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The competitive instinct of Laser sailors is tightening the battle for honours in the Winter League in Cork Harbour being run by Monkstown Bay Sailing Club.

The fleet has been joined by some of Cork’s leading dinghy sailors. They include John Durcan, 49er sailor and Nick Walsh, 2017 National 18ft British and Irish Championships winner.

Despite their pressure the series leader, Darragh O'Sullivan, is holding his position as the sailors face into the third race of the series this Saturday.

There are three races each day. Last Saturday the weather was calmer than the opening day of the previous weekend. A higher-than-average morning temperature, sunlight and a light Southerly breeze were the conditions when OOD Alan Fehilly set race marks in the middle of Monkstown Bay for racing from Raffeen, to Ringaskiddy and back again.
In the light, changeable breeze, with a very strong tide, consistency was hard to achieve. Only Chris Bateman managed to stay in the top three places in each race, with a hat-trick of seconds. John Durcan was fourth in the first race of the day, but won the second and third races. Charles Dwyer, placing third in the third race of the day, moved into second place overall.
There is a fleet of sixteen boats racing.

O’Sullivan leads on 10 points, Bateman has 12 and Dwyer is on 18. Just behind him, in fourth place on 19 points is Ronan Kenneally. There is a ten-point gap then to Paul O’Sullivan who is fifth on 29 points, followed by John Durcan who, on his first outing, moved into sixth place overall by winning two of the day’s three races.
First Gun this Saturday will again be at 10.15 a.m.

Published in Laser

Monkstown Bay Sailing Club had what the sailors taking part described as a “tremendous start” to its Laser Winter League in Cork Harbour, sponsored by CH Marine.

A forecast of 30 knots didn't put anyone off, as sailors were greeted by a sunny Monkstown Bay, the sun compensating for the low temperature. High Tide and a fresh North Easterly meant Officer of the Day Alan Fehily set a start line in Monkstown Creek, racing towards Monkstown Marina, then returning to Monkstown Creek for the finish. The entire racecourse was overlooked by the historic Victorian houses of Alta Terrace, the setting being a pleasant sight for the Saturday morning walkers on Strand Road.

After an initial general recall, last year’s winner, Ronan Kenneally, led the fleet into the top mark for Race 1. Kenneally just stayed clear of a noisy collision between Paul O'Sullivan and Charles Dwyer, with Paul O'Sullivan being forced to take a 720 degree penalty to exonerate himself. Kenneally was eventually overhauled by Laser National Champion, Darragh O'Sullivan, who held first place to the finish. Kenneally had to deal with local Radial sailor, Chris Bateman, who showed great consistency to come in 3rd place.

Race 2 was where Darragh O'Sullivan started to show his class and he led the race from Charles Dwyer, Ronan Kenneally and Chris Bateman who were all battling for 2nd place. Kenneally fell victim to one of the heavier gusts and capsized, allowing Charles Dwyer to take second from Bateman, in third.

The small race area and lively fleet, meant there were two general recalls before Race 3 got underway and Darragh O'Sullivan broke free from the fleet early. Former UK Olympic Laser squad member, Rob Howe, held second for most of the race, until he too capsized, as some of the forecast breeze started to emerge from the direction of the old Verolme Dockyard. Dwyer took second after a collision, his second of the day, with Kenneally who fell back, but was able to hold 3rd.

Racing continues for the next 5 Saturdays. First Gun 1015 this Saturday, January 13.

Published in CH Marine Chandlery

Laser sailors will kick-off the New Year’s sailing season this Saturday in Monkstown Bay in Cork Harbour where the local club will start its Laser Winter League writes Tom MacSweeney. First Gun for the first race on Saturday morning will be at 10.15 a.m. - a Boat Start

“Full Rig Laser Sailors young and old are welcome,” says Charles Dwyer of Monkstown Bay Sailing Club which is organising the series. “We had up to 18 full rigs racing every Saturday last year and hope to exceed that number this year.”

The attraction of this league is that it is based on three short races each Saturday until February 10. The organisers guarantee that competitors will be ashore by noon, with soup provided, showers ready and the rest of the day available for other pursuits.

“We are arranging this event so that sailors who have families and who would like to get out and race, but also want to have weekend time with their children, can get their ‘quick fix’ of racing and still be with the family,” Dwyer says. “Celebrity sailors and Olympic hopefuls like Johnny Durcan, Ronan Walsh, Eddie Rice and Darragh O’Sullivan will be coming. We have great interest with 15 boats entered already, which is getting close to the numbers achieved in Howth’s Frostbites. Surely we can beat the Dubs again.”

Entry fee for the series is €20 per boat and entries will be taken on Saturday morning at the Sand Quay.

For more information, contact Charles Dwyer: 0861703289 or Email: [email protected]

Published in Cork Harbour

There was a ding dong battle for overall prizes at Royal Cork Yacht Club's O'Leary Insurances Winter League in Cork Harbour on Sunday won out by Ted and Tom Crosbie in the X-302, No Excuse writes Bob Bateman.

A festive spirit and 20–knot north–westerly winds brought the league to a buoyant close that followed an equally upbeat SCORA agm at RCYC at the weekend. More details and a podcast with Kieran O'Connell here.

No Excuse won the all–in 29–boat IRC division by one point having finished second in the final race to Coracle IV's (Kieran Collins) third place.

Coracle IV won the Echo division by a bigger margin.

Results are here

A cold but dry race started at seven degrees but by the finish had dropped to a chilly two degrees. 

Race officers Clem and Wendy Mc Elligott Started from a Comitee boat at Cork beg with a Beat to No.8 buoy from there up to Cobh and then out of the harbour to No.3 buoy. Two rounds were sailed.

Published in Royal Cork YC

The building of another huge container crane is dominating the Cork Harbour skyline. Construction is underway at the Cork Dockyard where Liebherr Killarney has already built and exported several cranes in the past year. The success of this development is becoming a regular feature of the harbour.

Published in Cork Harbour

There was a competitive air to today's Royal Cork Yacht Club racing in light westerly breezes at Cork Harbour writes Bob Bateman.

Topper and Laser dinghies enjoyed short course racing as part of the final round of RCYC's winter frostbite series for junior sailors who enjoyed the season's junior prizegiving at the clubhouse too this weekend.Royal Cork yacht racing1Tight racing for Toppers Photo: Bob Bateman

Overall, it was a very positive scene that echoes the sentiments of RCYC Rear Admiral Kieran O'Connell who has blown the bugle for cruiser racing in the harbour. Likewise, dinghy numbers are also positive as recently described by RCYC Rear Admiral, Stephen O'Shaugnessy here.

The keelboat course for the fourth race of the O'Leary Insurance Group Winter League was from a committee boat start under race officers Clem and Wendy McElligott.

The course sailed was No8 (S) No10 (S) EF4 (P) (East Ferry) No20 (P) EF2 (S) No10 (P) Corlbeg (S) and a Finish at Cage.

This event is an all–in league including the. start. Overall results are worked out for IRC and ECHO as well as separate class divisions.

Royal Cork yacht racing1Racing in the fourth race of the O'Leary League today. Photo: Bob Bateman

In IRC One division, the X302, No Excuse, has had three different helms in the series so far and Tom Crosbie, sailing with son Patrick and brother Andrew, still leads by a point. Kieran Collins skippering the Olson 30, Coracle IV, seems to have to work very hard to sail to his handicap but the recent American yacht was rewarded today with a win overall in IRC to be placed second overall.

Equally competitive were the white sail fleets with two Impalas on five points each in WS 2 ECHO.

The smaller boats sailed over the bank on the beat from EF4 to No 20, off Cobh, to dodge the worst of the ebb tide.

Full results are here

Addtional reporting from RCYC

The November Frostbite dinghy Series and Bill Jones Memorial Trophy came to a conclusion this afternoon with two races completed by PRO David O’Brien and his team – Celine McGrath and Stephen O’Shaughnessy.  The morning started with very light breeze but filled in and the sailors had 8 – 13 knots on the Curlane Bank with an ebbing tide.

Caoimhe Foster caused an upset to Chris Bateman’s string of series bullets in the first race, however, Chris returned to his winning ways in the second race of the day to secure 1st Place in the Radial Fleet.  Caoimhe Foster was 2nd and Conor Walsh 3rd.

In the 4.7 Fleet – only 3 points separated the top two going into the final day and Atlee Kohl held his three point lead by securing a first and third.  Conor Horgan kept his 2nd overall and Tom Good from Kinsale Yacht Club came 3rd.

This is the first year that there have been Topper 4.2 rigs racing in the Frostbites.  Well done to Joe O’Sullivan 1st, Fearghal Desmond 2nd and Vicky McDonnell Lettice 3rd.

The Topper 5.3 Rigs were the largest fleet competing in the Frostbites and it was great to see a strong fleet join us from Kinsale.  In the Silver Fleet another win for the Foster house with Cillian Foster taking home 1st, Oisin MacSweeney 2nd and Neil O’Leary 3rd.  In Gold Fleet – Jonathan O’Shaughnessy finished with a five point lead to come 1st, Dorothy Matthews 2nd and David Jones 3rd.

The prize giving was held in the Upstairs Bar directly after the sailors had some hot chocolate and thawed out!.  Stephen O’Shaughnessy thanked all the sailors with particular mention to the visiting sailors from Kinsale Yacht Club.  

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Published in Royal Cork YC

Monkstown Bay in Cork Harbour is getting a slipway extension which will improve boat launching and recovery. The previously narrower slipway is being renewed and widened. 

The slipway is at the upriver side of the Sand Quay which is primarily used by Monkstown Bay Sailing Club for launching dinghies, but it is a public slipway, also generally available.

MSBC has a club hut for race operations on the Quay. Its clubhouse is a short distance away at De Vesci Place in the village.

Published in Cork Harbour

There was another super race in the O'Leary Insurances sponsored Winter Sailing League at Royal Cork Yacht Club today writes Bob Bateman.

Sunny (most of the time) with wind 20 to 25 knots from north north west was a scenario where some skippers felt better sailing without spinnakers.

Course was 65 on RCYC course card. Following a Boat start the course was no 13s, no 11s, no10p, Corkbeg s, cage p, w4 s, finish at cage.

The Grand Soleil 40 Nieulargo skippered by Denis Murphy led the fleet and looked majestic upwind but had difficulty holding off the Durcan/O'Shea 1720 sportsboat off the wind but neverthelss won today's all-in IRC race.

Tom Crosbie in No Excuses again got a good start was very steady and did enought to finish second and hold the overall IRC lead. 

Coracle Kieran Collins with son Mel on helm put in a virtuoso performance (full on) enough to finish third in the all in IRC division.

Given the number of white sail boats competing there are now two White Sail classes in the all-in start.

Scroll down for photo gallery of today's race.

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Published in Royal Cork YC

As the debate rumbles on as to how we can engage more young people in the sport of sailing, the Royal Cork Yacht Club has witnessed 'tremendous growth' in junior dinghy sailing activity across every level over the last eighteen months writes RCYC Rear Admiral, Stephen O'Shaugnessy. 

The club currently boasts some of the largest active dinghy fleets in the country; The Optimist class for example, has in excess of seventy sailors right across an age range from 8 -15 years old. Equally, the club Laser and Topper fleets have also seen rapid growth in numbers participating on a consistent basis at both club and regional level.

In tandem to all this single–handed dinghy activity, there is a growing fleet of RS boats being purchased by members and this appears to be filling a gap to ensure that junior members in their late teenage years keep sailing. While this is very much work in progress, the signs are positive for further growth for two handed sailing across a number of classes, including a possible 29er class.

29er Royal CorkSigns are positive for further double–handed dinghy growth in classes such as the youth 29er skiff. Photo: Bob Bateman

The result of all this is an average of ninety dinghies currently taking to the water at weekends to take part in club league racing a coaching programmes.

So what is driving this growth? A very focused junior dinghy committee ensures that every base is covered when it comes to our junior activity in the club. Underlying all our activity is the fundamental belief that every junior member is a fantastic asset to the club, irrespective of their age, ability or ambition. All our club coaching programmes and courses are structured in such a manner that the sailors within each fleet feel a strong sense of identity of being part of a larger team even though they each may well have different goals or objectives in terms of competing at various levels or simply sailing for the love of sailing'.

The spin off from all this activity has also helped towards a substantial increase in those participating in their club summer sailing courses. This, coupled with the fact that a growing number of family members are encouraging their children to be more involved in healthy outdoor activity during the summer months has led to one of the largest summer programmes in the country this year with in excess of hundred and seventy participants.

Looking to the future, the hope is to further build on the philosophy that as a sport, sailing is a skill for life that can be enjoyed at any stage and at any age and whatever ability.

There is clearly a growing demand across Ireland for dinghy sailing at every level and the club looks forward to continued growth in the build up to its 300th anniversary in 2020.

Published in Royal Cork YC

There was an interesting anniversary on Sunday at Royal Cork Yacht Club for Maurice 'Prof' O'Connell, the sailing professional, aboard Conor Phelan's all winning class one entry, Jump Juice. The Ker 37 won the CH Marine Autumn League with nine race wins from ten races but it wasn't this succesful teams only win on Cork Harbour waters. Far from it!

The weekend marked exactly ten years to the day for the Prof since winning the exact same event. How time flies! 

RCYC Autumn League 2007Prof O'Connell trimming the kite on Jump, on their way to victory in the 2007 RCYC League Photo: Bob Bateman

Prof took the 30–second video below as Jump gybed at the wing mark in the second race on Sunday. Nice bit of audio too!

Published in Royal Cork YC
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