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Tánaiste Launches Volvo Cork Week on Haulbowline Island in Cork Harbour

5th March 2018
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An Tanaiste Simon Coveney (second from left), a keen Cork Week competitor himself, at today's Regatta Launch at Haulbowline Island. From left: Commodore Michael Malone of the Irish Navy, David Thomas of Volvo, RCYC Admiral Pat Farnan and Irish Sailing President Jack Roy. Scroll down for more photos An Tanaiste Simon Coveney (second from left), a keen Cork Week competitor himself, at today's Regatta Launch at Haulbowline Island. From left: Commodore Michael Malone of the Irish Navy, David Thomas of Volvo, RCYC Admiral Pat Farnan and Irish Sailing President Jack Roy. Scroll down for more photos Photo: Bob Bateman

An Tánaiste, Simon Coveney, TD, launched, Volvo Cork Week, today on Haulbowline Island in Cork Harbour, following the cancellation of the original launch last Friday due to the arrival of Storm Emma.

Royal Cork Yacht Club has reconfigured its biennial regatta with a number of novel new features. The event takes place this year in Crosshaven from July 16th to July 21st.

Speaking at the launch Minister Coveney said: “It is always a pleasure to be asked to officially launch an event like Volvo Cork Week. Events like this are very important for Ireland, showcasing, as they do, the beautiful marine resource we have, particularly here in Cork Harbour, the second biggest natural harbour in the world. Competition for The Beaufort Cup will see teams from many different national and international defence forces, RNLI, Coast Guard, Welsh and Northern Ireland Police, and other service teams, competing against each other and this year it again includes an overnight race around the famous Fastnet Rock. It is great to see Volvo Cork Week being the first Irish Regatta to take an active approach on the fight against plastics. It is a subject that is very close to my heart and I will do all I can to assist them in their effort this year. Cork is truly at the forefront of sustainability and renewable energy, with MaREI (Centre for Marine and Renewable Energy) located here in Cork Harbour.”

All photos by Bob Bateman

untitled 08032016 Beaufort Cup winner, Commandant Barry Byrne, Commander Brian Matthews and Pat Harte, Hon Secretary of Royal Corkuntitled 0803Irish Sailing President Jack Roy with Captain William Roberts and David Thomas of Volvo untitled 0803Captain William Roberts, Jack Roy,, Pat Farnan and Darragh Connollyuntitled 0803Captain William Roberts, Mayor of Cork County Cllr Declan Hurley, Deputy Mayor Kieran McCarthy and David Thomasuntitled 0803Pat Farnan, David Thomas and Captain William Roberts in front of the Irish Navy Ship, LE William Butler Yeatsuntitled 0803RCYC Admiral Pat Farnan addresses the gathering on Haulbowline Islanduntitled 0803Jack Roy of Irish Sailinguntitled 0803David Thomas of Volvountitled 0803An Tánaiste Simon Coveneyuntitled 0803A great turnout at Haulbowlineuntitled 0803Cork Week Chairman Kieran O'Connell, with Jack Roy (who will be the event's Chief Race Officer) Admiral Pat Farnan and Cove Sailing Club's Joannna Murphyuntitled 0803Volvo's David Thomas, Mayor of Cork County Cllr Declan Hurley, An Tanaiste Simon Coveney, Deputy Mayor Kieran McCarthy and Royal Cork CEO Gavin Deaneuntitled 0803Royal Cork's Ross Deasy with Commander Brian Matthews and Royal Cork's Darragh Connollyuntitled 0803(From right) Cork Week Chairman Kieran O'Connell, with Volvo's David Thomas and An Tanaiste Simon Coveney

David Thomas, MD Volvo Car Ireland, said that Volvo Car Ireland, in partnership with Johnson & Perrott, are proud to sponsor Volvo Cork Week for the third time: "since coming to Ireland, I have seen and appreciate the importance of the water as an island nation. The Volvo brand is synonymous with sailing across the world and we believe in the importance of supporting, and partnering, with sports and communities where our customers live, work, and play." 

Kieran O’Connell, Chair of Volvo Cork Week, welcomes the growing awareness of the plastics issue amongst the public and particularly amongst sailors. He intends to put an emphasis on reducing Volvo Cork Week’s impact on the environment. Amongst the initiatives being proposed is that all competitors will be asked to use reusable drink containers and there will be water coolers/fountains available. Suppliers will be asked to reduce their use of plastic and use compostable materials. “Each year, 8 million tonnes of plastic enters our seas and if no action is taken there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean by 2050, every bit of plastic ever made still exists somewhere. Care to the environment is a core value at Volvo Car Ireland and we intend to play our part during Volvo Cork Week 2018. Education and outreach activities will be facilitated by MaREI during the event."

The first of a series of beach clean ups took place during the launch. Schoolchildren from Crosshaven took part in an initial clean up of the beach on Haulbowline Island. This is the first in a series of nationwide beach clean ups Volvo have planned to help raise awareness of the #TurnTheTideOnPlastics initiative.

The Royal Cork Yacht Club is the NMU Marina of the Year and is a Gold Anchor Awardee from the Yacht Harbour Association. It is committed to minimising the impact of its activities on the environment and has created a Green Events Policy which will be applied during Volvo Cork Week 2018.

While retaining many of the successful elements of previous events Volvo Cork Week 2018 has a completely redesigned format which gives competitiors various options to choose whilst still enjoying the world class racing that is on offer. Entries have already been received from Ireland, England, France, Dubai and Australia and this year. The SB20 sportsboat class will host its Southern Championships on the two days before Cork Week (14/15 July) and the Dragon Class will host their championships at Volvo Cork Week for the first time.

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