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Displaying items by tag: Cork Week

#irishsailingreview – 2014 has been the year in which Irish sailing regained its international confidence afloat by re-capturing the Commodore's Cup. Having won it in 2010, the national economic collapse prevented any defence in 2012, but in July 2014 the stain and shame of 2012's non-appearance was emphatically wiped from memory with a convincing team victory led by Anthony O'Leary.

Ashore meanwhile, it had taken longer in some quarters for the economic realities to become fully evident and accepted. But for the Irish Sailing Association, a grassroots revolution within the national authority and sailing in general in 2014 resulted in a root-and-branch analysis of the workings of the Association, which had been heading towards financial disaster through a combination of over-staffing, grandiose schemes of expansion and empire-building, and an emphasis on activities and programmes which were remote from the needs of ordinary sailors throughout Ireland.

It took six months to turn round the course of the Association. But on November 5th 2014 the new ISA President, David Lovegrove, was able to announce a far-reaching re-structuring which is already resulting in a leaner and fitter body, better able to provide a realistic service for clubs and the huge diversity of recreational activity on Ireland's seas and lakes.

While all this high profile activity and action has been taking place at international and national level, those Irish sailors who had managed to keep up their sport through the financial downturn – albeit in often very reduced circumstances – continued to sail their boats with the attitude that, while the economic situation was disastrous, it mustn't be allowed to become serious, and in some ways the best course out of the recession was to sail through it. W M Nixon casts an eye over the year's main activities.

In the Irish sailing year, Christmas Day is New Year's Eve. Next morning, on December 26th – St Stephen's Day or Boxing Day or whatever you're having yourself – the annual 628-mile Sydney-Hobart Race starts. It may be on the other side of the world, and it may still be in the very last days of the old year. But Irish interest at home and in Irish-Australia is always high, and in the sailing community it's seen as the start of the new season.

December 26th 2013 was in line with this, as we'd ex-Pat superstar Gordon Maguire – a previous Hobart race overall winner – very much in contention with Matt Allen's totally new Carkeek 60 Ichi Ban, we also had Sean McCarter of Lough Swilly YC skippering Derry/Londonderry in the warmly-welcomed Clipper Fleet of 70-footers designed by Tony Castro (formerly of Crosshaven) which were taking in the Hobart race as part of their global circumnavigating race, and we'd Barry Hurley and Kenny Rumball on the First 40 Breakthrough knowing that in the 2010 Hobart race, the new design's race debut, First 40s had taken first and second overall.

In a rugged race in which the wind got up to gale force and more towards the end, it was a much-loved hundred footer, Bob Oatley's continually-modified Wild Oats XI, which stole all the headlines with line honours, a course record, and a class win. Irish hopes were best met by Sean McCarter, who logged a very clear win in the Clippers. As for Ichi Ban, while she was third in IRC Div 1 and 8th overall, it wasn't quite a stellar performance, reinforcing the views of those of us who think the boat may be just a little too plump by today's lean and hungry standards. And aboard Breakthrough, they'd 8th in class and 29th overall, a useful performance perhaps, but Barry Hurley will be back on December 26th 2014, boosted by his first in class and second overall in October's Middle Sea Race.

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Matt Allen's Ichi Ban in the Rolex Sydney-Hobart Race of 2013, with Gordon Maguire as sailing master. To some observers, the very new Carkeek 60 seemed distinctly plump in her hull form forward compared to her closest competitors

In late January 2014, attention focused on the Quantum Key West Regatta in the Florida Keys, where Irish Olympic sailor Peter O'Leary of Cork was on the strength of New York art dealer Marc Glimcher's completely new and very potent looking Ker 40 Catapult. The boat did the business afloat in Florida, but further business was done ashore, as Anthony O'Leary himself was in Key West to see if he could sign up Catapult to be the secret ingredient in Ireland's Commodore's Cup team, for which at that stage the only certainty was his own older Ker 39 Antix. There seemed to be agreement, but in the volatile world of international trading and snap decisions in which top modern sailing operates, there can be sudden reversals of fortune, and O'Leary later admitted that until Catapult was actually unloaded from a ship in Europe, he hadn't been a hundred per cent certain she'd show.

Key West had further Irish interest in that veteran skipper Piet Vroon's Ker 46 Tonnere de Breskens – a former Round Ireland Race winner – was another star in the show, but much was to happen in Irish sailing before the Round Ireland 2014 got under way in Wicklow on June 28th.

With March slowly showing signs of Spring, university racing came centre stage, and it was University College Dublin which came through on top to qualify as Ireland's representatives in the Student Yachting Worlds in France in October, the team led by Philip Doran.

Another team was emerging as the Irish Cruiser Racing Association (ICRA) announced that our Commodore's Cup squad would be Anthony O'Leary's Ker 39 Antix, Marc Glimcher's Catapult, and the Grand Soleil 43 Quokka chartered by Michael Boyd and Niall Dowling, with Anthony O'Leary as team captain. He in turn would be supported by the shore management team, for a very intense week of racing, of Barry Rose and Fintan Cairns, with Mike Broughton in what would prove to be the particularly onerous task of Team Meteorologist.

As 2014 was exactly midway between two Olympiads, top level international dinghy sailing to Olympic standards might have been expected to be on the back burner. But Ireland's Olympians were very much on track on the international scene, and busy with their own programmes which culminated in the ISAF Worlds in Santander where Olympic places in Rio de Janeiro for 2016 were secured by James Espey in the Laser, Ryan Seaton & Matt McGovern in the 49er, and Annalise Murphy in the Women's Laser Radial. All were of course also seen in other boat types from time to time, with Annalise in particular bringing some glamour to the growing class of foiling Moths in Ireland.

Annalise on the foiling Moth

Other top international women sailors had descended on Ireland in early June with the ISAF Women's Match Race Worlds at Crosshaven. It's very much a specialist sailing interest, but aspiring Irish woman sailors attracted to this discipline found that this successful regatta provided some very useful networking contacts and future crewing possibilities, while the racing itself saw Sweden's Anna Kjellberg of the Royal Gothenburg YC become the new champion after defeating Camilla Ulrikkeholm of Denmark in the final.

In an entirely different area of sailing and life afloat, the traditional boat scene had come early to life with the Baltimore Wooden Boat Festival at the end of May. In the Irish climate after a particularly damp Spring, it reflected great credit on those involved that there was such a good turnout, ranging from the Shannon Gandelows from Limerick recently returned from their historic visit to Venice, through the many restored classic yachts of the region, also including the lovely Shannon cutter Sally O'Keeffe from Kilrush, and going on into the restored traditional mackerel and lobster yawls which make West Cork their home.

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Shortly after their historic visit to Venice, the Shannon gandelows built by the Ilen School took part in the Baltimore Wooden Boat Festival at the end of May. The gandelow here, rowed by Liam O'Donghue, Anthony Kenny and Robert Samlle, is headed across Baltimore Harbour towards the gaff ketch Sile a Do.

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The pride of the Shannon Estuary - Sally O'Keeffe was built in a community effort in Querrin on the Loop Head peninsula.

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The traditional lobster boat Saoirse Muireann (left, Cormac Levis) and the mackerel yawl An tiscaire (Uilliam O'Lorcain) are a familiar sight in the waters of West Cork. Photo: Brian Marten

They were to re-appear in even greater numbers at the Ballydehob Gathering of the Boats in early August, a month during which the classic Galway Hookers of the West Coast were at their busiest on their home Atlantic waters, but the East Coast also had its moments with the Riverfest in Dublin's Liffey in early June seeing traditional and classic craft in a lively mix.

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Sails in the City – two of the 1898 Howth Seventeens racing in the heart of Dublin in the Liffey Riverfest. Photo: W M Nixon

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It could almost be Connemara, were it not for the Puppeteer 22s – the Galway Hooker Naomh Cronan in the new Classics & Traditional Division in Howth's annual Lambay Race, which was marking its 110th anniversary in 2014. Photo: W M Nixon

Indeed, so strong is the growing interest in classics and trads on the East Coast that to celebrate the centenary of the Lynch family's Howth 17 Echo (one of the newest of the class, the most senior ones were built in 1898) Howth YC provided a traditional Lambay Race course – simply up around Lambay and back to Howth Harbour – for the Seventeens and a new Classics Division, with the Howth 17s seeing the first two places taken by 1898 boats – Rita (John Curley & Marcus Lynch) and Aura (Ian Malcolm) – while Old Gaffers Association International president Sean Walsh won the classics with his Heard 28 Tir na nOg from the Clondalkin team's Galway Hooker Naomh Cronan. As for the overall prize among the large fleet of more modern boats sailing their more complex course, that was won by Colm Bermingham's Bite the Bullet.

The countdown to the Commodore's Cup had continued with inspirational performances by Anthony O'Leary in the Easter Challenge in the Solent, where he won his class with Antix, and then in June he did the same again with the British IRC Championship. Back home, ICRA held their Nationals with the Royal Irish YC in Dun Laoghaire in mid-June, and out of a fleet of a hundred plus boats it was the vintage Marcus Hutchinson/Rob Humphreys designed Quarter Tonner Quest (Jonathan Skerritt, RIYC) which was best overall scorer, a notably impressive performance also being put in by the Ker 36 Jump Juice (Denise Phelan) from Crosshaven.

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The 27-year-old Quarter Tonner Quest (Jonathan Skerritt) was overall winner in the ICRA Nats at the RIYC in Dun Laoghaire. Photo: David O'Brien

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Downhill battle at the ICRA Nats with the Mills 36 Raptor (ex-Aztec) in foreground, while beyond is Peter Dunlop of Pwllheli's J/109 Mojito against the XP33 Bon Exemple (Colin Byrne, RIYC). Photo: Davd O'Brien

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The Ker 36 Jump Juice (Denise Phelan) dominated Class 0 at the ICRA Nats. Photo: David O'Brien

The end of June, and it was Round Ireland time. Thirty-six boats started from Wicklow, 33 finished in a race which was mostly on the slow side, with mid-size boats having their day. The winner was Richard Harris's Sydney 36 Tanit from Scotland by just six minutes from the home favourite, Liam Shanahan's J/109 Ruth from the NYC in Dun Laoghaire. The French defending champion, Laurent Gouy's Ker 39 Inis Mor which sails in Ireland under the burgee of Clifden Boat Club, placed third while Frank Doyle of Cork, second generation round Ireland aristocracy as son of Denis of Moonduster fame, was fourth with his A35 Endgame.

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The start of the Round Ireland Race 2014 well illustrates the eclectic nature of the fleet. In right foreground is Richard Harris's Sydney 36 Tanit which was overall winner by just six minutes from the J/109 Ruth (Liam Shanahan), just beyond with the black jib, while the Volvo 70 Monster Project (David Ryan) comes thundering through the fleet at the beginning of a performance whch would see her take line honours win and thd class win in the CK Div.. Photo: Kevin Tracey

The same weekend as the Round Ireland race started, Lough Foyle sent the Clipper Fleet on their way after a week's festivities in Derry/Londonderry, made even more festive by the fact that Sean McCarter and his crew with the home town's boat had crowned their win in the Sydney-Hobart race with victory in the Transatlantic leg to Derry.


Clipper fleet in Derry

Crosshaven fairly leaped to life with Cork Week in July, and after several hitches in various boat-shipping plans, it was notable as the first time the Irish Commodore's Cup Team 2014 were seen together, and mighty impressive they looked too, with Quokka proving best on the Cork Week leaderboard.

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Michael Boyd (centre behind cup) and his Quokka crew, a member of Ireland's Commodore's Cup team, were overall winners of Cork week 2014. Photo: Bob Bateman

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In the F18 Worlds at Ballyholme, Dutch skipper Gunnar Larssen (crewed by Ferdinand van West) is seen here putting in the smooth performance which saw him winning the worlds at his thirteenth attempt. Photo: W M Nixon

While all this excitement in racing boats with lids was building on the south coast in July, up north on Belfast Lough at Ballyholme the F18 Worlds were held for one of global sailing's most popular catamaran classes. Though the entry of 56 boats didn't match the 150-plus entries they get when the class has its worlds in its Mediterranean heartlands, the sailing was good and a popular winner emerged in longtime F18 sailor Gunnar Larsen, who is Dutch despite his Scandinavian name.

Dinghy attention was also very closely focused on Dublin Bay, with an enormous fleet of Optimists at the Europeans hosted by Royal St George YC from 12th to 20th July, and Dun Laoghaire really showing what it can do in being a major international regatta centre. France's Enzo Balanger was tops from Sweden's Kasper Nordenram, while best of the Irish in the Gold Division was Royal Cork's James McCann in tenth – not surprisingly, he was to go on to win the Nationals at his home club in August.

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Nations from across Europe and beyond were at the Optimist Euros at Dun Laoghaire

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Finn Lynch racing at Douarnenez in France where be became the new U19 Laser Standard world championPhoto: Trevor Millar/Sail Coach

On the broader international scene, former Opty stars Finn Lynch (National YC) and Seafra Guifoyle (Royal Cork) were to turn in outstanding results during 2014, with Guilfoyle firmly in the frame through the ISAF Youth Worlds in the Laser, eventually coming home from Tavira in Portugal with the Silver, while Finn Lynch was on top form to clinch the Gold in the Under 19 Laser Standard Worlds at Douarnenez in Brittany.

Back aboard the boats with lids, late July had brought the Commodore's Cup in the Solent, and if anyone out there doesn't know who won, we'd like to hear from them, as the state of total seclusion which this implies is surely something which could be packaged and marketed to our hyper-informed and over-crowded world. The comprehensive Irish victory just seems better and better with the passage of time, and for Anthony O'Leary it was the highlight of a fantastic season which in September was to see him win the Helmsman's Championship of Ireland (admittedly by just a whisker) in J/80s in Howth to set up a national double for Royal Cork, as young Harry Durcan of Crosshaven was winner of the Junior Helmsmans. O'Leary meanwhile went on to win the 1720 Nationals in Baltimore later that month, and then in November his beloved Antix was named RORC Yacht of the Year.

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Antix in the Commodore's Cup, hanging in well coming to the weather mark to stay ahead of the newer Ker 40 Cutting Edge. Photo: Rick Tomlinson)

Even as Antix and her team mates were racing on towards glory in the Solent, in Clew Bay the West of Ireland Offshore Racing Association (WIORA) were staging their annual championship at hospitable Mayo SC, and it saw a good spread of results, with the overall winner being Galway's Liam Burke with his Corby 25 Tribal, while the runner-up was the McGibneys' Dehler Optimum 101 Dis-a-Ray, which sails under the Foynes YC burgee, but her home port is Tarbert further west along the Shannon Estuary.

August was busy with events for enjoyment. Eighty boats raced in Calves Week in West Cork, which has now been compressed to a four day regatta which means, as one sage family man observed, that you can take a house in Schull for a week's holiday, and then just as the wife and kids are getting fed up with having the ould fella always about the place, doesn't he absolutely have to go off and spend the last four days of the holiday sailing with his mates? That one of the top boats was Colman Garvey's True Penance maybe says it all.

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Calves Week 2014 entries were up 25% in 2014. Photo: Bob Bateman

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The GP14 Worlds at East Down YC in Strangford Lough launched a hundred boats every day in smooth style. Photo: W M Nixon

The biggest dinghy event of all (other than the Laser Nationals, which as ever are in a league of their own) was the GP 14 Worlds in mid-August at East Down YC in Strangford Lough, which had its excitement in a sudden storm on the Monday, but it all turned out okay. Boats involved were just over the hundred mark, the best boats were built in Northern Ireland by Alistair Duffin, and winners were English crew of Ian Dobson and Andy Tunnicliffe from Burwain, while top Irish were John and Donal McGuinness of Moville in Donegal, they were sixth.

At the other end of the intensity scale, down in Howth they had their first cruiser-racer two-hander for the Aqua Restaurant Challenge. Despite very restrained pre-publicity, it attracted 34 boats for a race round Lambay and the Kish. Stephen O'Flaherty's elegant Spirit 54 Soufriere, fresh from a win in the Panerai Classics in Cowes and co-sailed by David Cagney, took line honours and almost won, but the vintage Humphreys Half Tonner Harmony (Peter Freyne and Jonny Swann) just pipped them at the end.

Sailed in summery weather, the new Howth two-handed was about as different as possible from another two-handed experience in August, that of Liam Coyne (NYC) and Brin Flahive (Wicklow) in the 1800 mile RORC Seven Star Round Britain and Ireland. They didn't have to be two-handed, there were fully crew boats involved including the 70ft–trimaran Musandam in which Ireland's Damian Foxall played a leading role in taking line honours in record time, but aboard the First 36.7 Lula Belle the Irish duo just toughed it out despite sailing the last 500 miles with virtually nothing functional, they simply decided to see it through, and to their amazement found they'd won Classes V & VI.

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Lula Belle on her way out of the Solent with 1800 miles to race. Photo: Rick Tomlinson

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Brian Flahive & Liam Coyne back in Dun Laoghaire on the morning of their return from the finish of the Round Britain & Ireland Race. Photo: W M Nixon

As for the Laser Nats, they were at the end of August and another Ballyholme event, with Johnny Durcan of Royal Cork winning from Rory Fekkes of the home club, while the radials saw Annalise Murphy keep her hand in with a win from Cork's Cian Byrne.

After some rugged August weather, particularly on Ireland's East Coast, September was utterly blissful and it sweetly rounded out Dublin Bay Sailing Club's 130th season, the birthday being marked by a fairly epic dinner in the National YC. September also saw the conclusion of the slowly but steadily reviving Irish Sea Offshore Racing programme, with the end-of-season race from Pwllheli to Dun Laoghaire seeing Liam Shanahan's J/109 Ruth confirmed as the overall winner of the series. Among locally campaigned dinghies, meanwhile, Dun Laoghaire's keen Fireball Class kept its annual programme in lively shape, and the season drew a close with Barry McCartin and Conor Kinsella winning overall from Noel Butler and Stephen Oram.

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ISORA Champion Ruth skippered by Liam Shanahan jnr from the National Yacht Club

Across country in Limerick, the CityOne dinghies and the traditional Shannon gandelows created in projects of the Ilen Boatbuilding School made their debut in the city centre on one of the last days of the Indian summer, and then they were put on display in a Naumachia in St Mary's Cathedral which was officially opened by Michael Noonan TD, and later formally visited by President Higgins.

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The hopeful new spirit of Irish sailing in 2014 was evident in St Mary's Cathedral in Limerick, when the CityOne dinghies built by volunteers in an inner city revitalisation project went on display in a Naumachia in the Cathedral on September 26th, after their first regatta on the Shannon in the heart of Ireland's City of Culture 2014. With the boats in the cathedral were (left) Brother Anthony Keane of Glenstal Abbey (Director, the Ilen School), Limerick's senior TD and Ireland's Minister for Finance Michael Noonan, and Gary MacMahon (right) Director of the Ilen School & Network for Wooden Boatbuilding. Photo: Press22

And then more vigorous winds returned in October, with the Freshwater Keelboat event on Lough Derg – originally just an exclusive Dragon thing – finding itself swamped with sixty and more boats from five classes and increasingly rugged conditions, such that only the Dragons and Squibs managed to get in any meaningful racing, with Neil Hegarty (RStGYC) winning the Dragons while James Matthews and Rob Jacob of Kinsale topped the Squibs.

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Dragons in Autumn action on Lough Derg – Neil Hegarty (right) was overall winner from runner-up Richard Goodbody (left) Photo: Gareth Craig

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Squibs on Lough Derg – it may look like perfect sailing, but the top came off the weather very soon afterwads. Photo: Gareth Craig

The Student Yachting Worlds in La Rochelle in October had some hiccups in UCD's campaign for Ireland, but while they very narrowly missed the podium in a truly international event, they stayed put at fourth overall. And round in the Mediterranean, a record fleet for the Rolex Middle Sea Race from Malta saw entries soar through the 120 mark for the first time, and the 606 mile race had its first half in light breezes, but the second half was in pure Mistral, with people talking of "winds easing to 44 knots....." A Maltese-owned J/122 won, but second overall and first in her class was the Xp44 XpAct (Josef Schultheis) with a strong Irish emphasis in her crew including Barry Hurley, Andy Boyle, Kenny Rumball and Phillip Connor.

Soon afterwards, the Volvo World Race got under way with first stage from the Med to Cape Town, and Ireland's Justin Slattery on the winning boat on Leg 1. Back home, Autumn leagues had seen renewed enthusiasm as though people had suddenly re-discovered their sport, and the great sailing year of 2014 drew towards its close with the Lasers in Howth starting their 40th winter of annual frostbite racing. This means that HYC have now had a continuous sailing programme since April 1974, while across in Dun Laoghaire the DMYC Frostbite Series must be the most senior of all winter events. Winter Leagues attract more aficionados, with the popularity of the Dublin Bay Turkey Shoot in particular providing a forceful reminder that Dun Laoghaire is the principal sea access for a notably affluent and very large population in South Dublin. With the Turkey on its way, soon it's Christmas. And then the new Irish sailing season will begin on the blue waters of Sydney Harbour.

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Justin Slattery on Volvo World Race 2014. Photo: Volvo Ocean Race

Published in W M Nixon

#volvocorkweek – Volvo Cork Week is over for another two years and a very enthusiastic gathering took place last night at the Royal Cork Yacht Club for the presentation of the prizes and trophies writes Claire Bateman. Master of Ceremonies for the night was Chair of Volvo Cork Week and RCYC Vice Admiral John Roche.

Adrian Yeates, Managing Director Volvo Car Ireland spoke of their satisfaction with the event and the excellent competition and general good week enjoyed by all the competitors. He was followed by Admiral Pat Lyons who expressed the great satisfaction felt by the club at the excellent week enjoyed by all the visitors and local sailors alike. Then it was time for the presentation of prizes and trophies. Eddie English announced all the winners who received great applause and the prizes were presented by the Lady Admiral Ann Lyons.

The big winner of the event, Michael Boyd and Niall Dowling's Quokka, took first place in IRC 2, winner of the Hugh Coveney Cup as champion of the Harbour Race in which the entire fleet competed and also won the Kinsale Kettle for best overall performance as yacht of the week. The Prix d'Elegance for the most yacht present at the regatta was awarded to Richard Matthews' magnificent 125ft. Twilight while the Sisk Corinthian Cup for the most successful yacht with an entire crew of Category One sailors was presented to Tom McNeice in his Sigma 33 Minx. The trophy representing the best spirit of the event was awarded to David Wilkins in Goose Pimples.

Volvo Cork Week Overall winners were as follows:

IRC 1: Catapult, Marc Glimcher
IRC 2: Quokka 8, Niall Dowling and Michael Voyd
IRC 3: Storm, Pat Kelly
IRC 4: Insatiable, Tom Cunliffe
IRC 5: Bandit, Kieran O'Connell ad Graham Marron
Qtr.Ton:Illes Pitiuses, Jason and Dominic Losty
Sports Boats:
1: Spiced Beef, Robin and Ben O'Mahony
Non Spinnaker One:
1: Foxtrot, Hillary Davies
Non Spinnaker Two:
1: Minx 111, Tom McNeice

Additonal reporting by Louay Habib

Volvo Cork Week Final Report

Marvin Gaye's 'Let's get it on' and The Stranglers 'Something better change' rang out over the air waves as the Volvo Cork Week fleet waited for the breeze to set in for the final day of racing. However, the wind was sufficient to allow for a full racing programme to decide the winners for the regatta. Performing well in light winds requires concentration, perfect boat handling skills and tactical acumen. The teams that mastered these factors reaped the rewards. Volvo Cork Week featured the entire Irish team for this month's Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup and all three yachts had magnificent results.

Michael Boyd's Grand Soleil, Quokka (Royal Irish YC) was the clear winner of IRC Two, winning seven of the eight races sailed and was awarded The Kinsale Kettle for Yacht of the Week and the Hugh Coveney Trophy as the overall winner of the Cork Harbour Race. Quokka along with Catapult and Antix will be representing Ireland in this month's Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup.

Only a broken spinnaker pole in Race 4 prevented Quokka from a perfect scoreline at Volvo Cork Week. Racing with IRC One meant that Quokka was always having to deal with boat on boat factors with faster yachts, even though Quokka was able to show a clean pair of heels to their own class, the teams achievement in a production yachts against world class opposition in racing yachts was impeccable.Michael Boyd led his team up to collect the Kinsale Kettle having already received the Hugh Coveney Trophy.

"Hugh was a legendary sailor for my generation, I feel very honoured to be presented with the trophy bearing his name, especially as his son Andrew presented it." commented Michael Boyd, visbily moved by emotions. "Hugh will always be highly respected all over Ireland and overseas and leaves behind him a tremendous family. Hugh Coveney was an exceptional sailor and a great man - a legend of my generation. Winning the Kinsale Kettle is fantastic. The team on Quokka has put in a tremendous amount of hard work to win at Volvo Cork Week and our moral is high, we will do our best to win the Commodores' Cup back for Ireland."

Marc Glimcher's Ker 40, Catapult (Baltimore SC) was the victor in IRC One. The crew work was slick and the tactical calls from local Olympian, Peter O'Leary, kept the bright red hull at the front of the fleet, taking Line Honours in every race bar one boding well for the fastest yacht in the Irish Team for the Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup.

Catapult's Boat Captain, Geoff Ewenson from Annapolis USA, was at the helm of the yacht and highlighted starts as an important aspect of the team's success. "With an even start line, coming in on Port tack, you are looking for a gap to tack into where you have enough space to be able to move the bow as you like but not so big that a competitor comes in and tacks under you. With light airs and current it normally pays to get up from the tide but the race course here has shifts that are just as important, even though we didn't have big breeze the racing was excellent."

IRC One featured a tremendous battle for the podium with three boats just a point a part going into the final race. Anthony O'Leary's Ker 39, Antix (Royal Cork YC) finished the regatta in style winning the last two races to take second place in IRC One with Andy Williams' Ker 40, Keronimo (Yealm YC) third on countback from Richard Matthews' Hakes 42, Oystercatcher XXX (Royal Burnham YC).

Quokka was the clear winner of IRC Two winning seven of the eight races sailed. As with the big boat class, a close battle developed for the podium. Conor Phelan's Ker 37, Jump Juice (Royal Cork YC) took second place in the last race, to take runner up for the class, with Tony Ackland's Dubois 37, Dark Angel (Swansea YSC) taking third by just a point from Findlay & Anderson's Xp38, Roxstar (Clyde CC).

In IRC Three, Pat Kelly's J/109, Storm (Rush YC) had a shaky start to racing on the final day, placing 12th but 2nd place in the last race secured the all Irish team the class win. Paul O'Higgins Corby 33, Rockabill V, (Royal Irish YC) was second and Ian Nagle's J/109, Jelly Baby (Royal Cork YC) was third.

In IRC Four the winner was Tim Cunliffe's Half Tonner, Insatiable (Royal Cornish YC). The vintage half tonner was beautifully restored at Pendennis Shipyard in Cornwall. The Cornish team scored podium finishes in every race to win the class by ten points. Paul & Deirdre Tingle's Corby 25, Alpaca (Royal Cork YC) was second. Team Foyne's X-332, Dexterity finished the regatta in fine style, winning the last race by just 24 seconds, to tie on points with Alpaca, but after countback Dexterity was third.

In IRC Five, Jason & Domonic Losty's Quarter Tonner, Illes Pitiuises (Cobh SC), was the resounding winner with nine straight bullets to the boys from Cobh, a fantastic achievement. However, the formula for calculating the overall winner meant that Quokka was awarded the Kinsale Kettle. Diarmuid Foley's Quarter Tonner, Anchor Challenge (Royal Cork YC) finished the regatta with two second places on the last day to take runner up for IRC Five. Kieran O'Connell's Quarter Tonner, Bandit (Royal Cork YC) was third.

In the Sportsboat Class Robin & Ben O'Mahony's 1720, Spiced Beef (Royal Cork YC) scored six bullets out of nine races to win the pocket rocket class. Denis Murphy's 1720, Aquatack (Royal Cork YC) was second by just a point from Julian Cook's Viper 640, Oh No (Royal Thames YC).

In IRC One White Sail, George Pettifor's Beneteau 36.7, Foxtrot has had an outstanding regatta, winning four out of six races to win the class. John Downing's Samba was second with Peter O'Donovan's X-372, X Tension third.

Tom McNeice's Sigma 33, Minx III won the last race to win IRC Two White Sail. David Borry Crockett's Sigma 33, Upstart was second with Pat Vaughan's Contessa 33, Aramis in third. Yesterday, Upstart damaged their head sail but in a show of corinthian spirit, which is the heart and soul of Volvo Cork Week, Tom McNeice lent their competitor a spare to allow them to compete fairly in the last race.

Volvo Cork Week Racing Chairman, Anthony O'Leary was quick to praise both the race management team and the staff of the Royal Cork Yacht Club. "To conduct such magnificent races in difficult conditions was highly commendable, congratulations should go to the Race Officers, Jack Roy, Robert Lamb and Peter Crowley and all of the management team out on the water. The Royal Cork Yacht Club has welcomed competitors to the club with open arms and Gavin Deane, all of the staff and volunteers, have worked tirelessly to make sure the competitors have had a memorable time. That result is ably assisted by good race management, sailors coming off the water happy are much easier to please at the bar!"

Adrian Yeates, Managing director of Volvo Car Ireland, was on hand to open the awards ceremony for the 2014 Volvo Cork Week Prize Giving Ceremony on the lawn at the Royal Cork Yacht Club. compered by Eddie English, with speeches from John Roche, Chairman of Volvo Cork Week and Royal Cork Yacht Club Admiral, Pat Lyons.

The Volvo Cork Week Prize Giving was well attended, the music and the drinks were flowing long into the night. Souldriven playing live at the Volvo Cork Week Marquee followed by DJ - Bar with a bar extension until 2.00am! The legendary Craic of Cork Week went on long into the night.

Published in Cork Week

#corkweek – Unsettled weather provided changeable conditions for the third day of racing at Volvo Cork Week writes Louay Habib. The day started with bright sunshine and balmy conditions, causing a short postponement for many classes and light rain (honestly!) and a stiffer breeze was encountered during the day. With many classes now completing six races, the discard has kicked in and front runners have become more apparent. What is plainly obvious from the results is races and places are being contested by seconds. Volvo Cork Week is providing exciting, close racing and ashore the craic is the same as ever.

Fleet A, composing of the fastest racer cruisers, competing in IRC One and IRC Two took on the Windward Leeward Course, which was 3 miles south east of Roches Point. Once a northerly breeze had settled, the fleet got a clean start in Race 5 racing upwind towards the shoreline. The breeze was light and the first leg proved to be crucial. Peter O'Leary was calling tactics today on Marc Glimcher's Ker 40, Catapult (Baltimore SC). "We crossed the line on starboard tack and tacked as soon as we could to head for the area of pressure on the right hand side of the course. The race was all about finding that extra pressure to get ahead of the fleet and into clear air."

Peter's brother Nicholas O'Leary is tactician on Michael Boyd's Grand Soleil 43, Quokka (Royal Irish YC). "Mark Mansfield on the wheel and myself were in total agreement that the right would pay" commented Nicholas. "We had both seen this scenario in the 1720 Nationals and it was clear to us."

Catapult scored their fourth win in a row in Race 5 and ended the day leading IRC One for the series by six points. Andy Williams' Ker 40, (Yealm YC) won Race 6, to move into second position on countback, from Richard Matthews Hakes 42, Oystercatcher XXX (Royal Burnham YC).

Quokka were unstoppable today, winning both of today's races to open up an 8.5 point gap for the series in IRC Two. Tony Ackland's Dubois 37, Dark Angel (Swansea YSC) is still in second place but a solid performance by Conor Phelan's Ker 37, Jump Juice (Royal Cork YC) has lifted the team up to third.

Fleet B, consisting of IRC 3, IRC 4, IRC 5 and the Sportsboat Class enjoyed three races on the Olympic Course, near Roches Point. with over 40 yachts racing on a tight triangular course.

In IRC Three, Pat Kelly's J/109, Storm (Rush YC) still leads the class after an intense battle. Robert McConnell's, A35, Fools Gold was the winner in Race 5. The intensity of the combat was evident by the top four yachts were only separated by an astonishing 12 seconds. Last year's class champion, Ian Nagle's J/109, Jelly Baby (Royal Cork YC) was the winner of Race 6 by just 23 seconds from Storm. However, the Kelly family racing Storm, finished the day on top by winning the last race of the day.

"The Olympic Course is a real test, especially the gybe mark, where yachts are converging for a manoeuvre all at the same time. Just a few seconds can make the difference between first and fifth." Explained Joss Walsh, trimmer on Storm. "The overall game plan was to keep with the yachts around us and try and compete with them for speed and avoid errors, which would be very costly. Pat Kelly has four sons on board, Storm is a real family boat but we are quite a heavy crew, which has made racing difficult in light conditions. We are all here to enjoy very competitive racing and a few pints at the club afterwards. We are here to win but having fun is just as important."

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Former ICRA National Champion Storm leads IRC 3. Photo: Bob Bateman

Storm leads IRC Three by 10.5 points points from Paul O'Higgins Corby 33, Rockabill V, (Royal Irish YC). Jelly Baby is just half a point behind Rockabill V in third.

In IRC Four, Tim Cunliffe's Half Tonner, Insatiable (Royal Cornish YC) is the new leader having scored a 1,2,3 in today's three races. Paul Tingle's Corby 25, Alpaca (Royal Cork YC) has dropped to second place after struggling on today's Olympic Course. Peter Deasy's Bad Company (Royal Cork YC) had their best day so far, scoring a 4th and a win to move up to third in class. Ronan Fenton's J/35, Sky Hunter (Blackwater SC) finished the day in style, taking their first win of the regatta in Race 7.

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Dave Lane and Sinead Enright's YaGottaWanna. Photo: Bob Bateman

In IRC Five, it is now six straight bullets to the boys from Cobh. Jason & Domonic Losty's Quarter Tonner, Illes Pitiuises (Cobh SC). However, the team have had to fight for their supremacy, winning Race 5 by 6 seconds and Race 6 by 35 seconds. Kieran O'Connell's Quarter Tonner, Bandit (Royal Cork YC) had a consistent day to have a solid position in second place for the series. Frank O'Regan's Orient Express (Cobh SC) is the smallest keel boat at the regatta and lies third, just one point ahead of Lane & Enright's J/24, Yagottawanna (Royal Cork YC).

In the Sportsboat Class Robin & Ben O'Mahony's 1720, Spiced Beef still leads the class after scoring a third and a race win today but two yachts came into the running with excellent results today. Julian Cook's Viper 640, Oh No, won the first two races putting pressure on Spice Beef but a fifth in the last race means that Spiced Beef have a five point lead for the series. Denis Murphy's 1720, Aquatack scored three second places today to move up to third for the class, just a point behind Oh No.

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Lenny Donnery's No Knomes.  Photo: Bob Bateman

In IRC One White Sail, George Pettifor's Beneteau 36.7, Foxtrot had an outstanding day in Cork Harbour, winning both of today's races to become the new class leader. John Downing's Samba drops to second place, just two points off the lead. Peter O'Donovan's X-372, X Tension scored a second and third place today to move up to third for the class.

Tom McNeice's Sigma 33, Minx III won both of today's races to open up a three point lead in in IRC Two White Sail. David Borry Crockett's Sigma 33, is second with Pat Vaughan's Contessa 33, Aramis in third.

Tonight's entertainment at the Royal Cork Yacht Club Event Village includes, traditional Bag Pipes from Sessiun Ceol followed by DJ Fadd Jnr, mixing the tunes after 10pm. Racing continues tomorrow, full results available here

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Ted Crosbie at the tiller of No Excuse. Photo: Bob Bateman

Published in Cork Week

#corkweek – The fast high performance yachts racing at Volvo Cork Week enjoyed the unique Slalom Course today, the triangular course has an offset mark which forces the crew to gybe half way down the reaching leg, providing high octane maneuvres in close quarters with other yachts.

Marc Glimcher's American Ker 40, Catapult (Baltimore SC) was launched on the Slalom Course today, scoring three straight bullets. Catapult's crew include, Royal Cork's Harry Durcan, the teenage national Optimist Champion, who was beaming from ear to ear. However it was far from easy for Catapult, which will be representing Ireland in the forthcoming Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup. Each race was won by just seconds with three high performance yachts pushing hard; Richard Matthews' Hakes 42, Oystercatcher XXX (Royal Burnham YC), Andy Williams British Ker 40, Keronimo (Yealm YC) and Anthony O'Leary's Ker 39, Antix (Royal Cork YC).

"That is the first time I have raced on a slalom course although it is an idea we have thought about back home in Maryland." Commented Catapult's Geoff Ewenson from Annapolis USA. "Conventional windward lewards are more tactical but this course is all about speed, boat handling and sail selection, which is more akin to modern yachts flying asymmetric sails and it is a very exciting discipline. We were by no means faultless today but we have got to be happy with our results and racing a new course set up was very refreshing, something we all enjoyed."

In IRC Two, Michael Boyd's Grand Soleil 43, Quokka (Royal Irish YC) had another great day. Quokka won the first two race but dropped to fourth for the last race of the day. After four races, Quokka has a slender lead for the class from Tony Ackland's Dubois 37, Dark Angel (Swansea YSC). Conor Phelan's Ker 37, Jump Juice (Royal Cork YC) had a consistent day resulting in third place by the close of play. The intensity of the racing in IRC Two produced a tie for second place in the first of today's three races between Jump Juice and Dark Angel.

Fleet B, consisting of IRC 3, IRC 4, IRC 5 and the Sportsboat Class enjoyed three races on the Windward Leeward Course, three miles south east of Roches Point.Warm sunshine and stable conditions prevailed,with blue skies and fresh breeze coming off the land to provide a perfect classic race track.

In IRC Three, Pat Kelly's J/109, Storm (Rush YC) was in impressive form scoring a win and a second in today's races to open up an 8.5 point lead at the top of the class. Paul O'Higgins Corby 33, Rockabill V, (Royal Irish YC) sailed consistently well today to move up to second in class. Robert McConnell's A35, Fools Gold (Waterford Harbour SC) is third.

In IRC Four, Paul Tingle's Corby 25, Alpaca (Royal Cork YC) had a great day scoring two wins and a second, to climb to the top of the class. Tim Cunliffe's Half Tonner, Insatiable (Royal Cornish YC) finished the day in style with a win, to place the Cornishmen just two points off the lead. Ronan Lyden's Corby 25, Aurora (Royal Cork YC) scored two second places today to move up to third.

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"Champagne sailing!" smiled Paul Tingle, skipper of Alpaca. "12 knots of breeze, a great course and really competitive racing. I just love Cork Week and today was a very special day to be out on the water. The Corby 25 is a step-up for us this season and she is a far more physical boat that we are used to, so in the last race, we were a little tired and let or concentration lapse but what a day! We are off for a crew dinner and can't wait to get going in the morning."

In IRC Five, Jason & Domonic Losty's Quarter Tonner, Illes Pitiuises had another cracking day, to win all three races and have the only perfect scoreline of the 100 yachts competing at Volvo Cork Week. Last month, Illes Pitiuises won the Corinthian Division of the Quarter Ton Cup in Cowes and look like they have brought that scintillating form with them to Volvo Cork Week. Kieran O'Connell's Quarter Tonner, Bandit had a good day on the water, moving the team up to second place above Lane & Enright's J/24, Yagottawanna. Dermott Foley's Anchor Challenge and Frank O'Regan's Orient Express posted good results today on the windward leeward course.

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In the Sportsboat Class Robin & Ben O'Mahony's 1720, Spiced Beef still leads the class, having scored two first places today. Mike Relling's Viper 640, Viper scored their first bullet of the regatta to keep hold of second place, but by only one point, from Jimmy Nyhan's 1720, Salve racing.

John Downing's Samba leads White Sail IRC One by just two points, after winning the first of two races today. Sailed along the stunning coastline west of Cork Harbour the fleet enjoyed spectacular views in bright sunshine and a moderate breeze. George Pettifor's Beneteau 36.7, Foxtrot won the second race of the day to lift the team to second for the class. Whilst, Bryan Heffernan's Dufour 365, Aisling scored a second and a third to place third after three races. The Heffernan Family include two members in their 70s, who could not race in the spinnaker classes, a prime example of why the White Sail class is included at Volvo Cork Week.

Tom McNeice's Minx III and David Borry Crockett's Upstart are both Sigma 33S and the two yachts are enjoying incredibly close racing. Only six seconds seperated the two yachts in today's first race. Minx III and Upstart are currently tied for the lead in White Sail IRC Two. Pat Vaughan's Contessa 33, Aramis is third and a win in today's first race has lifted Clive Doherty's GK29, Phaeton to fourth.

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Tonight's entertainment at the Royal Cork Yacht Club Event Village includes; Samba Corcaigh Walking. Who are afloat, playing Samba drums around the pontoons. Brazil made be out of the World Cup but the party is still very much going on at Volvo Cork Week! Racing continues tomorrow,

Full results here

Published in Cork Week

#corkweek – Thrilling conditions welcomed an international fleet of yachts from all over Europe and the United States to Volvo Cork Week. 100 yachts racing in Cork Harbour produced a magnificent spectacle writes Louay Habib. Cork Harbour is one of the largest natural harbours in the world and provides stunning scenery and tricky wind and tidal conditions. The gusty north easterly breeze tested the boat handling skills of the international fleet, with several yachts reporting a boat speed of up to 20 knots on the surf.

The first race of Volvo Cork Week started just outside Roches Point, the wind speed piped up to 17 knots with a short sea state. The beat into Cork Harbour had the fleet swapping tacks past Spike Island, before negotiating close tight reaching legs along the picturesque town of Cobh. For many it was a race of over three hours, before returning to the Royal Cork Yacht Club to enjoy the full facilities of the exclusive race village.

Michael Boyd racing Grand Soleil 43, Quokka (Royal Irish YC) had an outstanding race, winning IRC Two by a landslide 15 minutes on corrected time. Tony Ackland's Dubois 37, Dark Angel (Swansea YSC) was second in IRC Two, just seven seconds ahead of Jim Macgregor's Elan 410, Premier Flair (Poole YC), which made an impressive comeback after starting prematurely.

For Volvo Cork Week, Mark Mansfield (Royal Cork YC) is at the helm of Quokka. Mark sailed at four consecutive Olympics from 1992 to 2004, for Ireland, in the International Star Class.

"We got a great start, there was a wind shift just before the gun, which favoured the pin end and we had a nice approach and tacked soon after into clear air." Explained Mark. "The wind speed was up and so was the sea state and Quokka just loves those sort of conditions. Heavier than the Ker 40s, she goes well through the waves but downwind Quokka doesn't plane, so the Ker 40s got away. The crew work today was very good, especially after some last minutes calls; it's obvious that this team has been training well together for the Commodores' Cup."

Anthony O'Leary's Ker 39, Antix (Royal Cork YC) started well and played the current and the wind acceleration through Roches Point to lead on corrected time at the top mark off Cobh. Marc Glimcher's Ker 40, Catapult (Baltimore SC) helmed by Royal Cork's Olympian Peter O'Leary, took Line Honours by 27 seconds from Richard Matthews' Hakes 42, Oystercatcher XXX (Royal Burnham YC) . However, after time correction, Antix won the class by less than a minute from Catapult with Andy Williams' Devon based, Ker 40, Keronimo in third.

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Victory in IRC Three went to Pat Kelly's J/109, Storm (XXYC). Paul O'Higgins Corby 33, Rockabill V took line honours but after time correction Storm won by nearly three minutes from Robert McConnell's A35, Fools Gold with Rockabill V third.

The IRC Four Class winner for 2012 was in fine form today. former Royal Cork YC Admiral, Peter Deasy driving Bad Company scored a slender win from Paul Tingle's Corby 25, Alpaca (Royal Cork YC). Tim Cunliffe and his team from Falmouth, racing Half Tonner, Insatiable was third.

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Bad Company won by just 49 seconds on corrected time. "Beautiful conditions and a really competitive race, what a great start to Volvo Cork Week." Smiled Peter Deasy. "We are delighted to see Insatiable back, we had a great battle with them last time and Paul's new boat, Alpaca, is sailing very well indeed, so we will have to be at our best to win this class."

It was a long day on the water in IRC Five, Jason & Domonic Losty's Quarter Tonner, Illes Pitiuises was the winner by just under five minutes from Dave Lane & Sinead Enright's J/24, YaGottaWanna. Christine Willis's Westerly Fulmar, Rodmar was one of the last yachts to finish today, after over four hours of racing, the team from Aberaeron SC showed great tenacity taking third in class after time correction.

In White Sail IRC One, Bryan Hefferan's Dufour 36, Aisling (Royal Cork YC) took Line Honours and the class win on corrected time from John Downing's Sunfast 32, Samba. Peter O'Donavan's X-372, Xtension (Royal Cork YC) was third.

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In the Sportsboat Class, Robin & Ben O'Mahony's 1720, Spiced Beef was the winner with Mike Relling's Viper 640, Viper taking second place and David Pitman's Viper 640, The Black Adder was third. Viper could have won the first race but for a navigational error. "We over stood a mark, which cost us the lead and ultimately the race." Admitted Viper's skipper, Mike Relling. "We had a real blast though, hitting 19 knots on the reach and it has been great to race against the 1720s. They definitely have us upwind but downwind the Viper is much quicker, so we expect a regatta-game of snakes and ladders, pardon the pun!" David Pitman's Viper 640, The Black Adder was third.

After racing, hundreds of competitors enjoyed a few glasses at the Royal Cork Yachjt Club with live entertainment. The SLAM Crew Games kick off tonight in the Marquee with a giant screen showing the FIFA World Cup Semi-Final between Brazil and Germany. Racing continues at Volvo Cork Week tomorrow Wednesday 8th July, with the international fleet enjoying a variety of courses both inside and outside of Cork Harbour.

For full results here

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Published in Cork Week

#corkweek – Crosshaven sparkled both on and off the water yesterday as all is in readiness for the official start of racing today at Volvo Cork Week 2014 writes Claire Bateman.

The aura of goodwill and smiling faces was in evidence everywhere in Crosshaven today. The Royal Cork Yacht Club was buzzing with last minute registrations of yachts still arriving, the sun shone non stop and there was a delightful summer breeze wafting around to keep the crews on the water.

Many of the yachts, particularly the visitors, took the opportunity to make an observance trip of the harbour both inside and out while others decided to take part in the practice races organized by the Race Committee and to iron out an last minute glitches in their final preparations.

Make no mistake, it is all very pleasant and amicable with a wonderful spirit of camaraderie but, just like any other sport, once the start is underway the competition comes into play.

With a good forecast for today of some 11 to 16 knots of nor westerly breeze conditions should be perfect for the in harbour race that takes the yachts up to a turning mark of Cobh and is a favourite viewing point with the general public. Given the forecast, the yachts may yet get to experience what is known as the "cathedral puff" a wind that may get deflected around the spire with sometimes interesting results!

It only remains to wish the best of luck to all competitors for a wonderful week of racing and to enjoy the extensive shoreside facilities organized for the week.

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Published in Cork Week

#CorkWeek – With a fleet of just over 100 boats, yesterday's official opening of Volvo Cork Week at Royal Cork Yacht Club was a proper parade of sail as the competitors readied their vessels for the days of racing ahead.

Members of the public turned out in droves to see the boats and enjoy the festivities of Sunday's open day, including fun fair rides and an open-top bus shuttle between the Royal Cork and Camden Fort Meagher taking in the breathtaking vistas of Cork Harbour.

Later came the official opening of Volvo Cork Week by Marine Minister Simon Coveney, together with VCW chair and club vice admiral John Roche and admiral Pat Lyons.

But Cork Week is about the action on the water, and it got off to a rapid start yesterday morning with the PYR Race Dash for Cash, which boasted a prize fund of €1,000.

The tightly fought battle saw Peter McCann with crew Arran Walsh, sailing a 420, emerge victorious to take the first prize of €500.00.

They were followed in second and third place respectively by John Downey and Sandy Remmington, and Alex Barry and Richard Leonard, both sailing RS400s.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, it's set to be a challenging yet rewarding week ahead across the fleets, and particularly so in the big boat class as several Ker 40s will be gunning for new British IRC Nationals champion Antix.

Published in Cork Week

#corkweek – National Champions from Ireland, Great Britain will be in County Cork joining over 2000 sailors at the Royal Cork Yacht Club, Crosshaven for Ireland's longest running sailing regatta - Volvo Cork Week.
Class winners from the 2014 Irish and British National Championships will be racing at Volvo Cork Week in an international, adrenalin packed showdown in Cork Harbour and the Atlantic Approaches. An exciting line up of highly competitive yachts will be engaged in an intense battle at the Royal Cork Yacht Club's showcase event and enjoying the full hospitality of the world's oldest yacht club.
On the 15th June, Royal Cork's Anthony O'Leary racing Antix was the overall winner of the 2014 RORC IRC National Championship, held in Cowes, Isle of Wight. Antix won the nine-race championship in the very last race, against a top class international fleet from America, South Africa, Great Britain and Holland.
"A great win for Antix and the same team will be racing at Volvo Cork Week." commented Anthony O'Leary. "The competition will be just as good, in many respects even tougher, as a number of boats that were unavailable at the British championship will be coming to Cork. Antix will need to be at the top of their game, if we are to succeed."
Antix won the British championship in the very last race, just ahead of Premier Flair skippered by Jim Macgregor with his daughter and British Olympic sailor, Kate Macgregor on board and Premier Flair is a definite for Volvo Cork Week. Marc Glimcher's American Ker 40, Catapult was the class winner at Key west Race week before shipping over to Europe. Catapult was third in the RORC IRC Nationals this month and will be racing at Volvo Cork Week with double Olympian, Peter O'Leary, calling tactics. All three of these yachts will be vying for victory at Volvo Cork Week and they are joined by a number of proven winners including; Dutchman, Willem Wester racing Antilope, Andy Williams' Cornishman racing Keronimo and Quokka, chartered for Volvo Cork Week by Nial Dowling and Michael Boyd.
Top performers from the 2014 ICRA National Championship will be racing at Volvo Cork Week. Royal Cork YC members, Denise and Conor Phelan, are the 2014 Irish big boat champions with Jump Juice and fellow Royal Cork member, Ian Nagle was victorious at the Irish Championship with Jelly Baby. Royal Irish YC member, George Sisk will be racing WOW and Clyde CC member, Finlay Anderson will be bringing Roxstar down from Scotland.
Proven winners at Cork Week will also be returning including, Royal Irish YC member Paul O'Higgins with Rockabill V and West Mersea YC member, Richard Matthews with Oystercatcher XXX.
Volvo Cork Week is proud to announce that the latest range of Volvo Cars will also be on display in the event village, which will be open from Sunday 6th July for a special edition one-day dinghy regatta. Organised by the Royal Cork Yacht Club, the Dinghy Dash for Cash has a prize fund of €1000. The entry fee will be just €10 per boat and the closing date for entries is 1st July. The Dinghy Dash for Cash is an open event but limited to just the first 50 entries. Competitors can enjoy the hospitality of the Royal Cork Yacht Club and Volvo Cork Week Event Village. 
Entries are still open for Volvo Cork Week. 

Published in Cork Week
Tagged under

#corkweek – With less than five weeks to the start of Volvo Cork Week, the Royal Cork Yacht Club is ramping up preparations for their biennial regatta, which has been run by the world's oldest yacht club since 1978 writes Louay Habib.

Club officials and an army of volunteers are readying the event village in Crosshaven. An estimated two thousand sailors, friends and family, from all over the world, will be visiting the regatta during the week-long event this July.
"It's the showcase event for the club and it only happens every other year." Enthused Gavin Deane, General Manager of the Royal Cork Yacht Club. "The regatta organising team are highly motivated to lay on a professional event both on and off the water, which will be well-organised, exciting and above all - fun. We are determined to stage a regatta that the club will be proud of, a memorable occasion for everyone involved."
Volvo Cork Week Race Chairman, Anthony O'Leary reports on the race courses for 2014.

"Broadly speaking, we will have the same style of courses as 2012; Harbour, Slalom, Olympic and Windward Leeward. The major change will be an overall prize for the Harbour Course, which all teams will race on the first day of Volvo Cork Week.

The result of the Harbour Race will count towards the overall standing for the regatta but in addition the Hugh Coveney Trophy will be awarded to the 'Champion of Cork Harbour' – the overall winner on corrected time of the Volvo Cork Week 2014 Harbour Race. Previously this trophy was awarded for the best performance by an Irish Yacht in the regatta, but the organising committee felt a more inclusive award would have greater appeal, and thereby give appropriate recognition to the best performance in what has become the favourite race for many of our competitors."
New and Non-Spinnaker Classes
This year at Volvo Cork Week, the number of yachts racing in the popular Non-Spinnaker Class will be complimented by the all-new coastal and two-handed fleets, which are proving to be very popular at all major regattas across Europe. The race organisers have tasked Course Race Officer, Peter Crowley, with the responsibility of specifically designing courses to suit the needs of the non-spinnaker and coastal fleets. It promises to be a great improvement on years of old when non-spinnaker was confined to sailing courses designed for boats with spinnakers.
The coastal courses will allow boats that would normally be out classed or out crewed by some of the more modern and high performance boats, to race against like-minded sailors. This will provide a more relaxed environment, without taking away from the quality of the racing and lay a great foundation for some two handed sailing in the all-new two-handed class.
This year, along with the huge drop in the entry fee, Volvo Cork Week will also be holding a draw on the Monday night exclusively for non-spinnaker/coastal course boats. The first prize is a full refund of their entry fee and the second prize will be a bottle of wine for each member of the crew.
Sportsboats
First launched in 1994 at the Royal Cork Yacht Club, with the first European Championship held at Cork Week in 1998. The 1720 sportsboat class has undergone something of a renaissance in Ireland. As many as ten entries are expected for Volvo Cork Week, and for those familiar with the thrills and spills of the 1720, charter options are available, via the Royal Cork Yacht Club.
There will also be a nest of Vipers at Volvo Cork Week this year, the high performance skiff has proved extremely popular in the USA with hundreds racing across the country. At least four Viper 640s are expected to be racing at Cork Week including 'Oh No!' owned by Caroline Aisher and Julian Cook, from the Royal Torbay Yacht Club.
Cork Week is a great event; brilliant racing and course management and full of fun people who enjoy their sailing, on and off the water." smiled Caroline Aisher. "We have raced the Viper both in the UK and abroad and we are really looking forward to racing for the first time in Cork. The conditions are just made for the boat."
Charter Opportunities
If you want to experience Cork Week 2014 but don't have a ride, it is not too late to get involved. Various charter companies are offering opportunities for individual, groups all or whole boat charter. Award winning British based sailing school, Sailing Logic are proud to enter two Beneteau First 40 yachts for Volvo Cork Week 2014 and still have places available on one of them.
"Lancelot II Logic is fully booked and will be skippered by Tim Thubron with a crew of nine amateur individuals who booked up Cork Week well in advance. The crew includes a policeman, interior designer, a physiotherapist, a surveyor and a lawyer amongst others! However, Sailing Logic also have places still available to join Arthur Logic, a brand new Beneteau First 40." confirmed, Sharon Hayward.

Published in Cork Week
Tagged under

#corkweek – Over 80 yachts have now confirmed their entry for Volvo Cork Week writes Louay Habib. More than half the yachts are Irish and a strong contingent of British yachts will be looking to take on the best that Ireland can muster. The entire Irish Commodores' Cup team will be racing along with competitors from other nations for the country versus country competition in The Solent this summer.
Competitors will be racing from Ireland, England, Wales, Scotland and France, as well as Hong Kong and the United States of America. The real attraction for coming to Volvo Cork Week is that the regatta is run by sailors for sailors and that is expressed in the excellent race courses and also ashore, with the legendary hospitality of the Royal Cork Yacht Club. Sailing is full of characters and plenty of them will be coming to Volvo Cork Week.

Irish Olympic Sailor - Peter O'Leary, Ker 40 - Catapult

"The whole of the Irish Team for the Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup will be racing at Cork Week including, Catapult, Antix and Quokka and there is good competition coming from England and Ireland including, Keronimo, Premier Flair and Jump Juice, so the racing should be very exciting. Cork Week is an ideal work up for the Commodores' Cup; the variety of the courses and the standard of the opposition is sure to sharpen up all of the Irish team."

Honk Kong Reunion - Adrian McCarroll, X-37, Pure Attitude

"We have been coming to Cork Week for every regatta since 2000. We love the easy going friendly atmosphere surrounding the regatta, which spreads out to all the places we visit whilst there. The racing is magical and later, getting all the families together for dinner, is very special. Our crew and support team all have one thing in common and that is Hong Kong, but we are now dispersed to the US, the UK, Ireland and of course Hong Kong. We get together at Cork Week for a reunion. The first time we came, my son was still in nappies, this year he will be running the foredeck."

Wish List - Ronan Fenton, J/35, Sky Hunter

"Sky Hunter first raced at Cork Week in 1998 with the original owners from whom we purchased the boat in 2009. The crew are a group of friends from the Blackwater Sailing club in Maldon, Essex. In 2010, My wife and I, along with our two small children, cruised into Crosshaven during Cork Week and we have wanted to come back ever since. 
Cork Week is a huge yachting attraction for the racing and social scene and the whole team are looking forward to the "craic".

Returning to Cork Week - Philip Bourke, J/105, Jet Dream

"I bought Jet Dream in 2012 and it was love at first sight. I sailed her for the first time from Morbihan in France directly to Crosshaven. It was the wettest trip of my life, she leaked like a sieve but boy she was fast. I first attended Cork Week on a Castro 40, Justine IV, way back in the 90's but haven't been back for a while. I must admit that the sailing on the water was great and of a very competitive level and this is the only reason I'm coming back to do the event on my own boat this time. As a result of the financial hardship we have all gone through, I'm hoping the event will go back to the way it was, more down to earth and a little lighter on the pocket. But I'm sure we'll have a great time and I appreciate all the hard work the organisers have put into the event."

New to Cork Week - Dave Shanahan, First 34.7, Warrior

"I bought Warrior last year and we are somewhat of a novice crew from Dublin Bay. Besides the fact Cork is such a beautiful place, I have long read about this fantastic event and always wanted to get a boat and take part and enjoy what Cork Week has to offer. The crew are all over 50 and keen to sail and willing to learn and compete."

Top Class - David Rider, Frers 45 – Echo Zulu

"We have sailed at Cork Week three times before and the courses and organisation have been top class and the shore-side fun too, the best hospitality bar none. It's a long way to come but we think worth it. It must say something that my brother met his wife during Cork week ten years ago and liked it so much he now lives there too.
The crew, including my brother Michael, have sailed together for many years on various boats. We also have a few token youngsters on board to keep the average age below 55, a couple of the crew have won the week overall on Cloud Nine some years ago.
"

For nearly 40 years, generations of sailors have enjoyed racing at Cork Week. The regatta has evolved over those decades and Volvo Cork Week 2014 will be true to the core values of Ireland's most prestigious regatta - fantastic racing and great craic ashore. Gavin Deane, General Manager , Royal Cork Yacht Club spoke about the plans for the regatta. "Entries are up on this time last year and we now have an idea of roughly how many sailors we will need to cater for. For the yachts we are allocating berths on a first come first serve basis. If you are coming to Volvo Cork Week and have not registered with us, we would strongly advise you to do so, then we can include your crew and yacht in our plans. The Club is working tirelessly in preparations to make sure that all the competitors have a memorable regatta."

Published in Cork Week
Tagged under
Page 9 of 16

The Half Ton Class was created by the Offshore Racing Council for boats within the racing band not exceeding 22'-0". The ORC decided that the rule should "....permit the development of seaworthy offshore racing yachts...The Council will endeavour to protect the majority of the existing IOR fleet from rapid obsolescence caused by ....developments which produce increased performance without corresponding changes in ratings..."

When first introduced the IOR rule was perfectly adequate for rating boats in existence at that time. However yacht designers naturally examined the rule to seize upon any advantage they could find, the most noticeable of which has been a reduction in displacement and a return to fractional rigs.

After 1993, when the IOR Mk.III rule reached it termination due to lack of people building new boats, the rule was replaced by the CHS (Channel) Handicap system which in turn developed into the IRC system now used.

The IRC handicap system operates by a secret formula which tries to develop boats which are 'Cruising type' of relatively heavy boats with good internal accommodation. It tends to penalise boats with excessive stability or excessive sail area.

Competitions

The most significant events for the Half Ton Class has been the annual Half Ton Cup which was sailed under the IOR rules until 1993. More recently this has been replaced with the Half Ton Classics Cup. The venue of the event moved from continent to continent with over-representation on French or British ports. In later years the event is held biennially. Initially, it was proposed to hold events in Ireland, Britain and France by rotation. However, it was the Belgians who took the ball and ran with it. The Class is now managed from Belgium. 

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At A Glance – Half Ton Classics Cup Winners

  • 2017 – Kinsale – Swuzzlebubble – Phil Plumtree – Farr 1977
  • 2016 – Falmouth – Swuzzlebubble – Greg Peck – Farr 1977
  • 2015 – Nieuwport – Checkmate XV – David Cullen – Humphreys 1985
  • 2014 – St Quay Portrieux – Swuzzlebubble – Peter Morton – Farr 1977
  • 2013 – Boulogne – Checkmate XV – Nigel Biggs – Humphreys 1985
  • 2011 – Cowes – Chimp – Michael Kershaw – Berret 1978
  • 2009 – Nieuwpoort – Général Tapioca – Philippe Pilate – Berret 1978
  • 2007 – Dun Laoghaire – Henri-Lloyd Harmony – Nigel Biggs – Humphreys 1980~
  • 2005 – Dinard – Gingko – Patrick Lobrichon – Mauric 1968
  • 2003 – Nieuwpoort – Général Tapioca – Philippe Pilate – Berret 1978

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