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Displaying items by tag: Royal Cork Yacht Club

Howth Yacht Club teen Johnny Flynn overtook local ace and regatta leader Ben O'Shaughnessy to clinch the AIB sponsored Optimist Nationals by a single point at Royal Cork Yacht Club today. 

After four days of racing on the Curlane Bank and outside Cork Harbour, the Dubliner finished the ten-race light-air event on a tally of 16 points to the Crosshaven boy's 17.

Anthony O’Leary was the Race Officer for the Main Fleet and Barry Rose officiated for the Regatta Fleet.

Ben O'Shaughnessy of Royal Cork Yacht Club Photo: BatemanSecond overall - Ben O'Shaughnessy of Royal Cork Yacht Club Photo: Bateman

Ben O'ShaughnessyThird overall Rocco Wright of Howth Yacht Club Photo: Bateman

Flynn's club mate, 14-year-old Rocco Wright, finished in third on 30-points in the 79-boat main fleet.

The National Yacht Club's Clementine van Steenberge was the first girl in fifth overall. 

National Yacht Club's Clementine van Steenberge was the first girl in fifth overallThe National Yacht Club's Clementine van Steenberge was the top girl in fifth overall Photo: Bob Bateman

The fight for gold in the 36-boat Junior Championships came down to who beat who in the final race and the NYC's Caoilinn Geraghty-McDonnell beat Des Turvey of Howth with Riona McMorrow Moriarty in third.

 Junior National Champion is Caoilinn Geraghty-McDonnell of NYC Junior National Champion is Caoilinn Geraghty-McDonnell of NYC

A 34-boat Regatta fleet was won by RCYC's Ethel Bateman who beat her brother Olin. Third place went to Henrietta Leech from Lough Ree Yacht Club.

Regatta champion Ethel Bateman of Royal CorkRegatta champion Ethel Bateman of Royal Cork

Prizes were presented by Royal Cork Admiral Colin Morehead, event organiser Brian Jones and IODAI President Tim Lucas.

Overall results are here

Bob Bateman's 2020 Optimist Championship Prizegiving slideshow below

Published in Cork Harbour

Ireland's Tokyo 2021 representative Annalise Murphy is set to rejoin the national Laser dinghy racing scene after a seven-year hiatus when she sails next week at the 2020 Laser national championships at Royal Cork Yacht Club.

The Rio Olympic silver medalist makes her return in Cork Harbour, the same venue she last sailed at a nationals in 2013, months before her European title win on her home waters at Dun Laoghaire Harbour.

Murphy is not the only Irish Olympic campaigner competing either as the battle for National honours heats up at Crosshaven from August 20th to 23rd.

As Afloat reported previously, due to COVID-19, the three fleet 2020 championships, one of the biggest dinghy events of the 2020 calendar, will now be split between two venues in the Harbour and be run separately.

The National Yacht Club ace will confront Aoife Hopkins and Eve McMahon, both unsuccessful rivals in the controversially cut-short trial for Tokyo 2021 who will also be competing in a mixed Radial fleet of 60 plus sailors. There is no entry – so far – however for Lough Derg's Aisling Keller, another 2021 trialist and the 2018 Irish champion who secured Ireland's berth for Tokyo.

Murphy's clubmate, Rio rep Finn Lynch, who is still bidding for a Tokyo nomination in the men's class will be in action in the 30-boat standard rig division as are other 2021 trialists Ewan McMahon of Howth and Belfast Lough's Liam Glynn.

The entry list is here

Published in Annalise Murphy

Royal Cork Yacht Club is leaving no stone unturned in its efforts to stage next week's Laser dinghy National Championships, one of the flagship events of its tricentenary celebrations in Cork Harbour.

With the postponement of Phase 4 COVID 19 restrictions, the hosts are not in a position to locate all sailors in the proposed format of three fleets.

In order to ensure that they can hold a safe event, the AIB Sponsored Nationals will, therefore, be split into two events, according to an update from the Laser class.

The position now for the event is that the Radials and Standards will be based in Crosshaven, while 4.7s will be based in Ringaskiddy, where a new slip will give easy access to the lower harbour.

  • Standard and Radial Nationals hosted by the RCYC
  • Laser 4.7 Nationals hosted by Monkstown Bay Sailing Club (MBSC)

"The 4.7 Nationals are now being hosted by MBSC, an entirely separate event with separate documentation, organisation committees, a separate venue (Paddys Point, Ringaskiddy) and a separate race course",  Royal Cork's Alex Barry told Afloat.

It is expected further details will be available in the next few days. The event starts on August 20th.

Published in Cork Harbour

Excitement is building in the Royal Cork Yacht Club for this week’s AIB Optimist dinghy Nationals 2020 in Cork Harbour.

It will be the first time the Irish Optimist fleet will compete this year due to COVID and participant numbers at the event have been limited by organisers.

The event starts on Thursday but there has already been some pre-championship tuning going on at Crosshaven.

Photo slideshow below by Bob Bateman

Published in Optimist

A win for Michael McCann in tonight's fifth and final race of the Union Chandlery July League at Royal Cork Yacht Club gives him the overall win of the IRC Spinnaker Division. McCann sailing the Etchells, Don't Dilly Dally had a single point lead over Annamarie and Denis Murphy's Grand Soliel 40, Nieulargo in a 14-boat fleet.

In a 12-boat White Sail division, the Grand Soliel 37 Prince of Tides (Frank Caul and John Molloy) wins by two points overall from the Sun Light 30 Expression.

Full results are here. Bob Bateman's Photo slideshow is below

Published in Royal Cork YC

The National 18 crew of Colin Chapman, Owen O'Keefe and Eddie Rice were yesterday's winners of the AIB sponsored PY 1000 cash Prize at the Royal Cork Yacht Club in Cork Harbour.

With only the lightest harbour breeze available Race Officer John Crotty set the mixed dinghy fleet off on a course that involved all points of sailing from a beat,a run and reaches before heading home for refreshments on the RCYC lawn at Crosshaven.

Royal Cork Race Officer John Crotty had to contend with some fickle winds for the 2020 PY RaceRoyal Cork Race Officer John Crotty had to contend with some fickle winds for the 2020 PY Race Photo: Bob Bateman

The PY1000 2020 dinghy course set in Cork Harbour covered all the angles Photo: Bob BatemanThe PY1000 2020 dinghy course set in Cork Harbour covered all the angles Photo: Bob Bateman

Other cash prizes went to second overall to Tom, Cloe and Patrick Crosbie. Third place went to Andrew Crosbie, all sailing National 18s.

AIB PY 1000 Winners AIB PY 1000 Winners - Colin Chapman, Owen O'Keefe and Eddie Rice Photo: Bob Bateman

Chris Bateman won the Lasers and Shane Collins, the Topper division.

Knox Kohl was the youngest sailor and first female home was Sophie Crosbie.

The youngest crewed boat was sailed by Ethel and Olin Bateman and the oldest combined Crew was Tommy Dwyer and Willy Healy

RCYC AIB PY1000 Photos

See the full slideshow of images from the event below by Bob Bateman

Published in Royal Cork YC

At times of sadness, we are helped by ceremonial. For sure, no-one would dream of comparing the enormous grief visited upon those who have been and will be bereaved by COVID-19 with the quiet sense of loss caused the absolutely correct and timely decision to cancel Volvo Cork Week 2020. Yet it was to be the high point of the Club’s keenly-anticipated international Tricentennial celebrations. So at the beginning of the week in which it should all have been happening, something was needed to mark the moment, some small but poignant ceremonial to signal that the club and its members, while saddened by the cancellation, are capable of moving on, and are indeed moving on.

It happened at noon on Sunday. Key figures in the running of the club and the planning of the Tricentenary assembled in a small enough group on the club lawn to maintain social distance, and with them were two young Optimist sailors to symbolise the class whose National Championship at Crosshaven on August 13th to 16th will see the club return to national action after a month and more in which down-home club activity has been steadily building following the total Lockdown.

Daragh Connolly, Rear Admiral Keelboats, fired three cannon shots, and the Optimist sailors sent aloft the flags ’N’ over ‘A’ to signal that Volvo Cork Week 2020 was cancelled. It said everything that needed to be said. And then Admiral Colin Morehead and George Mills of Volvo Car agents Johnson & Perrott signalled the announcement that Volvo Cork Week 2022 will be staged from July 11th to 15th 2022. The Crosshaven tradition of superb events run ”by sailors, for sailors” is very much alive and well. And in the days and weeks ahead, the club will see a steady but measured continuing resumption of activities to mark the Tricentenary in a heartfelt yet subdued manner in keeping with the current circumstances.

RCYC Admiral Colin Morehead and George Mills of Johnson & Perrot launch the futureLong live Volvo Cork Week 2022. RCYC Admiral Colin Morehead and George Mills of Johnson & Perrot launch the future. Photo: Robert Bateman=

Published in Royal Cork YC

Royal Cork's weekly league racing is underway with some fine sailing breezes to get the first races of the season underway last Thursday and Friday.

Among the fleet of mixed keelboats is a 'Cork300' branded RCYC 1720 sportsboat marking 300 years of club activity in Cork Harbour.

As Afloat's WM Nixon points out here the sheer joy of sailing re-asserting itself in Cork Harbour is a tonic for all involved at Crosshaven.

As well as sportsboats, other one-design keelboats that included an Etchells, there was a good turnout of cruisers for the round the cans racing format.

Photos below by Bob Bateman

Royal Cork Yachts 30046

Royal Cork Yachts 3006

Royal Cork Yachts 3002

Royal Cork Yachts 3003Royal Cork Yachts 3004Royal Cork Yachts 3005Royal Cork Yachts 3007Royal Cork Yachts 3008Royal Cork Yachts 3009Royal Cork Yachts 30010Royal Cork Yachts 30011Royal Cork Yachts 30012Royal Cork Yachts 30013Royal Cork Yachts 30014Royal Cork Yachts 30015Royal Cork Yachts 30016Royal Cork Yachts 30017Royal Cork Yachts 30018Royal Cork Yachts 30019Royal Cork Yachts 30020Royal Cork Yachts 30021Royal Cork Yachts 30022Royal Cork Yachts 30023Royal Cork Yachts 30024Royal Cork Yachts 30025Royal Cork Yachts 30026Royal Cork Yachts 30027Royal Cork Yachts 30028Royal Cork Yachts 30029Royal Cork Yachts 30030Royal Cork Yachts 30031Royal Cork Yachts 30032Royal Cork Yachts 30033Royal Cork Yachts 30034Royal Cork Yachts 30035Royal Cork Yachts 30036Royal Cork Yachts 30037Royal Cork Yachts 30038Royal Cork Yachts 30039Royal Cork Yachts 30040Royal Cork Yachts 30041Royal Cork Yachts 30042Royal Cork Yachts 30043Royal Cork Yachts 30044Royal Cork Yachts 30045Royal Cork Yachts 30047


Published in Royal Cork YC
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There are three Royal Cork Yacht Clubs. One is the globally-recognised historic institution which is directly descended from the Water Club of the Harbour of Cork founded three hundred years ago, the oldest yacht club in the world. The second is a remarkably successful competitive sports organisation which produces sailing and offshore racing athletes to Olympic standard. And the third is a friendly neighbourhood sailing club in a charmingly extended clubhouse, a club which is integral to its community of Crosshaven, and a quietly important part of the everyday life of its ordinary sailing members, while at the same time being the flagship expression of the Harbour of Cork in its recreational mode.

Ron Holland 44 Big Apple (Clayton Love, Hugh Coveney & Ray Fielding RCYC)The second element in the Royal Cork’s makeup is its creation of world-class sailors, as seen here in 1977 as the Ron Holland 44 Big Apple (Clayton Love, Hugh Coveney & Ray Fielding RCYC) slices her way to success in the Solent in the Admiral's Cup with Johnny McWilliam on the helm, Harold Cudmore beside him, and Killian Bushe and Ron Holland among those on the rail. Although built by the Irish-born Joyce Brothers in Southampton, Big Apple was designed in Crosshaven, and her McWilliam sails were made there too. Photo courtesy John McWilliam

This year, the globally-recognised historic institution was naturally taking world centre stage as the focal point of a major international celebration of its seniority in our sport. But as that has been largely cancelled in a timely, mature and exemplary response to the worldwide pandemic of coronavirus, the other steady, rocklike and ever vital third version of the Royal Cork has emerged, gallant and unbowed, to continue the Club’s time-honoured role of serving its own people and place, playing the key role in providing the people, the boats and the enthusiasm for Crosshaven sailing to resume in a carefully-planned way at an area level.

The club and its antecedent organisations may have had several homes over the centuries. But ever since the Royal Munster Yacht Club moved from its up-harbour Monkstown base to quietly take over the new premises of the Cork Motor-Boat Club at Crosshaven in 1923, a location has developed where sailors of all levels and ages – from young absolute beginners to seasoned international campaigners – can get in their sport from a base which is secluded from the many other busy activities of this magnificent harbour, yet at the same time provides speedy and convenient access to the great sheltered stretch of water and the open sea off it, with fine coastal cruising areas within easy reach.

Clayton Love Jnr led the amalgamation of the Royal Cork YC and the Royal Munster YCClayton Love Jnr led the amalgamation of the Royal Cork YC and the Royal Munster YC in 1967 to create today’s international sailing hub at Crosshaven

The centralisation at Crosshaven became complete with the amalgamation – led by Clayton Love Jnr - of the Royal Munster at Crosshaven and the more senior Royal Cork from Cobh, in 1967 at Crosshaven in time for a two year Quarter Millennial Celebration in 1969-70. And while the more recent development of new marina and berthing facilities all round Cork Harbour have seen additional organisations moving into the mainstream of sailing provision, the Royal Cork at Crosshaven continues to be in a league of its own in the breadth of its activities, influence and leadership role.

It is something which Irish sailing at large tends to take for granted as being the way things in Cork harbour - and particularly Crosshaven - have always been within living memory. So it can be salutary to hear the views of perceptive visitors when they first discover the vibrant Crosshaven mixture of international sailing centre and down-home community-focused training and sailing centre.

Crosshaven – the ideal location for the creation of an international sailingCrosshaven – the ideal location for the creation of an international sailing hub with a solidly home-based maritime community

Once such was world sailing pioneer Robin Knox-Johnston, who first became acquainted with the Crosshaven scene when it was a stopover on a five-stage two-handed Round Britain and Ireland Race. Having done several such events involving a number of ports in different countries, he was accustomed to the fleet in which he was racing being the complete focus of attention in each visited port.

But while Crosshaven was tops in warmth of welcome and efficiency during their 2-3 day stopover there, his abiding impression is of a second parallel club which burst into life each morning as shoals of RCYC junior sailors in a variety of classes from Optimists upwards went afloat in waves of sail for a day’s training and racing. The young crews did take in the wonder of the fleet of internationally-renowned ocean-racing specials which were visiting their club. Yet they were equally determined to get out and get sailing themselves regardless of the sailing Gods in port, and that was what particularly impressed Robin Knox-Johnston.

This flurry of the junior trainees going afloat each weekday summer morning is of course repeated at many clubs throughout Ireland. But it is the Royal Cork’s comprehensively organic and evolving waterfront along the Owenboy River which gives the many aspects of a classically healthy sailing club such a special dynamic, with a natural interaction between the different levels of interest and ages of those involved.

It is this easy continuation and interaction between the generations and the different levels and types of sailing and boating interest which gives the Royal Cork a formidable core strength. That strength has withstood whatever adverse events have come the club’s way over three centuries, and provided it with the inner confidence to face the demands which the Tricentenary would pose.

Colin Morehead, 42nd Admiral of the Royal Cork YCColin Morehead, 42nd Admiral of the Royal Cork YC, at last weekend’s gathering in the harbour which clearly declared that despite the current international limitations, the Tricentenary of the RCYC is being celebrated with enthusiasm. Photo: Robert Bateman

For although Cork Harbour and the socio-economic circumstances around it in 1720 were ideal for the highly-innovative creation of the world’s first yacht club, the times have moved on. Other places have found that their own success enabled them to move sailing development ahead, and there has been an undoubted tendency for the centre of gravity of the international sailing scene to move away from sometimes wet and windy islands off the northwest coast of Europe, towards places with a warmer and more reliable climate.

Yet despite that, while it may have been through thin times, the spirit of sailing never went from Cork, and as the sport in its modern form developed through the 1900s, the Water Club evolved into the Royal Cork Yacht Club, acknowledged in its ultimate seniority by organisations as venerable and distinguished as the Royal Yacht Squadron and the New York Yacht Club, and gallantly sailing on among the clubs of the world as “neither the biggest nor the wealthiest, but simply the oldest and the best”.

RCYC core members head for the “Admirals Chace” in Cork Harbour “Simple the oldest and the best….” RCYC core members head for the “Admirals Chace” in Cork Harbour last weekend to mark the start of the Tricentenary Celebrations. Photo: Robert Bateman

Richard Leonard’s very fully-crewed Bolero Class BanditBasically always a family affair – Richard Leonard’s very fully-crewed Bolero Class Bandit at the Chace represents several generations of Crosshaven sailing. Photo: Robert Bateman

Thus as the countdown of five years and more to its Tricentenary in 2020 took shape, the RCYC faced its year in the global sailing spotlight with quiet confidence and thorough planning. The way that other leading international clubs responded favourably, supportively and co-operatively to its proposals augured well for a very special year indeed, and with Colin Morehead installed as the 42nd Admiral at the AGM on January 21st 2020, everything was settling into place as planned.

And then came COVID-19. It took some time for some major administrators and indeed for many governments to grasp the totality of what was happening as the pandemic spread. But the Royal Cork Yacht Club gave both the sailing community and the world at large a clear example in its precise response. Just two months after its anticipation-filled AGM in January, on March 27th the RCYC confirmed that as indicated on March 15th, all events in June and July relating to the Tricentenary – which included some very major international events in July – were cancelled.

Socially distanced and a family bubble – for many participants, the Admirals Chace was the first tentative step afloat in the new Covid worldSocially distanced and a family bubble – for many participants, the Admirals Chace was the first tentative step afloat in the new COVID world. Photo: Robert Bateman

In business administration, they say that any decision - even a wrong decision - is better than no decision at all. But there were many who reckoned the RCYC, through its senior officer board of Admiral Colin Morehead and Vice Admiral Kieran O’Connell (Chairman of the pillar event, Volvo Cork Week) were being hasty. Yet they were proven right twice over both in making a timely decision, and in making what has proven to be absolutely the right decision.

The fact that the Royal Cork took this momentous step, this highest of high-profile decisions so soon, made it much easier for other sailing clubs and organisations to follow suit. And as the rightness of what was an extremely painful but very necessary decision at the time becomes ever more apparent, the Royal Cork’s unique local, national and international positions makes its emergence from the Lockdown of greater relevance than other clubs.

For although clubs and organisations more inherently nimble than the Crosshaven club may have seemed to pioneer the lockdown exit in a speedier fashion, the RCYC’s status as a role model is unrivalled, and any action it takes in these extraordinary circumstances has to be carefully considered.

Thus it’s reassuring to know that as soon as the clampdown had been imposed, the club’s decision-makers were closely monitoring developments, with the Admiral setting the tone with his clear belief that whatever happens, 2020 is still the Tricentenary year - you simply cannot postpone such a thing - and it is their clear duty to do their very best for whatever visitor-involving events that might still possible in August and September.

RCYC Vice Admiral Kieran O’ConnellRCYC Vice Admiral Kieran O’Connell. Photo: Robert Bateman

But meanwhile, as local Lockdowns ease, their first duty is to their own members and the gradual restoration of the RCYC programme of junior training and club events, particularly club racing, and this has been under way at a quietly-accelerating socially-distance conscious pace since June 9th, with the pace accelerating at the end of June such that as of this weekend the club has already staged seven races for adult classes, while the juniors have had less formal contests as part of their curriculum.

The calm competently managerial style of Colin Morehead has been at the heart of it all, and when we remember that he had spent three years and more in detail planning of the Tricentenary before becoming Admiral on January 21st this year, it’s clear that here is a strong and able character capable of a heroically philosophical approach to a major setback, yet the description of him as “stoical” seems somewhat inappropriate, for he has accepted and dealt with the change in the RCYC’s plans with a good-humoured attitude which has helped to cheer up everyone.

The famous 17-ton cutter Gull in Cork HarbourThe famous 17-ton cutter Gull in Cork Harbour. Her owner-skipper Harry Donegan was Colin Morehead’s great grandfather

But then, Colin Morehead is Cork sailing blueblood through and through, and calmness in the face of sailing administration adversity is bred into him. His grandfather married Alice Donegan, daughter of the quintessential Cork sailing polymath Harry Donegan (1870-1940) of the legendary inaugural Fastnet Race veteran Gull, while the Morehead's themselves were a long-established sailing family. Colin’s father Robert raised his family in a Lee-side house in Blackrock where boats were never far away, while summer holidays with the grandparents in Currabinny meant total involvement with the Crosshaven sailing scene, in Mirror dinghies, a Laser later, and crewing in his father’s Sadler 25 Blue Jay, those he raced against including one Robert Bateman, racing the David Thomas Quarter Tonner Robin, which became Irish Quarter Ton National Champion (ECHO) before her owner-skipper started to devote all his time afloat to sailing photography.

As for young Colin Morehead, in the summer after leaving school he spent three months Solent-based as a crewman on the mighty former J Class Velsheda, which in those distant days of the 1980s was a long way from the immaculately restored classic she is today. Her then-owner was Terry Brabant, a Southampton scrap-metal merchant who was gallantly obsessed with getting the long-decommissioned Velsheda sailing again, and the result was mixed - to say the least - but she was definitely fully-rigged, and a colossal sailing challenge.

The 1933 J-Class Velsheda as she is today – a classicThe 1933 J-Class Velsheda as she is today – a classic. When Colin Morehead crewed on her in 1985, her restoration was of a decidedly more primitive quality.

Yet Colin Morehead emerged unscathed and toughened from an experience with left him with some extraordinary memories, and he went on to work with AIB in a number of posts which took him to Dublin for several years – he crewed with Harry Byrne at Howth in the successful Club Shamrock Rapparee and with a colleague who had a GRP Folkboat based in Dun Laoghaire - and he’d a period with the bank in the Channel Isles where he met his future wife, Irene McEvoy from Clare, and they now have two children, Robert (16) and Katie (11) – while he kept up his sailing with crewing on a Contessa 32. Then after the mandatory stint with the AIB outpost in the Isle of Man, he found his way back to AIB in Cork around the turn of the Century (he now manages the Cobh Branch) and made a gentle return to Crosshaven sailing by buying George Bushe’s last boat, a GRP Seamaster 23 to which the great yacht-builder had added many super-useful extras, making an already good little boat very good indeed…

But the boom times were rolling, like everyone else he up-graded – in Colin Morehead’s case to a Bavaria 33 – and found himself Captain of the Whitesails Class. It was now that the Royal Cork became fully aware of his infectious and effective enthusiasm, which saw him introducing all sorts of imaginative handicap systems which gave everyone a chance. This was soon resulting in unprecedented regular turnouts of more than thirty boats, and an annual prize-giving dinner which filled the club with just this one class alone, for everyone picked up a gong of some sort or other.

But then came 2008 and the economic crash, and everyone had to pause for breath. Boat-less for a while, as the first green shoots appeared Colin Morehead got himself a little Orkney motor-boat just to get afloat. But he craved sailing, and as his “Recession Buster” he traded across to the 1991-vintage First 210 Bene Bebe. She was meant to be a stop-gap sailing cruiser, but as anyone who has sailed this long-lived Beneteau marque in one of its many manifestations will know, this is one big-hearted little boat, and for a Cork harbour enthusiasts she meets all your needs, so he still has her and is well content.

The perfect small performance cruiser for Cork Harbour – Colin Morehead racing his immaculate 29-year-old First 210 Bene Bebe The perfect small performance cruiser for Cork Harbour – Colin Morehead racing his immaculate 29-year-old First 210 Bene Bebe past Roche’s Point. Photo: Robert Bateman

But his imaginative work with the White Sails Class had been noted, and he was asked by RCYC Admiral Pat Lyons to take on the Royal Cork’s implementation of the of the Irish Sailing Association’s Try Sailing initiative, which he did with such success that for 2016 he was the recipient of the ISA President’s Award. Yet by the time he received that at the ceremony in Dublin in February 2017, he was already well-drawn into chairing the RCYC Cork300 Committee, and plans for 2020 with many international ramifications were well in place with considerable detail and commitment when he became RCYC Vice Admiral in 2018, on line to become Admiral for the Tricentenary in 2020 with its huge and complex international and national programme centred around Crosshaven.

For the rest of us, the sheer random destructiveness of the pandemic in this year of all years in the Royal Cork Yacht Club is still almost impossible to grasp, yet for those right at the eye of the storm, an almost preternatural calm seems to have taken over. They’ve led the way in accepting that the international aspect of the celebration simply won’t take place - for it’s something that just can’t be postponed for a year or even two years - and almost immediately they’ve re-focused on the core of the club with the clear message that the Tricentenary is still very much being celebrated, there’ll be major events such as the Optimist Nationals and the Laser Nationals in August, and in the meantime, all energies are being devoted to getting the club racing and home events programme running smoothly with numbers steadily building up as people adjust to the new circumstances.

The National 18s had three races at Crosshaven on WednesdayGetting back in the groove. The National 18s had three races at Crosshaven on Wednesday, with Fifty Shades scoring best with 2,1 & 2. Photo: Alex Barry

Thus as of today (Saturday) the Royal Cork at Crosshaven has already completed the Admirals Chace in Cork Harbour last Saturday, and eight significant club racing days and evenings too, while the junior programme has been under way in controlled form since June 9th.

Naturally, it was all being done in a tentative sort of way initially, but Wednesday and Thursday of this week have clearly crossed a threshold, with Wednesday seeing the National 18s racing with relish in three contests, albeit in grey conditions so of course the winners on a scorecard of 2,1,2 was 50 Shades, sailed by Nick Walsh, Eddie Rice and Rob Brownlow.

it was great sailing on Thursday nightSuddenly, it was great sailing on Thursday night, after many days of cloud and rain and calm, and the mood changed completely Photo Robert Bateman

As for Thursday, for a while, it looked like an evening of calm air ghosting as the fleet went out. But a brisk a brisk and sunny nor’westerly swept in, and suddenly everyone found they were sailing again without a care in the world other than the immediate concerns and demands of boat racing, with Bob Bateman’s photos saying it all.

Michael McCann’s Etchells 22Michael McCann’s Etchells 22 was the overall winner on Thursday night. Photo: Robert Bateman
Sailing at Royal Cork Yacht Club

Sailing Cork Harbour Sigma 33

Sailing 1720 Cork Harbour

Sailing Roches Point

The White Sail fleets were at it last night, both at Crosshaven and across the harbour at Cobh, so club sailing is rapidly getting up to speed in Cork Harbour. And there is indeed a Royal Cork Yacht Club Tricentenary Celebration under way, even if tomorrow (Sunday) afternoon will see a brief occasion of some formality at Crosshaven to send up the signals at RCYC that Volvo Cork Week 2020 is cancelled.

At the beginning of this week, that such an event was scheduled to take place at all seemed a matter of some solemnity. But since then, we’ve had the sheer joy of sailing re-assert itself in Cork Harbour. Life very much goes on, albeit in a modified form such that we conclude with a video issued by the RCYC on Thursday and fronted by Admiral Colin Morehead himself, guiding us through the new ways of using that much-loved clubhouse.

Published in W M Nixon

Royal Cork Yacht Club in Cork Harbour has retained its An Taisce Blue Flag, one of ten Irish marinas to fly the environmental award flag in 2020/2021.

As Afloat reported previously, another County Cork marina at Kinsale Yacht Club was also awarded the standard.

The programme aims to raise environmental awareness and promote sound environmental management of beaches, marinas and inland bathing waters around the world.

The 80 Irish beaches and 10 marinas that have achieved this accolade in 2020 must adhere to specific criteria related to water quality, information provision, environmental education, safety and site management.

Royal Cork's Blue Flag for 2020 flies at the clubhouse in Cork HarbourRoyal Cork's Blue Flag for 2020 flies at the clubhouse in Cork Harbour

"The award is really important to the Club as it is a vital part of our overall sustainability strategy", Gavin Deane, RCYC General Manager told Afloat.

On the West Coast, Kilrush Marina on the Shannon Estuary, and facilities in County Kerry at Fenit and Portmagee were also Blue Flag winners.

Other Blue Flag marinas for 2020/21 are:

  • Greencastle Marina 
  • Rathmullan Marina 
  • Fenit Marina
  • Kilmore Quay Marina
  • New Ross Marina
  • Quigleys Marina, Killinure Point, Co. Westmeath
Published in Marine Wildlife
Page 5 of 46

The Irish Coast Guard

The Irish Coast Guard is Ireland's fourth 'Blue Light' service (along with An Garda Síochána, the Ambulance Service and the Fire Service). It provides a nationwide maritime emergency organisation as well as a variety of services to shipping and other government agencies.

The purpose of the Irish Coast Guard is to promote safety and security standards, and by doing so, prevent as far as possible, the loss of life at sea, and on inland waters, mountains and caves, and to provide effective emergency response services and to safeguard the quality of the marine environment.

The Irish Coast Guard has responsibility for Ireland's system of marine communications, surveillance and emergency management in Ireland's Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and certain inland waterways.

It is responsible for the response to, and co-ordination of, maritime accidents which require search and rescue and counter-pollution and ship casualty operations. It also has responsibility for vessel traffic monitoring.

Operations in respect of maritime security, illegal drug trafficking, illegal migration and fisheries enforcement are co-ordinated by other bodies within the Irish Government.

On average, each year, the Irish Coast Guard is expected to:

  • handle 3,000 marine emergencies
  • assist 4,500 people and save about 200 lives
  • task Coast Guard helicopters on missions

The Coast Guard has been around in some form in Ireland since 1908.

Coast Guard helicopters

The Irish Coast Guard has contracted five medium-lift Sikorsky Search and Rescue helicopters deployed at bases in Dublin, Waterford, Shannon and Sligo.

The helicopters are designated wheels up from initial notification in 15 minutes during daylight hours and 45 minutes at night. One aircraft is fitted and its crew trained for under slung cargo operations up to 3000kgs and is available on short notice based at Waterford.

These aircraft respond to emergencies at sea, inland waterways, offshore islands and mountains of Ireland (32 counties).

They can also be used for assistance in flooding, major inland emergencies, intra-hospital transfers, pollution, and aerial surveillance during daylight hours, lifting and passenger operations and other operations as authorised by the Coast Guard within appropriate regulations.

Irish Coastguard FAQs

The Irish Coast Guard provides nationwide maritime emergency response, while also promoting safety and security standards. It aims to prevent the loss of life at sea, on inland waters, on mountains and in caves; and to safeguard the quality of the marine environment.

The main role of the Irish Coast Guard is to rescue people from danger at sea or on land, to organise immediate medical transport and to assist boats and ships within the country's jurisdiction. It has three marine rescue centres in Dublin, Malin Head, Co Donegal, and Valentia Island, Co Kerry. The Dublin National Maritime Operations centre provides marine search and rescue responses and coordinates the response to marine casualty incidents with the Irish exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

Yes, effectively, it is the fourth "blue light" service. The Marine Rescue Sub-Centre (MRSC) Valentia is the contact point for the coastal area between Ballycotton, Co Cork and Clifden, Co Galway. At the same time, the MRSC Malin Head covers the area between Clifden and Lough Foyle. Marine Rescue Co-ordination Centre (MRCC) Dublin covers Carlingford Lough, Co Louth to Ballycotton, Co Cork. Each MRCC/MRSC also broadcasts maritime safety information on VHF and MF radio, including navigational and gale warnings, shipping forecasts, local inshore forecasts, strong wind warnings and small craft warnings.

The Irish Coast Guard handles about 3,000 marine emergencies annually, and assists 4,500 people - saving an estimated 200 lives, according to the Department of Transport. In 2016, Irish Coast Guard helicopters completed 1,000 missions in a single year for the first time.

Yes, Irish Coast Guard helicopters evacuate medical patients from offshore islands to hospital on average about 100 times a year. In September 2017, the Department of Health announced that search and rescue pilots who work 24-hour duties would not be expected to perform any inter-hospital patient transfers. The Air Corps flies the Emergency Aeromedical Service, established in 2012 and using an AW139 twin-engine helicopter. Known by its call sign "Air Corps 112", it airlifted its 3,000th patient in autumn 2020.

The Irish Coast Guard works closely with the British Maritime and Coastguard Agency, which is responsible for the Northern Irish coast.

The Irish Coast Guard is a State-funded service, with both paid management personnel and volunteers, and is under the auspices of the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport. It is allocated approximately 74 million euro annually in funding, some 85 per cent of which pays for a helicopter contract that costs 60 million euro annually. The overall funding figure is "variable", an Oireachtas committee was told in 2019. Other significant expenditure items include volunteer training exercises, equipment, maintenance, renewal, and information technology.

The Irish Coast Guard has four search and rescue helicopter bases at Dublin, Waterford, Shannon and Sligo, run on a contract worth 50 million euro annually with an additional 10 million euro in costs by CHC Ireland. It provides five medium-lift Sikorsky S-92 helicopters and trained crew. The 44 Irish Coast Guard coastal units with 1,000 volunteers are classed as onshore search units, with 23 of the 44 units having rigid inflatable boats (RIBs) and 17 units having cliff rescue capability. The Irish Coast Guard has 60 buildings in total around the coast, and units have search vehicles fitted with blue lights, all-terrain vehicles or quads, first aid equipment, generators and area lighting, search equipment, marine radios, pyrotechnics and appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE). The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) and Community Rescue Boats Ireland also provide lifeboats and crews to assist in search and rescue. The Irish Coast Guard works closely with the Garda Siochána, National Ambulance Service, Naval Service and Air Corps, Civil Defence, while fishing vessels, ships and other craft at sea offer assistance in search operations.

The helicopters are designated as airborne from initial notification in 15 minutes during daylight hours, and 45 minutes at night. The aircraft respond to emergencies at sea, on inland waterways, offshore islands and mountains and cover the 32 counties. They can also assist in flooding, major inland emergencies, intra-hospital transfers, pollution, and can transport offshore firefighters and ambulance teams. The Irish Coast Guard volunteers units are expected to achieve a 90 per cent response time of departing from the station house in ten minutes from notification during daylight and 20 minutes at night. They are also expected to achieve a 90 per cent response time to the scene of the incident in less than 60 minutes from notification by day and 75 minutes at night, subject to geographical limitations.

Units are managed by an officer-in-charge (three stripes on the uniform) and a deputy officer in charge (two stripes). Each team is trained in search skills, first aid, setting up helicopter landing sites and a range of maritime skills, while certain units are also trained in cliff rescue.

Volunteers receive an allowance for time spent on exercises and call-outs. What is the difference between the Irish Coast Guard and the RNLI? The RNLI is a registered charity which has been saving lives at sea since 1824, and runs a 24/7 volunteer lifeboat service around the British and Irish coasts. It is a declared asset of the British Maritime and Coast Guard Agency and the Irish Coast Guard. Community Rescue Boats Ireland is a community rescue network of volunteers under the auspices of Water Safety Ireland.

No, it does not charge for rescue and nor do the RNLI or Community Rescue Boats Ireland.

The marine rescue centres maintain 19 VHF voice and DSC radio sites around the Irish coastline and a digital paging system. There are two VHF repeater test sites, four MF radio sites and two NAVTEX transmitter sites. Does Ireland have a national search and rescue plan? The first national search and rescue plan was published in July, 2019. It establishes the national framework for the overall development, deployment and improvement of search and rescue services within the Irish Search and Rescue Region and to meet domestic and international commitments. The purpose of the national search and rescue plan is to promote a planned and nationally coordinated search and rescue response to persons in distress at sea, in the air or on land.

Yes, the Irish Coast Guard is responsible for responding to spills of oil and other hazardous substances with the Irish pollution responsibility zone, along with providing an effective response to marine casualties and monitoring or intervening in marine salvage operations. It provides and maintains a 24-hour marine pollution notification at the three marine rescue centres. It coordinates exercises and tests of national and local pollution response plans.

The first Irish Coast Guard volunteer to die on duty was Caitriona Lucas, a highly trained member of the Doolin Coast Guard unit, while assisting in a search for a missing man by the Kilkee unit in September 2016. Six months later, four Irish Coast Guard helicopter crew – Dara Fitzpatrick, Mark Duffy, Paul Ormsby and Ciarán Smith -died when their Sikorsky S-92 struck Blackrock island off the Mayo coast on March 14, 2017. The Dublin-based Rescue 116 crew were providing "top cover" or communications for a medical emergency off the west coast and had been approaching Blacksod to refuel. Up until the five fatalities, the Irish Coast Guard recorded that more than a million "man hours" had been spent on more than 30,000 rescue missions since 1991.

Several investigations were initiated into each incident. The Marine Casualty Investigation Board was critical of the Irish Coast Guard in its final report into the death of Caitriona Lucas, while a separate Health and Safety Authority investigation has been completed, but not published. The Air Accident Investigation Unit final report into the Rescue 116 helicopter crash has not yet been published.

The Irish Coast Guard in its present form dates back to 1991, when the Irish Marine Emergency Service was formed after a campaign initiated by Dr Joan McGinley to improve air/sea rescue services on the west Irish coast. Before Irish independence, the British Admiralty was responsible for a Coast Guard (formerly the Water Guard or Preventative Boat Service) dating back to 1809. The West Coast Search and Rescue Action Committee was initiated with a public meeting in Killybegs, Co Donegal, in 1988 and the group was so effective that a Government report was commissioned, which recommended setting up a new division of the Department of the Marine to run the Marine Rescue Co-Ordination Centre (MRCC), then based at Shannon, along with the existing coast radio service, and coast and cliff rescue. A medium-range helicopter base was established at Shannon within two years. Initially, the base was served by the Air Corps.

The first director of what was then IMES was Capt Liam Kirwan, who had spent 20 years at sea and latterly worked with the Marine Survey Office. Capt Kirwan transformed a poorly funded voluntary coast and cliff rescue service into a trained network of cliff and sea rescue units – largely voluntary, but with paid management. The MRCC was relocated from Shannon to an IMES headquarters at the then Department of the Marine (now Department of Transport) in Leeson Lane, Dublin. The coast radio stations at Valentia, Co Kerry, and Malin Head, Co Donegal, became marine rescue-sub-centres.

The current director is Chris Reynolds, who has been in place since August 2007 and was formerly with the Naval Service. He has been seconded to the head of mission with the EUCAP Somalia - which has a mandate to enhance Somalia's maritime civilian law enforcement capacity – since January 2019.

  • Achill, Co. Mayo
  • Ardmore, Co. Waterford
  • Arklow, Co. Wicklow
  • Ballybunion, Co. Kerry
  • Ballycotton, Co. Cork
  • Ballyglass, Co. Mayo
  • Bonmahon, Co. Waterford
  • Bunbeg, Co. Donegal
  • Carnsore, Co. Wexford
  • Castlefreake, Co. Cork
  • Castletownbere, Co. Cork
  • Cleggan, Co. Galway
  • Clogherhead, Co. Louth
  • Costelloe Bay, Co. Galway
  • Courtown, Co. Wexford
  • Crosshaven, Co. Cork
  • Curracloe, Co. Wexford
  • Dingle, Co. Kerry
  • Doolin, Co. Clare
  • Drogheda, Co. Louth
  • Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin
  • Dunmore East, Co. Waterford
  • Fethard, Co. Wexford
  • Glandore, Co. Cork
  • Glenderry, Co. Kerry
  • Goleen, Co. Cork
  • Greencastle, Co. Donegal
  • Greenore, Co. Louth
  • Greystones, Co. Wicklow
  • Guileen, Co. Cork
  • Howth, Co. Dublin
  • Kilkee, Co. Clare
  • Killala, Co. Mayo
  • Killybegs, Co. Donegal
  • Kilmore Quay, Co. Wexford
  • Knightstown, Co. Kerry
  • Mulroy, Co. Donegal
  • North Aran, Co. Galway
  • Old Head Of Kinsale, Co. Cork
  • Oysterhaven, Co. Cork
  • Rosslare, Co. Wexford
  • Seven Heads, Co. Cork
  • Skerries, Co. Dublin Summercove, Co. Cork
  • Toe Head, Co. Cork
  • Tory Island, Co. Donegal
  • Tramore, Co. Waterford
  • Waterville, Co. Kerry
  • Westport, Co. Mayo
  • Wicklow
  • Youghal, Co. Cork

Sources: Department of Transport © Afloat 2020

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