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Displaying items by tag: Royal Cork Yacht Club

Despite a year of "cancellations and disappointments" there have been more people sailing this Summer in Cork Harbour, with families racing together, more young sailors taking to cruisers and a growth of interest in dinghy sailing.

That is the positive, optimistic view taken at the Royal Cork Yacht Club in Crosshaven where, though the Autumn Cruiser League Series has been stopped, there is still hope for the November/December Winter League, if restrictions allow.

Some owners have had their boats hauled, particularly from mooring, lest a total shutdown leave them stuck out there for the Winter. Others have taken the opportunity to haul and do some work on their craft with the intention of going back into the water should the Winter League go ahead.

It has been a tough season, a bad one in many aspects, with a severe 'hit' of cancellations of the planned celebrations of its 300-year history at the oldest yacht club in the world. However, the Rear Admiral in charge of keelboat racing at the RCYC sees "positives" for sailing and that is a view that is needed amidst the grim effects of the pandemic.

Hope is needed and Darragh Connolly brings a hopeful approach in my Podcast this week.

Darragh Connolly, Rear Admiral (Keelboats) of the Royal Cork Yacht Club Photo: Bob BatemanDarragh Connolly, Rear Admiral (Keelboats) of the Royal Cork Yacht Club Photo: Bob Bateman

Though having had to cancel the very popular Autumn October league series, there has been a degree of growth in the sport he says and he is hopeful this will continue into next year and 2022.

"Absolutely disappointed, for the sailors, for the clubs, but it was a decision we had no option about. Our year has been one of cancellation with so much disappointment, but we put a focus on club racing which became very important and we concentrated on that. While this has not been the year we planned for, there has been a good response from club members in coping with the restrictions and going sailing and that is a positive spirit.

"It has been a difficult year, but there have also been opportunities and a few positives. There have been more families sailing together and we have had good turn-outs in our whitesail racing. We've seen more young sailors coming into cruisers. We've had a positive response to dinghy sailing also in the club. There has been a resurgence in people using boats and it has been a good year for getting youth back on the water and that is needed for the sport.

"There are a number of good things in this really hard year that we can build on for next year and 2022 and can advance the sport. We are seeing a transition and we are seeing more interest in sailing."

Listen to Darragh Connolly on the Podcast below and Read also WMN Nixon's Ireland's Coronavirus Cancellations? Healthy Club Sailors Have Had To Accept It With Good Grace

Published in Cork Harbour
Tagged under

Royal Cork Yacht Club has cancelled its 50-boat AIB Autumn Series 2020 due to "Irish Sailing guidelines that stipulate that all local, regional and national events should cease under level 3 Covid-19 restrictions".

The Cork Harbour cruiser-racer league that enjoyed a buoyant start on September 27th, lost its second race due to gales last Saturday. 

Unfortunately, it marks yet another event cancellation for the Crosshaven club in this, its 300th anniversary year.

RCYC Rear Admiral Keelboats Daragh Connolly has told competitors the club aims to resume racing when the 'guidelines allow'.

Published in Cork Harbour

Sunday 9 am:  Racing today in Royal Cork's AIB Autumn Series in Cork Harbour has been abandoned. 'N' over 'A' was hoisted on the club flagpole this morning indicating the second day of the series has fallen to strong winds. As Afloat reported earlier (see below) the club waited until this morning before making the final call, "We wanted to give it every chance but the breeze now looks to be coming in at midday", said RCYC's Alex Barry.

Saturday: 6 pm Although the shadow of a gale warning hangs over the second day of racing in Sunday's AIB Autumn Series in Cork Harbour, the Royal Cork Yacht Club organisers say this evening they eye 'a window' of opportunity to race and won't make any call until tomorrow morning. 

The 1720s that raced separately for Munster Championships honours last weekend will join the Series tomorrow and further boost the 50-boat fleet for week two. The sportsboat class will start with Class 0 but have a separate set of results.

Forecasts show north-westerly gusts up to 45 mph at start time tomorrow morning.

The XC Weather forecast for CrosshavenThe XC Weather forecast for Crosshaven

Published in Royal Cork YC

Nick Walsh's Fifty Shades was the first to finish the National 18s River Race held last night at Royal Cork Yacht Club in Cork Harbour.

The Owenabue race marked the final race of the season for the dinghy class and there was an enthusiastic turnout of all but one of the (new) designs, giving an 11-boat fleet.

The weather threw in everything for the finale; evening sunshine, dark clouds, a shower, light winds and finally a shower that brought more breeze and a rainbow.

With the tide in but ebbing the course was a beat to a weather mark, a run downwind and then a right turn into the marina in front of the RCYC clubhouse, rounding a mark back out to continue the run to leeward mark.

National 18 dinghy River Race photo slideshow below

Published in National 18

In Royal Cork's September Saturday League for Toppers and Lasers, Cork Harbour youth sailors have enjoyed some great sailing conditions this autumn with eight races sailed so far for Laser Radials and 4.7s and six races for the Topper class.


After two discards, Michael Crosbie leads the Laser Radial by five points from Dorothy Matthews on 13.0 points. Third is Hugh Lynch on 26.0 points.


Max Tolan leads by five points after six races sailed from Julie O'Neill on 13 points with Craig O'Neill third on 18.

See results here and Bob Bateman's photo gallery below

Published in Royal Cork YC

After eight races sailed at Royal Cork Yacht Club, the host club's Alana Twomey continues to lead the club's Optimist Burns Trophy main fleet in Cork Harbour.

JP Curtin continues in second place in the 26-boat fleet, three points behind Twomey after two discards have been applied. 

Oisin Pierse is third but did not compete in either race seven or eight, so now trails 14 points behind Curtin.

As Afloat reported previously, RCYC's Burns Trophy is now in its 26th year and this year's edition has had ideal racing conditions so far. 

Two races, plus one for fun, is the format under the command of Race Officer Andrew Crosbie. 

Bob Bateman's photo gallery is below and results are here.

Optimist Burns Trophy Photo Gallery - September 26

Published in Optimist

A 40-boat cruiser-racer fleet, fine sailing breezes and autumn sunshine brought the AIB Autumn Series to life in Cork Harbour today. 

Royal Cork Yacht Club organisers staged two races on the first day of racing that continues for four more consecutive Sundays running until October 25th.

Race officer Barry Rose took charge of the Zeros, Ones and Twos assisted by Denis Kiely, Eoin Clayton, Roddy Hogan and Pauline McKechnie. Rose set two windward-leeward courses for today's racing outside of Cork Harbour.

RCYC Rear Admiral Darragh Connolly was the White Sails Race Officer with Siobhan Hoop and Dom Long assisting over today's round the cans course inside the harbour.

Next week the 1720 sportsboats (competing for Munster honours elsewhere in the harbour this weekend) will join the fray so RCYC's pre-event prediction that it will ultimately muster 50 boats proves accurate. 

Jump Juice in command in the first races of the RCYC Autumn LeagueJump Juice in command in the first races of the RCYC Autumn League Photo: Bob Bateman

Jump on Top in Zero 

Two firsts for the ex-Commodore's Cupper Jump Juice skippered by Maurice O'Connell on behalf of Conor Phelan puts the Ker 37 on top in four-boat IRC Spinnaker Zero division with 2020's top-performing Grand Soleil 40, Nieulargo (Denis Murphy and Annamarie Murphy) second and Wan Waterman's X37, Saxon Senator third.

AltairTight at the top: Kieran Dorgan's Altair (above) leads but is on the same points as Ronan Downing's Miss Whiplash (below) Photos: Bob Bateman

Miss Whiplash (Half Tonner) GBR5435R Ronan Downing 

First 36.7 Altair leads IRC Spinnaker One

Kieran Dorgan's Altair is back into Cork Harbour IRC Spinnaker One racing with a splash topping the scoresheet in the league's competitive IRC One eight-boat fleet. Altair missed the Cove Sailing Club Cobh to Blackrock Race earlier this month where she was a favourite but more than made up for it in today's performance. A win for the Cove Sailing Club First 36.7 in today's second race means she holds first overall but is on the same five points as Ronan Downing's Half-Tonner Miss Whiplash. Kieran Collins' Olsen 30, Coracle IV is one point behind in third place.

Mike McCann's potent Etchells 22 Don't Dilly DallyMike McCann's Etchells 22 Don't Dilly Dally Photo: Bob Bateman

Etchells 22 First in IRC Spinnaker Two

Two wins from two races mean Mike McCann's potent Etchells 22 Don't Dilly Dally tops IRC Two from Dave Lane's J24, YaGottaWanna on six points, the same as Richard Leonard's Bolero, Bandit in third place.

Racing continues next Sunday. 

Provisional results are here

AIB Autumn Series Day One Photos By Bob Bateman

Published in Cork Harbour

Perhaps the most accurate form guide to Sunday's first race of the Royal Cork Yacht Club's AIB Autumn League is the club's own Naval Race fixture last weekend that was raced over a coastal course for the combined Crosshaven fleet. 

The rebel county series takes on extra significance this Sunday in Cork Harbour for cruiser-racing fans due to the complete absence of Dublin Bay racing activity due to the COVID-19 Level Three shutdown in the capital.

RCYC is hoping for a 50-boat turnout but this opening weekend it may be shy of that total as the 1720s are racing separately. From an early entry list seen by Afloat, it looks like there will be two boats in Class Zero, seven in Spinnaker One, five in Spinnaker Two and up to 19 boats in the White Sail division, a similar turnout to that achieved for September's Naval Race (35) and the Cobh-Blackrock Race (36) before it.

Ian Hickey's Cavatina, a Granada 38, is racing in Spinnaker Two divisionIan Hickey's Cavatina, a Granada 38, is racing in Spinnaker Two division Photo: Bob Bateman

Of course, late entries from the Kinsale Yacht Club cruiser fleet can still swell the Autumn League ranks and some are already expected including Cian McCarthy's Sunfast 3300, Cinnamon Girl.

As Afloat reported previously, AIB’s support of Cork300 is continuing through to the Autumn Series for five Sundays, commencing September 27th and concluding on October 25th. 

Cian McCarthy's Sunfast 3300 Cinnamon Girl is expected to enter the RCYC Autumn SeriesCian McCarthy's Sunfast 3300 Cinnamon Girl is expected to enter the RCYC Autumn Series Photo: Bob Bateman

Naval Race's coastal course

Many of those who raced to the Sovereigns in the Naval Race will be racing again in a series that is also part of SCORA's Inshore League that will also feature two coastal races as part of its schedule.

The Naval race Spinnaker division sailed a course around the Sovereigns while the White Sails sailed around the Outer Cork Harbour Buoys.

The spinnaker fleet had a strong wind downwind leg to the Sovereigns, followed by a tough beat back to Robert's Head, with a fetch home from there, a race of nearly four hours duration.

Nieulargo, the Grand Soleil 40,  has been a champion performer this seasonNieulargo, the Grand Soleil 40, has been a champion performer this season Photo: Bob Bateman

Battle of the sailmakers

In a season where Denis Murphy's Nieulargo, (with Doyle Sails' Nin O'Leary calling the shots) has been all-conquering, it was suddenly all-change in the Naval fixture as the Grand Soleil 40, was bested by Ronan Downing's Half Tonner, Miss Whiplash. Miss Whiplash, sailing with keelboat Olympic helmsman Mark Mansfield of Quantum Sails onboard, won on IRC by 3 mins 40 from Nieulargo. Brian Jones' J109, Jelly Baby was third with Barry Hayes of UK Sails aboard. 

Hats off - Half Tonner Miss Whiplash was the Naval Race winner over a coastal courseHats off - Half Tonner Miss Whiplash was the Naval Race winner over a coastal course Photo: Bob Bateman

The battle of the sailmakers is likely to resume in the spinnaker division on Sunday with Mansfield, at least, staying with the Miss Whiplash crew plus the addition of Maurice O'Connell of North Sails joining the fray as skipper of Jump Juice in the absence of Conor Phelan. North Sails will also have Nigel Young sailing onboard Frank Caul and John Molloy's Grand Soleil 37, Prince Of Tides, the White Sails division winner of the Naval Race. 

Frank Caul and John Molloy's Grand Soleil 37, Prince Of Tides Photo: Bob Bateman

With plenty of dirty bottoms visible during the Naval Race, there's been a good deal of pre-series boat bimbling activity ashore this week.

Mike McCann's Etchells 22, Don't Dilly DallyMike McCann's Etchells 22, Don't Dilly Dally Photo: Bob Bateman

Michael McCann's potent Etchell's 22 Don't Dilly Dally was seen ashore at Salve Marina. Jump was seen on the slings in Crosshaven.

Jump Juice on slings in CrosshavenOn the road - Jump is transported in slings on a laneway at Crosshaven this week before making her splash for Sunday's AIB-sponsored series. The 14-year-old yacht is a veteran of the 2006 and 2008 Rolex Commodore's Cup. Skipper Prof O'Connell says he has pulled together a young, relatively inexperienced crew (with the exception of John Sisk) for the Cork Harbour end of season event

Half Tonner Cortegada returns

George Radley's Cortegada who has spent the summer in the shed undergoing modifications is expected to make a return to the water this weekend. The half-tonner has been undergoing a rebalancing that includes moving the mast aft and, according to Barry Hayes, the new configuration should be 'very quick'. 

It is understood the Kinsale-based Quarter Tonner Runaway Bus will not compete in the league this year.

Making up for this, in part, however, is a relatively new arrival to Cork Harbour, George Radley Jnr and his crew on Creamy Beam, a vintage Sadler 25 that featured in Tom MacSweeney's recent podcast here.

George Radley Jnr and his crew on Creamy Beam, a vintage Sadler 25Sock it to 'em - George Radley Jnr and his crew on Creamy Beam, a vintage Sadler 25, racing in the Cove to Blackrock race with a novel class flag (below) displayed Photos: Bob Bateman

Longstanding white sails participant Shelly D had to be taken out at Rossbrin in West Cork with drive trouble recently. It means that after 40 years of participation in the league, Michael Murphy's Moody 30 is unlikely to compete in 2020.

Denis Byrne's Cracker, a Trapper T250, was the Spinnaker 2 IRC in the 2019 league and also a class winner in this year's Cobh to Blackrock RaceDenis Byrne's Cracker, a Trapper T250, was the Spinnaker 2 IRC in the 2019 league and also a class winner in this year's Cobh to Blackrock Race Photo: Bob Bateman

Harbour courses

Most of the Autumn Series racing is scheduled to take place in Cork Harbour or its approaches under laid marks or round the cans courses with two races per day and three for the 1720s, subject to weather.

Appendix A of the Sailing Instructions shows possible race start locations 

Racing takes place within three groups; Group A is for Class Zero, Spinnaker One and Two, B is for the 1720s (the sportsboats start with their Munsters this weekend at Monkstown Bay) and then Group C for Whitesail One and Two.

Kieran O'Brien's MG335 Magnet was the White Sails IRC 2 winner in the 2019 league but then dismasted in the club’s winter league a month later Kieran O'Brien's MG335 Magnet was the White Sails IRC 2 winner in the 2019 league but then dismasted in the club’s winter league a month later Photo: Bob Bateman

Health Declaration

As part of the sailing instructions, competitors are required to complete a Health Declaration online in advance of taking to the water. This is a once-off form here and required from each sailor in advance of competing. The sailors are required to complete the same once and only submit a second form if answers change. 

Light southwesterly winds are forecast for the first race.

Sailing Instructions are downloadable below

Published in Royal Cork YC
Tagged under

After six races sailed with one discard at Royal Cork Yacht Club's Optimist Dinghy Class Burns Trophy Alana Twomey continues to lead the 24-boat main fleet in the month-long Cork Harbour series at Crosshaven.

Lying second overall is JP Curtin with third place taken by Oisin Pierse. 

As Afloat reported previously, RCYC's Burns Trophy is now in its 26th year and this year's edition has had some ideal racing conditions so far. 

Two races, plus one for fun, is the format under PRO Andrew Crosbie. 

Bob Bateman's photo gallery is below and results are here.

Published in Royal Cork YC

Crosshaven is expecting a full turnout in both spinnaker and white sail divisions for next week's Royal Cork Yacht Club's Autumn Series and if the recent Cove Sailing Club's Blackrock Race and yesterday's RCYC Coastal Race is anything to go by then the series is set to be a very competitive one. 

AIB’s strong support of Cork300 will continue through to the Autumn Series that starts next weekend for five Sunday’s, commencing September 27th and concluding on October 25th.

Racing will take place with a First Gun at 11.25 am each week.

Top yachts Nieulargo, Miss Whiplash, Don’t Dilly Dally and Cracker are all showing good form through the season while seasoned campaigners like Jump Juice and Coracle will no doubt add to an impressive crew line up for the end of season event.

Leaving the current Dublin Covid restrictions to one side, the 1720 National Championships are scheduled to take place in Cork Harbour on the weekend of the 25th – 27th September, the results from the Sunday of that racing will carry forward into the remainder of the Autumn Series. Royal Cork says that as there will be a full fleet in Cork for the opening weekend it is likely numbers could remain in double digits for the rest of the series.

Notice of Race and entry details

Published in Royal Cork YC
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The Irish Cruiser Racing Association (ICRA) Information

The creation of the Irish Cruiser Racing Association (ICRA) began in a very low key way in the autumn of 2002 with an exploratory meeting between Denis Kiely, Jim Donegan and Fintan Cairns in the Granville Hotel in Waterford, and the first conference was held in February 2003 in Kilkenny.

While numbers of cruiser-racers were large, their specific locations were widespread, but there was simply no denying the numerical strength and majority power of the Cork-Dublin axis. To get what was then a very novel concept up and running, this strength of numbers had to be acknowledged, and the first National Championship in 2003 reflected this, as it was staged in Howth.

ICRA was run by a dedicated group of volunteers each of whom brought their special talents to the organisation. Jim Donegan, the elder statesman, was so much more interested in the wellbeing of the new organisation than in personal advancement that he insisted on Fintan Cairns being the first Commodore, while the distinguished Cork sailor was more than content to be Vice Commodore.

ICRA National Championships

Initially, the highlight of the ICRA season was the National Championship, which is essentially self-limiting, as it is restricted to boats which have or would be eligible for an IRC Rating. Boats not actually rated but eligible were catered for by ICRA’s ace number-cruncher Denis Kiely, who took Ireland’s long-established native rating system ECHO to new heights, thereby providing for extra entries which brought fleet numbers at most annual national championships to comfortably above the hundred mark, particularly at the height of the boom years. 

ICRA Boat of the Year (Winners 2004-2019)


ICRA Nationals 2021

The date for the 2021 edition of the ICRA National Championships is 3-5 September at the National Yacht Club on Dublin Bay.

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