Cork Week Revealed
with Eddie English (reprinted from Afloat 2006)
Eddie English stands high on Cobh’s historic waterfront and looks out across Cork Harbour, south towards Roche’s Point lighthouse and the entrance to the natural sailing sanctuary. Immediately below, a huge Brittany Ferries ship heads slowly out to sea; it’s not even close in size to a previous visitor to the former Queenstown, but then again, the RMS Titanic belonged to a different era.
To his left, the inshore waters north of the Whitegate oil refinery hide the channel to East Ferry where the Marlogue Inn stands over its marina and just opposite, the legendary Murphs on the mainland shore.
On his right, the channel between Spike and Haulbowline Islands and Cobh is the main shipping route for the Port of Cork for ferries, commercial shipping and the Irish Naval Service base.
But it’s the view straight out to sea that confirms one of the magic ingredients that have made Cork Week an international regatta of worldwide repute: vast tracts of open, unobstructed water and all within easy reach of the shoreside facilities of the hosts at the Royal Cork Marina at Crosshaven.
When it comes to local knowledge, few are as expert as English. Not only is he a former chairman of the event's racing committee, not only does he run a long-established sailing school in the harbour, but when you are offered an insight from someone who takes his dog for a walk on notorious mud banks at low water springs, they tend to be nuggets of the golden variety.
"The harbour course is the key to Cork Week," says English. "It's the decider where the event is won or lost and has the most variables involved." So this, then, is the Eddie English step-by-step guide to gaining an edge for that course, plus the coastal, wind/leeward and Olympic-type courses at Cork Week.
COPYRIGHT – AFLOAT MAGAZINE 2006