Displaying items by tag: Beaufort Cup
The RNLI has received a €5,000 donation from the Irish Defence Forces team that won the Beaufort Cup during Cork Week Regatta. The competition invites sailing teams from the military and emergency services to take part in a series of races in an event that has become a firm favourite in the racing calendar. Last July Baltimore RNLI, on their boat Joker 2, gave the Defence Forces boat Juggerknot a close run in the competition but were ultimately pipped at the post.
The winning team receives a prize fund of €10,000 to be given to a nominated charity but the Defence Forces opted to split their donation, giving €5,000 to Crumlin Children’s Hospital and €5,000 to the RNLI. At a presentation which took place in the Crumlin Children’s hospital in Dublin, the Defence Forces were represented by their Chief of Staff, Vice-Admiral Mark Mellett, the Skipper of the winning boat, Cmdt. Barry Byrne, Colonel Ray O’Lehan and Captain Deirdre Fahy. Present to receive the donation for the RNLI were Baltimore Chairperson of Fundraising, Declan Tiernan and RNLI Media Manager Niamh Stephenson.
Speaking following the presentation Baltimore RNLI Fundraising Chairperson Declan Tiernan said, ‘It was a lovely surprise when we heard that the Defence Forces were donating half of their prize to the RNLI and we were incredibly honoured to share it with Crumlin Children’s Hospital. The Beaufort Cup provided a fantastic week’s racing and it came down to a close finish between the Defence Forces and Baltimore RNLI at the end.’
‘We’d also like to acknowledge Crosshaven RNLI who had a boat in the race and performed exceptionally well. All of this has just whetted our appetite to come back bigger and better next time and Comdt Byrne should expect another nail bitter to the finish. We are tremendously proud of our team and are so grateful for the generosity of the winners from the Defence Forces.’
Declan went on to thank those who had allowed the station enter the competition by providing or sponsoring support. Andrew Algeo, who donated his boat Juggerknot free of charge for the crew to race and PPL Ltd., James and Joanne McKenna, Peter O’Flynn Cushman from Wakefield, Peter and Anthony O’Leary from O’Leary Insurance and Bushes Bar all provided generous sponsorship.
Juggerknot Crew :Youen Jacob (Skipper & Baltimore Lifeboat Crew), Peter O’Leary (Tactician) Pat Collins, Cathal Cottrell, Jim Baker, Aiden Bushe, Kieran Cotter, Jim Griffiths (Crew and Baltimore Lifeboat Crew. Garry Haughton, Sandy Remington Bowman and Fionn Lyden (Crew)
'Incredible'. That was the one-word reaction from Commandant Barry Byrne when he crossed the finish line off Roches Point in Cork Harbour this lunchtime, snatching line honours victory in the first race of the Beaufort Cup, the Cork Week series for Services personnel. Read Afloat.ie's earlier report here.
"I never dreamt that I could repeat 2016's success. It's an incredible feeling", the Irish Defence Forces skipper said having taken first blood with his talented crew against some very stiff competition.
"I never dreamt that I could repeat 2016's success"
In the podcast below, with Afloat.ie's Louay Habib, Byrne (who finished second in the Round Ireland Race earlier this month on the same boat), talks about how he knew he could win, if he could just hold on to the top pack in the 15–boat fleet.
Even with the early win in the bag that counts for double points, Byrne remains extremely cautious, however, given there are three days of inshore racing still to come.
Barry Byrne's J109 Joker II defended its Beaufort Cup title in style this morning with an on–the–water win of the first 150-mile coastal race of the Cup series.
Byrne's team came from behind to win the double points scoring Fastnet Race for the Beaufort Cup.
See video of the finish below and interview with Barry Byrne as they cross the line.
But it was a win by the narrowest of margins – even by Cork Week's exacting standards – with only a reported '150 metres' separating Byrne's Defence Forces crew from Baltimore Lifeboat crew sailing another J109 design Joggerknot – with Olympian Peter O'Leary onboard – after nearly 24 hours and 130 nautical miles of racing.
During the race, four teams swapped the lead in an intense battle around the Fastnet Lighthouse.
Very competitive #Fastnet race as part of @defenceforces Beaufort cup @corkweektweet. Bravo Zulu to all #Service competitors including #ÓglaighnahÉireann teams with Comdt Barry Byrne taking line honours on ‘Joker 2’. @DF_COS pleased to crew for Tom Roche (Lt Navy Rtd) on Meridian pic.twitter.com/jwqOeledrv— DF Chief of Staff (@DF_COS) July 17, 2018
Joker II, Commandant Barry Byrne's winning J109 entry from this Round Ireland Race will meet teams from the National Services and a US Marines team at the Beaufort Cup at Cork Week starting on July 15th.
The second ever Beaufort Cup, a race exclusively for teams associated with their national services, will take place at this year’s Volvo Cork Week. Hosted by The Royal Cork Yacht Club, the event invites services from Ireland, Europe and further afield, to compete for the Trophy. Defence Force Teams from a number of countries will compete and also other services such as Police, Fire, Rescue, RNLI and Coastguard service teams.
Following the huge success of the inaugural race in 2016, this year’s competition welcomes an American team made up of former marines and coast guards who were seriously injured while on service. The team of four includes Sgt Robert Aiken who began sailing through the initiative of the Warrior Sailing Program, providing maritime education and outreach for wounded, ill and injured service members and veterans organised by the US Merchant Marine Academy. “I’m very thankful to the wonderful donors and staff for recognising the therapeutic value sailing has to offer those of us adjusting to new circumstances - both physical and emotional” said Sgt Aiken.
The rest of this very exceptional team includes Brett Linville, Sergeant in United States Marine Corps for 8 years. Conducting combat missions in western Iraq between 2005-2006 as a machine gunner and team leader of 8 other gunners during various operations, Sgt Linville sustained a back injury from a fall during a mortar attack. Accrediting many attributes to the values instilled in him through the Marine Corps, he will also share a boat with Dawn Hart who has spent 12 years in the US Coast Guard. Having come on the racing scene in the US she says she has enjoyed “sailing and competing in regattas and taking advantage of as many opportunities as possible. I thought this was an amazing opportunity and an experience in which I could learn from other sailors.”
This event develops valuable bonds between national team members and international colleagues alike, through a competitive, but also very sociable, event. The Beaufort Cup represents a fantastic opportunity to strengthen international ties through offshore sailing and closely fought inshore racing in the natural maritime amphitheatre that is Cork Harbour.
“The Beaufort Cup invites sailing teams from their associated national services, 50% of each team must be active in the service they represent. Racing will take place over five days in a mix of challenging offshore and tactical inshore racing. Teams will get the chance to enjoy the renowned social experience of Volvo Cork Week and the winning team will have €10,000 donated to a nominated charity of their choice while the winner will also be eligible for the ‘Boat of the Week’ prize at Volvo Cork Week 2018” says Kieran O’Connell, Chairman of Volvo Cork Week.
The Beaufort Cup returns in 2018 and with entry level already surpassing 2016 it is gearing up to be a great success.
Three English teams have already committed to take on the challenge and there’s also interest from Wales, America, France and Northern Ireland.
Download the Notice of Race below
With nine confirmed entries already for the 2018 edition of the Beaufort Cup, Cork Week Chairman Kieran O'Connell of Royal Cork Yacht Club says it promises to be a great event. '2016 was the inaugural event and we saw 12 different services compete for the title. We are set to have a significant increase on that number in 2018,' O'Connell told Afloat.ie
The Beaufort Cup invites sailing teams from associated national services, 50% of each team must be active in the service they represent.
Racing will take place over five days in a mix of offshore and inshore racing.
Teams will get the chance to enjoy the 'renowned social experience' of Volvo Cork Week and the winning team will also have €10,000 donated to a nominated charity of their choice while the winner will also be eligible for the Volvo Cork Week Cup (Boat of the Week across the full 5 days) at Cork Week 2018.
Download the Notice of Race below.
After a successful 2016 season and another in prospect later this month, the John Maybury's J109 crew from Joker II gathered at their home club in Dun Laoghaire to celebrate victory in the ICRA Nationals, the ICRA Boat of the Year Award and the Beaufort Cup, sailed as part of Cork Week with a Defence Forces crew.
The Royal Irish Yacht Club celebration featured plenty of discussion about the 2017 season where the plan is for Joker II to defend its ICRA One National title at Royal Cork in June. If Maybury is successful, it will be a record hat-trick of titles for the Dublin Bay Boat.
Commandant Barry Byrne tells his story of how the Irish military assembled a winning crew in a matter of months for the inaugural international inter-service sailing contest
On 15 January I was called to a special meeting in the Carrigaline Court Hotel. Our then Minister for Defence, Simon Coveney; Defence Forces Chief of Staff, Vice Admiral Mark Mellett; and key personnel from the Royal Cork Yacht Club and Kinsale Yacht Club – headed by Kieran O’Connell, chair of Volvo Cork Week 2016 – had assembled to plan a new event to be called the Beaufort Cup, named in honour of Sir Francis Beaufort, creator of the Beaufort wind force scale.
I would learn at that meeting of the goal to assemble 10 yachts, with military or emergency service crews, to compete in this new multi-race event for Cork Week. However, many present felt that given the relatively short notice – only six months – we would be doing well enough to recruit three boats to constitute a class.
One of the first teams to commit to the event were the Royal Engineers, and I will be forever grateful to them for their support at such a formative stage of the cup’s development. They gave momentum to our cause, as by the time of the event we had 12 top-class teams competing for the newly commissioned Waterford Crystal Beaufort Cup.
Assembling and training our own Defence Forces team from scratch? That was our first challenge. Many were beginners, plus we had to source the necessary boats. Through the generosity of John Maybury (Joker 2), Tom Roche (Meridian) and Dan Buckley (Justus), we secured three boats to compete in. The Defence Forces contingent increased to four when we were joined by Another Adventure, an A35 skippered for the event by Stefan Hyde. Joker 2, the national champion J109, would be our main effort at winning the cup, and I must thank our fantastic bowman, Flight Sgt Adrian Mulligan, for helping to secure the use of that vessel.
Next came the team trials to select our four competition crews. That meant training in fitness, sailing, sea survival and medical training to ensure all boats and their crews complied with the same Cat 3 regulations as the annual Fastnet Race.
We schooled the beginners on our team in sail and race training with the help of the Irish National Sailing & Powerboat School (INSS), while the Joker crew were put through their paces in manoeuvres with the help of professional coach Maurice ‘Prof’ O’Connell. Simon Johnson kindly assisted in training up our pit and bow team, and my brother Bryan Byrne also came along to share some knowledge.
As the event grew closer, I was to learn that both national and international champions were competing in our class. It was dawning on me that our newly assembled team were going to the home of yacht racing in Ireland, and the oldest yacht club in the world, to try and win a major trophy and €10,000 prize money for a charity of one’s choosing, and the competition would be fierce.
We got Joker 2 to Cork early and, her competition pedigree notwithstanding, we spent three full days going through every single element of the boat, stem to stern, keel to windex. We replaced ropes, end-to-ended halyards, scrubbed, dehumidified, welded – you name it, we did it. If I’d quoted ‘Mr America’s Cup’ Dennis Conner’s book No Excuse to Lose to my crew one more time, I think they would have killed me.
During this time, we also had a hugely important rig settings technical session with Mark Mansfield. This was to prove invaluable for the event. I wanted no ambiguity about what setting we were on for what wind condition, and I would work closely with my sole designated rig adjustor on this. Military principles in practice: one man, one job, own your job. We brought some other military principles to our sailing, too, as we had well-rehearsed standard operating procedures and clear communications, and it stood to us throughout the week.
On the morning of the start, Monday 11 July, the popping of SCUBA bubbles hitting the hull from our hardworking crew member Lt Wietse Buwalda as he scrubbed the outside provided the soundtrack as I observed our navigator reviewing the laminated, underlined and highlighted sailing instructions, and I felt like we had done everything we could to prepare for the first day – the daunting 24-hour race around Fastnet Rock.
I have been offshore racing for 20 years and I can honestly say that the short Fastnet run of the Beaufort Cup is one of the most enjoyable I have ever raced. It is the perfect length, and the race down to the famous rock is both stunningly scenic and hugely tactical, with tidal and wind influences to test the very best – not to mention the abundance of wildlife along the way, with whales and dolphins regularly spotted at this time of year. I think the race has the potential to be one of the great lures of Cork Week for international teams in future years.
After ten hours of racing, eight boats in our fleet rounded Fastnet Rock at twilight right beside one another. It was spectacular – or as Prof would say, ‘tremendous’.
Winning that race possibly came down to a single decision by our navigator, Comdt Ian Travers, to gybe out of Glandore Bay when becalmed. We gybed to get better pressure as we had no other options. That said, I do believe two factors came into play here. One, our crew had a hot meal of high-energy army ration packs inside us at one in the morning when we made that manoeuvre, so I feel we were firing on all cylinders as a crew; gybes were good, and kite peels at night went seamlessly. And two, our navigator had run seven weather routing predictions, all but one of which told him to go offshore on the way back from the rock, so he knew what he was doing, even if I didn’t.
We were awarded the impressive Sans Souci Cup at that evening’s black tie gala dinner overlooking the sea from the Naval Service base on Haulbowline. But honourable mention must go to the Royal Engineers, who were unlucky to be becalmed and, in the true spirt of military grit and determination, hung in there to finish the offshore race seven hours behind us, within two minutes of the deadline – and then, with no rest, donned their mess dress uniforms to be the life and soul of the party that night.
The Fastnet race was only the beginning of the Beaufort Cup, of course. The next day saw tighter inshore racing, but we had good starts and produced two firsts and a second, with a solid performance from everyone on the team.
Thursday was the harbour race – and as luck would have it, we dropped our course card over the side six minutes before the start. In the commotion, we ended up dead last on the start. But I have to say, what followed was one of the most tense but also most enjoyable races of my life, as our navigator Capt Mick Liddy – who had replaced Comdt Travers after the offshore – and tactician Peter Bayly picked clear lanes through the fleet and had us in the right air the entire way as we sailed from almost last to first and beat every other J109 in the fleet.
Trust your team
That harbour race, which was to become the last of the event due to fog on the final day, confirmed everything I have always believed about yacht racing: put a team around you that you trust, and then trust them. Let them do their job. I had one policy for that light-winds race, and really it was a policy for the event in general: watch the tell-tales, keep the boat moving fast, and turn the wheel as little as possible. I trusted the team to do everything else.
At the final prizegiving I announced that we would be donating the majority of our winnings to Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin – but in addition, as a mark of respect to the fantastic competition put up by the RNLI crew led by Nicholas O’Leary on True Penance, we would also donate €1,000 to the RNLI. That team performed mightily, with only seconds between us in most races.
Commenting on our victory, Commodore of the Defence Forces Sailing Club, Colonel Peter Richardson, said: “Judging by the success of this inaugural effort, I believe the Beaufort Cup can and will grow to be the top services regatta in the world, attracting hundreds of international competitors, strengthening international and national bonds, and showcasing the fantastic sailing grounds that Cork has to offer.
"Every military in the world recognises the benefits of offshore sailing for leadership and teambuilding; there are no places to hide on a boat in bad weather. As an island nation, we must embrace this resource. Congratulations to the Joker 2 crew on their wonderful achievement.”
I would like to thank the entire Defence Forces team for their efforts in our Beaufort Cup challenge. Thanks also to Kieran O’Connell and the Volvo Cork Week race office for a great event; and our sponsors Axiom Private Clients, Spanish Point Technologies, Helly Hansen and CH Marine. Thank you as well to everyone in the Department of Defence and Defence Forces who helped make this happen.
As I write, services teams from France, Italy, Spain and the US have already committed to challenge for the Beaufort Cup in 2018, and the Irish Defence Forces will be there to defend it.
The crew of the Joker 2 was:
Comdt Barry Byrne
Lt Marcus Ryan
Capt Michael Liddy
Armn Gary Phelan
Sgt Patrick McGrath
Lt Wietse Buwalda
Flt Sgt Adrian Mulligan
Comdt Ian Travers
And after the final day's results, it turns out the antique silver IRC European Champion Trophy, presented by the Royal Ocean Racing Club, will not be going far – as Royal Cork YC's Paul Gibbons, racing Quarter Tonner Anchor Challenge, emerged the winner.
“This has been such a fantastic regatta, Volvo Cork Week is very competitive, and we had a real fight on our hands to win our class, let alone the IRC European Championship," said Gibbons from the winners' podium. "I would like to thank my crew, without a good team we would never have achieved the success. We will definitely be back to defend our win in Marseille next year.”
Shrouded in sea fog, the final day of racing at Volvo Cork Week was curtailed to just one race for some classes. However, as the mist cleared, class winners appeared and the inaugural IRC European Championship went to the wire.
Located outside Cork Harbour, the visibility was just too bad for safe racing for IRC Zero, One and Two and the results remained unchanged from the previous day.
The final prizegiving was held at the Royal Cork Yacht Club, established in 1720, and the antique silverware presented includes some of the world oldest and famous trophies.
But the two biggest awards of Volvo Cork Week are brand new this year.
John Swan's Howth team, racing Half Tonner Harmony, was second, winning the Royal Cork Perpetual Salver. Tony Ackland's Swansea YC team, racing Dubois 37 Dark Angel, was third and was awarded the prestigious prize of the Kinsale Kettle for Boat of the Week.
“This is the best Cork Week we have ever done and to be awarded Boat of the Week is a big honour. We will be toasting our friends tonight and when we get back to Swansea. Congratulations to all the winners, it has been great to be a part of this regatta,” said Ackland.
The Waterford Crystal Beaufort Cup, commissioned by former Marine Minister Simon Coveney, was won by Defence Forces B racing Joker 2, skippered by Cmdt Barry Byrne, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.
Defence Force B Team have nominated Our Lady's Children's Hospital, Dublin for the €10,000 award. But the winning team have also donated €1,000 to Baltimore RNLI as a show of sportsmanship.
“To have so many teams and top quality racing in the first year of the Beaufort Cup is amazing,” said Cmdt Byrne. “The offshore race around the Fastnet is one of the most enjoyable races I have ever done. We saw dolphins and whales literally the whole way round and eight boats rounded the Fastnet Rock within sight of each other.
"We already have confirmed interest from USA, France, Canada and Spain for 2018. The goal is to make the Beaufort Cup the biggest emergency and military services regatta in the world and I would like to applaud Minister Simon Coveney and Vice Admiral Mark Mellett for their continued support for the initiative and all of the teams that participated.”
Anthony O'Leary's Ker 40 Antix from the Royal Cork YC are the IRC Zero champions, beating strong opposition from Tony Langley's British TP52 Gladiator and Eric De Turckiem's French A13 Teasing Machine.
The class was fiercely contested with both Antix and Gladiator taking three wins a piece in the seven race series. Antix won the class by just one point.
Tony Ackland's team from Swansea YC, racing Dubois 37 Dark Angel, dominated IRC One. Jay Colville's First 40 Forty Licks from East Down YC in Northern Ireland was second in class and Royal Cork's Conor Phelan, racing Ker 37 Jump Juice was third, fending off a strong challenge from Charlie Frize's Scottish team, racing Mills 36 Prime Suspect.
The team from Clyde CC were the winners of the Hugh Coveney Trophy, for the best team under IRC in the Harbour Race.
Paul O'Higgins Royal Irish YC team, racing JPK 10.80 Rockabill VI, corrected out to win IRC Two by four points from Robert McConnell's A35 Fools Gold. A terrific battle for third place was won by Richard Goodbody's Royal Irish team, racing J/109 White Mischief. RORC Commodore Michael Boyd, racing Irish JPK 10.80 Audrey was fourth and William Wester's Dutch team, racing Grand Soleil 37 Antilope was close behind in fifth.
In IRC Three, John Swan's Howth YC team, racing Half Tonner Harmony, was the runaway winner, scoring five bullets at Volvo Cork Week. Patrick Farcy's French JPK 9.60 Cavok won the last race of the championship to snatch second by a single point from Paul & Deirdre Tingle's Royal Cork team, racing X-34 Alpaca.
Simon Henning's Guernsey YC team, racing 1720 Alice, was the runaway winner of the Mixed Sportsboats Class. George Sisk's Farr 42 WoW won a close encounter in IRC Coastal Class 1. Nick Ogden's Ulula and Sheila & James Tyrrel's J/112e Aquelina was just a point behind the winner.
Martin Breen's Port of Galway Team won IRC Coastal Class 2, winning three of the four race series. Jimmy Nyhan's Out Rigger was the winner of the Club Regatta Fleet, with three straight bullets. Tom McNeice's Sigma 33 Minx III was the winner in the non-spinnaker class, which was only decided on the last race of the seven race series.
The non-spinnaker class is growing at Volvo Cork Week and proving extremely competitive. Of the 12 entries this year, six teams made the podium during the regatta. Kieran McCarthy's Voxpro team won the Try Sailing Challenge, the initiative has received much acclaim and interest with 120 people applying to join the initiative across Ireland.
VIPs for the final award ceremony were Adrian Yeates, managing director of Volvo Cars Ireland, Naval Service Vice Admiral Mark Mellett and Royal Ocean Racing Club Commodore Michael Boyd.
The Irish Defence Forces Team, racing the Irish national champion J19 yacht Joker 2, and skippered by Cmdt Barry Byrne, has won the inaugural Beaufort Cup Fastnet Race held as part of Volvo Cork Week.
The 140–mile overnight race was a race from Cork Harbour around the famous West cork rock and back to Cork Harbour.
Racing continues for the Beaufort Cup with three days of inshore racing. The offshore win has put the team in the driving seat to win the prestigious new trophy, and €10,000 for their nominated charity.
“We are over the moon.” smiled Barry Byrne. “Late last night in light airs, most of the fleet compressed together and we gybed out for more wind offshore and got it. From then on we kept our position between the Fastnet and the boats behind to consolidate on that gain and those tactics got us through. But it was a tough fight all the way to the Rock and a tough slog all the way back. We are looking forward to the inaugural Beaufort Cup Gala Dinner tonight, to meet our colleagues from overseas to discuss the challenges to come.”
Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government, Simon Coveney, was racing on board “Another Adventure,” with the Irish Defence Forces Team in the Beaufort Cup Fastnet Race. Minister Coveney is one of the biggest supporters of the new international services sailing competition, now part of Volvo Cork Week.
“The Fastnet Lighthouse is famous internationally as an iconic symbol of sailing and we felt that it was important to have a race around it to encourage foreigners, in particular, to come and race. This year we are testing the water, so to speak, and it was super.” commented Simon Coveney. “We have 12 teams and six of them went around the Fastnet within five minutes, which is fantastic racing. We have two teams from Britain and another from Northern Ireland and Irish teams from the Defence Forces, Marine Institute,Fisheries Board, the RNLI and the Coastguard. We have promises from lots of other countries who want to come in two years time. What we would like to build over the next few years is the world's largest services event, with top quality racing for services teams from all over the world. The structure will be an offshore race followed by inshore racing and you won't find a better harbour to race than Cork and the coastline is just spectacular. We want people to come and experience the hospitality and competitive racing of Volvo Cork Week. We hope that in the future to cast the net much wider and receive teams from Canada, France, Germany, Spain and Portugal and build on what we have started this year.”