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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

The best was kept til last and the closing races of the CH Marine Autumn League today in Cork Harbour featured some fine sailing conditions writes Bob Bateman.

Winds were force four from the north/north west on a beautiful Autumn day at Crosshaven.

Classes one, two and three raced outside the harbour. The White Sail fleet and the Sportsboat fleets raced inside the harbour.

Despite two big storms this month, Race Officer RCYC Peter Crowley got ten races sailed and two discards applied.

Conor Phelan's Ker 37 Jump Juice was the clear winner with nine race wins in IRC One. Paul & Deirdre Tingle's X34 Alpaca was second on 17–points with K Dorgan/J Losty third in the Beneteau 36.7 Altair. Eight competed. 

In IRC Two, Kieran Collins Coracle IV, an Olson 30 won from Ted Crosbie's X302 No Excuse. Third was the Sunfast 32 Bad Company (Desmond, Ivers & Deasy). Ten competed.

CH Marine 5 2490Even though, past champion Fools Gold from Waterford Harbour was not competing this year, there was good support from the travelling Dunmore East fleet with Robert Marchant's Fulmar Fever, a Fastnet Race entrant, competing in IRC Three. Photo: Bob Bateman

In IRC Three, Dave Lane and Sinead Enright's J24, YaGottaWanna was the clear winner in the ten boat fleet but second  and third were tied on the same 24 points. Cracker, a Trapper T250 skippered by Denis Byrne won through on the tie-break rule. Third was David Marchant's Sigma 33 Flyover from Waterford Harbour.

Prior to going afloat today, Port of Cork gave a briefing to sailors about navigating in the harbour and the importance of keeping keeping clear of commercial shipping.

The series included an ICRA training initiative for the fleet that comprised a North Sails Ireland rig set-up advice and video of today's racing captured by drone and this was viewed post racing at Royal Cork Yacht Club.

As usual, SCORA in in the process of computing results from this CH Marine League, together with the April league in Kinsale, Calves Week at Schull Harbour and the Cobh to Blackrock Race to declare overall season prizes.

Full results are here. Today's photo gallery below. Prizegiving pictures to follow after tonight's prizegiving at RCYC.

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Published in CH Marine Chandlery

A video of a yacht that broke free of its mooring in the teeth of Storm Ophelia in Cork Harbour, has recorded over 50k views on social media.

The Ensign Bar in Monkstown Co. Cork posted the vid on Facebook in the teeth of the Hurricane when Force 12 winds tore across the harbour, closing the Port of Cork

With halyards and furling headsail flying, the seemingly doomed yacht narrowly avoids collision with Monkstown's quay wall then disappears downwind in the spume and waves lashing up on Cork harbour walls.

Three died in separate incidents as over 200,000 left without power when the hurricane struck Ireland today.

Published in Cork Harbour

Meitheal Mara, the Cork boatyard and maritime community organisation which has carried out many years of development work highlighting Cork’s maritime and boat-building tradition has protested the exclusion of boat access to Haulbowline Island in the €60m remediation plan for the East Tip dump left behind there in Cork Harbour after the closure of Irish Steel, writes Tom MacSweeney.

This dump has been the source of controversy for many years and there is continuing disagreement over pollution effects into the harbour and on the health of harbour residents.

“A €60m. spend, but no access to the water for boats, this is not be joined-up thinking” Meitheal Mara says.

The organisation was a member of the design group for the Spike Island Masterplan, just across from Haulbowline Island, which resulted in the European Tourism Award to Spike at the weekend.

Meitheal Mara has campaigned for several years for more public access points, slipways and launching points along the River Lee. It has made several submissions to local authorities and is credited with the revival of boating and development of maritime interest in city areas. Amongst its activities has been restoration of currach rowing on the Lee at Blackrock and the development of the annual Ocean-to-City rowing race in Cork Harbour, which has become a big international event.

The organisation made a submission to the planners of the Haulbowline remediation project, proposing options for boat access and emphasising the importance of this, but has been ignored.

“It is extraordinary that Meitheal Mara was involved in Spike, but its views have been dismissed on Haulbowline. “

Indeed, it is and where does the lack of such provision leave the international sailing centre which was touted by the Government to be located on the island, if there is not boating provision?

“It is doubtful if a dump of toxic waste of this nature, in the centre of Cork Harbour, would have been tolerated for so long if it were in Dublin Bay,” environmental and local interests commented. “The plan, which is for a park and other facilities is welcome, the removal of the dump should have been done many years ago, but to exclude boating access shows a lack of joined-up thinking and is appalling.”

Published in Cork Harbour

Blackrock Sailing Club on the River Lee in Cork Harbour became Ireland's newest sailing club last month when the new facility set sail in a fleet of refurbished Firefly dinghies operating from the pier at Blackrock village.

At this stage BSC has 'no fixed abode', according to spokesman Kieran Dwyer, although they are in discussions with several parties including local boat clubs.

Sailors involved include Stuart Hosford, the man behind Nin O'Leary and Alex Thomson's Vendee Globe ambitions and Mick Moloney and Sandy Rimmington to name but a few.

The club's small beginnings have been warmly welcomed by sailors on social media including the comment 'May we still be sailing 50 years from now on the lovely River Lee..'

From its Facebook page here the club is promoting its sailing schedule, membership details and general club updates.

Blackrock was originally a small fishing village about five kilometres from Cork City, the growth of the city has meant the village became incorporated into the city. As of 2015 Blackrock has seen some investment in regeneration projects for the village centre and as of last month it now has a sailing club too! 

Published in Sailing Clubs

Kieran & Liz O'Brien's MG335 Magnet was the IRC all–in winner of Cork Harbour's Naval Race on Sunday. White Sails IRC was Pat Barrett/Roy Hanan's Plumbat writes Bob Bateman.

As well as a race in itself this year's 15-boat Naval Race formed one of the fixtures in the Cork Harbour sailing co–operation between Monkstown Bay Sailing Club, Cove Sailing Club and Royal Cork Yacht Club. The race was dealyed by a day due to strong winds on Saturday.

The start line was between the Committee Boat and Number 3 buoy. Classes 1, 2 and 3 were sent out to E2 off Roches Point back via Corkbeg to port taking 13 to port and a finish at the Naval Base for well–earned refreshments.

The White Sail fleet had a shorter beat but sailed the same course to the finish. A turning Spring tide carried the fleet into the harbour at 3pm.

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Published in Cork Harbour

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
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