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Helm Aidan O'Connor has reached a similar milestone in this year's 200th anniversary of the RNLI. Not 200 years, but his 200th 'shout' on the Crosshaven Lifeboat. He is the first to attain that particular honour at the Cork Harbour station.

Aidan has been at the helm for 24 years, from the station's inception in 2000. 

Sunday (July 7) evening's 'Shout' started with a request from Valentia Coast Guard to the volunteer crew at 7.20 pm to a 24' motor boat with engine problems on the Curlane Bank. The only person onboard deployed his anchor before requesting assistance from the Coast Guard.

The crew made good progress in calm conditions to the position before boarding the vessel. The crew assessed the situation before establishing a tow to the owner's mooring at Drake's Pool on the Owenabue River.

The lifeboat crew consisted of Aidan O'Connor, Ian Venner, David Venner, and Conor Barry. The Shore Crew were Moira Kavanagh, Denise Marionne, Hugh Mockler, Alan Venner, James Fegan and Susanne Deane. Hugh Tully was the Launch Authority. 

The lifeboat returned to the station at 8.55 pm, was recovered, washed down and refuelled before being declared ready for service at 9.30 pm.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Monkstown Bay Sailing Club's weekly evening leagues have big numbers on the water in Cork Harbour.

Twenty-six dinghies have registered to race Class 1 in the June League. After seven races, the club’s Laser ‘veteran, David O’Connell, took over the lead on 18 points, racing his ILCA 7 from Brian Jones and Gary Frost, who raced their 505 in second place on 26. Ewen and Thea Barry have moved into third place, sailing a Fireball on 32 points

There are also 505s, RS dinghies and an International 14 racing the series.

Tim and Philip O’Connor, with four first places in the seven races, continue to sail their Mirror into the lead in Class 2 which has ten boats entered. They are on 21 points, ahead of Conall and Cormac O’Domhnaill in their RS Feva XL on 32. Harry Coole and George Curtin in another Feva XL are third on 36.

The final race in the Cork Harbour Combined Clubs June League will conclude the four-race series tomorrow night (Friday).

The League, organised by the RCYC and Cove SC is being raced in spinnaker and whitesail fleets inside Cork Harbour and has boosted the number of cruisers on the water, with up to 27 yachts racing the revived series.

The clubs are pleased with the upsurge in interest. After the last race is completed, the prizegiving will be held in Cobh.

Results after three races – Spinnaker IRC and ECHO divisions – 1st – Nieulargo/RCYC (Annamarie and Denis Murphy); 2 – North Star/RCYC (Fiona Young); 3 – Pat Mustard/Cove SC (George Radley).

Nieulargo is away from Cork, competing in the Round Ireland Race at present.

Whitesail IRC and ECHO – 1st, Big Mc/RCYC (McGrath Family); 2, Scribbler/RCYC (Tom and Cormac MacSweeney); 3. Phaeton/RCYC (Clive Doherty).

The RCYC In-house handicap racing Friday League, run in conjunction with the combined clubs series, is led by Scribbler (MacSweeney Family), with Luas second and Clodagh (Rob Foster) third.

Published in Cork Harbour
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Only four weeks remain until Volvo Cork Week 2024 (15th-19th July), with the Royal Cork Yacht Club in Crosshaven—the world's oldest yacht club— gearing up to welcome sailors and boats globally. Organisers say this year's event promises over 120 boats and attracting 8,000 sailors and spectators to the harbour town for a week of thrilling races and maritime festivities.

Download the current Volvo Cork Week 2024 entries below as an Xcel file to review the latest runners and riders due off Crosshaven.

Newly crowned 1720 national champion Ross McDonald and his Atara crew will defend their European title at Volvo Cork Week next month Photo: Rick TomlinsonNewly crowned 2024 1720 national champion Ross McDonald and his Atara crew will defend their European title at Volvo Cork Week next month Photo: Rick Tomlinson

Volvo Cork Week is not just about the competition; it's a celebration of coastal culture where sailors and spectators come together to share their passion for the sea. Attendees can look forward to a packed schedule of onshore events, including live music, local cuisine, a Family Fun Day, and Ladies' Day.

Racing will be spread across various challenging courses over the 5 days, offering competitors new challenges and opportunities each day, from longer coastal courses raced offshore, to ‘Round-the-Cans’ racing inside the harbour and multiple short races and Olympic courses laid in the open waters. The event will host the 1720 European Championships which will include over 30 1720 Sports boats designed in Cork, and there is a great charter opportunity this year with a fleet of RS21s participating.

The Volvo Cork Week scene on the lawn at Royal Cork Yacht Club Photo: VCWThe Volvo Cork Week scene on the lawn at Royal Cork Yacht Club Photo: VCW

This year’s Beaufort Cup will be the biggest one yet, with entries from around the world including USA and Ecuador. The renowned race for international uniformed service personnel encompasses a race around Fastnet Rock and back to Cork.

Recommended viewing points for the Harbour Race taking place on Wednesday 17th July include Camden and Church Bay in Crosshaven, the new Haulbowline Island Amenity Park, Ringaskddy and the promenade in Cobh.

Local boats of the host club will feature strongly in Volvo Cork Week 2024 with the Dehler 34 Big Mac (IRL 3492) and  the Jeanneau 36iP Elegance (IRL3610) both entered Photo: Bob BatemanLocal boats of the host club will feature strongly in Volvo Cork Week 2024 with the Dehler 34 Big Mac (IRL 3492) and the Jeanneau 36iP Elegance (IRL3610) both entered Photo: Bob Bateman

In addition to the thrilling racing action, Volvo Cork Week aims to make the event inclusive and enjoyable for all ages, with off-the-water activities for the whole family. The Family Day on July 14th from 12-5pm will feature a coastal market in the Royal Cork Yacht Club marquee, trails to Camden Fort Meagher, themed competitions and games, the famous Pipers Fun Fair and boat trips from Hugh Coveney Pier on the Cailin Or.

Volvo Cork Week 2022 big boat action in Cork Harbour Photo: Rick TomlinsonVolvo Cork Week 2022 big boat action in Cork Harbour Photo: Rick Tomlinson

As the boats are moored and sailors are back on dry land, the fun will continue at the Royal Cork Yacht Club, with musical entertainment all week, a ‘Pure Cork’ Crew night on Thursday 18th, fun on-shore sailing activities, and an expanded family-friendly area which includes a Play Zone for children’s games, a picnic area, and multiple casual dining options, alongside retail outlets, spares, sail-repair and other facilities. The emphasis this year is on sustainability with a focus on conservation, reuse and recycling and environmental impacts. Sponsor Volvo Car Ireland will be on hand to showcase their range of fully electric & plug-in hybrid cars.

Don't miss the Volvo Cork Week Ladies' Day charity lunch on July 17th, in support of the Crosshaven RNLI, featuring special guests Volvo ambassadors Dermot Bannon and Suzie McAdam. A fabulous afternoon for a great cause is guaranteed.

Royal Cork Yacht Club Admiral Annamarie FeganRoyal Cork Yacht Club Admiral Annamarie Fegan Photo: Bob Bateman

Commenting, Admiral Annamarie Fegan said, “We are very excited to welcome new and returning sailors to Cork from around the world. Volvo Cork Week has a reputation of excellence and the quality this year is going to be outstanding. With participants from across the globe vying for top honours in a series of exhilarating races - we expect some top-class racing over the week. And this year I’m delighted that we have a lot of local people taking part as crew for the first time - it’s a fantastic opportunity for people to get a taste of really high-quality racing.”

Crosshaven will be buzzing with spectators all week long with outstanding sporting displays on show on the water and plenty of entertainment and celebration on-shore. The neighbouring harbour villages of Cork will be bustling with activity over the week and offer the perfect vantage points to see the stunning spectacles on the water.

Volvo Car Ireland is the title sponsor of Volvo Cork Week in association with Johnson & Perrott, with official partners Cork County Council, Port of Cork, Musto, Heineken, Barry & Fitzwilliam, and media partner Cork’s Red FM.

Published in Cork Week
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Divers recovered a propeller from a World War I submarine on Monday, June 17 at the entrance to Cork Harbour.

It is believed to be part of the wreck site of the UC-42, the German World War 1 mine-deploying submarine, though this can only be fully confirmed on closer analysis of the archaeological object.

The project is very much a collaborative one, with project leads being a joint effort between Blackwater Sub-aqua Club and Mizen Archaeology, and supported by the National Monuments Service of the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, the National Museum of Ireland and the Federal Republic of Germany through their Embassy.

Is this the propellor off UC-42, the German World War 1 mine-deploying submarine. It can only be fully confirmed on closer analysis of the archaeological objectIs this the propellor off UC-42, the German World War 1 mine-deploying submarine. It can only be fully confirmed on closer analysis of the archaeological object

During World War I German forces organised a deadly submarine offensive in a bid to obstruct British supply routes and the entrance to Cork Harbour was regularly mined necessitating frequent sweeping operations by the British Navy.

The UC-42 sank in 30m of water, just outside Cork Harbour off Roche’s Point, on 10th September 1917 when a mine it was carrying exploded. All 27 crew on board the UC-42 were lost.

Later in 1917 an oil slick over the sunken vessel alerted the British Navy, who then dropped depth charges in the area and sent divers to investigate. They found the forward mine shoot empty, and the stern completely destroyed, indicating that one of the mines detonated prematurely. The divers discovered the hatches were open, suggesting the crew had attempted to escape. The periscope and documents including control room logbook were recovered as evidence.

The dive boat over the site of the wreck off Cork Harbour and below diver Gearoid O Looney enters the water to retrieve the propellorThe dive boat over the site of the wreck off Cork Harbour and below diver Gearoid O Looney enters the water to retrieve the propellor

diver Gearoid O Looney enters the water to retrieve the propellor

The exact location of the submarine remained unknown over the intervening years but was identified in recent years during seabed mapping for a pipeline project. It has since become a popular dive site. As the wreck is over 100-years old it is automatically protected under the National Monuments Acts 1987-2014 and a licence is required to dive the site.

Last year, while inspecting the submarine Timmy Carey of Blackwater SAC discovered a previously unidentified propeller lying close to the submarine. ‘’It was lying on the seabed detached and knowing that it was vulnerable to potential damage from trawling, anchoring or salvage, I knew I had to put a plan in place to safeguard the object.’’ Timmy discussed at the time.

He spent much of last year liaising with the National Monuments Service, the National Museum, and the German Embassy to ensure that all of the correct procedures, including all requisite licences, are in place to recover the object.

Malcolm Noonan TD, Minister for Nature, Heritage and Electoral Reform, said: “I am very pleased that our National Monuments Service was able to support this project, along with colleagues in the National Museum of Ireland, providing advice on the dive and recovery and conservation of the propeller. The UC-42 wreck is a significant part of our underwater cultural heritage and the final resting place of the German crew who were on board. It remains incumbent on us all to ensure we respect their remains. A collaborative project like this highlights what can be achieved on a shared heritage basis, bringing together the diving community, the commercial archaeological sector, our German Embassy colleagues, Local Authority and the general public to raise awareness of the heritage of our seas and how, together, we can ensure its protection and appreciation.
Over several months, a dive team of six divers, including underwater archaeologists, carefully assessed, recorded and excavated the propeller in preparation for recovery. Finally, this morning the historic object was raised onto the MV Harpy dive boat of Kinsale (skippered by Carroll O Donoghue), and brought ashore.

Underwater archaeologist, Julianna O’Donoghue, of Mizen Archaeology will continue to archaeologically lead, including the conservation of the propeller in advance of going on display in Spike Island Museum, in agreement with Cork County Council. Ms O’Donoghue said I’m anticipating the conservation process will reveal markings or finer details on the propeller which will further our understanding of the site, and confirm, or otherwise, if it is associated with the UC-42 wreck. The safe recovery, conservation and presentation of the object also very much denotes a best practice project relating to our fragile underwater cultural heritage.

The Ambassador of Germany to Ireland Cord Meier-Klodt added: “I would like to congratulate all involved for the successful recovery of the propeller of UC-42. We are now looking forward to the conservation work, which will hopefully allow for the propeller to be exhibited in a local museum. This will encourage more engagement with and learning about both German and Irish wartime history.”

Timmy Carey further added that the project also highlights how, if we all work together, especially with the relevant authorities, we can successfully recover vulnerable material from wreck sites like the UC-42 submarine. The project is significant as it offers an opportunity for the wider public to engage and interpret objects from such wreck sites and increase our understanding and appreciation of Ireland’s maritime heritage.

Published in Cork Harbour
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Strong winds disrupted Saturday's programme at the Crosshaven Traditional Sail Festival (from June 14 to 16) in Cork Harbour.

The weekend features a 143-year-old, unique wooden boat, the only one of its kind in the world.

The vessel Barbaras is on a ‘living heritage’ voyage linking the ancient Celtic lands – Cornwall, Scotland, Wales and Ireland.

Read more on the Barbaras by Tom McaSweeney here

Published in Cork Harbour

The revived Cork Harbour Combined Clubs June League has been strongly supported by cruiser racers.

The first race, including whitesail and spinnakers, sailed around Spike Island and in the main harbour.

The results provided by the RCYC (see below) show that the top trio in Whitesail IRC and ECHO were from the RCYC. First was Magnet (Kieran O'Brien and Fiorentina Stanciu); second was Scribbler (Cormac and Tom MacSweeney); third was Big Mc (McGrath Family). In Whitesail ECHO, the winner was Lapwing (Conor Hanlon); second was Big Mc; third was Scribbler.

Spinnakers IRC was won by Nieulargo from the RCYC (Annamarie and Denis Murphy); 2nd Pat Mustard (George Radley Cove SC); 3rd North Star (Fiona Young RCYC). Spinnakers ECHO was also won by Nieulargo, with Pat Mustard second and Legal Alien (Craig O’Neill/RCYC) third.

The RCYC IHS Fleet Race (In-house system) was part of the Friday race. Lapwing won, with Sting Ray (Kieran O’Halloran) second and Clodagh (Rob Foster) third.

The second race in the Combined Harbour League will be this Friday evening with First Gun at 1855.

 

 

Published in Royal Cork YC

A 143-year-old, unique wooden boat, the only one of its kind in the world, is heading for the Crosshaven Traditional Sail festival.

Maintaining traditional boats is demanding, and when it’s the only one of its kind in the world, the last of what was once a fleet of a thousand vessels, it is even amazing that it can be actively sailing. But so it is, and it’s on a ‘living heritage’ voyage linking the ancient Celtic lands – Cornwall, Scotland, Wales and Ireland – which will bring it to Crosshaven Traditional Sail from June 14 to 16.

It is the double-ended dipping lugger - ‘Barnabas’- from the Cornish Maritime Trust, a voluntary charity which preserves Cornwall’s maritime heritage. Needing new masts, she sailed from Cornwall to get them from a tree in Scotland, which gave the impetus for the ‘Celtic lands’ voyage.

The Historic Cornish lugger, the 143-year-old mackerel boat, Barnabas, is heading for the 2024 Crosshaven Traditional Sail FestivalThe Historic Cornish lugger, the 143-year-old mackerel boat, Barnabas, is heading for the 2024 Crosshaven Traditional Sail Festival

Tristan Hugh-Jones, a member of the Trust whose family is developing native oysters at Rossmore in the north channel of Cork Harbour, told me the story.

Listen to the Podcast below:

You can hear more about this on my monthly Maritime Podcast on all major platforms. Tristan, living now in Cornwall, told me about ‘Barnabas’:

Published in Tom MacSweeney

Cunard Line's mega-ship Queen Anne came into Cork Harbour at dawn this morning and dwarfed everything, starting with Roche's Point. But then she's 1,058ft in length, and - perhaps more impressively - 116ft beam,
clocking in at 113,000 tonnes. She is much more than a floating village, in that many villages and small towns would lack the variety of facilities on board, starting with restaurants for every taste. You can see why not all passengers feel the need to come ashore at every opportunity - they've barely sampled the ship's extensive range of consumer choices when the voyage is complete.

Published in Cruise Liners
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Some 200 craft will participate in the 28 km-long Ocean to City or "An Rás Mór" event in Cork harbour on June 8th.

Organisers Meitheal Mara have appealed for volunteers for the event, with a variety of roles available including stewarding, shore safety and shore assistance.

Initiated in 2005 as a race for traditional fixed-seat boats, An Rás Mór embraces every type of craft from traditional wooden working boats, currachs, skiffs, gigs and longboats to contemporary ocean racing shells.

Kayaks, canoes and even stand-up paddle boards are also involved.

Traditional craft such as currachs are racing, but kayaks, canoes and even stand-up paddle boards are also involved in the Ocean To City RaceTraditional craft such as currachs are racing, but kayaks, canoes and even stand-up paddle boards are also involved in the Ocean To City Race

Nearly 500 participants have entered, with crews from Scotland, Wales, England, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Malta, Germany and North America.

Participants will race over one of our four course distances: the 28km Ocean Course, 22km City Course, 13km Monkstown Course and the 4km Youth Course – all finishing to a promised warm welcome in Cork’s city centre at Lapp’s Quay.

Spectators can catch the race at various vantage points along the course including the promenade at Cobh, where there will be live commentary and more, Blackrock pier, the banks of the river Lee and the finish line at Lapp’s Quay.

“Over 300 volunteers are needed to deliver what is Cork Harbour’s largest annual event in a variety of roles,” Meitheal Mara says.

“Volunteers can be part of the buzz at the finish line in Cork city as a steward, or they can join the shore-safety teams along Cork harbour,”it says.

“People are also needed to help 100 tired paddlers by giving them a hand lifting their kayaks and boats out of the water at the finish line, and to assist with finish line setup as part of the event’s production team,”it says.

Published in Cork Harbour
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