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On Sunday afternoon (15 January) Crosshaven RNLI volunteers were requested to launch and assist the National Ambulance Service and Cobh Fire Brigade to extract a casualty at Cobh.

It emerged that a young man had fallen on cliffs east of the pilot station at Cobh in Cork Harbour and suffered a serious leg injury.

NAS paramedics and fire service personnel were able to access and treat the casualty, but were unable to extract the patient.

Shortly after pagers sounded at 3.35pm, the inshore lifeboat was beached at the cliff base and its volunteers took on board the stretchered patient along with two paramedics for continuation of care.

They were subsequently transferred to Kennedy Quay, where the fire service assisted in extracting the casualty to the awaiting ambulance.

Commenting later, Crosshaven RNLU hailed the “good inter-agency cooperation by NAS, fire service and the pilot launch.”

The lifeboat crew on this callout were Ian Venner, Alan Venner, James Fegan and Caoimhe Foster. Launch crew were Kline Penefather, Conor Barry, Jeff Lacerda, Jennifer Grey, Jonny Bermingham and Kevin McCarthy.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Cobh People’s Regatta, with Cove Sailing Club, is on this weekend with events ashore and afloat.

Sailing races begin with the young sailors of the Optimist fleet on Friday morning, starting at 10 a.m. The cruisers will race that evening at 7 p.m. for the Titanic Trophy. Both are open events as is the Dinghy Racing on Saturday, starting at 2.30 p.m.

The famous Rankin dinghies will race for the ‘Rankin Brothers’ Cup on Saturday. “We expect a great fleet with fifteen boats entered and we hope to have a race mark in by the Promenade in Cobh to increase spectator enjoyment,” Maurice Kidney, one of those who led the revival of the fleet, tells me. First gun for this fleet will be at 3 p.m.

On Sunday, there will be cruiser racing, starting at 1.30 p.m., an open event for all clubs.

Ashore there is a wide variety of events planned.

Published in Cove Sailing Club

The coastal town of Cobh on Great Island, Cork Harbour, is after years of waiting, to see plans finally drawn up to build a €100m new road to the town and to replace the only road bridge into the area in order to provide security of movement.

Plans are also being advanced to complete the northern relief road in Midleton and work will get underway next month on the construction of the western relief road in Carrigaline.

The coastal town of Cobh on Great Island in Cork HarbourThe coastal town of Cobh on Great Island in Cork Harbour Photo: Bob Bateman

The population of Cobh (see ship story) and Great Island is more than 13,000 people, and can only be accessed via Belvelly Bridge, which has been subject to closure in the past due to tidal flooding and fallen trees. (See, other Afloat story on the redevelopment of nearby Marino Point)

 Belvelly BridgeCobh's Belvelly Bridge Photo: Bob Bateman

Today, two ferries the “Glenbrook” and the “Carrigaloe” service the River Lee connecting the communities on both sides of the harbour between Cobh and Cork. The ferries can carry 200 passengers and 27 cars. The crossing from Glenbrook to Carrigaloe takes 5 minutesCross river ferries -  two ferries the “Glenbrook” and the “Carrigaloe” service the River Lee connecting the communities on both sides of the harbour between Cobh and Cork. The ferries can carry 200 passengers and 27 cars. The crossing from Glenbrook to Carrigaloe takes 5 minutes Photo: Bob Bateman

Pádraig Barrett, the county council's director of roads, said a tender for a design brief for the upgrading of the R624 into Cobh will be advertised shortly and it is expected the plans will be completed within the next two years.

It is envisaged that the project will be broken up into sections, but the bridge replacement will be given priority.

Cobh could not be accessed by road until the bridge was constructed in 1803.

For further details, Irish Examiner reports on the plans.

Published in Coastal Notes

A second cruise ship terminal the Port of Cork hopes to be operational in Cobh by the end of the decade which will see up to 150 such ships visiting the town every year.

In the interim it's planned to move cruise liners out of Ringaskiddy, due to increased shipping demands there, and berth the larger ships at the existing terminal in Cobh and smaller ones at a new terminal which will be developed at Marino Point (see related story).

A number of businesses are interested in moving into the former Irish Fertilisers Industries (IFI) site at Marino Point and it's expected the harbourside facility will be full and operational by 2023.

Gouldings have already applied for planning permission to move their fertiliser facility from Centre Park Road in Cork city down to Marino Point, and according to Port of Cork chairman John Mullins, another large agri-related business is “in very advance discussions” with the joint venture company, Belvelly Marino Development Company (BMDC), set up by the port authority to develop the site.

More from the Irish Examiner here

Afloat adds that in recent years there has been an increased use of the former IFI jetty at Marino Point, where vessels have berthed, among them tankers, ferries (lay-overs) and visiting naval ships. 

Published in Cruise Liners

While other clubs have found it a big enough challenge simply resuming sailing in a regulation-compliant way, the 101-year-old Cove Sailing Club in Cork Harbour has also been bringing its new marina on stream, and in addition to resuming club sailing, it staged the first open event of the delayed 2020 season, the Squib Southerns, on July 25th-26th. It has been a superb team effort, but all teams need effective leadership, and CSC Commodore Kieran Dorgan has been providing it in a family tradition - his father Barry was in the same role, while on the water Kieran himself is no stranger to the front of the fleet with his First 36.7 Altair.

Published in Sailor of the Month

Colm McDonagh has shared images of further progress on Cove Saling Club’s new marina pontoons in time for the opening up of sailing activity from tomorrow, Monday 8 June.

Coronavirus restrictions delayed the original expected completion date in April, but the berthing pontoons are now well into assembly before connection to the gangway that was installed earlier this year.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the Cork Harbour club has also been working on upgrades to its dinghy park facilities including a new meeting room, office and kitchen at Whitepoint in Cobh.

It’s expected the club will shortly provide an update on summer sailing events and courses upon the latest relaxing of restrictions — which allow members within the same county or 20km to visit, and for bigger groups to sail while observing social distancing.

Published in Irish Marinas
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The visiting French Naval Frigate Latouche-Tréville was alongside in Cork Harbour at the weekend moored at the Cruise Liner berth in Cobh.

As Afloat previously reported, the frigate and her crew of 244 were in the south coast port in aid of the 'Denim Day 4 Dementia' which took place at the Naval Service base on Haulbowline Island.

The ship is one trio of F70 A SM type anti-submarine destroyers, which the French Navy instead classify as a frigate. 

French Naval Frigate Latouche-TrévilleFrench Naval Frigate Latouche-Tréville alongside in Cobh Photo: Bob Bateman

Equipped with Excocet surface to air missiles, the frigate commissioned in 1990 has a helideck and hanger that can handle two Lynx helicopters.

In the summer of 2009, she was filmed in stormy seas as part of the documentary Oceans. See vid below.

Published in Naval Visits

With the competitive season now finished on the South Coast, attention turns to club activities ashore which will include annual general meetings and reviews of how the past season went and prospects for the year ahead.

Without a doubt the dominant part of 2020 will be the Tricentenary of the Royal Cork Yacht Club, but across Cork Harbour from that club at Crosshaven there is good news from Cobh, where the Royal Cork was once based before amalgamating with the Royal Munster and moving to Crosshaven.

The RCYC History notes: “By the 1960s changing economic and social patterns made Cobh less and less attractive as a base for the club. In 1966 the Royal Cork and the Royal Munster Yacht Clubs agreed to merge and the Royal Cork moved to its present premises in Crosshaven assuming the title The Royal Cork Yacht Club, incorporating the Royal Munster Yacht Club.”

Last year there were some difficult club movements in Cobh when a new club was formed - the Great Island Sailing Club. That was stated by its proponents to ensure the continuance of sailing at Cobh and that followed difficulties which arose in Cove Sailing Club as it attempted to build a marina at Whitepoint.

New Marina under construction

This year Cove Sailing Club reached and celebrated its centenary and signed the contract for a 30-berth marina at Whitepoint. That has been under construction across the river at Ringaskiddy, with completion and installation targeted for “well in advance of the 2020 season,” according to the club, whose Commodore, Kieran Dorgan, said it will provide “state-of-the-art facilities all-year-round and will accommodate both locals and visitors.”

The two clubs, Great Island and Cove have been discussing joining together again, according to my information and agreement has been reached so that a formal announcement is expected. Despite differences, close contact was maintained between the clubs, “in the best interests of sailing.” Johanna Murphy, who became Commodore of Great Island, also became the first lady elected Commodore of the South Coast Offshore Association where she has led a number of developments to bring clubs closer together.

SCORA is finalising an extensive programme for 2020 which, as well as racing, will include events to develop the social side of the sport, following the success of the Cobh-Blackrock Race, one of the highlights of the season on Leeside.

Dragons at Kinsale

Amongst the positive news from club reviews is that the Dragon Class at Kinsale Yacht Club had “a fantastic sailing season” according to its annual report, with the addition of two more boats to the fleet - TBD – James Matthews, Dave Good and Fergal O’Hanlon is one and the other is Scarlet Ribbons – Thomas O’Brien, Donal Small and Conor Hemlock. This brings the KYC club fleet to 7 and “there is talk of additional numbers joining the fleet next year,” according to the Class Committee.

The project is being completed with the support of Cork County Council, a Sports Capital programme grant, Port of Cork and SECAD. The selected contractor, Orsta Marina Systems Nederland BV, specialises in the design, supply and installation of floating breakwaters and pontoons for berthing of leisure and commercial vessels.

Listen to the Podcast here discussing the growth of interest in sailing.

Published in Tom MacSweeney
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Cruise Critic awards the highest-rated cruise destinations in 18 cruise regions across the globe in its annual Cruisers’ Choice Destination Awards 2019

Cruise Critic, the world’s leading cruise reviews site and online cruise community, has announced the winners of its fourth annual Cruisers’ Choice Destination Awards, naming the world’s most popular cruise destinations – as well as the best cruise lines to visit each region – based entirely on consumer ratings submitted with reviews on Cruise Critic.

Cobh was recognised as one of the best cruise destinations in the world, winning in the Top-Rated British Isles & Western Europe Cruise Destination category.

Cove Sailing42Cobh from the sea Photo: Bob Bateman

According to one quote - ‘I just went walking around the town and felt like I was at home there. I ate brunch at a local coffee shop and late afternoon lunch at a small local restaurant. I really enjoyed wandering around and feeling welcomed and happy.’ - Cruise Critic Member GEMarshall

Destinations awarded in this year’s awards received the highest ratings among cruisers who cruised to the destination in the past year and shared their experiences on Cruise Critic.

OrianaCruise liner Oriana arrives into Cork Harbour this week Photo: Bob Bateman

Brendan Keating, Chief Executive of the Port of Cork said: ‘We are blown away that Cobh has secured this top position as a cruise destination. This award is not only testament to the effort by the Port to promote the region but also to the local tourism bodies, businesses and attractions in Cobh who work hard to promote and develop their town.’

“For most travellers, the decision of where to cruise is made before they think about all the other pieces of the cruise planning process,” explains Colleen McDaniel, Editor-in-Chief of Cruise Critic. “And for those looking for incredible cruise destinations, there’s no better way to narrow your options than by seeing which destinations are rated most highly by cruisers who have already been there, done that.”

Cruise Critic boasts the world’s largest online cruise community, with more than 50 million opinions, reviews & photos, covering approximately 700 cruise ships and over 500 worldwide ports.

Published in Cork Harbour
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Summertime and the living is easy in Cork Harbour. Despite the postponement of Sunday's Cove at Home Regatta due to the lack of access to landing pontoon at The Quays in Cobh, a combined fleet of nine sailing cruisers coming from RCYC and Cobh (Cove sailing Club and Great Island Sailing Club) and Monkstown Bay Sailing Club for a league race on Saturday as part of  'MBSC at Home' under Race Officer Tom MacSweeney, writes Bob Bateman.

In a lovely summer's afternoon for sailing, the cruiser fleet mixed with an assortment of dinghies.

Cruiser sailors included Ria Lyden sailing an X332, Sean Hanley in a  Hunter. Ian Scandrett was sailing the Sigma 38 (with George Radley on board). Eddie English's Holy Grounder and a Hawk 20 also took part. 

Photo gallery below

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Published in Cork Harbour
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How to sail, sailing clubs and sailing boats plus news on the wide range of sailing events on Irish waters forms the backbone of Afloat's sailing coverage.

We aim to encompass the widest range of activities undertaken on Irish lakes, rivers and coastal waters. This page describes those sailing activites in more detail and provides links and breakdowns of what you can expect from our sailing pages. We aim to bring jargon free reports separated in to popular categories to promote the sport of sailing in Ireland.

The packed 2013 sailing season sees the usual regular summer leagues and there are regular weekly race reports from Dublin Bay Sailing Club, Howth and Cork Harbour on Afloat.ie. This season and last also featured an array of top class events coming to these shores. Each year there is ICRA's Cruiser Nationals starts and every other year the Round Ireland Yacht Race starts and ends in Wicklow and all this action before July. Crosshaven's Cork Week kicks off on in early July every other year. in 2012 Ireland hosted some big international events too,  the ISAF Youth Worlds in Dun Laoghaire and in August the Tall Ships Race sailed into Dublin on its final leg. In that year the Dragon Gold Cup set sail in Kinsale in too.

2013 is also packed with Kinsale hosting the IFDS diabled world sailing championships in Kinsale and the same port is also hosting the Sovereign's Cup. The action moves to the east coast in July with the staging of the country's biggest regatta, the Volvo Dun Laoghaire regatta from July 11.

Our coverage though is not restricted to the Republic of Ireland but encompasses Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and the Irish Sea area too. In this section you'll find information on the Irish Sailing Association and Irish sailors. There's sailing reports on regattas, racing, training, cruising, dinghies and keelboat classes, windsurfers, disabled sailing, sailing cruisers, Olympic sailing and Tall Ships sections plus youth sailing, match racing and team racing coverage too.

Sailing Club News

There is a network of over 70 sailing clubs in Ireland and we invite all clubs to submit details of their activities for inclusion in our daily website updates. There are dedicated sections given over to the big Irish clubs such as  the waterfront clubs in Dun Laoghaire; Dublin Bay Sailing Club, the Royal Saint George Yacht Club,  the Royal Irish Yacht Club and the National Yacht Club. In Munster we regularly feature the work of Kinsale Yacht Club and Royal Cork Yacht Club in Crosshaven.  Abroad Irish sailors compete in Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC) racing in the UK and this club is covered too. Click here for Afloat's full list of sailing club information. We are keen to increase our coverage on the network of clubs from around the coast so if you would like to send us news and views of a local interest please let us have it by sending an email to [email protected]

Sailing Boats and Classes

Over 20 active dinghy and one design classes race in Irish waters and fleet sizes range from just a dozen or so right up to over 100 boats in the case of some of the biggest classes such as the Laser or Optimist dinghies for national and regional championships. Afloat has dedicated pages for each class: Dragons, Etchells, Fireball, Flying Fifteen, GP14, J24's, J80's, Laser, Sigma 33, RS Sailing, Star, Squibs, TopperMirror, Mermaids, National 18, Optimist, Puppeteers, SB3's, and Wayfarers. For more resources on Irish classes go to our dedicated sailing classes page.

The big boat scene represents up to 60% of the sail boat racing in these waters and Afloat carries updates from the Irish Cruiser Racer Association (ICRA), the body responsible for administering cruiser racing in Ireland and the popular annual ICRA National Championships. In 2010 an Irish team won the RORC Commodore's Cup putting Irish cruiser racing at an all time high. Popular cruiser fleets in Ireland are raced right around the coast but naturally the biggest fleets are in the biggest sailing centres in Cork Harbour and Dublin Bay. Cruisers race from a modest 20 feet or so right up to 50'. Racing is typically divided in to Cruisers Zero, Cruisers One, Cruisers Two, Cruisers Three and Cruisers Four. A current trend over the past few seasons has been the introduction of a White Sail division that is attracting big fleets.

Traditionally sailing in northern Europe and Ireland used to occur only in some months but now thanks to the advent of a network of marinas around the coast (and some would say milder winters) there are a number of popular winter leagues running right over the Christmas and winter periods.

Sailing Events

Punching well above its weight Irish sailing has staged some of the world's top events including the Volvo Ocean Race Galway Stopover, Tall Ships visits as well as dozens of class world and European Championships including the Laser Worlds, the Fireball Worlds in both Dun Laoghaire and Sligo.

Some of these events are no longer pure sailing regattas and have become major public maritime festivals some are the biggest of all public staged events. In the past few seasons Ireland has hosted events such as La Solitaire du Figaro and the ISAF Dublin Bay 2012 Youth Worlds.

There is a lively domestic racing scene for both inshore and offshore sailing. A national sailing calendar of summer fixtures is published annually and it includes old favorites such as Sovereign's Cup, Calves Week, Dun Laoghaire to Dingle, All Ireland Sailing Championships as well as new events with international appeal such as the Round Britain and Ireland Race and the Clipper Round the World Race, both of which have visited Ireland.

The bulk of the work on running events though is carried out by the network of sailing clubs around the coast and this is mostly a voluntary effort by people committed to the sport of sailing. For example Wicklow Sailing Club's Round Ireland yacht race run in association with the Royal Ocean Racing Club has been operating for over 30 years. Similarly the international Cork Week regatta has attracted over 500 boats in past editions and has also been running for over 30 years.  In recent years Dublin Bay has revived its own regatta called Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta and can claim to be the country's biggest event with over 550 boats entered in 2009.

On the international stage Afloat carries news of Irish and UK interest on Olympics 2012, Sydney to Hobart, Volvo Ocean Race, Cowes Week and the Fastnet Race.

We're always aiming to build on our sailing content. We're keen to build on areas such as online guides on learning to sail in Irish sailing schools, navigation and sailing holidays. If you have ideas for our pages we'd love to hear from you. Please email us at [email protected]