#CORKWEEK – Preparations for Cork Week 2012, one of the biggest and most succesful of Ireland's sailing regattas is well underway and this week the Royal Cork Yacht Club has launched a dedicated Cork Week 2012 website.
The event Chairman, Pat Lyons is keen to welcome all participants to the event.
"Once again, Cork Week will strive to keep down costs for all competitors, right across the board, we realise the importance of this in the current climate. However, we will make sure that the event is a memorable occasion. Next year's event will stage the Cork Week Festival, which will be a celebration of Cork's cultural heritage. Cork has a vibrant and artistic community and the festival will showcase that. We want to make Cork Week a unique experience and this will be expressed through performing arts, local cuisine and exhibitions of the history of the region. You will find bouncy castles and face painting at many events but Cork Week will provide far more than that."
Early expressions of interest have been very promising; a substantial big boat fleet is expected, including several that had a thrilling regatta in 2010. Many of the entries for the 2012 Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup are also expected, including some of the best overseas yachts from Europe and further afield, including a strong team from Hong Kong.
Storm - a J109 favourite for Cork Week 2012 - Photo: Bob Bateman
The J/109 Irish National Championship will take place during Cork Week with 20 or more yachts expected from Ireland and overseas. Favourites for the national title include Pat Kelly's Storm, Irish IRC Boat of the Year and Glenn Cahill's Joie de Vivre. Paul Heys of J Boats also reports that the new J/111 class will also be well represented with at least six of the new breed debuting in their first major European Regatta.
Crosshaven, the venue, as always, for Cork Week 2012 - Photo: Bob Bateman
For the smaller IRC boats, the fleet is set to be just as competitive, the variety of sailing conditions and courses is a great all round test of the yacht and the crew and the yachts in IRC Two and Three make up a substantial percentage of the sailors racing at Cork Week. The committee hopes that the reduction in costs right across the board should be of great benefit to those boats in particular.
Visitors berthed in Crosshaven for the 2011 event. Photo: Bob Bateman
The 1720 Class has been having a renaissance in Ireland and a large fleet of the exciting yachts is expected. Purpose built for the Cork Week courses, there are 26 1720s in Cork alone and others are expected from abroad. Charter opportunities are available.
1720s comepting at this year's European Championships in Baltimore
It has also been decided to allow professional sailors to race at Cork Week in any of the classes, as Racing Chairman, Anthony O'Leary explains.
"We don't want to prevent anybody from coming to Cork Week and we have decided to take away any of the barriers to people who want to come and enjoy some wonderful racing. Competitors can expect a variety of courses set in open water, coastal and in the harbour, which should test the crew handling and get just about every sail out of the bag. We are blessed with some superb sailing grounds and we are intent on making full use of them. The focus for Cork Week is the same as it has always been, great sailing and a fabulous atmosphere ashore."
The management team is also keen to encourage participation by charter companies and corporate entries and plans are in place to offer assistance to ensure that Cork Week is a fun-filled regatta for all.