Preserving traditional boats is very important, using them even more so and racing them a sight to behold writes Tom MacSweeney. All can be seen this weekend at Crosshaven in Cork Harbour where vintage boats of all types, shapes and sizes will gather for the annual Crosshaven Traditional Sail.
It begins this evening with the official opening at the Oar Bar in the village at 7.30 p.m. Boats will be at the Hugh Coveney Pier where Skippers will be briefed at 1230 on Saturday about the first race, scheduled to start at 2 pm off ‘the Grassy,’ traditional sail race starting point for generations of sailors.
There is another race scheduled for Sunday, again at 2 p.m., with a Parade of Sail afterwards.
What I particularly like about the traditional boat people is their ‘relaxed’ approach to sailing. They make it a strong social occasion when they gather. They are a magnificent sight racing in the harbour, boats of many kinds, and sails of several colours.
There will also be a ‘Pirates Trail’ and a ‘Seafood Trail’ to be followed.
“Our purpose is to make sailing enjoyable and show how valuable it is for our maritime heritage and culture not only to preserve the traditional boats, but to keep them in use. That’s the purpose of a boat, to use and enjoy it,” the organisers say. There will be prizes for the racing, for the best dressed boat, best dressed crew, oldest and youngest crew and the boat which travels further to reach Crosshaven.