John Harrington will carry the flag again for Royal Ulster Yacht Club, as he is off again south in the IMX38 eXcession! In a racing schedule arranged with military precision, John and a football team sized crew will tackle the Fastnet 450 and then the Royal Cork for the Cork 300 inshore events which include the official parade of sail and Admiral's 300th-anniversary salute to celebrate the founding in 1720 of the oldest yacht club in the world.
The boat departs for Dun Laoghaire tomorrow (Saturday) to take part in the Dun Laoghaire Harbour to Cork Harbour race that incorporates the Fastnet Rock as part of the course. As reported on Afloat.ie on 13th August, the 'pop-up' race commemorates the 150th anniversary of the National Yacht Club and the 300th anniversary of the Royal Cork Yacht Club and has been arranged in jig time by the South Coast of Ireland Offshore Racing Association (SCORA).
For the delivery to Dun Laoghaire, eXcession will be crewed 'en famille' by Ruan and Frances O'Tiarnaigh with their daughters Reb, Tash and Becca and the 'racing' crew will join the boat on Friday 21st.
For the 450 the crew will be John, Ruan O'Tiarnaigh, Ken Sharp, Stuart Ogg, John O'Connor, Jim Tennyson, Greg Bell, and two young enthusiasts, 16-year-old Gabriel Walker from Bangor, with 17-year-old Ballyholme Sailing and Power Boat Instructor, Josh Reddy as a reserve.
Then for the Royal Cork At Home 300 inshore events some will depart and Ruan, John, Ken and Jim will be joined by Jonny Mulholland, the O'Tiarnagh family as well as Mags, Madeline and Francesca Harrington. After the event, two others, Ines Costa and Daryn Alderson from Lough Neagh will join John and Ruan for the delivery back home and to do some mile building for their RYA qualifications. A round trip for eXcession of about 840 miles.
In this venture, John will be revisiting what many Northern boats used to do to compete in the legendary Cork Week - setting an example for others to follow in the coming years?