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Royal Cork Yacht Club's 300th anniversary flag bearing the inscription 'where it all began' was hoisted for the first time in Cork Harbour last night during the celebratory black-tie gala dinner for the Beaufort Cup Services competition, underway this week as part of Cork Week Regatta.

Photo gallery by Bob Bateman below

At a 170-guest gala dinner hosted by the Irish Naval Service on Haulbowline Island, Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Simon Coveney TD was joined by a second Government Minister, Minister of State Paul Kehoe at the Dept of the Taoiseach and Defence, to launch the celebrations that will see Cork Week 2020 Regatta as an important part of the year-long celebrations in two years time.

Beaufort Cup dinner4The 300th RCYC anniversary flag is hoisted by the Navy Photo: Bob Bateman

Beaufort Cup dinner2Patricia Greene of Volvo (left) with Commandant Barry Byrne, skipper of the defence forces entry in the Beaufort Cup and guests Photo: Bob Bateman

Beaufort Cup dinner5The RNLI Baltimore Beaufort Cup crew Photo: Bob BatemanBeaufort Cup dinner5Guests attend the flag hoisting ceremony Photo: Bob Bateman

Royal_Cork_300_flagThe Royal Cork's 300th Anniversary flag flying in Haulbowline Photo: Bob Bateman

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Published in Royal Cork YC

With a year to go to Cork Dinghy Fest 2019, the Royal Cork Yacht Club Organising Committee is reaching out to 'all classes' to get in touch and express their interest in hosting a regional event at Dinghy Fest.

While dates are currently being finalised, July 5th - 7th is the current proposal for the multi-fleet week.

This will be the third running of the event which, says organiser Alex Barry, has proven to be 'a big hit both on and off the water'.

As a former All Ireland Sailing Champion, Barry wrote previously on Afloat.ie about the need to inject more fun into dinghy sailing, especially for youth sailors

The Cork Harbour dinghy ace said in December 2016, 'friendship is key to keeping Ireland’s youth dinghy sailing classes alive'.

He noted that more needed to be done for over-16s “who just want to have a bit of fun, go to a few events camping, and be with their friends. Read more on this here.

Meanwhile, classes should contact Alex Barry [email protected] or Kieran O’Connell [email protected] for Dinghy Fest 2019 details.

Published in Royal Cork YC

There were two separate starts in Royal Cork Yacht Club's July League sponsored by Ronan Enright Solicitors tonight on the club's course 96 in fine sailing conditions in Cork Harbour writes Bob Bateman.

Sailing as crew on the Half Tonner, Miss Whiplash, the race sponsor Ronan Enright, a former Rear RCYC Admiral, was on board one of 26 boats competing in the light air race.

Two 1720s sportsboats (below) taking part in the in-harbour race are part of an RCYC under 25 development squad and in training for this month's Cork Week Regatta.

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Published in Royal Cork YC

A foiling Moth, National 18s, 505s, RS100s, International 14s, made up a wide range of dinghy classes for Royal Cork Yacht Club's Dognose and Miss Betty Trophy races ran jointly on Saturday for all Cork Harbour Clubs.

The Dognose Trophy is open to monohull dinghies with a PY number of 1142 (Laser Radial) or less and the Miss Betty Trophy is open to dinghies with a PY higher than 1142 ­class.

A great day out for both sailors and supporters, after racing the fleet came ashore at Aghada for prizegivings and refreshments.

Bob Bateman photographed the action in our gallery below

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Published in Royal Cork YC

Royal Cork Yacht Club in Cork Harbour introduced the first of its Keelboat 'Pop up' family-oriented races last Friday. The idea was to start at 1800 and round as many marks as possible in 1hr and 30mins, for every minute each competitor was late back across the finish line, they would have one mark deducted from their total, the final total would be then divided by the boats Club ECHO handicap.

Denis Murphy and crew on Nieulargo were the winners on the night, with a total of 17 marks rounded and a finishing time of 1934 giving him a total of 14 marks to count and a score of 14.01

Second was Brian and Mary Jone and crew on Jelly Baby with a total of 24 marks rounded and finishing time of 1944 giving him a total of 10 marks to count and a score of 10.10

Third was Mel Collins and crew on Coracle IV with a total of 17 marks rounded and finishing time of 1946 giving him a total of 1 mark to count and a score of 1.03.

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Published in Royal Cork YC

The first race of Royal Cork Yacht Club's June Thursday league, sponsored by Union Chandlery, was held last night in balmy light winds of six or seven knots writes Bob Bateman.

The course was from a Committee boat start to No. 5 back to Cage, then out to No. 6, back to Cage across to Corkbeg with a finish back at Cage.

Scroll down for a photo gallery

It was a reaching start but only Dara O'Shea's J70 Wildcard could fly her asymmetric which she did for the first two legs.

RCYC June Yacht Race1The J70 'Wildcard' managed to fly the kite for the first two legs Photo: Bob Bateman

Mel Collins in Coracle IV started well at the pin end followed by three generations of the MacSweeney family sailing together with members of the RCYC Topper squad.

RCYC June Yacht Race1Close racing to Cork Harbour's No.6 buoy Photo: Bob Bateman

Mary O'Keefe's X362 started well and got the better of Ria Lyden's X362, Ellida. However, during the beat to  No.6 Lyden's light air skills allowed Ellida to get the upper hand and she took the lead from Tux.

RCYC June Yacht Race1X362 Tux Photo: Bob Bateman

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Published in Royal Cork YC

The 2018 Royal Sprints Championship, double-handed dinghy regatta, was held last weekend at the Royal Cork Yacht Club writes Clayton Kohl. This first annual regatta, as previously reported by Afloat.ie here, attracted double-handed dinghy sailors ranging in age from 12 to 21 from all over the country including Cork, Kerry, Wexford, Baltimore, Dublin and Newcastle, Northern Ireland. The two-day 29er, RS 200 and RS Feva event featured short sprint-style races on a nested course. Cork Harbour served as the beautiful backdrop with brisk winds on Saturday at 14 with to 18 knots while Sunday calmer with winds 10 to 14 knots.

29er Triple Crown

The Royal Sprints Championship was the first of three regattas being held across Ireland to determine Ireland's 29er Triple Crown winners. The 29er class's first regatta of 2018 started with a thud, the sound of one skiff's long daggerboard hitting a now newly discovered sandbar. The resulting pitchpole forced the retirement of Lola Kohl & Johnny Durcan's skiff and a race course move. Once adjustments were made, the 29er fleet successfully completed 10 races during the 24-hour period. 

29er RCYCAtlee Kohl & Chris Bateman in the 29er Photo: Simon McIlwaine

Atlee Kohl & Chris Bateman earned first with straight bullets followed by Dawson Kohl & Chris McDonnell in second, Rory O'Sullivan & Rob Keal in third, Adam Doyle & David Jones in fourth and Erin McIlwaine & Dan Thompson in fifth. The Triple Crown series highlights Ireland's top 29er helms and crews. The next Triple Crown event will be held at the Royal North of Ireland Yacht Club followed by the final event at Dublin's Royal St. George Yacht Club. The 29er class has been embraced by serious sailors with the winners of this year's 4.7 Laser Nationals and Topper Nationals competing for the Triple Crown last weekend.

With the introduction of highly advanced youth skiffs like the 29er, the need for new and innovative safety practices is paramount. A new safety measure implemented at this event was the use of a 'rescue sailor'. A rescue sailor is a fully proficient wetsuited individual ready to step onto a struggling skiff in a moments notice. At this event, the rescued sailor swapped places with an exhausted crew to get a struggling skiff into port on Saturday and helped a couple novice teams with on-the-water spinnaker issues on Sunday. Having an experienced sailor on standby to jump onboard a distressed dinghy really improves fleet safety by keeping RIBS on the race course, coaches dry and sailors happily competitive on the water.

"Having an experienced sailor on standby to jump onboard a distressed dinghy really improves fleet safety"

The RS 200 class had two great days of racing with the short course keeping the competition close and exciting. Short courses require more manoeuvres and often result in more opportunities for sailors to overtake competitors. After completing eleven races, Cian Jones & Luke McGrath finished first, Adam Power & Jack Young in second, Mia Murphy & Jennifer O'Shaughnessy in third, Jamie Tingle & Ronan O'Driscoll in fourth and Rosa Lyden & Jane Bolger in fifth.

The RS Fevas battled it out over twelve races, the most of any class. In the end, Harry Pritchard & Niel O'Leary came in first followed by Elysia O'Leary & Lily Dwyer in second and Griff Kelleher & Kate Neville in third. Congratulations to all the sailors who fought challenging conditions and gave up some study time to be on the water competing with their friends in their favourite double-handed sailing class.

"This weekend was a major milestone for the 29er fleet"

This weekend was a major milestone for the 29er fleet as it marked the first official event for the newly formed Irish 29er Class Association. The new association, spearheaded by Jarlath O'Leary, represents 29er sailors from all parts of the island of Ireland. If current participation is any indication, the future of the 29er programme and its position as a feeder of great sailors into 49er programme looks very promising for Ireland!

Published in Royal Cork YC

At the International Council of Yacht Clubs (ICOYC) World Forum 2018 in San Francisco, the Royal Cork Yacht Club was selected to host the ICOYC World Forum in September 2019. Vice Admiral, Colin Morehead, and Club General Manager, Gavin Deane, represented the Club at this prestigious event which was attended by most of the thirty-nine member clubs.

The ICOYC World Forum is a unique opportunity to engage in discussion with fellow representatives from the world’s leading yacht clubs on areas of interest to yacht clubs and the sport and to share experiences to the mutual benefit of all in attendance. The theme of this year’s conference was "Evolution vs. Revolution... the art of managing change", a subject that evoked much thought and discussion.

At the closing ceremony for the forum, Andy Anderson, President of the International Council of Yacht Clubs, officially announced the Royal Cork Yacht Club as hosts of the ICOYC World Forum in September 2019. Commenting at the closing ceremony held in St Francis Yacht Club, San Francisco, Colin Morehead, Vice Admiral of the Royal Cork and Chairman of the Royal Cork's Tricentenary celebrations in 2020 said, “It is an honour for the Flag Officers and Members of the Royal Cork Yacht Club that it has been chosen to host the ICOYC World Forum in 2019. Cork Harbour has been home to the world's oldest yacht club since its founding in 1720 and has been welcoming sailors from across the globe throughout that time. Be assured all intending to travel will receive an especially warm welcome as the harbour and its communities are busy preparing to mark the 300th anniversary of the founding of the Royal Cork in 2020”.

"Cork Harbour has been home to the world's oldest yacht club since its founding in 1720"

Royal Cork General Manager, Gavin Deane said “the Royal Cork are delighted to have been chosen to host this prestigious forum and look forward to welcoming fellow council members from Canada, New Zealand, Australia, the USA, Hong Kong, and from many countries around Europe. Many of the attendees will stay on after the four day conference and visit the tourist attractions around Cork City and County and beyond. The Club is extremely grateful of the support from the Cork Convention Bureau, and the Cool Route project, which is co-financed by the Interreg Northern Periphery and Arctic Programme.”

The yacht clubs that form the Council are the leading clubs in each region of the world, all with an international orientation, sharing similar advantages and facing similar issues. By working together the Council clubs can present a common face to the increasingly commercial world of yachting, reflecting their significance within the sport. Membership of the ICOYC can be summarised as ‘The Leading Yacht Clubs … Working Together … Sharing Experience’.

Published in Royal Cork YC

The first annual 'Royal Sprints Regatta' will be held in just two weeks on May 19th & 20th at the Royal Cork Yacht Club.

Featuring three double-handed dinghy classes, the event will provide the sailor with numerous short, fun, sprint races over a 24-hour period in Cork Harbour.

Perfectly suited for the traveling competitor, first gun isn’t until 2:00 pm on Saturday and the final race won’t start passed 12:30 pm on Sunday. Prizes go five deep in all classes giving the sailor the best opportunity to show off their skills. A social with submarine sandwiches, cookies and drinks will be served to sailors in Royal Cork’s Youth Sailing Dinghy Centre on Saturday evening after racing.

If you are a 29er, RS200 or RS Feva sailor, this is an event you won’t want to miss! Visit RoyalSprints.com for more information and registration.

Published in Royal Cork YC

The Royal Cork Yacht Club at Crosshaven in Cork Harbour has decided on a change in the format of racing for the coming season which will reduce the number of starts and re-define the sailing classes.

In cruiser racing out of the club just two classes will sail under Spinnakers. This change met with general approval at a meeting of racing boat Skippers in the RCYC where the new handicapping arrangements were outlined by Mel Collins, Keelboat Committee Sailing Secretary. They will reduce Class bands 1, 2 and 3 to Spinnaker 1and Spinnaker 2.

Whitesail will continue, possibly with two classes, depending upon boat numbers.

"The changes are radical, as Skippers commented, but necessary it was generally felt, to bring more competitive interest back to racing"

IRC handicapping is controlled by the RORC, but ECHO handicapping will be administered by the RCYC Committee, with monthly changes. That could cause some controversy. Manual adjusting of handicaps of boats did so prior to the introduction of computer-based racing programmes which administered handicapping changes. That was pointed out at the meeting. However, the changes were approved, so it’s largely a ‘wait-and-see what happens’ attitude.

Handicapping changes have, in recent years, been automatically made by the computer-operated racing system after each race. Computer assessment will be available to the Committee, but it is a potential area of difficulty, as experienced Skippers pointed out.

However, as the numbers in cruiser racing have gradually moved upwards, this change and basically, it seems, amalgamate Class1 and the top of Class 2, with other former Class 2 boats mingling with Class 3.

More work will be done on the allocation of handicaps prior to the seasonal start and when boat owners submit their handicaps.

Friday night white sailing at the club will continue under the HIS in-house system.

There is a provision in the new arrangements to prevent ‘sandbagging’ – the first time I saw this publicly and clearly identified in pre-racing arrangements, to prevent those who might try to ‘massage’ their handicaps by slowing boat performance to gain advantage for specific events!

Podcast below: 

Published in Tom MacSweeney
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