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An historic West Cork lifeboat station is set to officially name a new Shannon class lifeboat 'Val Adnams' during a ceremony at 1:45 pm on Saturday, September 9. The guest of honour on the day will be Val Adnams herself, who is travelling all the way from America for the event. Val is the main donor for the new Shannon lifeboat, which will be named in her honour. The Courtmacsherry RNLI is home to the new lifeboat and is one of the oldest stations in the Institution. 

Val Adnams is a lifelong supporter of the RNLI and an avid sailor and sportsperson. She grew up in Preston and Weymouth and developed a deep respect and admiration for the RNLI as she witnessed the callouts of the local Weymouth Lifeboat, which went to the help of others in distress at sea. Val moved to Washington DC when she was 23 and worked on Capitol Hill for some years before meeting her partner Ed and settling in Idaho. 

Val will be accompanied by members of her family for this special occasion. The lifeboat was also partly funded by generous legacies from Mrs. Sylvia Anne Walker and Mrs Petrina Johnson. A plaque recording these bequests has already been mounted inside the lifeboat.

The Shannon class lifeboat is named after an Irish river in recognition of the service of the Irish lifeboat crews down through the years. This is the first RNLI lifeboat to be named after an Irish river. The arrival of the new lifeboat marks the beginning of a new chapter, as it is the eleventh lifeboat to be stationed in Courtmacsherry since the arrival of “The Plenty” in 1825. The lifeboat is jet-driven, which provides it with increased manoeuvrability.

Brian O'Dwyer, Courtmacsherry RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager, expressed his excitement ahead of the lifeboat naming ceremony. He said, "We are looking forward to welcoming Val and her family to this beautiful part of the world and to the start of a lifelong friendship. We would also like to acknowledge the generous legacies of Mrs. Sylvia Anne Walker and Mrs. Petrina Johnson, who contributed to the funding of our new lifeboat. We, and the lifeboat volunteers who follow, will be the proud custodians of this Shannon class lifeboat. This lifeboat will save many lives in the years ahead and bring our crews safely home."

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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A yacht that got into difficulty during Storm Betty was rescued by the West Cork Castletownbere RNLI lifeboat on Saturday morning.

The sailors had been anchored off Dromquinna on the Kenmare Peninsula, but as the storm worsened, the vessel dragged anchor and became stuck on a rock.

The sailors raised the alarm with the Irish Coast Guard's Marine Research Coordination Centre in Valentia, requesting immediate assistance.

The Castletownbere RNLI lifeboat, ‘Annette Hutton’, was launched at 03:22 and faced a three-hour trip to Dromquinna.

The yacht was located on a rock south of Dromquinna but, with the rising tide, volunteer lifeboat crew were able to attach a tow rope and pull the vessel clear. The yacht was undamaged and both sailors were found to be safe and well. It was then decided to tow the yacht to Castletownbere. The tow is currently in progress and the lifeboat and yacht are expected in port at 14:00.The yacht was located on a rock south of Dromquinna but, with the rising tide, volunteer lifeboat crew were able to attach a tow rope and pull the vessel clear. The yacht was undamaged and both sailors were found to be safe and well. It was then decided to tow the yacht to Castletownbere. The tow is currently in progress and the lifeboat and yacht are expected in port at 14:00

Despite driving rain, strong winds and a large sea swell, the crew managed to locate the yacht on a rock south of Dromquinna and attach a tow rope before pulling it clear.

The yacht was undamaged, and both sailors were found to be safe and well. The tow to Castletownbere is expected to be completed by 14:00.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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The race around the Fastnet Rock is confirmed as Thursday's CD Environmental Calves Week fixture as the regatta passes its half stage.  

No wind and dense fog in West Cork greeted the 72-competing boats on Wednesday morning in Schull Harbour as sailors faced a three-hour postponement before race two got underway in a startline set outside the harbour. 

The Class Zero start of Calves Week race two on Wednesday with the fog still a major factor and visibility down to less than 100 metres Photo: John KellyThe Class Zero start of Calves Week race two on Wednesday with the fog still a major factor and visibility down to less than 100 metres Photo: John Kelly

The last of the seven fleets started at  3.45 pm and were still racing at 6.30 pm.

The course for classes Zero and One on day two of Calves Week 2023 off Schull Harbour in West Cork Photo: Maurice O'ConnellThe course for classes Zero and One on day two of Calves Week 2023 off Schull Harbour in West Cork Photo: Maurice O'Connell

Despite the tricky conditions, consistency is paying off overall, with the top of divisions IRC Zero, Two, Three and Four all led by double race winners.

See the provisional results below

A race win for John Treanor's J112E ValenTina gives the National Yacht Club crew the overall lead in IRC Zero from Norbert Reilly's J111 Ghost Raider of Howth Yacht Club. After two wins from two races sailed, the Dun Laoghaire yacht is now two points clear at the top of the Calves Week table. Third is Paul O'Higgin's JPK 10.80 Rockabill VI from the Royal Irish Yacht Club.

(Below) Mainsheet trimmer Adam Winkelmann, driver Nicole Hemeryck and Trimmer Evan O'Connor aboard the IRC Zero leader ValenTina (above) from the National Yacht Club Photos: Bob Bateman and Maurice O'Connell(Below) Mainsheet trimmer Adam Winkelmann, driver Nicole Hemeryck and Trimmer Evan O'Connor aboard the IRC Zero leader ValenTina (above) from the National Yacht Club Photos: Bob Bateman and Maurice O'Connell

(Below) Mainsheet trimmer Adam Winkelmann, driver Nicole Hemeryck and Trimmer Evan O'Connor aboard the IRC Zero leader ValenTina (above) from the National Yacht Club Photos: Bob Bateman and Maurice O'Connell

Leslie Parnell's First 34.7 Black Velvet from the Royal Irish Yacht Club continues to lead IRC One from race two winner and clubmate Bobby Kerr on the J109 Riders On The Storm.  Local Tony O'Brien in the J109 Tighey Boy lies third.

Calves Week IRC One leader - Leslie Parnell's First 34.7 Black Velvet from the Royal Irish Yacht Club Photo: Bob BatemanCalves Week IRC One leader - Leslie Parnell's First 34.7 Black Velvet from the Royal Irish Yacht Club Photo: Bob Bateman

Two wins from two races maintain David and James Dwyer's top form this season in IRC Two in Swuzzlebubble.

Calves Week IRC Two leader - David and James Dwyer's Half tonner Swuzzlebubble Photo: Bob BatemanCalves Week IRC Two leader - David and James Dwyer's Half tonner Swuzzlebubble Photo: Bob Bateman

The Royal Cork Half Tonner leads from fellow Half Tonner, Two Farr (Boardman/Kelly/O Leary), who shares the same six points as the Sunfast 32, Bad Company (Desmond/Ivers/Keane) from Royal Cork.

Half Tonner Two Farr (Boardman/Kelly/O Leary) Photo: Bob BatemanHalf Tonner Two Farr (Boardman/Kelly/O Leary) Photo: Bob Bateman

Calves Week 2023 IRC Three leader - Royal Cork's Fiona Young in the Albin Express, North Star Photo: Bob BatemanCalves Week 2023 IRC Three leader - Royal Cork's Fiona Young in the Albin Express, North Star Photo: Bob Bateman

In IRC Three, it's a similar scenario at the top of the scoreboard, with Royal Cork's Fiona Young counting two from two in the Albin Express, North Star. Club mates Colman Garvey and Keirin Kelleher are second in the Quarter Tonner, Diamond on four points. Third is Dave Doyle's, Muskateer on seven.

The Radley's Skipper 70 Pat Mustard stays top of IRC Four from Rob O'Reilly's BonJourno! Part Deux with Richard Hanley's Saoirse lying third.

Rob O'Reilly's BonJourno! Part Deux is lying second in Calves Week IRC Four Photo: Bob BatemanRob O'Reilly's BonJourno! Part Deux is lying second in Calves Week IRC Four Photo: Bob Bateman

Published in Calves Week
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The much-awaited CD Environmental-sponsored Calves Week Regatta 2023 is just around the corner, and with over 70 confirmed entries, the four-day series promises to be a thrilling event for sailing fans starting next Tuesday, August 8th.

The competition is split into seven fleets, and the top end of the entries is looking particularly competitive this year for the Schull Harbour Sailing Club event.

Sailing has suffered a bit of a weather battering over the past few weeks, with cancellations because of extreme conditions forced in many locations around the coast. So the Calves Week organisers will be hoping for different conditions when racing at the annual West Cork Regatta festival gets underway.

An Amendment to the Notice of Race has been issued by SHSC, which says: "The White Sail Class 1 will be scored under ECHO and IRC (for boats that hold a valid IRC Certificate), White Sail Class 2 will be scored under ECHO only."  

 The 2023 Calves Week 70-boat fleet will consist of seven classes: - Class 0, Class 1, Class 2, Class 3, Class 4, White Sail 1 & White Sail 2 Photo: Bob Bateman The 2023 Calves Week 70-boat fleet will consist of seven classes: - Class 0, Class 1, Class 2, Class 3, Class 4, White Sail 1 & White Sail 2 Photo: Bob Bateman

Registration will take place the previous afternoon at the Fastnet Marine and Outdoor Education Centre, which will also be the location for the Skippers’ Briefing at 9 a.m. on Tuesday morning prior to the start of racing.

 Frank Whelan’s canting-keel Elliott, 52 Opal from Greystones Harbour Frank Whelan’s canting-keel Elliott, 52 Opal from Greystones Harbour Photo: Bob Bateman

Johnny Treanor’s J112e Valentina from Dun Laoghaire Photo: Bob BatemanJohnny Treanor’s J112e Valentina from Dun Laoghaire Photo: Bob Bateman

Among the new visitors to West Cork are Norbert Reilly's J111 Ghost Raider from Howth, Johnny Treanor’s J112e Valentina from Dun Laoghaire, and Frank Whelan’s canting-keel Elliott, 52 Opal from Greystones Harbour.

Norbert Reilly's J111 Ghost Raider from HowthNorbert Reilly's J111 Ghost Raider from Howth Photo: Bob Bateman

Jelly Baby, a J 122, helmed by the Jones family, will be looking to take on the newcomers and fend off stiff competition from the two Royal Irish Yacht Club visitors, the JPK 10.80 Rockabill VI and the First 40 Prima Forte skippered by Patrick Burke.

Paul O'Higgins' JPK 10.80 Rockabill VI from Dun Laoghaire's Royal Irish Yacht Club Photo: AfloatPaul O'Higgins' JPK 10.80 Rockabill VI from Dun Laoghaire's Royal Irish Yacht Club Photo: Afloat

In the class 1 fleet, Leslie Parnell’s First 34.7 Black Velvet will hope to continue their successful outing in this event over the past seasons, but a fully crewed up J109 Tighey Boy with the help of some Australian crew will be hoping to spoil the party.

Schull Harbour J109 Tighey Boy Photo: Bob BatemanSchull Harbour J109 Tighey Boy Photo: Bob Bateman

The Collins family from Baltimore Sailing Club will be looking to retain their Class 3 trophy in their Dehler 34, but will face renewed competition in the ten-boat fleet, particularly from the Garvey/Kelleher sailed  Quarter Tonner, Diamond and Fiona and Nigel Young's Albin Express, North Star.

Patrick Collins's Dehler 34, Ealu from Baltimore Sailing Club Photo: Bob BatemanPatrick Collins's Dehler 34, Ealu from Baltimore Sailing Club Photo: Bob Bateman

In class 4, Rob O'Reilly of the host club, sailing his Dynamo 25 Bonjourno, will once again face serious competition from Richard Hanley’s GK 24 from Kinsale Yacht Club and a resurgent local Sadler 32 Raffles with the Kirby/Norris crew hoping to put last year’s disappointment behind them.

 Schull Harbour's Rob O'Reilly  will be sailing his Dynamo 25 Bonjourno Photo: Bob Bateman Schull Harbour's Rob O'Reilly  will be sailing his Dynamo 25 Bonjourno Photo: Bob Bateman

In a very competitive 13-boat White Sail class1 fleet, Kieran O'Brien’s MG 335 Magnet from the Royal Cork Yacht Club, will once again be locked in battle with fellow club member Prince of Tides, while in White Sail 2 Simon O'Keefe’s 1902 vintage Lady Min, could well be the dark horse in the twelve-boat fleet.

Kieran O'Brien’s MG 335 Magnet from the Royal Cork Yacht Club Photo: Bob BatemanKieran O'Brien’s MG 335 Magnet from the Royal Cork Yacht Club Photo: Bob Bateman

The CD Environmental sponsors reception will open Calves Week on August Monday, followed by four days of racing. Each night, participants can look forward to a presentation of prizes and live musical entertainment on Schull's Main Street.

The Calves Week 2023 schedule of races. The fleet will consist of seven classes: - Class 0, Class 1, Class 2, Class 3, Class 4, White Sail 1 & White Sail 2.The Calves Week 2023 schedule of races

Published in Calves Week
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Growler (G. Horgan) took home the trophy at the Schull Harbour Sailing Club's Summer cruiser league's Tadg Dwyer Trophy Race on Saturday.

Dave O’Brien’s Aphrodite came in second, while John McGowan’s Mackey G took third place.

This was the eighth race of the league, which has Barry Quinlan’s Capella in the overall lead with 20 points, followed by Tony O’Brien’s Tighey Boy with 30 points. Tadg Dwyer’s Brazen Huzie, with 33 points, comes in at third place.

The club is preparing for next week's CD Environmental-sponsored Calves Week Regatta, which should see 75 boats come to the line for West Cork's biggest sailing event.

Published in West Cork

Castletownbere lifeboat was dispatched to help a man whose speedboat was having difficulty off the West Cork coast this afternoon.

The Irish Coast Guard's Marine Research Coordination Centre in Valentia received reports that a 17' speedboat with one person aboard had become stuck on a rope and required 'immediate assistance'.

The RNLI lifeboat, 'Annette Hutton,' was tasked and launched within minutes under the command of Coxswain Marney O'Donoghue with volunteer crew Dave O'Donovan, Joe Cronin, John Paul Downey, and Donagh Murphy.

The speedboat was located shortly thereafter just off Dunboy Point within Berehaven Harbour.

The volunteer crew were able to release the pleasure craft by using a grappling hook and then cutting the snagged rope. The lifeboat then towed the vessel to safety and berthed it at Castletownbere Pier.

Coxswain O'Donoghue commented, "the boat was in an awkward location, making the rescue slightly more challenging, but the volunteer crew managed to release the boat with little effort."

The weather on the scene was described as having good visibility with Force 5/6 winds and a calm sea.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Baltimore RNLI responded to a distress call on Thursday, 27 July, to assist a 12m sailing yacht with engine failure near Baltimore Harbour, West Cork.

The volunteer lifeboat crew launched their inshore lifeboat at 7 pm after the Coast Guard requested their assistance.

The inshore lifeboat arrived at the vessel at 7.15 pm, and the crew decided to tow the yacht.

The inshore lifeboat, with the casualty vessel under tow, returned to Baltimore Harbour and arrived at 8.45 pm. There were four volunteer crew members onboard the lifeboat.

The conditions at sea were calm with a westerly force 3 wind, no sea swell and good visibility.

Pat O’Driscoll, Baltimore RNLI Volunteer Helm, advised the public to call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coast Guard in case of an emergency at sea.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Bere Island in West Cork has scheduled its annual regatta for August 8-13.

"Always popular and packed with fun, races, and games," say the organisers.

Bere Island has its own Watersports Club and sailing programme, which includes sail training weeks for adults and young sailors, which are ongoing at present and into early August.

Bere Island Water Sports Club supports its members to enjoy water-based activities around the shores.

Published in West Cork
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Castletownbere RNLI were launched last night just before midnight to assist a vessel taking water north of Dursey Island off the Beara peninsula in West Cork.

Castletownbere lifeboat volunteer crew were requested to launch by Valentia Coastguard Marine Coordination Centre at 23:47 last night to provide assistance to an 18-metre workboat which was taking water, and there was concern that the vessel could sink.

The lifeboat was launched within minutes under the command of Coxswain Marney O’Donoghue, mechanic Martin Cronin and crew John Paul Downey, Dave Fenton, Seamus Harrington, David O’Donovan and Sean Bawn O’Sullivan.

At 00:40 the lifeboat arrived on scene five miles North West of Dursey Island, and conditions were described as Force 4 North-westerly winds and a 1-2 metre swell. At this stage, the two crew on board had located the water leak's source and brought it under control using its own onboard water pump. However, as a precautionary measure, the lifeboat remained on standby in case assistance was needed. The lifeboat then proceeded to accompany the vessel to Castletownbere. The lifeboat was back on station and ready for service by 02.25.

Commenting on the callout Castletownbere RNLI Lifeboat Launching Authority, Felix O’Donoghue, stated: ‘Thankfully, the crew aboard the vessel were able to resolve the difficulty themselves. However, they made the correct decision in calling the lifeboat as a precaution.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

The three Mizen Peninsula Sailing Clubs have announced a new West Cork interclub race.

 "The 3 Sq Miles Cup" will see cruisers from Schull Harbour Sailing Club, Baltimore Sailing Club and Crookhaven Harbour Sailing Club race for a new trophy presented by Cape Clear Distillery.

The race will start in Roaring Water Bay, finishing at Cape Clear's North Harbour and will be followed by an onshore BBQ. 

"There is a great appetite to rebuild interclub racing in Carbery's Hundred Isles"

"There is a great appetite to rebuild interclub racing in Carbery's Hundred Isles," said Schull Harbour Commodore Mark Murphy. "Each of the three clubs in the area has strong junior sections, with active cruiser racing during summer. While it was a regular occurrence in years gone by, in recent years, racing with our friends around the bay has mostly died out.

Having such wonderful sailing waters to enjoy and the perfect halfway point in Cape Clear Island will be a great way to reintroduce a bit of friendly rivalry between the clubs." 

The first gun is at 13:00 on Saturday, 29th of July.

The 3 Sq Miles Cup

Published in West Cork
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Page 2 of 26

Wave Regatta provides Howth Yacht Club and the community on the Howth peninsula in County Dublin with a biennial keelboat racing event that aims to be the most attractive sailing event in Ireland.

Maximising many of the local natural resources and involving allied Howth businesses and services, it attracted competitors, visitors and others on its first staging in 2018 with a weekend-long spectacle establishing Howth as a destination of choice for sailors, visitors and allied marine tourism.

Read Afloat's preview and review of the first staging of Wave Regatta.

At A Glance - Wave Regatta 2024

Howth Yacht Club's 2022 WAVE Regatta will be sailed from May 24th to 26th 2024

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