#corkweek – Since 1978, sailors from Ireland and all over the world have enjoyed Cork Week writes Louay Habib. One of Ireland's top regattas has evolved over the years, taking into consideration the changes within the sport but the sailing grounds in and around Cork Harbour have stayed the same. Cork Week offers a variety of courses from Atlantic wind and waves to the tricky tidal confines of Cork Harbour and the legendary 'craic' ashore, hosted by the Royal Cork Yacht Club, significantly adds to the fun.
Once again, the J/109 Irish National Championship will be held at Cork Week. A fleet of 20 yachts from Ireland, UK and overseas is expected, confirmed J Boats, Paul Heys. "J Boats has just completed an excellent London Boat Show and we can definitely see a resurgence in demand for J Boats right across the range. The J/109 Irish National Championship has always been a very popular event and we expect a good turn out for Cork Week. The J/70 design is going from strength to strength, with over 600 boats sold in America and Europe. In November, Maurice 'Prof' O'Connell was appointed J Boat dealer for Ireland and we are already seeing demand for the new Sportsboat in Ireland, we expect to see a number of J/70s competing at Cork Week.
South African, Mike Bartholomew's Mills 40, Tokoloshe was runner up to Piet Vroon's Dutch Ker 46, Tonnerre de Breskens in 2012 and hopes to return to Cork Week with his new GP42, Tokoloshe.
"The new Tokoloshe needs quite a few modification to get it competitive for IRC and we are working on that now." confirmed Mike Bartholomew. "We hope to come to Cork Week and I am really excited about the prospect, as the competition, the courses and the conditions will, as always, produce excellent racing."
Capable of surfing at over 20 knots, the all carbon flyer will revel in the Cork Week courses on the Atlantic Approaches and Tokoloshe may not be alone. Hamble UK based, High Performance Charter, has similar yachts available to charter for Cork Week.
"Cork Week provides well run races in perfect conditions for fast light displacement race boats. High Performance Charter has a range of yachts available including GP42, Ker 40 and Mills 43." confirmed Bryan Davies. "These yachts will be in top condition for racing and the package includes delivery from Hamble to Cork and back. Basically a team can fly in to Cork have a real blast and fly home again."
Tim Cunliffe's Cornish Half Tonner, Insatiable will be returning to Cork Week after coming runner up in IRC Three last time out. Tim explains why the crew from Falmouth will be coming back, proudly flying the Royal Cornwall YC burgee.
"First and foremost, in 2012 we had a successful Cork Week after arriving with no expectations, so I guess it is rather dangerous to be returning! We had great racing with the RCYC Admiral's team, Bad Company, and we would love another battle with them. We really enjoyed the Irish hospitality and Cork Week delivers the best IRC racing anywhere.
I know that there will be a Cornish contingent coming to race this year. There is an affinity between Cornwall and Ireland given the celtic roots, but also because the scenery is very similar in many ways, there has always a good number of boats from Falmouth that have come to Cork over the years."
A sizeable fleet of 1720 Sportsboats is expected for Cork Week from Dublin and County Cork based. Sailors from overseas will be joining Irish crews and chartering bareboats boats for their own teams. Jamie McWilliam grew up in Cork but has settled in Hong Kong. This summer McWilliam will be returning to race in the 1720 Class
"For the last few years, the 1720 Class has been having a revival in Ireland and I have been keeping up to date with mates, who tell me the racing is awesome. There is little you can do to optimise the boat, so it is really good one design racing and whilst the size of the fleet has been increasing, so has the strength in depth. For Cork Week, the 1720 Class will have some really great sailors competing and the spirit on and off the water will be superb. 20 years ago, courtesy of Tom Roche and the legendary Noddy, we had the best Cork Week ever and we are looking to wallow in nostalgia in 2014 - but with children this time!"
Cork Week Race Chairman, Anthony O'Leary has confirmed that he will be racing Ker 39, Antix with a very strong Irish team.
"It is very encouraging to see that we will have some excellent yachts and top class sailors coming to enjoy Cork Week but the event has always been about a variety of sailors and yachts, everybody will be made very welcome. The Royal Cork Yacht Club will open its doors to all competitors. As in recent years, Cork Week will serve up a variety of courses both inside and outside the harbour and besides outstanding racing, Cork Week will have a great atmosphere ashore."
The entry fee for Cork Week 2014 will also be reduced by 30%, compared to 2012 and the reduction in racing days and other measures will effectively reduce the overall cost of attending Cork Week by at least 20%.
Entry for Cork Week 2014 can be made via the official website or by contacting the Regatta Office: 00 353 (0)21 4831179