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On a day that suggested summer is coming, Royal Cork Yacht Club boats topped the Axiom Private Clients Spring Series 2023 in both Spinnaker One and Two divisions at Kinsale Yacht Club on Sunday. 

Half Tonner Swuzzlebubble (David and James Dwyer) won the first race in the Spinnaker One division.

Light winds prevailed for the first race that saw the J109 Artful DodJer (Finbarr O'Regan of the host club) in second and Stephen Lysaght's  Elan 333 Reavra Too in third.

 The McCarthy brothers Swift Trawler Mac Eile is the Kinsale Yacht Club Axiom Private Clients Spring Series 2023 Committee Boat Photo: Bob Bateman The McCarthy brother's Swift Trawler Mac Eile is the Kinsale Yacht Club Axiom Private Clients Spring Series 2023 Committee Boat Photo: Bob Bateman

This event is the year's first event to count for SCORA season points.

Kieran Kelleher/Colman Garvey in the Royal Cork Dubois Quarter tonner Diamond were winners of the first race of the Axiom Private Clients Spring Series 2023 at Kinsale Yacht Club Photo: Bob BatemanKieran Kelleher/Colman Garvey in the Royal Cork Dubois Quarter tonner Diamond were winners of the first race of the Axiom Private Clients Spring Series 2023 at Kinsale Yacht Club Photo: Bob Bateman

In the Spinnaker Two division on IRC, Kieran Kelleher/Colman Garvey were winners in the Royal Cork Dubois Quarter Tonner Diamond.

The RCYC crew beat the  Kinsale Yacht Club Kinsailor under-25 crew. Third was Dunmore East visitor David Marchant from Waterford Harbour Sailing Club.

Overall, there was a good turnout from visiting RCYC boats that included Jelly Baby, Nieulargo, Alpaca, Luas, Sweet Dreams, Magnet and the under 25 j24, Jambalaya. 

Axiom Private Clients Spring Series 2023 Main Fleet Photo Gallery Day One By Bob Bateman

Axiom Private Clients Spring Series 2023 White Sails Fleet Photo Gallery Day One By Bob Bateman

Published in Kinsale

Saturday's 2023 Royal Cork Yacht Club PY1000 turned out to be a day for ILCA6/Radials, which took the top three prizes overall in breezy conditions for the ninth year of the competition, which saw entries topping 50 dinghies for the first time.

Chris Bateman sailing an ILCA 6, was a convincing winner in this year’s Crosshaven House-sponsored race, with 32 boats finishing the race. 

Second to fifth was hotly contested, with Portuguese Laser coach Andre Granadeiro taking second in his ILCA 6.

2021 winner Oisin MacSweeney was third, again in an ILCA 6. It was a year for the Lasers this year as they joined 29ers, N18s, 420s and RS400s as previous winners.

This year the race was run in a pursuit format with boats starting on a staggered basis in line with their handicaps; the first to cross the line then after 90 minutes is the winner.

Chris Bateman, overall winner, with Stacey O’Sullivan from Crosshaven House and Alex Barry, event organiser. Chris took away the new trophy and a cheque for €700 Photo: Bob BatemanChris Bateman, overall winner, (centre and sailing below) with Stacey O’Sullivan from Crosshaven House and Alex Barry, event organiser. Chris took away the new trophy and a cheque for €700 Photo: Bob Bateman

Chris Bateman

The Toppers and RS Tera were first out of the blocks in the new pursuit format. Isha Duggan led for much of the race before eventually being hunted down by the faster boats.

The National 18 's looked mighty at speed Photo: Bob BatemanThe National 18s looked mighty at speed Photo: Bob Bateman

With gusts of over 30 knots forecast, race officer John Crotty set an interesting course with mark one upriver at Coolmore House towards Carrigaline and mark two off Crosshaven House near the boatyard. 

Oisin MacSweeney is at full speed on his way to third place this year, having won it in 2021 and been 2nd in 2022 in a 29er. Photo: Bob BatemanOisin MacSweeney is at full speed on his way to third place this year, having won it in 2021 and been 2nd in 2022 in a 29er. Photo: Bob Bateman

The course raised some eyebrows when announced, but on returning to shore, the consensus was that getting a fair race in was great, given the conditions involved.

Staying upright in the gusty conditions was the aim of the game; not all could manage it, however!

Nick Walsh got a special prize for helping a capsized Topper Photo: Bob BatemanNick Walsh got a special prize for helping a capsized Topper Photo: Bob Bateman

The river course gave some reprieve from the strong gusts at times, but Laser champion Nick Walsh got a special prize for helping a capsized Topper.

Download results below

Royal Cork PY1000 Photo Gallery 2023 by Bob Bateman

Published in Royal Cork YC
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Royal Cork's popular PY1000 Race takes place on Saturday, 1st April 2023, but this year in a twist to the annual fixture, the big prize money goes to the winner of a new first-passed-the-post format. 

Dinghies will start from the slowest to fastest, and the first across the line wins, with placings on the water being the final position.

This move emulates the UK's famous ‘Bloody Mary’ event in London in January of each year.

With racing at high tide, the plan is always to race in the river if conditions allow.

"For the last eight years, we have run an all-in PY race, but to make it more exciting, we want to try the first-passed-the-post approach", RCYC's Alex Barry told Afloat.

Royal Cork Yacht Club's PY1000 Perpetual TrophyRoyal Cork Yacht Club's PY1000 Perpetual Trophy

"A huge fleet of Toppers and ILCAs gives the younger sailors a better chance, given they will start before the big boats with clean air. The Bloody Mary fixture is such a great race, and we want to emulate that in Cork", Barry said. 

This year, the event is kindly sponsored by Crosshaven House in a new partnership which proprietor Noel Corcoran has kindly agreed to make long-standing.

This year, the €1,000 will be split with €700 for the winner, €200 for the second and €100 for the third. There will also be some great prizes available for the youngest sailor, first female helm, youngest combined crew age and oldest combined crew age.

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Two top Irish sailing teams, one from Dublin and one from Cork, will contest the New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup this September off Rhode Island.

Howth Yacht Club and Royal Cork Yacht Club are in the line-up of twenty teams from 15 countries competing in the 2023 Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup.

2023 will be Royal Cork's eighth visit to the New York Invitational Cup, with experienced Cork Harbour skipper Anthony O'Leary taking bronze in the 2019 event. Howth Yacht Club return for a second time.

The seventh edition of the Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup, held in September 2021, had nearly everything a great one-design regatta should have: tremendous competitors, great social events, a polished race committee, fabulous sailing conditions and evenly matched boats. But it was missing one thing, a defending champion.

“We were very disappointed that we couldn’t defend our 2019 win as we were not allowed to leave Australia during the Covid lockdowns,” says Guido Belgiorno-Nettis of the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron. “Of course, we watched the 2021 Invitational Cup with fascination, jealousy and frustration. Sitting on the couch, my team were sure we could have given the 2021 competing teams a good run for their money. But I know that reality will set the record straight when we turn up at the start line in 2023. Then the talk stops and the action will begin.”

So the 2021 event’s loss will be a gain for the eighth edition, scheduled for September 9 to 16. Among the 20 prestigious yacht clubs that will toe the line for Corinthian sailing’s premiere event will now be two teams hoping to carry forward the momentum from the last time they competed in this event: Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron and Southern Yacht Club from New Orleans, which claimed the title in 2021.

2023 will be Royal Cork's eighth visit to the New York Invitational Cup. In 2019 under skipper Anthony O'Leary, the Cork Harbour team took bronze Photo: Daniel Forster. 2023 will be Royal Cork's eighth visit to the New York Invitational Cup. In 2019 under skipper Anthony O'Leary, the Cork Harbour team took bronze 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 on six continents. After five editions in the Swan 42 class, the 2023 event will be the third 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, ensures a level playing field not seen in any other amateur big-boat sailing competition. The regatta will run September 9 to 16, with racing starting on Tuesday, September 12. A live webcast of the regatta will allow fellow club members, friends, family and sailing fans from around the world follow the action as it happens. Twenty teams from 15 countries will compete in the 2023 Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup, which is brought to you by title sponsor Rolex and regatta sponsors Helly Hansen

Much to the delight of their enthusiastic membership, Southern Yacht Club has become something of a juggernaut at the Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup with two wins sandwiched around a fifth-place finish in the past three editions. John Lovell (top, at left) has been one of the constants. He called tactics in 2017 and 2019 and steered the boat in 2021.

“We have a big group that is very excited for the Invitational,” says Lovell, who won a silver medal in the Tornado class at the 2004 Olympics. “We are working on a budget and practice schedule.”

Both skippers agree that continuity is essential for success in the Invitational Cup. The IC37 is a challenging boat to sail well, and the unique format of the regatta hasn’t traditionally been kind to rookie teams. For the Royal Sydney team, it’s particularly acute since there are currently no IC37s in the Southern Hemisphere and the distance between Sydney and Newport prohibits the team from taking advantage of practice opportunities during the upcoming summer regatta schedule.

“Fortunately for our competitors, our team have not done any racing together since the 2019 Invitational,” he says. “We will just step on the IC37 [in September] looking to do only one thing—have fun among ourselves as a team while enjoying the fabulous camaraderie shared by the New York Yacht Club and all the competing invitational teams from the United States and around the world.”

While yacht clubs take this event very seriously, often investing significant time and money into training in advance of the regatta, staying true to the Corinthian nature of the Invitational Cup remains a priority. The participants are all amateur sailors taking time away from work and family responsibilities to compete, and the regatta is known as much for its competitive sailing as the amazing camaraderie ashore each evening.

“I think the key is sailing as much as possible but keeping it fun,” says Lovell. “I try to sail in many different classes and in as many local events as I can race in.”

While Southern and Royal Sydney may have the pedigree of being the only two clubs to win an Invitational Cup sailed in the IC37s, they are far from the only clubs with a strong chance of winning the trophy. Of the 20 clubs, 19 have previously competed in the regatta and many will be sailing in IC37 events this coming summer to prepare. There's every reason to believe that the eighth edition of the regatta will be the most competitive yet.

The following yacht clubs will compete for the 2023 Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup: The Corinthian Yacht Club (Marblehead, Mass.), Howth Yacht Club (IRL), Itchenor Sailing Club (GBR), Japan Sailing Federation, New York Yacht Club, Norddeutscher Regatta Verein (GER), Nyländska Jaktklubben (FIN), Real Club Náutico de Barcelona (ESP), Royal Canadian Yacht Club, Royal Cork Yacht Club (IRL), Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club (CHN), Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, Royal Swedish Yacht Club, Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron (AUS), Royal Vancouver Yacht Club (CAN), Royal Yacht Squadron (GBR), Southern Yacht Club (New Orleans), Yacht Club Argentino, Yacht Club Costa Smeralda (ITA), Yacht Club Punte del Este (URY)

The 302nd Annual General Meeting of the Royal Cork Yacht Club was held in the Crosshaven clubhouse on Monday with the election of an Executive Committee for 2023.  

2023 will see the Topper World Championships hosted by the Royal Cork under a new Chair of Membership Communications and events, Yvonne Durcan. 

The full Royal Cork Yacht Club Executive is Pat Harte, Treasurer/Secretary; Kieran O'Connell, Admiral; Annamarie Fegan, Vice Admiral; Gavin Deane, General Manager; Paul Tingle, Rear Admiral Keelboats; Maurice Collins, Rear Admiral Dinghies; Mike Rider Rear Admiral Cruising, Yvonne Durcan, Chair of the Membership Communications and events, and Denis Byrne, Chair of Marina and Facilities Committee.

As Afloat reported, former Admiral Peter Crowley was honoured at the AGM with honorary membership of the world's oldest yacht club.

Published in Royal Cork YC
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A former Admiral and President paid tribute to a former Admiral and President at the 302nd annual general meeting of the oldest yacht club in the world.

It was rather unique as David O’Brien, former President of the Irish Sailing Association and a former Admiral of the Royal Cork Yacht Club in Crosshaven, proposed Peter Crowley, former Admiral of the club and former President of the ISA for Honorary Membership in recognition of his service to the club and to the sport of sailing.

The proposal was approved unanimously, with a standing ovation given by the members present as Peter Crowley accepted the honour.

Afloat nominated Peter as Sailor of the Month for November for sailing services, commenting: “Affable Race Officer and former Royal Cork YC Admiral Peter Crowley brings comprehensive experience of participation and organisation to any major championship with which he becomes involved.”

Peter Crowley is well known and respected throughout sailing circles for the length and breadth of Ireland and also for his commitment and work with the RNLI.

Peter Crowley's  proposal for Honorary Membership by David O'Brien

Admiral, Flag Officers, Members

My introduction to boats with sails was as a young teenager in Ardmore watching my school friend Peter Crowley, his siblings, and acquaintances sailing around an almost empty bay in one of the half dozen single sail, one design, dinghies built by his father, Finbarr. In those days, only the odd real hardy seafarers cruised the coastline and then rarely called into Ardmore, so these intrepid young sailors had the open bay to themselves with only some local salmon fishermen and their nets to contend with, though I’m sure these sailboats were much more of a nuisance to those striving to make a hard-earned living, than the other way round.

There were no formal sail training courses 50 years ago, so all the experience Peter gained was achieved on the water the hard way, in various boat types and sizes. And I may add without lifejackets or rescue boats in many cases.

In his late teens/early twenties, Peter was competitively involved in rowing on the Lee, and campaigned seriously on the windsurfing circuit, both of which required a high level of fitness, which he worked hard to achieve and maintain.

RCYC

Here in the Royal Cork, Peter for many years was an active member of the National 18ft class sailing regularly with, amongst others, Tom Dwyer inCobblerod, before acquiring their own boat, Dynosore in 1998. (I’ll leave you to work out where both these names originated from).

As the family grew Peter joined with friends as part owner of that well-known floating playpen, Blue Shark, which regularly became a mothership for events, a safe nursery for younger children, and a practical resource to entertain families and friends for a day on the water. Blue Shark knew every nook and cranny around the harbour and over the 12 years in that ownership, undoubtedly found some new ones.

Peter owned or shared in a number of racing/cruising boats, from the Corby 25 named Hi-Time to the current Beneteau Trawler named Spare-Time, which has been a familiar sight around the harbour since 2007 – more of this anon.

But while that’s an incomplete snapshot of Peter’s sailing curriculum – what about his contribution to the sport?

Like many before and after him, as Kevin & Sam became involved in the Oppy fleet, so too did Peter and Marie get involved in the many events associated with the class, travelling around the country to other venues for championships and competitions. Not happy staying ashore in such circumstances Peter's natural instinct was to get involved in the event, assisting on the water as rescue, mark laying and hence to the committee boat itself, where his knowledge, skills and willingness to be part of the team became obvious, and sought after.

Soon Peter was in demand as Principal Race Officer, PRO, for Club and local regattas. By then, the Irish Sailing Association, ISA, had adopted standard criteria for the certification of race officers, and Peter soon ascended that ladder to National Race officer status qualifying him to take control for all local, regional and national championships.

However, this left a gap for the Club when canvassing for European and World events whichrequired an International Race Officer to be the principal race official. Royal Cork and Crosshaven, especially through the Cork Week events was being recognised as a suitable venue by a variety of classes and was awarded the 2001 Laser Class Worlds.

Peter assisted the UK International Race Officer, Jeff Martin, brought over for that event and he got the bug! Following up on the qualification procedure, including attending training in Finland, he achievedInternational status in 2002.

Over the last 20 years, Peter’s portfolio of events includes:

  • Numerous Club, regional, and national organised events for dinghies and keelboats annually both here in Crosshaven and throughout Ireland
  • Many Cork Weeks both on the water for a specific fleet, and as Race Director over all fleets
  • Sovereign Weeks in Kinsale
  • 1720 European and national Championships
  • 505 Worlds in Crosshaven in 2022
  • ICRA Championships
  • Irish Sailing senior and junior Champions Cups –formally call the Helmsmen trophy
  • Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regattas
  • Mirror Europeans
  • And many more significant events which I’m sure I have left out.

It’s well known that if a club is lucky enough to find Peter available for any event, not only do they benefit from the experience of Peter himself; but receive a fully equipped, and often fully staffed, committee boat; his on-board accommodation; and excellent support and hospitality provided by Marie. He has also been known to bring along his own experienced mark layers/rescue to complete the team.

I mentioned Spare Time above which was purchased in 2007. One of its shake-down cruises was to Wales in May 2008, transporting a motley crew to the Heineken Cup final in Cardiff when Munster lifted the trophy. Unfortunately, the weather that weekend was rather inclement and whilst the boat got a thorough testing, so too did the crew!

Administrative Experiences

You might think from the above that Peter’s involvement with our sport was all water based – far from it.

  • President of IODAI – late 90’s
  • RCYC Admiral 2004-2005
  • President of Irish Sailing 2008-2011
  • Former Council member and now Vice President of RNLI

505 Worlds & Winkie Nixon

The 505 Worlds 2022 from 3rd to 13th August at the Royal Cork, came laden with historic associations. It was the fourth time the class had come to Crosshaven for its world championships, and I am reliably informed that Peter was involved in some way with all four. For the first in 1959 he caught boats and moved trollies whilst in short pants, to PRO in 2022. We’ll let him tell us what his role was in 1964 and1982

Winkie Nixon recently wrote in Afloat of the 505’s that “though this attractive class may still look as modern as tomorrow, it goes way back, and around 70 years ago Cork Harbour was the hotbed of a busy fleet that was part of a worldwide movement. But now – like former superstar classes such as the Finn, the Star and the Dragon – the 505 class is an elite international travelling circus, making the highest demands on any venue that it selects for its Worlds”.

In announcing Peter Crowley as a nominee for the month of November Afloat Sailor of the month for services to sailing, Winkie wrote that the “Affable Race Officer and former Royal Cork YC Admiral Peter Crowley brings the comprehensive experience of participation and organisation to any major championship with which he becomes involved”.

Praise indeed!

Admiral, it gives me great pleasure, and it is an honour to propose Peter Crowley as an Honorary Member of the RCYC.

David O’Brien

16 January 2023.

Published in Royal Cork YC
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The 302nd Annual General Meeting of the Royal Cork Yacht Club will be held in the Crosshaven clubhouse on Monday, starting at 8 pm.

2022 saw the Club host its biennial Cork Week Regatta in Cork Harbour as well as the 505 World Championships.

2023 will see the Topper World Championships hosted by the Royal Cork.

The club has announced that its Head of Sailing Development, Ed Rice, has resigned.

Published in Royal Cork YC
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Looking back on the season of 2022, it has to be said that the East Coast keelboats had the edge on the Cork Harbour fleet in terms of national overall success in the majors, what with taking the best place in the Round Ireland Race and winning the ICRA “Boat of the Year” award - both achieved by the Evans brothers’ J/99 Snapshot – while also having a third share of the “Boat of the Week” trophy in Cork Week in the form of Ross McDonald’s successful helming of Atara to be tops in the big fleet 1720 Class.

But Cork sailors can draw hope of future success from other outstanding achievements, and over Christmas we had news from New Zealand of a Cork cruiser-racer coming to Dublin Bay and wiping the floor against a crack fleet, despite all her competitors being bigger boats.

Admittedly, it all happened 186 years ago. But success at this level endures forever, provided the engraved trophy somehow survives. Silverware is for keeps, but the maintaining of paper records from a busy regatta can sometimes become haphazard - particularly on a wet and windy day - while club minute books are only legally obliged to record the deliberations of the General Committee, but not those of the Sailing Committee.

LEAKING ROOFS AND THE PRICE OF POTATOES

This means that sailing historians, far from being able to access precise information on the winners of the annual regatta and how they won from formal club records, instead find themselves ploughing through distracting discussions about how best to stop the clubhouse roof from leaking, the adverse way the price of potatoes is affecting the finances of the dining room, and how to cope with the latest episode of difficult in-house behaviour by the club’s inevitable Awkward Squad, of whom the undisputed national all-time champion was the Royal Cork’s 19th Century member John Newman Beamish, who would have a row with himself when no-one else was available

When completed in 1854, what is now the Sirius Arts Centre in Cobh was the new purpose-designed clubhouse of the Royal Cork Yacht Club, where the committee occasionally found they’d to resolve intense disagreements among a very characterful membership.   When completed in 1854, what is now the Sirius Arts Centre in Cobh was the new purpose-designed clubhouse of the Royal Cork Yacht Club, where the committee occasionally found they’d to resolve intense disagreements among a very characterful membership.  

But as for sailing, there are times when you’d think this had nothing to do with the club at all. And if you turn to the contemporary newspapers or periodicals, should an account of the event appear, you’ll find that it only goes big if any celebs of the day are involved, while the reporter will inevitably also focus on the largest boats involved.

So when Royal Cork Yacht Club member Nicholas Parker (1795-1863) of Bellevue at Passage West above Monkstown on Cork Harbour took his little 10-ton cutter Gem to Dublin Bay in 1837 and won a regatta of the Royal Irish Yacht Club, it scarcely registered at all on the publicity barometer. In fact, though Parker and Gem apparently were hotshot performers for more than twenty years, the Royal Cork’s monumental history – published 2005 - only mentions Gem twice.

Once was in 1835, when she won a rough weather race boat-for-boat out round the Daunt Rock lightship and back when other larger craft were more fancied, with her owner merely being named as “Parker”. And then on 10th September 1857, she was one of 21 yachts taking part in a Royal Cork YC exercise in Admiral Sailing under the leadership of Captain Henry O’Bryen.

THE PIONEERING “OCEAN RACE”

Three years later, O’Bryen was to achieve sailing immortality through being the winning skipper in 1860’s pioneering Dublin Bay to Cork Harbour “ocean race” – the winner of its re-staging last year was the Murphy family’s Grand Soleil 40 Nieulargo from Crosshaven. But back in Cork Harbour in 1857, the little Gem was last in the list of boats in his Admirals Sailing fleet – presumably through being the smallest – and her owner’s name wasn’t mentioned at all.

It would be pleasant to think that the Royal Cork’s introduction in 1845 of a 21-gun salute for members’ yachts returning from conspicuous success elsewhere had been partly inspired by Gem’s outstanding success in Dublin Bay in 1837. But in an age when might was right, the sheer smallness of Gem probably meant that her remarkable win in Dublin Bay in 1837 scarcely registered around Cork Harbour at all.

“Ideal for displaying Aunty Keitha’s bouquet of plastic flowers….” – the priceless trophy from 1837 had been re-purposed when discovered by relatives during a house clearance in Auckland“Ideal for displaying Aunty Keitha’s bouquet of plastic flowers….” – the priceless trophy from 1837 had been re-purposed when discovered by relatives during a house clearance in Auckland

Thus we’ve a fairly clear indication that Nicholas Skottow Parker (Heaven alone knows where the exotic middle name came from) was indulging himself in that Irish speciality of the caring professions, the Nursing Of A Grievance. For the cup he won from the Royal Irish Yacht Club has been inscribed in a particular way which suggests he commissioned the inscription himself, just to make it clear to posterity that his little Gem had beaten the tar out of some hot bigger craft on a boat-for-boat basis. And on Dublin Bay, too.

 The detail on the 1837 RIYC Regatta Cup suggests that winning owner-skipper Nicholas Parker of Cork personally commissioned the inscription The detail on the 1837 RIYC Regatta Cup suggests that winning owner-skipper Nicholas Parker of Cork personally commissioned the inscription

That would have made it a very big deal indeed in Bellevue in Passage West, where Nicholas would have become a household name in his own household. And we still know about it, for miraculously the cup - complete with its very telling inscription - has survived. But it’s far from Passage West now, and far from Ireland too. It’s in Rangiora, a suburb of Canterbury in New Zealand’s South Island. 

THE WANDERINGS OF GEM’S CUP

Although many Irish families emigrated to New Zealand in the latter half of the 19th Century and subsequently, with the more affluent taking various goods and chattels with them including any handy family silver, most will have gone fairly direct. But the wandering of Gem’s Cup has been remarkable, and it has been traced by Wayne Boreham of Rangiroa, a descendant of Nicholas Parker and the current custodian of this very tangible piece of family and sailing history.

Nicholas Parker’s daughter Anne Dorcas Stevelly Parker married a John Waring, and the Parker silverware, jewellery, plates and cutlery apparently passed down Anne’s line to find their final home in Ireland in the Waring family’s Pottlerath House in Kilmanagh, Co Kilkenny. The collection passed to John and Anne’s sons William and Thomas, and Thomas emigrated from Kilmanagh to Auckland, New Zealand, but finally settled permanently in Fiji with his family, with the cup, goods and chattels going to the Pacific islands with them.

In Fiji, one Henry Harding Waring eventually emerged as the caretaker of the Cup, and it went with him when he made a new home in Auckland with a family of three daughters. In due course the Cup passed to the youngest daughter Keitha (now there’s a classic Kiwi feminization of a male name for you) who seems to have lived alone at the end, for when she died her nephew Wayne Boreham had to travel up from Canterbury and join with two of Keitha’s nieces in the melancholy but fascinating business of clearing her house, which proved to be a treasure trove of family history with many documents and heirlooms.

PRIZE SILVERWARE BELOW THE PLASTIC FLOWERS

However, such tasks can become overpowering, and when the cousins found themselves faced with a pile of apparent rubbish in the lounge with a bunch of plastic flowers sticking out of the top, one of the nieces simply grabbed the lot and heaved it into the bin. But it made an interesting “clunk” when landing, and a quick investigation revealed that the plastic flowers had been on display in the Royal Irish Yacht Club silver cup of 1837.

Wayne Boreham politely refrains from any comments about eccentric Aunty Keitha using the historic family silver to display plastic flowers to best effect. But as soon as possible back in Canterbury, he got the cup cleaned up, and set about looking up old newspaper and periodical records online to see was any information available about that regatta, while also contacting the Royal Irish YC. And then records of The Pilot, a maritime weekly of that era, came up with some information in its edition of Friday June 23rd 1837.

The report in The Pilot for the first day of the RIYC regatta of 1837 concentrated on the big class……..The report in The Pilot for the first day of the RIYC regatta of 1837 concentrated on the big class……..

…..but on the second day the reporter had to make do with Gem’s win in the small class, and threw in a hint of organisational criticism for good measure…..but on the second day the reporter had to make do with Gem’s win in the small class, and threw in a hint of organisational criticism for good measure

In those more leisurely times for those who had the ways and means to enjoy it, the two-day RIYC regatta was staged mid-week on Tuesday June 19th and Wednesday June 20th 1837. Founded in 1831, the Royal Irish YC in its initial form was a fading force by then, but it was to be revived with fresh vigour by Daniel O’Connell the Liberator and various sailing friends on 4th July 1846, with the date of American Independence day being very deliberately chosen.

But back in 1837, it was on its last legs, and though the three big class boats racing on the Tuesday got detailed coverage, the second day when Gem shone received only the barest mention, as the impending death of King William IV dominated events, and meant that only the small class raced in a regatta in which the club appeared to lack sailing administrators.

However, the bare bones report in The Pilot showed the order in which they had finished with Gem triumphantly ahead. But in the somewhat chaotic atmosphere, it is highly likely that Nicholas Parker was simply presented with the cup inscribed only with the name of the regatta, and given perfunctory best wishes for a safe voyage back to Passage West

So after it had been sailed back to Cork Harbour securely stowed in Gem’s safest locker, he had complete freedom to get a Cork silversmith to inscribe the cup exactly as he wished. Has anyone ever - before or since - seen a winner’s silver cup inscribed with such loving details of every boat beaten, starting with the fact that the ten tonner from Cork had beaten a 17 ton cutter from Dublin Bay back into second place by all of 23 minutes?

THE PERILS OF GLASSWARE

Yet given such a chance, who could resist? More than thirty years ago, we raced our Contessa 35 in the then-big-fleet Scottish Series when she’d been re-furbished and given new sails, and was going good. The prize-giving started on the Tuesday evening at Tarbert almost immediately after the last race, and though there was time for an on-site inscriber to fill in precise details of the overall winner on the main trophy, those of us who had scooped some wins and podium places further down the line were simply given a choice selection of rather lovely Caithness glass inscribed only with the Clyde Cruising Club logo.

Scotland’s Caithness Glass provides an exquisite selection of drinking vessels ready for inscription as you wish, but it won’t survive violent contact with flagstone kitchen floors with the same style as old Irish silverwareScotland’s Caithness Glass provides an exquisite selection of drinking vessels ready for inscription as you wish, but it won’t survive violent contact with flagstone kitchen floors with the same style as old Irish silverware

There isn’t a country in the world that can match the Scots for the invention of differing shapes and forms of glassware vessels exclusively for the conveyance of alcohol from bottle to consumer. Thus we arrived back in Dublin with all this various and lovely virgin glassware just waiting to be embellished with whatever inscription we could think of that stayed within the limits of what the boat had achieved yet all put in the best possible light, and Blackrock Crystal did a fine job for us.

But in those days we tended to celebrate to excess, and at least one of the syndicate had a stone-flagged kitchen floor which was instant nemesis for a dropped Caithness Glass quaich of even the most elegant design. Within a dozen years, there wasn’t any tangible evidence whatever left of that rather successful pot-hunting expedition to Loch Fyne.

Yet 186 years later, thanks to the enduring qualities of Irish silver, we are now more aware than ever that Nicholas Parker’s little Gem from Passage West on Cork Harbour won a mighty regatta victory on Dublin Bay on June 20th 1837. And we are aware of it despite the trophy having to survive travels from Cork to Kilkenny to New Zealand and on to the Pacific Islands, and then back to New Zealand and through a period of being used to display plastic flowers to best effect.

Silver can take it. Forget glass, forget wood, forget marble – silver is your only man. And if anyone out there knows more of Nicholas Parker of Passage West and his family and his wonder-boat Gem, there are folk in New Zealand who’d like to hear about it.

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On Sunday, there was a cold, crisp finish to the all-in O'Leary Insurances Winter League at Royal Cork Yacht Club

A port tack start with an ebb tide coming down the Owenabue river pushed the cruiser-racer fleet ever closer to the start line, a situation that prompted an individual recall in the 22-boat fleet. 

After four races sailed and one discard applied, Fiona Young's Albin Express North Star held a four-point advantage at the top of Royal Cork Yacht Club's O'Leary Insurance Winter League 2022 in IRC.

A port tack start with an ebb tide coming down the Owenabue River, pushed the fleet ever closer to the line in the final race of the O'Leary Insurances Winter League at Royal Cork Yacht Club Photo: Bob Bateman A port tack start with an ebb tide coming down the Owenabue River pushed the fleet ever closer to the line in the final race of the O'Leary Insurances Winter League at Royal Cork Yacht Club Photo: Bob Bateman 

The course brought the fleet to Corkbeg, then no.14 out the harbour to Roches Point and back to a finish.

Race Officer Nin O'Leary gets the fleet away in the final race of the O'Leary Insurances Winter League at Royal Cork Yacht Club Photo: Bob BatemanRace Officer Nin O'Leary prepares to get the fleet away in the final race of the O'Leary Insurances Winter League at Royal Cork Yacht Club; the race was started from "Grassy" line with a transit between the shore and the Cage buoy in Cork Harbour Photo: Bob Bateman

North Star made no mistake; today's win was the fourth of the series, enough to seal the victory by six points on IRC and take the Archie O'Leary memorial trophy.

In his Albin sister ship, Apache, Kinsale visitor Alan Mulcahy stayed second overall, with Colman Garvey and Kieran Kelleher in the Dubois Quarter Tonner Diamond, helmed by Roy Darrer in third place. 

A prizegiving was held at the RCYC clubhouse in Crosshaven, with Race Officer Nin O'Leary presenting the prizes.

Jack Young, helm of North Star, was first in Echo and IRC at the O'Leary Insurances Winter League at Royal Cork Yacht Club and was presented with his preize by Nin O'Leary (left) and Paul Tingle, RCYC Rear Admiral Keelboats (right)  Photo: Bob BatemanJack Young, helm of North Star, was first in Echo and IRC at the O'Leary Insurances Winter League at Royal Cork Yacht Club and was presented with his preize by Nin O'Leary (left) and Paul Tingle, RCYC Rear Admiral Keelboats (right)  Photo: Bob BatemanKinsale's Alan Mulcahy from the Albin Express Apache takes second prize at the O'Leary Insurances Winter League at Royal Cork Yacht Club presented by Nin O'Leary (left) and Paul Tingle, RCYC Rear Admiral Keelboats (right)  Photo: Bob BatemanKinsale's Alan Mulcahy from the Albin Express Apache takes the second prize at the O'Leary Insurances Winter League at Royal Cork Yacht Club Photo: Bob Bateman

Helmsman Roy Darrer from the Quarter Tonner Diamond picks up third prize O'Leary Insurances Winter League at Royal Cork Yacht Club Photo: Bob BatemanHelmsman Roy Darrer from the Quarter Tonner Diamond picks up third prize (IRC) in O'Leary Insurances Winter League at Royal Cork Yacht Club Photo: Bob Bateman

Seamus Gilroy from the Dufour 34P, Split Point, second on ECHO handicap in the O'Leary Insurances Winter League at Royal Cork Yacht Club Photo: Bob BatemanSeamus Gilroy from the Dufour 34P, Split Point, second on ECHO handicap in the O'Leary Insurances Winter League at Royal Cork Yacht Club Photo: Bob Bateman

Sean Hanley skipper of Luas was third on Echo handicap in the O'Leary Insurances Winter League at Royal Cork Yacht Club Photo: Bob BatemanSean Hanley skipper of Luas was third on ECHO handicap in the O'Leary Insurances Winter League at Royal Cork Yacht Club Photo: Bob Bateman

Denis Murphy's Grand Soleil 44 Nieulargo was judged the best-dressed boat overall for the Christmas-time race of the O'Leary Insurances Winter League at Royal Cork Yacht Club Photo: Bob BatemanDenis Murphy's Grand Soleil 44 Nieulargo (below) was judged the best-dressed boat overall for the Christmas-time race of the O'Leary Insurances Winter League at Royal Cork Yacht Club Photo: Bob Bateman

Denis Murphy's Grand Soleil 44 Nieulargo was judged the best-dressed boat overall for the Christmas-time race of the O'Leary Insurances Winter League at Royal Cork Yacht Club

Overall results below

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After four races sailed and with one discard applied, Fiona Young's Albin Express North Star has a four-point advantage at the top of Royal Cork Yacht Club's O'Leary Insurance Winter League 2022 in IRC with one race left to sail.

22 boats are racing in an all-in format under white sails only in the last racing of the Crosshven season.

Kinsale visitor Alan Mulcahy, in his Albin sister ship, Apache, stays in second place overall on seven points, with Colman Garvey and Kieran Kelleher in the Dubois Quarter Tonner Diamond in third place on nine.

With the Monkstown Bay 1720 ahead on the water, overall leader Fiona Young's smaller Albin Express (right) is well up on the much bigger MG335, Magnet in today's fourth race of Royal Cork Yacht Club's O'Leary Insurance Winter League 2022 Photo: Bob BatemanWith the Monkstown Bay 1720 ahead on the water, overall leader Fiona Young's smaller Albin Express (right) is well up on the much bigger MG335, Magnet in today's fourth race of Royal Cork Yacht Club's O'Leary Insurance Winter League 2022 Photo: Bob Bateman

Today's penultimate race of the Cork Harbour series was sailed in a biting northeast breeze that cancelled racing on the east coast at Dun Laoghaire. One, two and three in race four reflect the position in the overall scoreboard. 

The course sailed set by Race Officer Anthony O'Leary was to Corkbeg in the harbour to no.14, East Ferry 2 and straight back to finish at The Cage Line. The leading boat, Jelly Baby took just over an hour to sail the course. 

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Page 8 of 68

Irish Sailing

The Irish Sailing Association, also known as Irish Sailing, is the national governing body for sailing, powerboating and windsurfing in Ireland.

Founded in 1945 as the Irish Dinghy Racing Association, it became the Irish Yachting Association in 1964 and the Irish Sailing Association in 1992.

Irish Sailing is a Member National Authority (MNA) of World Sailing and a member of the Olympic Federation of Ireland.

The Association is governed by a volunteer board, elected by the member clubs. Policy Groups provide the link with members and stakeholders while advising the Board on specialist areas. There is a professional administration and performance staff, based at the headquarters in Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin.

Core functions include the regulation of sailing education, administering racing and selection of Irish sailors for international competition. It is the body recognised by the Olympic Federation of Ireland for nominating Irish qualified sailors to be considered for selection to represent Ireland at the Olympic Games. Irish sailors have medalled twice at the Olympics – David Wilkins and Jamie Wikinson at the 1980 games, and Annalise Murphy at the 2016 games.

The Association, through its network of clubs and centres, offers curriculum-based training in the various sailing, windsurfing and powerboating disciplines. Irish Sailing qualifications are recognised by Irish and European Authorities. Most prominent of these are the Yachtmaster and the International Certificate of Competency.

It runs the annual All-Ireland Championships (formerly the Helmsman’s Championship) for senior and junior sailors.

The Association has been led by leading lights in the sailing and business communities. These include Douglas Heard, Clayton Love Junior, John Burke and Robert Dix.

Close to 100 sailors have represented Ireland at the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Membership of Irish Sailing is either by direct application or through membership of an affiliated organisation. The annual membership fee ranges from €75 for families, down to €20 for Seniors and Juniors.