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Displaying items by tag: Cork Harbour

It was February 1st, and the hardy band of Cork Harbour Laser sailors regrouped for day three of the Monkstown Laser Frostbite League, in beautiful racing conditions. 

A low sun arose over Cork Harbour in the early hours of the morning. A slight chill in the air was enough to inflict a bite, but not enough to stop thirteen enthusiastic sailors from arriving on the Sandquay at 9 am. A windy forecast was on the cards and gusts of up to 27 knots were due later in the morning. The sky was cloudless and Monkstown Bay looked promising. 

A south-westerly breeze blew across the bay, peaking at a low 10 knots of wind. The tide was high and weak. The competitors launched their Lasers off the Sandquay, to join the race committee.

A windward/leeward course had been set, with a windward mark situated in the creek near Raffeen. The 10:10 am scheduled start was right on time and the thirteen Laser sailors found their positions on the small start line. Three minutes went by and race one was underway.

Monkstown Bay Laser dinghy RacingSailors in shot (Left to right) Fionn Lyden, Chris Bateman, James Long, Alex Barry (IRL)

Launching off the line was MBSC’s Ronan Kenneally, who crossed the fleet with a spectacular port tack flyer. This put him into the lead just ahead of the fleet. Conditions were tough, with a gusty wind mixing things up. Kenneally held his lead around the windward mark just in front of BSC’s Fionn Lyden MBSC’s Chris Bateman. But things were not all as they seemed and the ace Finn sailor (Lyden) sailed past Kenneally using his downwind skills. The breeze was increasing slowly as they sailed downwind. Bateman chose the opposite side of the course and managed to round the leeward mark just ahead of Lyden and Kenneally. Paths were chosen carefully as the competitors travelled upwind, working through the shifty wind. All remained vigilant and two rounds later, your correspondent took first place. Taking the second position was Lyden, with Kenneally following just behind in third.

In the Radial category, MBSC’s Harry Pritchard took first place, with MBSC’s Philip Doherty following up in second place.

Race two began with much more wind. There was now a steady 13-knot wind gusting up over 16 knots. The high tide was still weak and the competitors had no trouble beating up to the mark. Pulling away into the lead was Sunday’s Well sailor Paul O’Sullivan, followed by radial sailor Philip Doherty in second. The top mark was seeing heavy wind and a wild gust caught out O’Sullivan, as he spun into an almost-saved death roll. This capsize let Doherty pull into the lead, with Bateman just behind. Doherty blasted away from the fleet in the high wind and rounded the leeward mark in first. As they continued on the upwind leg, Doherty’s radial rig lacked the extra ‘grunt’ in the lulls, allowing your correspondent to sail through in the full rig. The last downwind leg saw Fionn Lyden sail through the radial sailor, followed up by MBSC’s Alex Barry. Taking first place was Bateman and in second place was Lyden. Light-weight sailor Alex Barry managed the heavy weather well and took third place.

In the Radial category, MBSC’s Phil Doherty showed heavy weather speed and took a comfortable first place. MBSC’s Harry Pritchard followed up in second, having struggled in the big breeze.

The wind had piped up for race three, the last race of the day. A strong, gusty wind blew across the land from the west. These are tricky conditions at best, with rogue wind shifts threatening to capsize the laser dinghies. The competitors set off and immediately started to work their boats to maximum speed. Leading around the windward mark was O’Sullivan, with Kenneally in second. A heavy gust of over 22 knots let Kenneally sail through O’ Sullivan. As the competitors planed towards the leeward mark, the wind was gusting over 25 knots. Your correspondent sailed around the leeward mark just ahead of Kenneally, with Lyden closing in. The wind whipped across the water, making the windward mark rounding a task. Lyden and Kenneally battled it out, with Kenneally sailing over the top of Lyden. The heavy wind was of no moment to the fleet as they all blasted downwind to the finish line. Taking first place was your correspondent. In second position was Kenneally, with Lyden sailing through into third. 

In the Radial fleet, Heavy weather specialist Phil Doherty took another win. Harry Pritchard finished up in second place.

So, a great end to what was an epic morning on the water. The sailors headed for shore, whipped with wind and spray. Warmth and rest awaited on shore, all the that was needed to relax after a hard morning’s sailing. 

Join us next week on the water, where the stellar race committee and mark layers will make sure you get the most out of your Saturday morning, and will never disappoint!

Published in Laser

On Saturday 25th of January, the Monkstown Bay Laser Frostbite league rolled around for day two of the month-long Cork Harbour series.

A mixed bag of weather conditions was in store for the competitors, with a dull sky and black clouds dampening the mood. The air was warmer than usual, so comfort levels were at their peak. A south-westerly breeze was blowing up around 9-12 knots. The Sandquay was busy, as a record number of sailors had arrived to enjoy the morning’s racing. 

MBSC Laser 2Richie Harrington (left) Chris Bateman (Right) Fighting for lead Photo: Ali Harvey

The start was due for 10:10 am, so Race Officer Alan Fehily and his crew were seen setting up a course in the early hours. The fleet launched with time to spare and could be seen sailing out into the channel under a heavy flood tide. A windward/leeward course was set opposite Alta Terrace. 

The 3-minute gun went off at exactly the scheduled time. The record-sized fleet of sixteen boats lined up on the start line, jousting for position. The competitors could be seen trying to stay below the line, with a very strong flood tide dragging them over early. One general recall later and the first race of the day was underway.

Laser dinghy Cork HarbourFionn Lyden (left) Chris Bateman (right) fighting for lead Photo: Ali Harvey

As the fleet converged at the top mark, it became apparent how much the tide was affecting the race. A perfect path had to be chosen, with most sailors heading to the left side of the course just outside the shipping channel. MBSC’s Brendan Dwyer took an early lead and extended that lead throughout the race. Challenging for second and third were Monkstown’s Chris Bateman and Fionn Lyden from Baltimore sailing club. Dwyer held them off until the third and final lap, where your correspondent managed to slip into first place, with Lyden in second. RCYC’s Johnny Durcan followed in third place. As the race carried on, Lyden sailed past Bateman on the downwind to finish in first place. Your correspondent took second position, with Durcan making up third.

In the radial fleet, MBSC’s Harry Pritchard took first place, with RCYC’s Michael Crosbie in second and MBSC’s Philip Doherty in third.

Race two began with the same strong tide but with a little less wind. The fleet was close as they made their way up the first beat, beginning the three-lap race. Tactics downwind were crucial, as the tide was head-on. Your correspondent took the lead early on, with Durcan following and MBSC’s Ronan Kenneally right behind. The sun had come out and the water was a clear blue. Bateman gybed away from the fleet onto the shoreline, while Durcan elected to stay out in the tide, but with more wind. By the end of the race, Bateman finished out in front with Durcan in second place. Kenneally finished in third position.

Laser dinghy Cork harbour2Bateman in lead, Durcan in second place Photo: Ali Harvey

In the Radial category, it was Pritchard taking first place, with Crosbie and Doherty following up in second and third. 

Race three began with MBSC’s Richie Harrington taking an early lead. Following in second place was your correspondent, with Durcan in third place. Harrington increased his lead throughout the race, in the light and tricky conditions. Brendan Dwyer sailed through on the last downwind, passing out Durcan and Bateman, but could not hold Durcan with his new-school tacking manoeuvres. Meanwhile, Harrington sailed across the line in first place with a comfortable lead. Durcan sailed into second, with your correspondent making up third place.

A tough morning’s racing was enough to finish off the competitors, and the laser dinghies were put to bed, to be woken again next Saturday.

Published in Laser

The Port of Cork has reported that the combined total traffic through both the Port of Cork and Bantry Bay Port Company took a dip of 5% from 10.6 million tonnes, to just over 10 million tonnes in 2019. The cause for this minor decline is attributed to less volumes of dry bulk cargo through the port. Overall total imports decreased by 7% while exports decreased by 3%.

A key area, particularly for the Port of Cork as they look to complete and open Cork Container Terminal in 2020, was the continued increase in container or LoLo traffic in 2019. Over 240,000 TEUS were handled in 2019, a 5% increase on the previous year.

Brendan Keating, Port of Cork Chief Executive said: ‘2020 will be a significant year for the Port of Cork as we prepare to complete and open the €86 million Cork Container Terminal development in Ringaskiddy, so seeing continued growth in container volumes through both Tivoli and Ringaskiddy is very encouraging.’

"2020 will be a significant year for the Port of Cork as we prepare to complete and open the €86 million Cork Container Terminal development in Ringaskiddy"

He continued: ‘Once operational the new terminal will enable the port to handle up to 450,000 TEU per annum. We already possess significant natural depth in Cork harbour, and our work in Ringaskiddy Port will enable us to accommodate vessels of 5500 to 6000 TEU, which will provide us with a great deal of additional potential for increasing container traffic.’

In 2019 oil traffic handled through Whitegate Oil Refinery owned by Canadian company Irving Oil, saw a decrease of 9% partially due to a planned maintenance shut down in August.

In 2019 the Port of Cork handled 100 cruise liners bringing over 243,000 passengers and crew to the region, while Bantry Bay Port Company welcomed 10 cruise liners to the harbour town. In 2020 a record 102 cruise ships are scheduled to call between March and December.

The Port of Cork jointly with Lanber Holdings purchased Marino Point in 2017 and following consultation with Belvelly Marino Development Company, stakeholders, residents and a design team, the Belvelly Port Facility Masterplan was developed. The masterplan sets out the strategic approach of Belvelly Marino Development Company and is a guide to the future development of Belvelly Port Facility. It is envisaged that Marino Point will be developed to accommodate a range of industrial and port related activities and could become a dynamic industrial hub for the area, thus creating employment.

Brendan Keating said: ‘As part of the Project Ireland 2040 National Planning Framework, one of the key future growth enablers for Cork is to deliver large scale regeneration projects for the provision of new employment and supporting infrastructure in Cork Docklands, as integrated, sustainable developments, including relocation of sites from the City Docks. Belvelly Port Facility has been identified to enable this type of growth.’

Published in Port of Cork
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Saturday, January 18th marked the first day of the 2020 Monkstown Laser Frostbite League, with a fleet of Laser sailors gathering to race on the waters of Cork Harbour.

A misty-eyed winters morning dawned. The sun shone low in a clear blue sky and a low haze sat on the crystal water of Monkstown Bay. A light, northeasterly wind blew at a steady five knots across the harbour.

The Cork sailors arrived to an icy scene with a light film of frost covering the Sandquay. With onlookers watching incredulously, the Frostbite League veterans rigged their Lasers in sub-zero temperatures, to prepare for the morning’s racing. The ‘newboys’ tiptoed around, avoiding the frost and wondering “why does anybody bother?”
Once the painfully cold spars had been put in place, spirits were higher. The sun was warm and one by one the competitors launched their dinghies.

Race Officer Alan Fehily set off in good time, to set a short windward/leeward course on the western side of Monkstown marina. A start line was set opposite Alta Terrace, at the mouth of the creek. Right on schedule, the start gun was set off at 10:10 am.

Laser monkstown bayA race start for the Laser fleet of Monkstown Bay

Each year the Frostbite fleet increases. This year thirteen lasers lined up on the start line for day one of the series. As usual, the Monkstown Frostbite league competition is high, attracting sailors from all kinds of classes. These include Dave Kenefick, Fionn Lyden, Ronan Kenneally and other sailors from 505’s, National 18’s, 49ers, catamarans, International 14’s, and even the odd windsurfer.

Laser dinghy racingChris Bateman (18834) on starboard tack is crossed by Nick Walsh (213040)

Race one kicked off, with MBSC sailor Ronan Kenneally taking an early lead in the light, shifty conditions. Well known ace RCYC laser sailor Nick Walsh was hot on his heels. Your correspondent (Passage West local) hung on in third place for the majority of the race.
A strong flood tide made the racing tricky and in the end, Kenneally took a comfortable first place in race one. In second place was Bateman, just ahead of Walsh.

In the Radial category, Harry Pritchard took first place. In second place was Philip Doherty.

Race two began with a stronger tide, and picking a path through the correct tidelines was key. Leading early was Bateman, followed by MBSC’s Richie Harrington. In hot pursuit was Dave Kenefick. They held these positions for the race, although the separation gradually increased. Taking the first position was your correspondent, with Harrington in second and Kenefick in third.

In the radial category, Harry Pritchard won just ahead of RCYC’s Michael Crosbie. In third place was Philip Doherty, mixing it in with the standard rigs.

Race three was underway as soon as possible, after a wind shift forced the committee to move the course slightly, and quickly. As the fleet moved towards the windward mark, Kenneally and Bateman popped out in front, to begin a race-long battle. In third was Sunday’s Well sailor Paul O’ Sullivan. The race went on, with an inch to spare between Kenneally and your correspondent. But taking the win for the last race of the day was MBSC’s, Ronan Kenneally. Bateman finished just behind, with O’ Sullivan making up third.

In the Radial fleet, Pritchard finished ahead of Crosbie and Doherty to take the win.

With these short and snappy races finished, the competitors headed ashore to enjoy the warmth and comfort of heaters, fires, and food. A fantastic end to the first day of Cork Harbour’s most exciting Laser league

MBSC Laser resultsMBSC Laser results after three races

Published in Laser
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The number of racing yachts increased last year at the Royal Cork Yacht Club, which is being described as a sign of “the rise once more of Irish keelboat sailing.”

The members of the club will be told about encouraging developments in cruiser racing at their annual general meeting on Monday night.

This will be the 299th AGM of the club, leading into its Tricentennial Year.

The Under 25 Academy which was started at the club has proved successful and is being followed by a Junior Sailing Academy.

The incoming Admiral, Colin Morehead, who will be elected at the meeting says that the future is bright for sailing.

More on the podcast below.

Published in Tom MacSweeney

Monkstown Bay Sailing Club in Cork Harbour finally got their sixth annual Raft Race underway this morning, it having been cancelled due to weather on 26th December writes Bob Bateman

Fundraising for Pieta House, the charity that offers free support for those in suicidal distress or engaging in self-harm, competitors took to the water with all the fun and excitement that goes with raft racing.

Monkstown Bay Raft Race(Front Row) Alex Barry, Ken Murphy, Brian Dinneen. (Back Row) Aine Bogue, Conor O’Keeffe, (aiming to raise €100,00 for Pieta House by running 32 Marathons in 32 days) Nin O’Leary, Jenny Meade, Shane Kennedy

This was the sixth running of the event and this year funds raised were added to the pot for Conor O’Keeffe’s attempt at raising €100,000 for Pieta House by running 32 Marathons in as many days.

Photo gallery By Bob Bateman

 1120937The starting crews at MBSC

 1120944A Le Mans-style start

 1120955There were some late starters...

 1120980 1The Winning Team in the annual Monkstown Bay Sailing Club Raft Race. The team consisted of Alex Barry, John Downey, Steve Higgins, Sandy Rimmington and Aine Bogue

Competitors gave it their allCompetitors gave it their all

 1120996Sandy Rimmington and Alex Barry ensured that Nin O'Leary did not finish without a ducking in chilly Cork Harbour

Dave Kenefick on rescue boat duty keeps a watchful eye on this capsized craftDave Kenefick on rescue boat duty keeps a watchful eye on this capsized craft

Raft RaceRaft Racecraft were all shapes and sizes

Published in Cork Harbour

With the competitive season now finished on the South Coast, attention turns to club activities ashore which will include annual general meetings and reviews of how the past season went and prospects for the year ahead.

Without a doubt the dominant part of 2020 will be the Tricentenary of the Royal Cork Yacht Club, but across Cork Harbour from that club at Crosshaven there is good news from Cobh, where the Royal Cork was once based before amalgamating with the Royal Munster and moving to Crosshaven.

The RCYC History notes: “By the 1960s changing economic and social patterns made Cobh less and less attractive as a base for the club. In 1966 the Royal Cork and the Royal Munster Yacht Clubs agreed to merge and the Royal Cork moved to its present premises in Crosshaven assuming the title The Royal Cork Yacht Club, incorporating the Royal Munster Yacht Club.”

Last year there were some difficult club movements in Cobh when a new club was formed - the Great Island Sailing Club. That was stated by its proponents to ensure the continuance of sailing at Cobh and that followed difficulties which arose in Cove Sailing Club as it attempted to build a marina at Whitepoint.

New Marina under construction

This year Cove Sailing Club reached and celebrated its centenary and signed the contract for a 30-berth marina at Whitepoint. That has been under construction across the river at Ringaskiddy, with completion and installation targeted for “well in advance of the 2020 season,” according to the club, whose Commodore, Kieran Dorgan, said it will provide “state-of-the-art facilities all-year-round and will accommodate both locals and visitors.”

The two clubs, Great Island and Cove have been discussing joining together again, according to my information and agreement has been reached so that a formal announcement is expected. Despite differences, close contact was maintained between the clubs, “in the best interests of sailing.” Johanna Murphy, who became Commodore of Great Island, also became the first lady elected Commodore of the South Coast Offshore Association where she has led a number of developments to bring clubs closer together.

SCORA is finalising an extensive programme for 2020 which, as well as racing, will include events to develop the social side of the sport, following the success of the Cobh-Blackrock Race, one of the highlights of the season on Leeside.

Dragons at Kinsale

Amongst the positive news from club reviews is that the Dragon Class at Kinsale Yacht Club had “a fantastic sailing season” according to its annual report, with the addition of two more boats to the fleet - TBD – James Matthews, Dave Good and Fergal O’Hanlon is one and the other is Scarlet Ribbons – Thomas O’Brien, Donal Small and Conor Hemlock. This brings the KYC club fleet to 7 and “there is talk of additional numbers joining the fleet next year,” according to the Class Committee.

The project is being completed with the support of Cork County Council, a Sports Capital programme grant, Port of Cork and SECAD. The selected contractor, Orsta Marina Systems Nederland BV, specialises in the design, supply and installation of floating breakwaters and pontoons for berthing of leisure and commercial vessels.

Listen to the Podcast here discussing the growth of interest in sailing.

Published in Cork Harbour
Tagged under

There’s boats. There’s great boats. And then there’s Imp. Our story at the weekend about how George Radley of Great Island and Cobh in Cork Harbour was bringing home his fabulous 1976 Ron Holland-designed 40-footer has drawn a global response and a cascade of special memories (including these photos by Ray Hoare) from a very eclectic collection of people whose lives have been touched at some time by a this boat which – 43 years ago - so perfectly captured the zeitgeist, and in so doing introduced a new type of boat not just to Ron Holland’s already very considerable body of work, but to everyone’s thinking

Imp is now safely back in the Radley boatyard at Rossleague on the north shore of Great Island a little piece of island coastline with highly individualistic innovators. Frank Hederman of the renowned Belvelly Smokehouse is along to the westward, while secluded down the way to the east is Frank Kowalski of Safehaven Marine, creator of some of the most fantastic fast powerboats ever seen in Ireland.

irish mist two2.jpgA hugely successful Ron Holland design of 1974, Archie O’Leary’s 40ft Irish Mist II - which was built in Cork by George and Killian Bushe - had a classic pintail stern. Photo: Ray Hoare
The whole place fairly crackles with ideas and innovation, but the idea of having Imp back in pristine order in time for the Royal Cork Tricentenary is something which can be shared by off-the-wall thinkers and conservation-minded historians with equal enthusiasm.

Her first owner Dave Allen of San Francisco was already in the limelight for his very purposeful Gary Mull-designed Improbable, which was so fast off the wind that few people saw her – she was already gone.

yacht improbable3Dave Allen’s previous boat, the Gary Mull-designed Improbable, was a flying machine offwind with a ginormous tiller to control her, but not so good at the uphill stuff
But he wanted a boat which provided better upwind performance too, while avoiding the narrow-sterned IOR boats which were dominating the scene at the time. So Ron Holland produced the design (despite being decidedly over-worked at the time) and Gary Carlin built her in Florida around an alloy tubing structure which was so effective that it was said the hyper-light glassfibre hull “was only there to keep the water out…..”

Her string of main successes we’ve already listed, but it’s the fond and favourable emotions which the very mention of Imp has evoked which have been truly startling. For sure, there’s boats. There’s great boats. And then there’s Imp.

IMP SpinnakerA flying machine on every point of sailing - Imp makes her debut in the Miami-Nassau Race 1977

Published in Cork Harbour

The 19th AGM of SCORA, the south coast racing association, was held on Tuesday at the Royal Cork Yacht Club Crossshaven writes Bob Bateman

The well-attended meeting included representatives of all the Cork harbour clubs in addition to Kinsale, Waterford and Schull.

SCORA Commodore Johanna Murphy reported on a successful sailing season particularly with the introduction of the combined Cork harbour club leagues, together with the successful reintroduction of additional offshore races.

Scora prizegivingA great turnout for the SCORA prizegiving at Royal Cork Yacht Club

A discussion on handicaps and the new club class bands concluded that the system appeared to be working well, and it was agreed to reform the south coast handicap review committee.

A slide show of the season's action on the water was provided for members and fourteen of the overall league winners were presented with framed photographs taken during the 2019 events.

See prizegiving photo gallery below by Bob Bateman

Cathal Condon receives prize on behalf of Bad Company Desmond Ivers DeasyCathal Condon receives the prize on behalf of Bad Company (Desmond, Ivers and Deasy) from SCORA Commodore Johanna Murphy

David Marchant FlyoverDavid Marchant of Waterford Harbour Sailing Club, Flyover

Denis Byrne CrackerDenis Byrne, Cracker

Denis Ellis Mazu etcDenis Ellis, Mazu

Denis Murphy NieulargoDenis Murphy, Nieulargo

Finbar ORegan Artful DodgerFinbar O'Regan, Artful Dodger

Ian Heffernan IndulgenceAidan Heffernan, Indulgence

John Murphy EsmeJohn Murphy, Esme

Kieran Dorgan No Half MeasuresKieran Dorgan, No Half Measures

Kieran OBrien Magnet With SCORA Commodore Johanna MurphyKieran O'Brien, Magnet

Mary JonesJelly BabyMary Jones, Jelly Baby

David O'Sullivan who received prize on behalf of Tom RocheDavid O'Sullivan who received the prize on behalf of Tom Roche, Meridian

Published in Cork Harbour
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The Royal Cork Yacht Club, the oldest yacht club in the world, today launched its online entry system for the prestigious Volvo Cork Week 2020 regatta which will see hundreds of boats and thousands of yachtsmen and women from around the globe compete on the waters around Cork Harbour from July 13th – 17th.

The world-renowned biennial regatta, first held in 1978, is expected to attract a bumper fleet of entries and will this year incorporate the Irish Cruiser Racing Association National Championships, 1720 European Championships, the Beaufort Cup, a Classic Yacht regatta and the southern championships for the International Dragon Class.

All qualifying boats entered in Volvo Cork Week 2020 will automatically be entered into the ICRA National Championships, the pinnacle of the Irish inshore cruiser racing calendar which will see the Irish National Champion declared.

Volvo Cork Week has historically been regarded as a ‘must-do’ regatta on the international sailing calendar due to its unparalleled reputation for exhilarating competitive racing over a variety of race courses in fair sailing waters and its incredible line-up of post-racing off the water entertainment and social activity.

mariette corkMariette will attend Cork300 celebrations this July Photo: Bob Bateman

This year’s Volvo Cork Week has extra special significance as it forms a key part of the Royal Cork Yacht Club’s historic ‘Cork300’ celebrations marking what is the oldest yacht club in the world’s tricentenary.

Volvo Cork Week Director of Racing, Rosscoe Deasy said: "I look forward to welcoming sailors from around the world to Cork Harbour in 2020 in celebration of the Royal Cork Yacht Club's tri-centennial year. We have a packed schedule and the season's centrepiece will be the renowned Volvo Cork Week in July. Notably, the 2020 regatta will also include championship events such as the IRC Europeans, the ICRA Nationals, the 1720 Europeans and the Beaufort Cup.

1720 racing cork week1720 Euoprean racing will be staged as part of Cork Week Photo: Bob Bateman

“Since 1978, every Cork Week has delivered a unique mix of top-notch competition afloat & top-class entertainment ashore, and next year will be no different. In fact, judging by the interest received and the stories of glory days already being retold, Volvo Cork Week 2020 will set a new standard on both counts. This event has been 300 years in the making, no sailor should miss it.”

Richard Colwell, Commodore of the Irish Cruising Racing Association said, “The ICRA is delighted to be partnering with the Royal Cork Yacht Club to hold the Irish Cruiser Racing National Championships as an integral part of Volvo Cork Week 2020. We encourage all of the cruiser racing fraternity in Ireland to travel and take part in what promises to be an exciting and competitive event, as part of Royal Cork’s broader Tricentenary celebrations. With visitors from countries all over Europe, it is important that Irish Cruiser Racing shows the strength that we have across all classes from White Sails to Cruiser 0 at the National Championships and so contribute to the competitive racing expected.”

A bumper fleet of more than 50 yachts from Ireland, UK, Netherlands, Spain and elsewhere around Europe is expected to compete in the 1720 Sports Boat European Championships as part of Volvo Cork Week 2020. The race committee is particularly pleased to host this European Championship event due in part to the fact that the original idea for the 1720 was conceived by a group of committed racing members of the Royal Cork Yacht Club. This distinctive class of boat also took its name from the year in which the club was founded.

Beaufort Cup racing for Military and rescue teams as part of Cork Week 300 celebrations Photo: Bob BatemanBeaufort Cup racing for Military and rescue teams as part of Cork Week 300 celebrations Photo: Bob Bateman

The third edition of the Beaufort Cup, the prestigious international inter-services sailing regatta, will also be hosted by the Royal Cork Yacht Club with the support of the Irish Defence Forces, during Volvo Cork Week. A specially commissioned perpetual trophy in honour of Sir Francis Beaufort, creator of the Beaufort Scale, will be presented to the overall winner of the regatta which will entail a mix of challenging offshore and tactical inshore racing, including an overnight race around the iconic Fastnet Rock and back to Cork. International teams from their associated national emergency services are invited to compete in this prestigious competition, with the proviso that 50% of each team must be active in the service they represent.
Volvo Cork Week will also host a dedicated Classic Yacht Regatta for the first time in 2020. Classic Yachts from around the globe will sail to Cork to celebrate ‘Where It All Began’ and partake in three days of racing in and outside Cork Harbour. This event will also provide a fantastic viewing spectacle for shoreline onlookers.

Ross DeasyRoss Deasy, Cork Week Regatta Organiser

In addition to this, the International Dragon Class will return to Volvo Cork Week in 2020 following their very successful outing in 2018, to hold their Southern Championships in Cork.
Royal Cork Yacht Club is also delighted to host the recently announced 2020 IRC European Championships, organised by the Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC), during Volvo Cork Week 2020. The Notice of Race and online entry for this much anticipated standalone event offering a varied race programme, with a mixed range of courses set in and around Cork Harbour, is expected to be available shortly.

As always, the atmosphere in Crosshaven, home of the Royal Cork Yacht Club, will be second to none both during and ahead of Volvo Cork Week 2020, with a series of national and international races to Cork taking place in the run up to the five-day regatta.

These include the highly prestigious Morgan Cup race - organised by the Royal Ocean Racing Club since 1958 - which will cross the Celtic Sea to Cork for the first time ever with the support of the Royal Yacht Squadron and the Royal Cork Yacht Club. This 324nm race will carry an attractive points-weighting for the 2020 RORC Season Points Championship and is expected to attract a substantial fleet. The line honours winner for this race will be the first recipient of a specially commissioned perpetual trophy graciously donated to the Royal Cork Yacht Club by His Royal Highness, the Prince of Wales, to honour the club’s tricentenary and the close relationship between the United Kingdom, Ireland and its sailing communities.

morehead monaco farnon6Vice-Admiral of the Royal Cork Yacht Club and Cork300 Chairman, Colin Morehead (left) with His Serene Highness Albert II, Sovereign Prince of Monaco (centre) and Royal Cork Admiral Pat Farnan

Meanwhile, the historic Kingstown to Queenstown feeder race from Dun Laoghaire to Cobh will take place on July 9th, enhancing the build-up to Volvo Cork Week 2020 with a re-enactment of what is acknowledged as the first-ever offshore race to take place in the British Isles, in 1860.

A competitive fleet will also set sail on an 800nm race from Heligoland, Germany, to Cork, Ireland, on July 4th competing for the Robbe and Berking German Offshore Trophy, arriving ahead in Ireland of the historic Volvo Cork Week 2020.

Vice-Admiral of the Royal Cork Yacht Club and Cork300 Chairman, Colin Morehead, said: “The biennial Cork Week regatta has seen many friendships and memories created since it was first held in 1978. I would encourage everyone to return to Cork Harbour next year and join us in celebrating Where It All Began by participating in Volvo Cork Week 2020 and help restore its status as Europe’s largest fun regatta.

Online entry to Volvo Cork Week 2020 opens here from 10:00hrs Thursday 28th November.

Published in Cork Harbour
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The Rolex Fastnet Race - This biennial offshore pilgrimage attracts crews from all walks of life:- from aspiring sailors to professional crews; all ages and all professions. Some are racing for charity, others for a personal challenge. For the world's top professional sailors, it is a 'must-do' race. For some, it will be their first-ever race, and for others, something they have competed in for over 50 years! The race attracts the most diverse fleet of yachts, from beautiful classic yachts to some of the fastest racing machines on the planet – and everything in between.  The testing course passes eight famous landmarks along the route: The Needles, Portland Bill, Start Point, the Lizard, Land’s End, the Fastnet Rock, Bishop’s Rock off the Scillies and Plymouth breakwater (now Cherbourg for 2021 and 2023). After the start in Cowes, the fleet heads westward down The Solent, before exiting into the English Channel at Hurst Castle. The finish is in Plymouth, Devon via the Fastnet Rock, off the southern tip of Ireland

  • The leg across the Celtic Sea to (and from) the Fastnet Rock is known to be unpredictable and challenging. The competitors are exposed to fast-moving Atlantic weather systems and the fleet often encounter tough conditions
  • Flawless decision-making, determination and total commitment are the essential requirements. Crews have to manage and anticipate the changing tidal and meteorological conditions imposed by the complex course
  • The symbol of the race is the Fastnet Rock, located off the southern coast of Ireland. Also known as the Teardrop of Ireland, the Rock marks an evocative turning point in the challenging race
  • Once sailors reach the Fastnet Rock, they are well over halfway to the finish in Plymouth. The lighthouse first shone its light on New Year’s Day in 1854
  • Fastnet Rock originally had six keepers (now unmanned), with four on the rock at a time with the other two on leave. Each man did four weeks on, two weeks off

At A Glance – Fastnet Race

  • The world's largest offshore yacht race
  • The biennial race is 605 nautical miles - Cowes, Fastnet Rock, Plymouth
  • A fleet of over 400 yachts regularly will take part
  • The international fleet is made up of over 26 countries
  • Multihull course record: 1 day, 8 hours, 48 minutes (2011, Banque Populaire V)
  • Monohull course record: 1 day, 18 hours, 39 minutes (2011, Volvo 70, Abu Dhabi)
  • Largest IRC Rated boat is the 100ft (30.48m) Scallywag 100 (HKG)
  • Some of the Smallest boats in the fleet are 30 footers
  • Rolex SA has been a longstanding sponsor of the race since 2001
  • The first race was in 1925 with 7 boats. The Royal Ocean Racing Club was set up as a result

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