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A large attendance of about 40 sailors at the SCORA AGM was swelled by a good contingent from Waterford Harbour Sailing Club who travelled to Crosshaven despite the bad weather writes Bob Bateman.

The Royal Cork Yacht Club (RCYC) hosted meeting on Tuesday evening heard a productive discussion on class bands for the 2019 cruiser–racer season.

The powwow also heard calls for what some deemed a 'long overdue' race to Dunmore East. The SCORA committee is now looking at dates in the existing schedule and a June date has been proposed.

ECHO system review

The evening's discussion also moved to the revised ECHO Handicapping system already implemented in RCYC and Kinsale Yacht Club (KYC) this past season. The new handicap will be reviewed on a month by month basis in 2019. Details of how the new system operates will be explained over the winter at club sessions and it is hoped other clubs will also participate.

In all, it is hoped to run three offshore races for the coming season as part of SCORA's 2019 programme.

As reported earlier by Afloat.ie, Johnanna Murphy took over as Commodore from Kieran O'Connell. Read more on the first female Commodore's appointment here.

Bateman Trophy

Following the election of officers, the annual prizegiving was held which included the Bateman Trophy, presented in memory of Afloat correspondent, the late Claire Bateman. This year it was won by Kinsale's Alan Mulcahy in Moondance and presented by Claire's son Robin.

Mulcahy won out for his sailing in a variety of South Coast events and for introducing newcomers to the thrill of sailing and racing. Mulcahy made sure to give thanks to all his crew over his many years racing on Moondance, Runaway Bus, White Magic and Sundancer and, as recently as last month, to all those who helped him win The Autumn League at Royal Cork Yacht Club.

SCORA Alan MulcahyRob Bateman (second from left) presents the Claire Bateman trophy to Alan Mulcahy watched by Johanna Murphy, Commodore of SCORA and Michael Murphy SCORA Treasurer 

Published in SCORA

Hello and welcome to my weekly Podcast …. Tom MacSweeney here ….

“I intend to promote sailing in general and also to promote coastal offshore racing.”

That was the declaration of Johanna Murphy from the Great Island Sailing Club in Cobh in Cork Harbour when she was elected the first female sailor to become Commodore of the South Coast Offshore Racing Association (SCORA).

“My main aim at SCORA will be to promote sailing as widely as possible. While racing is at the core of SCORA, sailing can’t be serious all the time. That also has to be taken into consideration and we will be doing that.”

The large attendance at the annual general meeting, despite the very bad weather of Tuesday night, showed positive interest in the sport in the South. There was discussion about new events and, inevitably, the current handicaps on boats engaged in racing. It was agreed that an examination of handicaps would be reported back to members. The new structure of the Cork Harbour League was approved by the SCORA meeting – Friday evenings in June, Saturday afternoons in July and September, with club At Home events included and racing for both spinnaker and whitesail boats. This revised approach, as previously reported on Afloat was agreed by the three harbour clubs – MBSC, RCYC and GISC at an earlier meeting.

Listen to the podcast below as Commodore Johanna Murphy outlines to me her plans for leading SCORA.

Published in SCORA

The 2018 South Coast of Ireland Offshore Racing Association (SCORA) AGM will take place in the Royal Cork Yacht Club on Tue December 4th at 7.30pm.

Among the items on the agenda will be a discussion on the future of the Cork harbour combined sailing leagues with inputs from MBSC, GISC and RCYC.

Following on from last years AGM, a full review of the existing South Coast class bands will take place, together with a report on the future of offshore racing and the possible running of a race to Dunmore East in 2019.

Having completed his term of office, outgoing SCORA Commodore Kieran O'Connell will hand over the roll to Johanna Murphy from GISC, who will become the first female to lead the SCORA organisation.

"A special presentation will be made by the Bateman family, in memory of the late Claire"

In addition to the eighteen prizewinners from the six cruiser classes, a special presentation will be made by the Bateman family, in memory of the late Claire, to the competitor of the season who through participation in a variety of South coast events, helped to introduce many newcomers to the thrill of sailing.

Published in SCORA

After a few negative years, resulting in some despondency about the future of cruiser racing, the annual meeting of SCORA, the South Coast Offshore Racing Association, had a more positive atmosphere, with a good attendance of skippers, boat owners and club representatives and quite a few practical suggestions about driving the racing scene forward.

SCORA Commodore Kieran O’Connell, who is also Rear Commodore for Keelboats at the Royal Cork YC in Crosshaven, has been talking up the levels of participation in the racing scene, so I was interested to find out if this was the case at the meeting.

In fact, it seemed to be so and was reflected with a wide-ranging debate, from developing Class 4 for the smallest boats, to bring more people into racing, to the length of races, a desire for more racing amongst Cork Harbour sailors outside of the harbour confines, developing more inter-club racing and how to bridge the gap where young sailors are lost to the sport, between dinghy racing and cruisers.

scora winners2017 Scora winners at RCYC Photo Bob Bateman

This practicality was reflected in a debate about the often contentious issue of boat handicaps. There was general agreement that the concentration on handicapping should primarily be at club level, where it could best be used to stimulate more participation locally and strengthen the clubs. Where boats wanted a national handicap to race in other locations, that would have to take account of and dealt with, but the emphasis should be in the clubs.

There was also a desire expressed for longer duration races, because shorter races discouraged participation.

Encouraging young people to move on from dinghies to cruiser racing was debated. “We are not getting enough young people from dinghies into cruiser racing,” was a generally agreed view. There is no obvious solution to this, but it was agreed that to encourage younger sailors into cruisers they had to be given specific roles aboard boats, not just brought onto a boat “to sit on the rail.”

Some things don’t change, but this meeting indicated that there is a lot of positive change and a better future ahead, it seems, for cruiser racing, which SCORA Commodore Kieran O’Connell says is on the increase, with more boats racing in the past season than previously.

Listen to Kieran O’Connell on my weekly Podcast below

Published in Tom MacSweeney

Connor Phelan's Jump juice will be among the winners saluted tonight at the South Coast Offshore Racing Association (SCORA) agm and prizegiving that will be held in the Royal Cork Yacht Club at 7.45pm writes Bob Bateman.

Cruiser–racer fortunes are on the up in Cork harbour according to SCORA Commodore Kieran O'Connell who gave a recent confident forecast that fleet numbers are on the 'way back'.

SCORA Yachts1 Tom McCarthy's Whistling Dixie was third in ECHO White Sails division. Photo: Bob Bateman

untitled 0733Conor Phelan's Jump juice is among the winners at SCORA tonight Photo: Bob Bateman

As well as Phelan's Class Zero and One victory, among tonight's other highlights is Tom Roche's first in ECHO in the same division with Kinsale Yacht Club entry Meridian.

RCYC entry Bad Company (Desmond, Ivers) was the IRC two winner with Waterford Harbour yacht Slack Alice skippered by Shane Statham second.

untitled 9Kinsale Yacht Club entry Meridian (Tom Roche) Photo: Bob Bateman

SCORA Yachts2Dan Buckley's Justus (yellow spinnaker) was third in IRC Zero Photo: Bob Bateman

A full list of prizewinners are below.

Among the matters for discussion at tonight' meeting will be the perennial question of Class Bands for handicapping. This is because the IRC certs change and consequently bands need updating on a regular basis.

SCORA Yachts5Waterford Harbour Sailing Club's Flyover, a Sigma 33, skippered by David Marchant was the IRC 3 winner Photo: Bob Bateman

Agenda

1. Finance
2. SCORA Leagues
3. Combine club league in Cork
4. Class handicap bands for 2018
5. ICRA Training Grants
6. ICRA Crew Point
7. AOB
8. Prize Giving

List of 2017 prizewinners: Scora league

Jump juice             Connor Phelan         1st IRC 0/1           2nd Echo

Meridian               Tom Roche               1st Echo 0/1        2rd Echo  

Justus                     Dan Buckley               3rd IRC 0/1           3rd Echo        

Slack Alice             Shane Statham         2nd IRC 2             3rd Echo

Bad Company     Desmond,Ivers           1st IRC 2             2nd Echo

Artful Dodger       Finbarr O Regan       1st Echo 2             3rd IRC

Cracker                 Denis Byrne               3rd Echo 3

Ye Gotta Wanna Dave Lane and Sinead Enright             3rd IRC 3

No Gnomes         Leonard Donnery       2nd IRC 3           2nd Echo

Flyover               David Marchant         1st IRC 3             1st Echo

Nieulargo            Denis Murphy          1st IRC W/S 1       2nd Echo

Indulgence           Aidan Heffernan       1st Echo W/S 1     2nd IRC

Magnet                 Kieran O Brien             3rd IRC W/S 1    3rd Echo

Prometheus         Paul Murray                 1st IRC W/S 2      

Bandit                   Richard Leonard         2nd IRC W/S 2    2nd Echo

Whistling Dixie   Tom Mc Carthy            3rd Echo W/S 2

Aramis                   Pat Vaughan              1st Echo W/S 2     2nd IRC

Scora Cork Harbour league

Alpacca                Paul Tingle                         1st all in IRC

No Gnomes         Leonard Donnery             1st all in Echo

Indulgance           Aidan   Heffernan             1st W/S IRC

Sea Dragon           Frank Caul                         1st W/S Echo

Published in SCORA

69 yachts have entered for the Cobh-to-Blackrock Race tomorrow writes Tom MacSweeney. This is the annual sailing race from Cobh to Blackrock which once marked the end of the sailing season in Cork Harbour. It no longer is that end-of-season fixture, because the sport has expanded its horizons into December for cruisers and year-round now for some types of dinghies. But the ‘Cobh/Blackrock Race’ as it is known is still a big attraction for all sailors, even those who would not normally be of the ‘racing fraternity.’ The race caters for all types of sailing boats, from dinghies to cruiser/racers. It is the day when a flotilla of boats of all shapes and sizes assembles off Cobh and sails to the city.

Some boats choose to take part as a cruise, but must carefully watch and avoid the racers for whom it is also part of the SCORA (South Coast Offshore Racing Association) League.

The history of the race goes back to before the time of Haulbowline Bridge being built when it started off Ringaskiddy where boats from Cobh, where the RCYC was then based and the Royal Muster YC in Crosshaven met. This was because the Crosshaven boats had access there via the ‘back channel’ past Spike Island. The building of the bridge to Haulbowline Island in the mid-60ds ended that and the race was then started from Cobh. Cork Boat Club once had a sailing section in Blackrock which raced in Lough Mahon and around Blackrock and had a ‘Home Regatta’ every year.

cobh blackrock sailingThe ‘Cobh/Blackrock Race’ as it is known is still a big attraction for all sailors, even those who would not normally be of the ‘racing fraternity.’ Photo: Bob Bateman

Until recent years the finish line of the race was off Blackrock Village which, depending upon the weather conditions, could be a struggle to reach having rounded Blackrock Castle! Afterwards boats moored against the Marina wall off Blackrock and the village was a colourful place as sailors gathered while the results were computed by Cove SC.

When Cork Port built its marina at the Custom House Quay and offered berthing after the race, the boats headed there after passing the finishing line set off Blackrock Castle.

That didn’t please the publicans in Blackrock, needless to say.

The race start will be off the Cobh Promenade. Cove Sailing Club are the organiser Mixed Dinghies and Dayboats will get their start gun first, at 1400 (2pm), followed by White Sail and then Class 1/2/3 cruisers and Sports Boats. The race is sponsored by Cork Port, Union Chandlery and the Sextant Bar.

The course is upriver from the start line at Cobh to the finish line at Blackrock Castle. “Competitors are advised to familiarise themselves with the navigation marks and depending upon weather conditions an extra leg may be included for specified Classes.”

The race time is chosen to suit the tide helping to carry boats towards Blackrock. But it has been known for some to go aground on mudbanks! From Lough Mahon there is the sight of Blackrock Castle, the delight of passing over the road traffic as it descends into the tunnel while the River Lee transports boats to the finish line.

Published in Cork Harbour

The South Coast Offshore Racing Association (SCORA) honoured Claire Bateman at its annual general meeting held in the Royal Cork Yacht Club last night writes Tom MacSweeney. Claire, who died last year, was a stalwart of sailing journalism for Cork Harbour and coastal racing sailors. Her coverage of cruiser and dinghy racing was comprehensive and her dedication to the sport charted its development. With photographer husband, Bob, the couple were ever-present at sailing events. Their coverage spanned from major events to the smaller ones, providing an unrivalled level of sailing reportage on Afloat.ie in national and local media and was the foundation of the RCYC website.

Members expressed appreciation of the dedicated work which Claire had done for sailing, as she was remembered by the presentation of a memorial award to the “most enthusiastic boat in SCORA.” This was a photograph of the winning boat, Dave Lane and Sinead Enright’s J24 ‘Ya Gotta Wanna’.

Making the presentation Claire’s son, Rob, recalled how his mother had been encouraged by well-known Cork Harbour sailor Michael Wallace into the role which she adopted with the dedication and commitment which marked her approach to whatever task she undertook.

That commitment benefited sailing for very many years and was much appreciated by SCORA sailors. Her death has been a huge loss to the sport.

Her husband, Bob’s photography, once again recorded the success of the top sailors in SCORA whose awards for their victories during the season, presented at the AGM, were framed photographs of their boats in racing action. Taken by Bob, these are treasured prizes. He continues the work of recording sailing and racing in Cork.

The newly-elected SCORA Commodore, Kieran O’Connell, is Rear Admiral for Keel Boat Racing at the RCYC.

There was a big attendance at the annual meeting which agreed that a review of SCORA and its racing programme was needed. This follows a year when “SCORA dropped off the map” the members were told. More co-operation between South Coast clubs is needed, delegates agreed, with an emphasis on “bringing the fun back into sailing”.

Falling numbers participating in events and the urgent need to change that, by bringing newcomers into the sport, particularly younger people, were identified as crucial issues.

Published in SCORA

Topics for discussion at next week's SCORA AGM and Presentation of overall prizes is a proposal for better collaboration between the local South Coast Clubs, which may help address the twin problems of falling fleet numbers and the poor number of youth dinghy sailors progressing to the cruiser scene.

The AGM will be held at the Royal Cork Yacht Club next Wednesday March 15th at 7.45pm.

Sailing Cork Harbour 5Judy Mc Grath's Impala 'Bonanza' with Barry Rose on the helm, rounds Cork Harbour's number 3 buoy

Several programmes were discussed at the recent ICRA conference and it is hoped to outline the various incentives available, which include cruiser training grants and the development of a new crew training curriculum.

A review of the current IRC class bands will take place with any possible alterations for the 2018 season.

The class winners of the overall SCORA league will be presented with a pictorial record, photographed by Afloat's Bob Bateman, at the various club events during the 2016 season. See a sample gallery below.

Sailing Cork Harbour 5George Radley's half–tonner 'Coregada' finished third in IRC class two in SCORA overall and won IRC class 2 in CH Marine Autumn League

Sailing Cork Harbour 5Jump Juice (Conor Phelan) in breeze

Sailing Cork Harbour 5Quarter Tonner Bandit (IRL 2611) leads the Sigma 33 Flyover 

Sailing Cork Harbour 5Frank Doyle's A35 Endgame, helmed here by Amy MacCarthy

Published in SCORA

The South Coast Offshore Racing Association (SCORA ) Annual General Meeting will take place on March 11th, 2016, at Kinsale Yacht Club at 8pm writes Claire Bateman.

The agenda is set out below and it looks like there should be a good evening of discussion and plans for the coming season. Another topic that will come up is the future of club cruiser racing (if any) other than the big events like Spring and Autumn leagues.

The season is looking good all round in all classes with lots of interest being shown from the Juniors through to the Seniors.

Light refreshments will be served and there will be a chance to renew acquaintances and for those receiving prizes to enjoy the anticipation.

AGENDA

1. Apologies

2. Commodore’s Report

3. Income/Expenditure Account

4. Election of Commodore

5. Class Bands:

Class Bands for 2016
Class 0 1.050 and above
Class 1 1.049 to 0.975
Class 2 0.974 to 0.916
Class 3 0.915 to 0.865
Class 4 0.864 and below

This is NO CHANGE from 2015.

6. 2016 Sailing Programme – what do the competitors want?

7. SCORA – last year we asked what future?

8. Following the whitesail discussion last year – what next?

9. Any other business

10. Presentation of Prizes

Published in SCORA

#scora – The South Coast Offshore Racing Association (SCORA) AGM held at Royal Cork Yacht Club (RCYC) last Friday writes Claire Bateman.

A large and representative audience attended and the meeting was chaired by SCORA Commodore, Ronan Enright.

A minutes silence was observed to respect those members who had passed away during the year with special mention being made of the former very popular Class Commodore, Vinnie O'Shea who died during 2014.

Prior to going into the business of the evening, a special presentation was made to the Class Secretary, Jackie Kenefick, who was leaving the position Many tributes were paid to Jackie for all her efforts.

Having gone through the formal business of the meeting the floor was opened to the members and a discussion took place on the function of SCORA itself.

Cove Sailing Club's Commodore, Adrian Tyler, made a presentation on the new marina due to be open for the 2015 sailing season.

Following a break for refreshments the attendance had a brief discussion on Whitesail but the Commodore felt that as the Whitesail attendance would not be enough to represent the views of the Class, a further meeting would be called to discuss this item.

As there was no further business the meeting concluded with a slide show of the 2014 sailing season followed by the presentation of prizes.

Published in SCORA
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