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Volvo Cork Week 2022 was July’s regatta highlight, and with the Royal Cork YC’s Tricentenary cancelled in 2020, the Tri-Centenary +Two had much to celebrate, not least the remarkable revival of the 30-year-old 1720 Sportsboat Class, which in 2022 is ably led by David Love. With the largest fleet at Cork, the 1720s deservedly became the focus of much attention, and the combined Royal Cork YC (Aoife and brother Robbie English) and Howth YC (Ross McDonald) team with Rope Dock Atara gave a masterful display of series control to win the 1720s, and then also take the cherished silver trophy for “Boat of the Regatta”, the affectionately-named Kinsale Kettle which dates back to 1859.

Published in Sailor of the Month
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43 1720 Sportsboats raced at the biggest meeting for the one-design class for many years at Cork Week. The racing was as intense as the partying at the RCYC Clubhouse. Veteran 1720 sailors joined forces with younger crews for close racing for five days to decide the 2022 1720 European Champion.

Rope Dock Atara won the 1720 European Championship for the third time in a row with the same team on board: Ross McDonald, Killian Collins, Aoife English, Robbie English, Paddy Good. Atara was also awarded the Kinsale Kettle as overall winner of Volvo Cork Week.

1720 European Champions and overall Cork Week winners  Rope Dock Atara Photo Rick Tomlinson1720 European Champions and overall Cork Week winners Rope Dock Atara Photo Rick Tomlinson

The 1720 Class competing for the European Championship title had a great turnout of 44 boatsThe 1720 Class competing for the European Championship had a real blast Photo: Rick Tomlinson

“What a crew – the magic flows between us!” commented Ross McDonald. “There is a really good rhythm on board, which is very important. This fleet had some really good teams racing but we managed to hold it together.

1720 Smile'n'Wave

Royal Cork’s Dave Kenefick racing Full Irish finished the regatta with a race win to secure second place for the championship. Robert Dix Elder Lemon from Baltimore SC was the top boat on the last day, scoring a 1-3 to make the European Championship podium.

1720 Zing Photo Rick Tomlinson1720 Zing Photo Rick Tomlinson

A big thank you to the race committee for organising great racing and also to April English, the team’s mum, for child care and a whole lot more. Let’s hope the 1720 Class springboard from this, it would be great to race in big fleets on a regular basis.”

Robert Dix's Elder Lemon from Baltimore SCRobert Dix's Elder Lemon from Baltimore SC Photo: Rick Tomlinson

Published in Cork Week
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Rope Dock Atara, with Ross McDonald on the helm representing Royal Cork YC & Howth YC, scored a 4-1-1 today (Thursday) to all but secure the 1720 European Championship title at Cork Week

After three days of light and complex racing, a sea breeze kicked in on day four to spice up the action on the penultimate day.

The 1720 Class competing for the European Championship had a real blast The 1720 Class competing for the European Championship had a real blast Photo: Rick Tomlinson

Dave Kenefick's Royal Cork Full Irish had a cracking day, scoring a 5-4-2 to fly up the leaderboard into second place.

Aidan Lynch's MO from the Baltimore SC scored a bullet in Race 6 and finished the day in third, but only on countback from Kenny Rumball's The Conor Wouldn't from the Royal Irish YC.

Padraig Byrne & Donny Wilson's Zing from the Royal Cork drop to fifth after an 11th place in the final race.

Fionn Lyden's Spiced Beef Photo Rick TomlinsonFionn Lyden's Spiced Beef Photo Rick Tomlinson

Robert Dix's Elder Lemon from Baltimore SC came into contention for the podium, but a 25th in the final race pegged the team back to sixth.

Anything can happen on tomorrow's final day, but the six boats at the top of the leaderboard will likely decide the 1720 European Championship podium.

Several protests are still to be heard on Day four, so the results are provisional.

Published in Cork Week
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The 44-boat 1720 sports boat class had a stand-alone Cork Harbour Race on Wednesday as part of their European Championships being staged in conjunction with Volvo Cork Week Regatta.

The third day of Cork Week was blessed with sunshine and 8-10 knots of breeze from the north. 

Rope Dock Atara with Ross McDonald on the stick, representing Royal Cork YC & Howth YC, scored a solid race win, leading the race from start to finish.

The 44-boat 1720 Cork Week fleetThe 44-boat 1720 sportsboat fleet reaching in their Cork Harbour race. Photo: Bob Bateman

Fionn Lyden’s Spiced Beef from Baltimore SC was second and Peter O’Leary’s Royal Cork team racing Ricochet was third.

Wednesday's 1720 Cork Week Harbour start Photo Rick TomlinsonWednesday's 1720 Cork Week Harbour start Photo Rick Tomlinson

Racing at Volvo Cork Week continues tomorrow with the penultimate day of racing for the regatta. Five race areas, in and outside Cork Harbour, will be organised by the Royal Cork Yacht Club.

Published in Cork Week
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Just one race was completed on day two of Cork Week for the 44-strong 1720 Class European Championships.

Light and shifty winds added to the complexity on the water as Race Officer Ciaran McSweeney and his race management team were obliged to call two general recalls for over-eager 1720 teams before finally getting the fleet away with the Black Flag flying.

Aidan Lynch’s Baltimore Sailing Club team racing MO was the race winner. Second place was adjudged a tie with Kenny Rumball’s Royal Irish team on The Conor Wouldn't, crossing the line with Robert Dix’s Baltimore SC team racing Elder Lemon.

Rope Dock Atara helmed by Ross McDonald retains the lead for the 1720 European Championships. The Conor Wouldn't moves up to second and Padraig Byrne & Donny Wilson’s Zing is in third.

Published in 1720
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Current 1720 European champions Robbie English, Aoife & Ross McDonald from Royal Cork YC / Howth YC lead after the firsthree races sailed at Volvo Cork Week.

Despite the balmy air temperature, RCYC's own sportsboat class’s return was marked by dense fog on the windward-leeward course about a mile outside Cork Harbour.

The mist soon cleared, revealing 44 1720s going at it, guns and blazes.

44 1720s are racing at Volvo Cork Week Photo: Rick Tomlinson44 1720s are racing at Volvo Cork Week Photo: Rick Tomlinson

There were three highly contested windward-leeward races between Roches Point and Ringabella Bay. An outstanding performance from Rope Dock Atara gives the team from Royal Cork and Howth a whopping 11-point lead after three races. Padraig Byrne & Donny Wilson’s Zing from the Royal Cork is second and Tom, Neil & Paul Hegarty’s efolioaccounts from Baltimore won the first race but finished in third at the end of Day one.

Ross McDonald, Robbie & Aoife English, and Killian Collins racing 1720 Rope Dock Atara. Photo: Rick TomlinsonRoss McDonald, Robbie & Aoife English, and Killian Collins racing 1720 Rope Dock Atara. Photo: Rick Tomlinson

“We are delighted with a 2-1-1 today, “commented Rope Dock Atara’s helm Ross McDonald. “Our aim was to keep the race results in single digits, as I believe this will be a high-scoring regatta, so to get off to a flyer is fantastic. We got one good start, one okay, and also one that we had to get out of jail. In this fleet, especially in light air, it is all about getting the fresh air and the wheels on.”

efolioaccounts.com Tom, Neil and Paul Hegarty from Baltimore SC lies third overallefolioaccounts.com Tom, Neil and Paul Hegarty from Baltimore SC lies third overall Photo: Rick Tomlonson

1720 Top three after three races 

1st Rope Dock Atara Robbie English, Aoife & Ross McDonald Royal Cork YC / Howth YC
2nd 1720 ZING Padraig Byrne & Donny Wilson 1792 Royal Cork YC
3rd 1720 efolioaccounts.com Tom, Neil and Paul Hegarty 1724 Baltimore SC

Results here

Published in Cork Week
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When anybody asks how the concept of the Cork 1720 Sportsboat Class first came to see the light of day in Crosshaven in the early 1990s, the response these days tends to be “Which version of the story would you prefer?”. For in all, more than 160 of these Tony Castro-designed 26ft dayboats with bulb keel, retractable bowsprit and mighty gennakers were to be built, and at Cork Week 2000 their fleet mustered more than 60 boats.

Local names like Mansfield and O’Leary took on visitors like Ainslie, Barker and Spithill. It was undoubtedly a highlight of class history. Since then, the 1720s have waxed and waned as a class, but at the moment Class Captain David Love is happy to report that they’re definitely in full-on waxing mode in Ireland, with growing classes at Crosshaven, Dun Laoghaire, Kinsale, Baltimore, Dunmore East, and Howth, such that they’re looking to have 48 boats racing in the Europeans within Volvo Cork Week from 10th to 15th July.

The design may have been around for thirty years, but the 1720s still look bang up-to-date

MULTIPLE EXPLANATIONS FOR ORIGINS OF CLASS

Failure is an orphan but success has many fathers, and Class Captain Love is the very soul of diplomacy in not apportioning individual credit for the class’s beginnings thirty years ago, and its growing current success. Back in the day when they started racing, I was told that it was basically a group of National 18 sailors on Cork Harbour who wished to re-create the very special spirit of their wonderful centreboard class on a larger canvas, yet with a sit-on rather than hang-out keelboat.

But equally these days, they’ll tell you there was a very significant inspirational input from Half Ton and Quarter Ton sailors who wanted to transpose the best of their sport into a more straightforward value-for-money One-Design boat which carried no hint of a suggestion that racing nights at sea would be on the agenda.

The absolute simplicity of the concept continues to be one of the 1720’s best featuresThe absolute simplicity of the concept continues to be one of the 1720’s best features

And now, with everyone from the Lollipop Lady to the Meter Reader telling us that global recession is on the way if it isn’t here already, the 1720s have the USP of offering incredibly good value. They’ve survived to become inexpensive. There’s virtually no wood in them, they’re of a generation of fibreglass which lasts for ever, and you can still find de-commissioned yet perfectly usable 1720s at the far end of somebody’s uncle’s hayshed if you only know how to ask the right questions.

FINDING PHILANTHROPIC SAILMAKERS

Admittedly the chance of finding a decent suit of sails with these rural relics is remote. But as we all know, Ireland’s sailmakers are a soft-hearted and incredibly philanthropic group of folk who will respond favourably to requests for substantial discounts when you use the magic password “1720”, with perhaps a Masonic handshake to be sure to be sure.

And finally, there’s the fact that, with a crew of five, they’re notably labour-intensive boats. Thus they provide a purpose in life for young people who might otherwise be listlessly loitering on street corners, their day jobs taken over by electronic instruments and machines. Indeed, it can only be a question of time before Social Security grants are available to anyone who can show that their 1720 provides healthy, mind-stimulating activity for at last ten hours a week for four young (and not-so-young) people who might otherwise be deflected into a wasted life of anti-social inactivity.

The big warm winds of the Caribbean provide ideal 1720 sailing The big warm winds of the Caribbean provide ideal 1720 sailing 

Thus there’s a lot to celebrate in the fact that the 1720s will be providing fantastic sport for at least 240 people during Cork Week, and there’s even more to celebrate in this remarkable class’s survival and regeneration over thirty years. So although every night will be party night, on Tuesday 12th July in Crosshaven it’s going to reach stratospheric heights with the 1720 30th Anniversary party.

MEDALLISTS AT THE BOYNE

For those who don’t know, it’s called the 1720 Class simply because 1720 was the year of foundation of the Water Club of the Harbour of Cork, the direct antecedent of the Royal Cork Yacht Club. Now as it happens, on the 12th July in the other end of Ireland, some people will be celebrating an earlier contest, which took place in 1690. In that, the people from around Cork tended to be on the side which won the Silver Medal. The Silver Medal from the Battle of the Boyne is not something to be sniffed at. But nevertheless the 30th Anniversary of the Cork 1720 on 12th July 2022 at Crosshaven will be much more fun.

The 1720s are still as much fun to sail now as they were thirty years ago.The 1720s are still as much fun to sail now as they were thirty years ago

Published in Cork Week
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Waterford Harbour Sailing Club took the top three places overall at the 1720 East Coast Championships at Dun Laoghaire Harbour on Sunday, with the Dunmore East's club's Julian Hughes taking the title by two points. 

The Royal Irish Yacht Club hosted a four-class Dun Laoghaire Cup for sportsboats with racing for 1720, SB20, J80, and Beneteau First 21 classes turned out to be a three race, no discard event, primarily due to unstable winds on Dublin Bay.

The 1720 East Coast Championship, the J80 East Coast Championship and the First 211 National Championship were all staged as part of the Cup.

In a fine turnout of nearly 50 boats, just one race was possible in each class on Saturday. Conditions were tricky, as DBSC Squib sailor Vincent Delany describes here. Sunday saw two races completed to secure the championships.

Overnight leader in the 21-boat 1720 class, Howth's Robert Dix, suffered a black flag in the first race on Sunday morning, which ultimately dropped him to sixth overall. 

Second to Hughes skippering 'Root 1' (a nod to his Kilkenny Carrot farm) was clubmate Ciaran Finnegan, in Green Diesel. Third was Rob O'Connell's Fools Gold. 

Niall O'Riordan's SB20 Sea Biscuit was second overall Photo: AfloatNiall O'Riordan's SB20 Sea Biscuit was second overall Photo: Afloat

For the SB20s, in an 11-boat fleet, it was business as usual for the crew of Ted skippered by Michael O'Connor, who won from Niall O'Riordan's Sea Biscuit. Ger Demspey's Venues World was third. 

The 11-boat B211s who raced under both scratch and ECHO were won (on scratch) by Peter Carroll on Yikes with Jimmy Fischer's Billy Whizz second and Andrew Bradley's Chinook in third. 

Jimmy Fischer's B211 Billy Whizz was second Photo: AfloatJimmy Fischer's B211 Billy Whizz was second Photo: Afloat

In a five boat J80 fleet, 1 GBR 605 Vincent Lattimore leads Declan Curtin. Royal St George's Mark Nolan lies third.

Overall results are here

Published in Royal Irish Yacht Club
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The Royal Irish Yacht Club hosted four-class Dun Laoghaire Cup for sports boats with racing for 1720, SB20, J80 and Beneteau First 21 classes got off to a slow start on Saturday due to unstable winds on Dublin Bay.

In a fine turnout of nearly 50 boats, just one race was possible in each class with RIYC Sailing Manager Mark McGibney telling Afloat: "Fickle and unstable wind direction led to a very frustrating day for the race management team".

The 1720 East Coast Championship, the J80 East Coast Championship and First 21 National Championship are all being staged as part of the Cup.

For the SB20s, in an 11-boat fleet, it is the first opportunity to 'cross swords' in what promises to be a very exciting season in the build-up to September's class World Championships being staged at the same venue. Michael O'Connor leads from Niall O'Riordan. Tadhg Donnelly is third.

In the 21-boat 1720 class, Howth's Robert Dix leads from Rory Lynch. Third is Robert O'Connell.

The 11-boat B21s who are racing under both scratch and ECHO are led (on scratch) by Peter Carroll with Jimmy Fischer second and Hugh Kelly third. 

In a five boat J80 fleet, 1 GBR 605 Vincent Lattimore leads Declan Curtin. Royal St George's Mark Nolan lies third.

Racing continues on Sunday with the prospect of more breeze. Results are here

As regular readers of Afloat will know, Ireland's only dedicated sportsboat regatta was postponed in 2021 due to COVID.

Published in Royal Irish Yacht Club

Baltimore Sailing Club in West Cork is, predominantly, a ‘summer club’ that is very busy when seasonal visitors arrive in the village from Cork City, Dublin and other locations. That does not limit its ambitions to develop the sport as its newly-elected Commodore Grahame Copplestone has been telling me.

The annual general meeting this week had a list of planned events that it hopes to host, starting in April and this year running possibly into October/ November. The list includes Munster Lasers – 16th-17th April; Wazsp Southerns/Foil Event – 14th – 15th May; National 18’s South Coast – 4th -5th June; 1720 Nationals – 1st, 2nd 3rd August or 8th, 9th 10th August; Baltimore Cup – August weekend; ITRA Nationals –late October/November.

1720 sportsboats are strong in Baltimore Sailing Club where class ace Robert O'Leary (left) is the club Sailing Secretary1720 sportsboats are strong in Baltimore Sailing Club where class ace Robert O'Leary (left) is the club Sailing Secretary Photo: Deirdre Horgan

Grahame Copplestone takes over from outgoing Commodore Charlie Bolger who has agreed to stay on as a club committee member. Peter O’Flynn has been appointed as Vice Commodore; Tom Bushe – Treasurer; Etain Linehan – Secretary; Sheila O’Sullivan – Rear Commodore; Rob O’Leary – Sailing Secretary, with Committee Members - Ruth Field, Dee Griffiths, Pierce Ryan, Glenn MacCarthy and Fiona MacCarthy.

"The 1720 Class has become a major part of the club"

The 1720 Class has become a major part of the club and owners of these boats are encouraging a “cohort of younger sailors to join the fleet,” the new Commodore says. He told me that the club is putting a lot of emphasis on retaining younger sailors in the sport and is also intending to develop more cruiser racing.

The Heir Island Sloop is designed for local one-design racing and day sailing on the semi-sheltered waters of Long Island Bay and Roaring Water Bay, South West County Cork. The Heir Island Sloop raced at Baltimore Sailing Club is designed for local one-design racing and day sailing on the semi-sheltered waters of Long Island Bay and Roaring Water Bay in South West Cork

Graham Copplestone is my first podcast guest in 2022. Listen to his interview here where he outlines in detail the club plans, starting with its position as a summer club.

Published in Tom MacSweeney
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Royal National Lifeboat Institute (RNLI) in Ireland Information

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) is a charity to save lives at sea in the waters of UK and Ireland. Funded principally by legacies and donations, the RNLI operates a fleet of lifeboats, crewed by volunteers, based at a range of coastal and inland waters stations. Working closely with UK and Ireland Coastguards, RNLI crews are available to launch at short notice to assist people and vessels in difficulties.

RNLI was founded in 1824 and is based in Poole, Dorset. The organisation raised €210m in funds in 2019, spending €200m on lifesaving activities and water safety education. RNLI also provides a beach lifeguard service in the UK and has recently developed an International drowning prevention strategy, partnering with other organisations and governments to make drowning prevention a global priority.

Irish Lifeboat Stations

There are 46 lifeboat stations on the island of Ireland, with an operational base in Swords, Co Dublin. Irish RNLI crews are tasked through a paging system instigated by the Irish Coast Guard which can task a range of rescue resources depending on the nature of the emergency.

Famous Irish Lifeboat Rescues

Irish Lifeboats have participated in many rescues, perhaps the most famous of which was the rescue of the crew of the Daunt Rock lightship off Cork Harbour by the Ballycotton lifeboat in 1936. Spending almost 50 hours at sea, the lifeboat stood by the drifting lightship until the proximity to the Daunt Rock forced the coxswain to get alongside and successfully rescue the lightship's crew.

32 Irish lifeboat crew have been lost in rescue missions, including the 15 crew of the Kingstown (now Dun Laoghaire) lifeboat which capsized while attempting to rescue the crew of the SS Palme on Christmas Eve 1895.

FAQs

While the number of callouts to lifeboat stations varies from year to year, Howth Lifeboat station has aggregated more 'shouts' in recent years than other stations, averaging just over 60 a year.

Stations with an offshore lifeboat have a full-time mechanic, while some have a full-time coxswain. However, most lifeboat crews are volunteers.

There are 46 lifeboat stations on the island of Ireland

32 Irish lifeboat crew have been lost in rescue missions, including the 15 crew of the Kingstown (now Dun Laoghaire) lifeboat which capsized while attempting to rescue the crew of the SS Palme on Christmas Eve 1895

In 2019, 8,941 lifeboat launches saved 342 lives across the RNLI fleet.

The Irish fleet is a mixture of inshore and all-weather (offshore) craft. The offshore lifeboats, which range from 17m to 12m in length are either moored afloat, launched down a slipway or are towed into the sea on a trailer and launched. The inshore boats are either rigid or non-rigid inflatables.

The Irish Coast Guard in the Republic of Ireland or the UK Coastguard in Northern Ireland task lifeboats when an emergency call is received, through any of the recognised systems. These include 999/112 phone calls, Mayday/PanPan calls on VHF, a signal from an emergency position indicating radio beacon (EPIRB) or distress signals.

The Irish Coast Guard is the government agency responsible for the response to, and co-ordination of, maritime accidents which require search and rescue operations. To carry out their task the Coast Guard calls on their own resources – Coast Guard units manned by volunteers and contracted helicopters, as well as "declared resources" - RNLI lifeboats and crews. While lifeboats conduct the operation, the coordination is provided by the Coast Guard.

A lifeboat coxswain (pronounced cox'n) is the skipper or master of the lifeboat.

RNLI Lifeboat crews are required to follow a particular development plan that covers a pre-agreed range of skills necessary to complete particular tasks. These skills and tasks form part of the competence-based training that is delivered both locally and at the RNLI's Lifeboat College in Poole, Dorset

 

While the RNLI is dependent on donations and legacies for funding, they also need volunteer crew and fund-raisers.

© Afloat 2020

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