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Displaying items by tag: Royal Cork Yacht Club

Anthony O'Leary's Royal Cork team scored a 4 and a 9, in day three racing of the New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup to continue in third place overall.

If it wasn't the lumpy seas, it was the capricious breeze. Wherever sailors competing in the 2021 Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup turned on Thursday, there was something standing between them and the groove so essential for a solid finish in a competitive fleet: a wave, a shift, a patch of no wind, a trench of disturbed air, a picket fence of competitors on starboard tack. It was one of the most challenging days on the water in the history of this storied event.

But intense pressure creates diamonds and with its back to the proverbial wall, San Diego Yacht Club turned in a gem of a performance, winning both races and saving its hopes of a podium finish after a middling start, by its lofty standards, to the regatta. The runner up from 2019 now sits fourth.

"We had couple of tough ones the last couple of days, and we knew we needed to go out and bounce back and find it," said San Diego Yacht Club tactician Jake LaDow. "We were able to execute two pin-end starts, which really set us up to have very simple races, minimizing tacks and staying away from other boats.

New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup

Southern Yacht Club also sparkled today, transforming a near disaster in Race 8 into a fourth and extending its overall lead to 13 points. With four races remaining, this regatta is Southern's to lose. They have shown exceptional speed and, save for one decision today, superb tactics. The race for the podium remains wide open, with at least five teams in contention. And, while teams in the bottom half of the fleet can no longer dream of a top-three finish, there remains plenty of pride on the line in the minor placings. For example, just 8 points separates 15th from 11th.

"Definitely" said LaDow when asked if the SDYC team reclaimed a bit of its mojo today. "We had a really good synergy between Tyler [Sinks, skipper] and Drew [Freides, main trimmer] keeping the boat at a constant level of heel in the super challenging, puffy conditions, and that gave us a lot of confidence."

Southern's comeback was noteworthy in large part due to the impact a bad result would've had on the regatta. Had SYC finished where it rounded the first mark—in the teens—the race for the 2021 Rolex NYYC Invitational Cup would be wide open. But that race rescue wasn't the only Lazarus impression of the day. Royal Canadian Yacht Club was dead last, and by a margin, shortly after the start of Race 7, the day's first contest.

"We had a pretty shocker start, and ended up doing a 720 after the start," he said. "It’s really hard to come back. The good thing is when you’re that far back it’s pretty easy to sail a clear lane, and you can focus on boatspeed and sailing the numbers, which is what we did. We were able to sail our own race the entire race, including the downwinds. We made big big gains on the downwind legs by sailing by ourselves, and I think we had a pretty good mode going as well.

After an hour of tough sailing, the team crossed the finish line in fifth.

"It was a bit shocking even for us," Fraser said. "Terry [McLaughlin, RCYC skipper] did a great job, the whole team did a really good job just sticking with it, sailing fast, keeping to our mode, sailing to the numbers. When you’re doing that, good things happen, and we were lucky enough to get back to fifth."

The Royal Canadian Yacht Club has been a regular attendee at the Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup, missing just one of seven, and finishing first twice and second once. Fraser is part of the Club's second generation of Invitational Cup sailors, participating for the second time.

New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup

"The boats are amazing," he said. "It’s frustratingly close racing. Every inch matters, every tack matters, every shift matters. If you end up on the wrong side of a few things, you get deep and it’s really hard to get back. We’ve had an OK regatta so far, we need to keep pushing, basically no more mistakes at this point."

Royal Canadian Yacht Club currently sits seventh, 13 points out of the top five. But the team is trending in the right direction, with four straight results of fifth or better.

For San Diego Yacht Club, it's a similar situation, there's no margin for error if they have any hope of equaling its finish in 2019. However, this is no time to throw out a carefully crafted playbook that has proven effective in the past.

"Nothing changes," said LaDow. "We still have to trust the process, trust in ourselves and trust each person in their role to do the best we can. That said we're going to be looking for a similar day to today."

2021 Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup Day 3 Provisional Results

(Place, Club Name, Boat Number, Country, Race results; Regatta Total)
1. Southern Yacht Club, Boat 3, USA, 1, 10, 2, 4, 1, 3, 3, 4; 28
2. Royal Thames Yacht Club, Boat 10, GBR, 2, 2, 1, 8, 8, 9, 9, 2; 41
3. Royal Cork Yacht Club, Boat 13, IRL, 3, 3, 11, 1, 6, 6, 4, 9; 43
4. San Diego Yacht Club. Boat 17, USA, 12, 4, 5, 6, 12, 5, 1, 1; 46
5. New York Yacht Club, Boat 19, USA, 4, 1, 7, 3, 5, 12, 7, 11; 50
6. Eastern Yacht Club, Boat 16, USA, 12*, 6, 4, 5, 3, 2, 8, 16; 56
7. Royal Canadian Yacht Club, Boat 5, CAN, 13, 9, 16, 9, 2, 4, 5, 5; 63
8. Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, Boat 14, ITA, 7*, 12, 3, 16, 7, 8, 6, 14; 73
9. The San Francisco Yacht Club, Boat 2, USA, 17, 7, 9, 2, 11, 1, 14, 15; 76
10. American Yacht Club, Boat 8, USA, 9*, 11, 8, 13*, 13, 16, 2, 6; 78
11. Yacht Club Argentino, Boat 9, ARG, 14, 13, 17, 11, 15, 7, 10, 3; 90
12. Royal Vancouver Yacht Club, Boat 15, CAN, 7, 5, 6, 7, 19, 17, 19, 12; 92
13. Nylandska Jaktklubben, Boat 12, FIN, 6*, 18, 13, 15, 10, 15, 12, 7; 96
14. Royal Swedish Yacht Club, Boat 6, SWE, 10, 8, 18, 14, 9, 13, 16, 10; 98
15. Noroton Yacht Club, Boat 7, USA, 15, 14, 10, 10, 14, 10, 17, 8; 98
16. Yacht Club Italiano, Boat 18, ITA, 10*, 17, 12, 17, 16, 14, 11, 13; 110
17. Itchenor Sailing Club, Boat 11, GBR, 19, 15, 15, 18, 4, 18, 13, 17; 119
18. Howth Yacht Club, Boat 4, IRL, 16, 16, 14, 13, 17, 11, 15, 19; 121
19. Royal Bermuda Yacht Club, Boat 20, BER, 18, 19, 19, 19, 18, 19, 18, 18; 148

*Race score includes 1-point penalty for early extension of sprit

Published in Royal Cork YC

Royal Cork Yacht Club shares equal points with second overall at the New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup after the second day of racing.

The impressive display so far by the Anthony O'Leary skippered entry keeps the Cork Harbour crew on course to defend its bronze medal performance of 2019.

The Crosshaven sailors are counting a scoreline of  3, 3, 11, 1, 6, 6 to tie on 30 points with Royal Thames in second and be nine points off the overall lead currently held by America's Southern Yacht Club.

Ireland's second entry into the event, a team from Howth Yacht Club, is lying 17th with a best score so far in the series of 11th taken in Wednesday afternoon's race six. 

Day two was just the sort of moment that the founders of the Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup envisioned more than a decade years ago when they created the event. Two identical boats crewed by amateur sailors blasting downwind in the late afternoon sun each with their eye on first place in the race. Eastern Yacht Club had had the lead around the top mark, but The San Francisco Yacht Club crew, always at home in some breeze, was chewing into the advantage and looking for any opening to take over the lead. It would come down to the final jibe before a long port-tack run to the finish.

“We both didn’t have great jibes,” says Sean Bennett, the skipper of the San Francisco crew. “But we had a little better jibe that they did and we were able to fill and get going. Both of us were still in the late-main jibe mode, that flipped them over harder than us so we were able to get just enough ahead on them to get over the top of them and get by.”

Of course, that wasn’t the end of the story, a drop in the windspeed or a slight shift to the left would've forced both boats to jibe again and allowed Eastern skipper Bill Lynn to repay the favor. But the breeze held and The San Francisco Yacht Club took its first win of the regatta, capping off a marked improvement over Day 1 and putting the team within range of the podium with six races remaining. Coming in third in that race was Southern Yacht Club, which had the best day on the water and vaulted into the lead with 21 points. Royal Thames Yacht Club and Royal Cork Yacht Club are tied for second, 9 points back.

The Howth Yacht Club crew was 11th in race sixThe NYYC Cup Howth Yacht Club crew was 11th in race six Photo: Daniel Forster

The Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup is a biennial regatta hosted by the New York Yacht Club Harbour Court in Newport, R.I. Since the event was first run in 2009, it has attracted top amateur sailors from 48 of the world’s most prestigious yacht clubs from 21 countries. After five editions in the Swan 42 class, the 2021 event will be the second sailed in the IC37, designed by County Wicklow's Mark Mills. 

The San Francisco Yacht Club was one of the teams that stepped in to fill the slots that opened when a handful of foreign teams were unable to travel due to COVID restrictions. Among the many challenges, was finding the time to practice together, ideally in an IC37. San Francisco's team is loaded with talent, but Bennett says they're still very much in learning mode in the IC37.

"We’re getting more comfortable with the boat," said Bennett. "It’s the first time we’ve raced it. Yesterday, in the bump, we struggled more trying to understand how to make the boat go fast.

"Today [was better] with the flatter water, a little more breeze on, which helps San Francisco people anyway. But we've generally been on a steeper learning curve in the light spots, and we’re getting better understanding how to make big adjustments when the wind drops off."

With a second, 11th and first today, the SFYC team is now seventh overall. Despite missing out on the win in the final race, Eastern Yacht Club had a very strong day and is tied for fourth, two points out of second.

But the unquestioned boat of the day was Southern Yacht Club, with a fourth, first and third.

Ireland has two entries in this year's New York Invitational Cup Ireland has two entries in this year's New York Invitational Cup Photo: Daniel Forster

"Basically it was our teamwork," said Lovell, a four-time Olympian who won a silver medal in 2004. "Marcus [Eagan] did an incredible job with tactics. Rick [Merriman] was playing the main. Andrew [Eagan] was trimming the jib, and the team was really clicking today. I think mainly we just didn’t make any big mistakes. We got off the line with clean starts, didn’t miss any shifts and had great boathandling."

This is Lovell's third Invitational Cup. He called tactics when Southern won in 2017 and finished fifth in 2019. He's especially pleased to be on the helm this time around.

"It’s been great, really enjoying it," he said. "It’s actually a little less stressful to be driving than doing tactics in a way.

"I tried to look around a few times [today], and I got told I’m the driver, I just need to drive fast. That’s what I’ve been concentrating on, just driving the boat as fast as I can drive it. Everyone’s got their job and everyone does their job well, then the team does well."

Yacht Club Argentino wasn't able to move up in the overall standings, but the event's lone Southern Hemisphere team still found reason for optimism as it closed the first half of the regatta with a seventh.

"The last race today was the windiest one, we could sail as fast as we wanted to," said skipper Emilio Miguel. "Honestly, compared to the rest of the fleet, we weren’t slow. Even yesterday, I think we were fast. We made a lot of unforced errors. Yesterday, for example, in the second race, we could've been first or second to the first mark. We ended up third, and then we were penalized and it was a disaster, it all went down from there."

In today's first race, they passed seven boats on the final run, and then put it together for a top-10 in the third race.

"The last race was our best result yet, a seventh," he said, "so we’re pumped for tomorrow."

2021 Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup, Day 2 Provisional Results

(Place, Club Name, Boat Number, Country, Race results; Regatta Total)

1. Southern Yacht Club, Boat 3, USA, 1, 10, 2, 4, 1, 3; 21
2. Royal Thames Yacht Club, Boat 10, GBR, 2, 2, 1, 8, 8, 9; 30
3. Royal Cork Yacht Club, Boat 13, IRL, 3, 3, 11, 1, 6, 6; 30
4. New York Yacht Club, Boat 19, USA, 4, 1, 7, 3, 5, 12; 32
5. Eastern Yacht Club, Boat 16, USA, 12*, 6, 4, 5, 3, 2; 32
6. San Diego Yacht Club. Boat 17, USA, 12, 4, 5, 6, 12, 5; 44
7. The San Francisco Yacht Club, Boat 2, USA, 17, 7, 9, 2, 11, 1; 47
8. Royal Canadian Yacht Club, Boat 5, CAN, 13, 9, 16, 9, 2, 4; 53
9. Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, Boat 14, ITA, 7*, 12, 3, 16, 7, 8; 53
10. Royal Vancouver Yacht Club, Boat 15, CAN, 7, 5, 6, 7, 19, 17; 61
11. American Yacht Club, Boat 8, USA, 9*, 11, 8, 13*, 13, 16; 70
12. Royal Swedish Yacht Club, Boat 6, SWE, 10, 8, 18, 14, 9, 13; 72
13. Noroton Yacht Club, Boat 7, USA, 15, 14, 10, 10, 14, 10; 73
14. Nylandska Jaktklubben, Boat 12, FIN, 6*, 18, 13, 15, 10, 12; 74
15. Yacht Club Argentino, Boat 9, ARG, 14, 13, 17, 11, 15, 7; 77
16. Yacht Club Italiano, Boat 18, ITA, 10*, 17, 12, 17, 16, 14; 86
17. Howth Yacht Club, Boat 4, IRL, 16, 16, 14, 13, 17, 11; 87
18. Itchenor Sailing Club, Boat 11, GBR, 19, 15, 15, 18, 4, 18; 89
19. Royal Bermuda Yacht Club, Boat 20, BER, 18, 19, 19, 19, 18, 19; 112

*Race score includes 1-point penalty for early extension of sprit

Published in Royal Cork YC

Anthony O'Leary's Royal Cork Yacht Club team lie fourth overall after day one of the New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup at Newport Rhode Island. A second Irish team from Howth Yacht Club in County Dublin are in 17th place after three races sailed.

There are strong starts to a regatta and then there's the day on the water put in by Royal Thames Yacht Club to open up the racing in the 2021 Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup.

The British team, which won the event in 2015 and has sailed in all but one of the seven editions, finished second in the first race, repeated that feat in the second and then tacked on an emphatic win in the day's final contest. The RTYC team will fly the golden spinnaker on Day 2 of the event, and carry a 7-point lead over the host New York Yacht Club, which sits second, a point ahead of 2017 champion Southern Yacht Club.

Anthony O'Leary's Royal Cork Yacht Club team (bow number 13) lie fourth overallAnthony O'Leary's Royal Cork Yacht Club team (bow number 13) lie fourth overall Photo: Daniel Forster

"Very pleased," said RTYC skipper John Greenland. "You know it’s a tough regatta. To be able to finish a day and know you’ve got a great starting point…We were just thinking, normally we’re coming off the water [on Day 1] thinking, 'How are we going to catch up with that fast boat.' Luckily we’ve had that day, so it’s great."

The Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup is a biennial regatta hosted by the New York Yacht Club Harbour Court in Newport, R.I. Since the event was first run in 2009, it has attracted top amateur sailors from 48 of the world’s most prestigious yacht clubs from 21 countries. After five editions in the Swan 42 class, the 2021 event will be the second sailed in the IC37, designed by Mark Mills. 

It was forecast to be a challenging day on Rhode Island Sound, for both competitors and the race committee, thanks to a breeze that moved around like a pre-schooler confined to his seat for too long. And while the long-term progression was in one direction, there were plenty of holes in the breeze and the random oscillations that drive tacticians crazy.

Greenland chalked up RTYC's success to the all-powerful combination good speed and solid decisions.

"I think trying to keep the boat going, the boat powered up and getting over the waves was really important," he said. "[Ian Dobson] was on tactics and getting us on the right side of the shifts and in pressure. I think it was just as important to be in the pressure as it was to get the shifts right today."

Greenland also noted that having a team that has been here before—27 total times across the team, and seven times himself—was helpful on the opening day, which followed a hectic three days of mandatory practice, meetings and social activities.

"I guess I’ve got more used to the fact it’s a big event with a lot going on, and you’re not going to be overwhelmed by that aspect of the event, but still the same level of nerves going into the first race with 19 great teams all of whom can be on the start line and win this regatta," he said. "[We] go into today knowing the beast of the event a bit better. It’s great to be here. Everyone knows the challenges that have been had by all the teams thing to attend this event and the yacht club to put it on, but it’s fantastic to be here."

Finishing one place behind Royal Thames in each of the first two races was Royal Cork Yacht Club. Like Greenland, Royal Cork skipper Anthony O'Leary has been to all seven Invitational Cups. He and his crew, which includes two of his sons, know well the nuances of the event.

"We had some difficult starts," said Robert O'Leary, Anthony's son. "We managed to get out of the first two well. Really tough on in the last race. Playing the middle, in these boats, on the first beat isn’t really the tactic we go for. But we were forced into it. We were happy to come out with two thirds and, of course, the 11th in the last one will hurt a little bit. But every score counts and you’ve got to fight for every place."

Counting two 16s and a 14 in the first three races, Howth Yacht Club are lying 19th overallCounting two 16s and a 14 in the first three races, Howth Yacht Club are lying 17th overall Photo: Daniel Forster

While IC37 designer Mark Mills is an Irish resident, and his designs are quite popular in Europe, the IC37 does not yet have a foothold in Ireland. Robert O'Leary said the team came to this event worried that lack of time in the boat would be a handicap.

"We were quite worried the last two years that the American boats, and any of the other teams that had a boat, would catch up a bit, getting the boats up to speed quicker," he said. "But we were quite happy with our boatspeed today and how we’re getting around the race track. So we’re a little less worried today than we were at the start. We know it’s a tough regatta, every place counts, and we’ve just got to keep grinding away."

Royal Cork finished the day with 17 points, good for fourth place in the overall standings. In fifth, just one point further back, is The Royal Vancouver Yacht Club, which had, by far, the best day of the four rookie teams.

"My personal secret goal is I was hoping for one top-five finish in this event," said Cochrane, after a 7-5-6 on their first races in the IC37. "To be sitting in fifth overall after the first day…just to be able to play, to be in the same water at this level, and we can look at them and see their set up, we’re just trying to learn as much as we can. But boy, they’re good. They know the boats really well, and it’s just a pleasure to be here and to learn from them."

Cochrane is one of four Olympians on the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club team. That kind of talent is a great way to climb a steep learning curve. He was also quick to credit the efforts of the host club to get each team up to speed.

"I just can’t thank [the New York Yacht Club] enough for organising all the coaching and everything," he said. "If we had come in here and not had access to that, there’s no way we would’ve been able to get around the race course the way we did today. It’s really a testament to how welcoming and open this event is."

Whether he and his Royal Vancouver team feel the same way tomorrow, when the breeze is expected to be in the mid-teens, remains to be seen. They'd do well to consider this bit of advice from Greenland, who's seen all sides of this event: "You start each day as if it’s the first day of the regatta."

It worked today. There's no reason it can't work tomorrow.

2021 Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup Day 1 Results

  1. Royal Thames Yacht Club 10 GBR 2 2 1 2 2 1 5
  2. New York Yacht Club 19 USA 4 1 7 4 1 7 12
  3. Southern Yacht Club 3 USA 1 10 2 1 10 2 13
  4. Royal Cork Yacht Club 13 IRL 3 3 11 3 3 11 17
  5. Royal Vancouver Yacht Club 15 CAN 7 5 6 7 5 6 18
  6. San Diego Yacht Club 17 USA 12 4 5 12 4 5 21
  7. Eastern Yacht Club 16 USA 12 6 4 12 6 4 22
  8. Yacht Club Costa Smeralda 14 ITA 7 12 3 7 12 3 22
  9. American Yacht Club 8 USA 9 11 8 9 11 8 28
  10. The San Francisco Yacht Club 2 USA 17 7 9 17 7 9 33
  11. Royal Swedish Yacht Club 6 SWE 10 8 18 10 8 18 36
  12. Nylandska Jaktklubben 12 FIN 6 18 13 6 18 13 37
  13. Royal Canadian Yacht Club 5 CAN 13 9 16 13 9 16 38
  14. Yacht Club Italiano 18 ITA 10 17 12 10 17 12 39
  15. Noroton Yacht Club 7 USA 15 14 10 15 14 10 39
  16. Yacht Club Argentino 9 ARG 14 13 17 14 13 17 44
  17. Howth Yacht Club 4 IRL 16 16 14 16 16 14 46
  18. Itchenor Sailing Club 11 GBR 19 15 15 19 15 15 49
  19. Royal Bermuda Yacht Club 20 BER 18 19 19 18 19 19 56
Published in Royal Cork YC

After August's tightly fought Lowflo Trophy contest, the National 18 dinghy fleet based at Royal Cork Yacht Club was back on the water in September and racing outside Cork Harbour in a two-day competition for National Honours sponsored by CH Marine

Class treasurer Joanna O'Brien, the race officer for the event, eventually got an unruly fleet away but not before a black flag start in some light and shifty conditions.

Racing continues on Sunday for the three-person dinghy, and the plan is to race again off Roches Point.

As regular Afloat readers know, the class eventually got its first racing of the season in the first week of June after COVID setbacks but have been racing every Wednesday as part of a busy 2021 lineup.

Published in National 18

The final sixth race of Royal Cork Yacht Club's August and September Thursday League 2021 was a light air affair in Cork Harbour that saw Ria Lyden's X332 Ellida emerge as the overall winner in both IRC Spinnaker and ECHO divisions.

In second overall on IRC rating was the Sunfast 32 Bad Company (Desmond/Ivers/Keane) and in third place, the Bolero Bandit (Richard Leonard).

Overall results are here.

A photo gallery of the light air last race where Cork Harbour dolphins joined the yachts is below. 

Published in Royal Cork YC

For the first time since the inaugural event in 2009, the fleet for the Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup will hit the starting line without a defending champion, shaking up the form guide as teams and sailing fans look toward the start of sailing’s premiere Corinthian big-boat competition starts on Tuesday, September 14.

In another first for Ireland, as Afloat previously reported, Howth Yacht Club makes its debut alongside Royal Cork Yacht Club. It brings the number of Irish teams back up to two for the first time since Dun Laoghaire's Royal St. George participation in 2009.

Re-entry concerns and strict quarantine protocols related to the COVID pandemic have forced clubs from Asia, the antipodes, and Europe to decline their spots in the regatta. The absence of the defending champions from the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron, along with a trio of clubs that sailed in each previous edition, has created opportunities for new international entrants and a handful of U.S. yacht clubs loaded with top amateur talent.

“While the COVID pandemic has made hosting an international sporting competition more challenging than ever, it pales in comparison to the hard work being done every day by frontline medical professionals around the globe. They have our enduring gratitude,” said Robbie Benjamin, the event chair. “We started this year with a superb entry list of 20 yacht clubs from around the world. It’s changed frequently over the past six months, but we’re tremendously proud that 19 teams that have made the commitment to travel to Newport to compete. Every former champion will compete in 2021, except for Royal Sydney. The seven U.S. clubs is a high for this regatta, but historically, the domestic teams have fared well, and we anticipate the level of competition being equal to, if not higher than, any previous edition.”

The Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup is a biennial regatta hosted by the New York Yacht Club Harbour Court in Newport, R.I. Since the event was first run in 2009, it has attracted top amateur sailors from 45 of the world’s most prestigious yacht clubs from 21 countries. After five editions in the Swan 42 class, the 2021 event will be the second sailed in the IC37, designed by Mark Mills. The strict one-design nature of this purpose-built class combined with the fact that each boat is owned and maintained by the New York Yacht Club, will ensure a level playing field not seen in any other amateur big-boat sailing competition. The regatta will run from Saturday, September 11, through Saturday, September 18, with racing starting on Tuesday, September 14.

A live broadcast on Facebook and YouTube, starting on Wednesday, September 15, will allow fellow club members, friends, family and sailing fans from around the world follow the action as it happens. Nineteen teams from nine countries will compete in 2021. 

The Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup has always been much more than a sailing competition. The onshore social schedule at Harbour Court and the resulting interclub camaraderie are integral components of the experience, which competitors say is unlike any other regatta in the world. But with the first gun less than a week away, the current focus is on who might win.

With the defending champions sitting out, 2019 runner-up San Diego Yacht Club is an obvious choice. Led once again by former college all-America selections Tyler Sinks (white hat) and Jake LaDow (far left), the team has the experience and talent to win, and the confidence of knowing they were just one break away from winning this regatta in 2019.

Four clubs that have won this regatta before—New York Yacht Club, Royal Canadian Yacht Club, Royal Thames Yacht Club and Southern Yacht Club—must also be considered among the favourites.

The Royal Canadian Yacht Club is the only two-time champion of the Invitational Cup. The team's preparation for 2021 included practising for and competing in the 25th edition of the Canada's Cup, the premier match-racing trophy in the Great Lakes. A 6-0 win over Youngstown (N.Y.) Yacht Club seems a strong indication the RCYC team will come to Newport with a fair bit of momentum. But skipper Terry McLaughlin wasn't willing to shoulder the yolk of pre-race favourite.

"I expect [the competition] to be as tough as ever," said McLaughlin, who won a silver medal in the 1984 Olympics. "I don’t want to say we're super prepared. We are reasonably prepared, but we haven't been fleet racing and we haven't been sailing in Newport."

McLaughlin's team is a combination of the old guard, including two teammates from Canada I campaign for the 1983 America's Cup, and the next generation of RCYC sailors, such as 28-year-old tactician Lance Fraser and Mariah Millen, who will be sailing with her dad.

"Our team is identical to the 2019 Invitational Cup team, with the exception of the mainsheet trimmer," said McLaughlin (white hat), who steered Royal Canadian to fourth in 2019. "Certainly for everybody else, they’re far more used to the IC37 this year. In 2019, we had some people in key positions on the boat who hadn't really sailed big boats much who learned quite quickly."

First-time competitors from Canada’s Royal Vancouver Yacht Club, Howth Yacht Club in Ireland, and Noroton Yacht Club and American Yacht Club in the United States add an element of mystery to the pre-race discussion. Each team brings a collection of talented amateur sailors to the event. But how well they can assimilate to the IC37 and the unique format of the regatta won’t be known at least until the first race kicks off on Tuesday, September 14.

The following yacht clubs will compete for the 2021 Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup: American Yacht Club (Rye, N.Y.), Eastern Yacht Club (Marblehead, Mass.), Howth Yacht Club (IRL), Itchenor Sailing Club (GBR), New York Yacht Club, Noroton Yacht Club (Darien, Conn.), Nyländska Jaktklubben (FIN), Royal Bermuda Yacht Club, Royal Canadian Yacht Club, Royal Cork Yacht Club (IRL), Royal Swedish Yacht Club, Royal Thames Yacht Club (GBR), Royal Vancouver Yacht Club (CAN), San Diego (Calif.) Yacht Club, The San Francisco Yacht Club (Belvedere, Calif.), Southern Yacht Club (New Orleans), Yacht Club Argentino, Yacht Club Costa Smeralda (ITA), Yacht Club Italiano.

Published in Royal Cork YC

It has been a frenetically busy weekend on Cork Harbour with crowded classic events such as the Cobh-Blackrock Race and other fixtures of various levels of association with the 75th Anniversary of the Naval Service. Yet somehow the time and space was found at Crosshaven for the annual staging of the 77-year-old Book Challenge, which goes back to 1944 when the dinghy sailors of Cork Harbour SC (succeeded in time by the Royal Munster YC and then the Royal Cork) took on their counterparts in Sutton Dinghy Club for team racing in International 12s, the trophy being a hefty vellum book in which the winners are obliged to inscribe the outcome of the most recent staging.

Since 1980 the programme has been doubled up with a Junior Section, so with 2021's sailing accelerating into post-pandemic mode, the logistics were formidable in getting the Sutton teams together and down to Crosshaven, where it was the RCYC's turn to host it with the national flotilla of Firefly dinghies. We let Sutton Dinghy Club Team Manager and former Commodore Andy Johnston take up the tale:

The teams were meant to travel to Cork in April 2020 as part of the Cork Club's Tricentenary Celebration, but Covid meant the event was cancelled. However, between Andy Johnston in Sutton and Alex Barry in Royal Cork, the commitment was maintained, and a date of September 4th 2021 became available in Cork. Andy - with the help of Kirk Durnford - set about making sure SDC could take a Junior Team along with the Seniors. Despite their lack of experience in team racing, it was felt that the Juniors on the trip would greatly benefit from both racing and watching the Senior teams.

The Sutton squad began arriving in Cork on Friday evening, and were welcomed by RCYC Admiral Colin Morehead and RCYC Archivist Paul McCarthy, with the Senior Book being brought to the Clubhouse and going on display for the weekend.

Such were the time pressures that the Sutton Senior Team selection was not finalised until the Saturday morning with Commodore Ian McCormack stepping into the last crew slot, probably one of the oldest debutants - he paired up with Team Captain Alan Blay. It was a great honour to have Robert Dickson - fresh from his Olympic endeavours - also in the team. Robert was making his Book Trophy debut, following in his grandfather Roy and sister Sinead's footsteps.

Having sailed in Sutton Regatta the previous week, Robert is taking a little low-key time after the pressures and efforts in Tokyo. We're not sure this was as relaxing as he might have been thinking, though…… He was partnered by Shane McLoughlin, who has just returned from his studies in Galway and has joined our building GP14 fleet in Sutton. Our final pairing saw two young GP14 helms combine with Conor Twohig, crewed by Peter Boyle.

As Team Manager, I would like to say Robert's presence was a huge boost for our Junior Team, and it was much appreciated by all in Sutton Dinghy Club that he should make the time to join us for this historic event.

The Senior & Junior racing was best of seven in the fleet of Fireflies that are based in Royal Cork Yacht Club and was held in the river between Currabinny and the Crosshaven clubhouse.

The Junior Team of Ciaran Durnford (Captain) & Eimear Fleming, Luke Kellet & Denis McCarrick, and Oisin Kelly & Finn O'Doherty, would be first on the water at 3:30, and were afforded an opportunity to get some practice on the Fireflies on Saturday morning. The young Cork team were led by the 2021 Laser Radial National Champion Jonathan O'Shaughnessy and included two Laser 4.7 helms who had competed at the recent Laser ILCA Worlds. This would be a baptism of fire for the young Sutton team but they prepared as best they could and were committed to enjoying the experience.

Reversal of fortune – Royal Cork team building towards their ultimate overall winReversal of fortune – Royal Cork team building towards their ultimate overall win

Despite being well beaten by the more experienced Cork team, our young team gained vital boat handling experience and tactical insight as well as coming face to face with the subtler arts of team racing. Following the handover, the Juniors then had grandstand views of the Senior racing in the river from the hammerhead end of the marina. And boy, was the racing competitive and fiery.

From the first gun, there was no quarter given by either team, with superb boat handling from all the crews. Cork were ably lead by Book Trophy veteran and champion sailor Alex Barry with his crew Maeve O'Sullivan. The team also included Patrick and Chloe Crosbie, son and daughter of Tom Crosbie who had sailed in many Book Trophy events in his time. The third Cork boat was helmed by young Harry Pritchard, recent runner up in the Laser Radial National Championships, crewed by 29er National Champion Lola Kohl - a formidable team indeed, and on their home waters too.

The busiest man on the water if not the most stressed was the Umpire. Yours truly was in the Umpire boat as photographer, and anyone who tells you the PRO job is the most stressful is wrong - I wouldn't be an Umpire for all the money going.

Despite one of the Sutton boats being over the line on the start, we got off to a great start taking Race 1 (10-11) literally on the last manoeuvre, with some breathtaking boat handling from both teams. With positions changing all the time, RCYC recovered composure and took Race 2 (12-9). RCYC followed this up with a similar score in Race 3 (12-9) to put pressure on the Sutton crews. It was obvious that Robert and Shane were being shadowed and followed, but this didn't seem to faze them at all, and the Sutton crews hit back to take Race 4 (7-14) and level the match.

Race 5 really saw the Umpire stretched with incidents across the width of the course, including one which will be discussed for years. Green flag was given but many Suttonians felt it should have been a penalty against RCYC. Yet even in the long discussion afterwards there was still uncertainty about the correct call.

Sutton looked like they had recovered from that situation only to touch the finish mark, and despite a swift recovery, Cork nipped into 5th and take the win 11-10. Despite the disappointment of Race 5, Sutton with some superb pressing and communication overwhelmed Cork to take Race 6 (6-15) and set up a grandstand final race.

Dom Long presents the Senior Book to Patrick CrosbieDom Long presents the Senior Book to Patrick Crosbie

Dom Long presents the Junior Book to Joseph O'ShaughnessyDom Long presents the Junior Book to Joseph O'Shaughnessy

With weather drizzly, damp and getting dark, an unfortunately poor start put Sutton under immediate pressure which Cork capitalised on and secured early 1, 2 lead position. Despite an immense comeback and engagement, Sutton couldn't put the lead Cork boat under sufficient pressure, and Cork eventually took Race 7 (12-9) to give them victory 4-3 as the Autumnal dark descended on the river.

Ian McCormack was asked to address the teams, alikadoos and Royal Cork Yacht Club members before the prizegiving. He thanked the Club for their hospitality and the opportunity to keep the event going. And in keeping with the history of the event, veteran Sutton Book sailor Dom Long of RCYC made the presentations to the respective RCYC Captains, Jonathan O'Shaughnessy of the Junior team and Patrick Crosbie of the Senior team.

In all, an excellent demonstration of boat handling, very competitive team racing and a great day all round, worthy of this historic and very special event. We look forward to the return in Sutton in 2022.

The Sutton Senior Team of (left to right) Conor Twohig, Peter Boyle, Robert Dickson, Ian McCormack, Shane McLoughlin and Alan Blay (Captain).The Sutton Senior Team of (left to right) Conor Twohig, Peter Boyle, Robert Dickson, Ian McCormack, Shane McLoughlin and Alan Blay (Captain). 

Published in Team Racing

It’s arguably the oldest surviving inter-provincial sailing contest in Ireland. For although once upon a time there was an annual race for the Elwood Salver between Trinity College Dublin and Queen’s University Belfast which reputedly dated back to the 1930s or even the 1920s, it seems to have long since faded in the face of larger inter-varsity competitions. But the annual race between teams from Royal Cork (and Royal Munster before that) and Sutton Dinghy Club dates back to 1944, and it survives and thrives for the very good reason that the prize is The Book, a proper volume of vellum in which the winning team is obliged to record the outcome of each year’s series.

There are only two years in which it hasn’t been sailed. One was 1957 when the vigorous remains of a hurricane moving across Ireland caused two days of continuous storm at Sutton. And the other was 2020, when it was to be staged at Crosshaven as an historic highlight of the Royal Cork Tricentenary, but we all know only too painfully well what happened to that and other long-plannned 2020 events.

All things considered, wipeouts only by either a hurricane or a plague is surely an honourable state of affairs. And now, in a symbol of returning normality, The Book will be raced for at Crosshaven on Saturday September 4th, with both junior and senior teams.

The Book has been reposing at Sutton Dinghy Club through the plague years, but it will be in Crosshaven tomorrow (Saturday), and a day’s team racing will decide whether it stays there.The Book has been reposing at Sutton Dinghy Club through the plague years, but it will be in Crosshaven tomorrow (Saturday), and a day’s team racing will decide whether it stays there. 

Published in Royal Cork YC

Although it has only been running for seven years, the New York Yacht Club’s annual inter-club Invitational Event at Newport, Rhode Island has become one of the hottest tickets in international sailing. And since they moved the boat type up to the Mark Mills-designed Melges ILC37 (she’s like a big sister of the new Mills-designed Cape 31 that we’ll see in Ireland next year), the level of Corinthian competition has become stratospheric, and invitations to clubs are like gold dust.

For this year’s staging from September 11th to 18th, ten nations and 19 clubs are involved, and the Irish challenge has been boosted with a Howth Yacht Club team now in the mix, along with the highly-fancied Royal Cork squad in which the name of O’Leary figures significantly. There’s a family element with the Howth team too, as Michael and Darren Wright are at the core of it, but with talents such as Laura Dillon on the strength and dinghy ace Rocco Wright in back-up, it is a squad of all the talents, the full line-up being Darren Wright, Rick deNeve, Sam O'Byrne, Michael Wright, Laura Dillon, Brian Turvey, Luke Malcolm, Karena Knaggs and Rocco Wright.

As for the teams, they speak for themselves:

  • New York Yacht Club (USA)
  • Eastern Yacht Club (USA)
  • Howth Yacht Club (Ireland)
  • Itchenor Sailing Club (UK)
  • San Francisco Yacht Club (USA)
  • Noroton Yacht Club (USA)
  • Nyländska Jaktklubben (Finland)
  • Royal Bermuda Yacht Club (Bermuda)
  • Yacht Club Argentino (Argentina)
  • American Yacht Club (USA)
  • Royal Canadian Yacht Club (Canada)
  • Royal Cork Yacht Club (Ireland)
  • Royal Swedish Yacht Club (Sweden)
  • Yacht Club Costa Smeralda (Italy)
  • Royal Thames Yacht Club (UK)
  • Royal Vancouver Yacht Club (Canada)
  • San Diego Yacht Club (USA)
  • Southern Yacht Club (USA)
  • Yacht Club Italiano (Italy)

Laura Dillon - the only female helm ever to have won the all-Ireland - was the overall winning helm at the Sovereigns 2021 in Kinsale, and is one of the star talents in next week’s Howth team departing on September 7th for the New York Yacht Club Invitationals.Laura Dillon - the only female helm ever to have won the all-Ireland - was the overall winning helm at the Sovereigns 2021 in Kinsale, and is one of the star talents in next week’s Howth team departing on September 7th for the New York Yacht Club Invitationals.

Published in Howth YC

The AIB RCYC Tricentenary At Home Regatta was held at the weekend in fantastic sunshine and followed the Taoiseach's salute to 300 years of sailing in Cork Harbour at the Tricentenary Maritime Parade on Saturday, as Afloat reported here.

A programme of events both on and off the water was held with two great day's of racing, an AIX Rosé reception and a picnic on Sunday for members and guests.

The tricentenary events were originally scheduled to take place in 2020 as part of a phenomenal Cork300 celebration across Cork Harbour to celebrate the sailing club’s 300th anniversary and heritage as the oldest club globally. However, they had to be postponed because of the Covid-19 pandemic and many of the larger high profile international events, such as The Great Gathering, the Powerboat Festival, and Volvo Cork Week, which were set to attract thousands of sailors and competitors from around the globe, could not be rescheduled.

Admiral of the Royal Cork Yacht Club and Chairman of Cork300 Colin Morehead said, “The Royal Cork is delighted to be in a position to put on a weekend of celebratory events to mark the club’s tricentenary one year on. We are, of course, disappointed not to be joined by our international comrades and thousands of spectators as originally planned, but we hope we have left them with a desire to visit Cork when life returns to normal.”

RCYC Admiral and Lady Admiral Colin and Irene Morehead cut the 300th birthday cake at Crosshaven Photo: Bob BatemanRCYC Admiral and Lady Admiral Colin and Irene Morehead cut the 300th birthday cake at Crosshaven Photo: Bob Bateman

As always, ‘the At Home’ was open to Royal Cork members and visiting clubs.

Former Admiral Hugh Mockler tries his hands at boules on the club lawnFormer Admiral Hugh Mockler tries his hands at boules on the club lawn

A Parents Oppie Race, Youth Table Tennis Event, Face Painting and Admirals’ Boules were just some of the shoreside events at Crosshaven.

There as intense competition in the crab catching contest at the club pontoon Photo: Bob BatemanThere was intense competition in the crab catching contest at the club pontoon Photo: Bob Bateman

At Home Regatta Shoreside & Racing Photo Gallery by Bob Bateman

After a short postponement on the water to wait until the wind had settled, the Race Officer gave the cruiser-racer fleets two good long races in the promising weather.

Sportsboat class racing in the 'At Home' Regatta Photo: Bob BatemanSportsboat class racing in the 'At Home' Regatta Photo: Bob Bateman

So tight was the competition that, in one case, four boats ended up on 11 points.

Internationally famous Cork yacht racing skipper and match racer Harold Cudmore took the helm of the restored Cork Harbour One Design Jap for the celebrations Photo: Bob BatemanInternationally famous Cork yacht racing skipper and match racer Harold Cudmore took the helm of the Cork Harbour One Design Jap for the celebrations Photo: Bob Bateman

The National 18s had a good turn and sailed four short races.

National 18 dinghy racingNational 18 dinghy racing Photo: Bob Bateman

Kieran Collins Olson 30 Coracle IV was the winner of the 15 boat IRC cruisers division. ECHO Handicap was won by the Sunfast 32 Bad Company (Desmond/Ivers/Keane)

Kieran O'Brien's MG335 Magnet was the IRC White Sail winner. 

Michael McCann's Etchells Don't Dilly Dally was top in an eight boat Sportsboat division beating a raft of the club's own 1720 designs.

The full results are here

The prizegiving was carried out in the club's car park (due to COVID requirements) and was split into Junior and National 18 and the cruiser-racers later on. Mr Eoin Gunn presented the prizes on behalf of sponsors AIB.

At Home Regatta Prizegiving Photo Gallery by Bob Bateman

Published in Cork300
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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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