maritime of America’s States, that it should proudly run a vessel like this. And the impressive effect is heightened by learning that the TS State of Maine is herself the flagship of a varied fleet of training vessels, all working within and for Maine’s Maritime Academy.

Doubtless we in Ireland can learn from what they do about sea training in Maine. But for now, it’s summer, and all major political decisions have been parked until September. However, as anyone who has been to Cobh recently can confirm, the sale of house paints seem to have been on the up-and-up. The place is looking very well indeed. Somebody is doing something right. And Bob Bateman has captured one of the moments when the Cove of Cork is looking its very best.

Published in Cork Harbour

Another day of big breeze for the centreboard classes competing at Royal Cork's DinghyFest 2017 that has attracted over 100 dinghies from foiling Moths to RS 200s, 400s as well as National 18s and 420s.

Photographer Bob Bateman was afloat in Cork Harbour to capture all the action

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Published in Royal Cork YC

High winds in Cork Harbour have forced cancellation of RCYC cruiser racing in the harbour tonight as well as dinghy racing at Monkstown Bay SC.

North west winds are forecast to reach 30–mph later this evening.

Published in Cork Harbour

Cork Harbour's own Alex Barry will be out to retain his southern title in the RS400 class as part of Royal Cork's Dinghyfest that starts tomorrow. It's one of a number of championships being staged as part of the Crosshaven initiative to foster dinghy sailing. 

Barry, the current holder of the ISA's All Ireland Sailing title is also a keen National 18 sailor but campaigning his RS400 takes priority this weekend. The passionate centreboard sailor has spoken previously to Afloat.ie about plans to keep dinghy sailing alive. 'Friendships Through RS Sailing is the key to future of dinghy classes', the All Ireland Champ told Afloat.

Running as part of the weekend – that looks certain to attract over 100 boats – is the RS 200 Euro Cup & Irish National Championships, the National 18 National Championships, the RS Feva and RS 400 Southern Championships plus a PY fleet and an Optimist fun Fleet.

In the RS400, Ballyholme's Gareth Flanigan leads the challengers with Baltimore's top Laser sailor Fionn Lyden also entered in the double–hander. 

There will be four course areas with two inside Roche’s Point at Cuskinny and the Curlane Banks while two more course areas will be in the outer harbour between Roche’s Point and Power Head.

The RS200 and the larger RS400 will sail together while the International 420s and the National 18s will be in the same group on an outer courses. The Irish 420 fleet is buoyed up by some international results scored last week at Kiel Regatta, Germany.

Prizes are provided by event sponsors CH Marine and their Zyck range of sailing gear.

Racing gets underway on Friday for the start of the national championships in the RS200 and 420 classes while the total DinghyFest will be afloat over the weekend including the foiling Moth class from 2.30pm on Saturday where John Chambers is also expected to debut his Waszp dinghy too.

Published in Royal Cork YC
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