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More than 150 young sailors with hopes of 'Olympic glory' will get the chance to take the first steps towards fulfilling their dreams at the Irish Sailing Youth National Championships at the Royal Cork Yacht Club later this month from 25-28 April at Crosshaven in Cork Harbour.

The competition is the one time every year when the best of Irish youth sailing come together to test their skills and ability to perform under intense competition conditions – with the added pressure of being under the spotlight for the selectors from Irish Sailing Performance.

The youngsters from throughout Ireland will compete across five different classes of boat during the weekend – the Laser Radial, Laser 4.7, 420, Topper and Optimist. These five classes have been identified, say Irish Sailing, as those that develop the necessary experience sailors need to successfully develop their skills from junior through to the Olympic classes and competing internationally.

As well as racing, there are three evening talks from members of the Irish Sailing Team. Those attending will be treated to 'inspirational talks' from Katie Tingle, who now partners Olympic silver medallist Annalise Murphy in the 49erFX as they seek Olympic qualification this year.  Royal Cork's Tingle should have plenty to talk about as she will have made her international 49erFX debut in the class the week previous at the World Cup in Genoa starting on April 14.

49er sailor Séafra Guilfoyle, a silver medallist at the 2014 Youth World Championships and current partner of Ryan Seaton, who was a finalist at the Olympic Games in London 2012, and Rio 2016; and James O’Callaghan, Irish Sailing’s Performance Director, who will discuss resetting and refocusing during competition with Jessie Barr, Olympic athlete and Sport Ireland sports psychologist.

The occasion also is one of the few times where families and friends competing in the different classes can gather together in one location to share their experiences, learning and generally have some fun.

Sean Evans, Irish Sailing’s Olympic Laser Radial Academy Coach said “The Irish Sailing Youth National Championships are Ireland’s largest Youth regatta and our sport’s primary talent spotting event of the year. All the young sailors that are competing over the weekend have every chance of being selected for the Irish Sailing Academy. Sailors who demonstrate their proficiency at these championships can be chosen for squads that will be competing abroad and may even give something back by coaching and training others as well”.

Finn Lynch, just back from placing 4th in the Laser Class at the Trofeo Princesa Sofia in Palma said “I've great memories of the Youth Nationals, competing with my mates for the right to represent Ireland, racing was always great and the competition was fierce!”.

The Irish Sailing Youth National Championships, showcasing the best up-and-coming talent in Ireland, will take place from 25th-28th April at the Royal Cork Yacht Club, Crosshaven.

Published in ISA

It was a strong seventh-place finish overall for Howth Yacht Club’s Rocco Wright at the International Palamós Optimist Trophy, which concluded yesterday (Sunday 17 February) on Spain’s Costa Brava.

The youngster remained in medal contention among a 110-boat gold fleet all the way till the final day’s racing, following a phenomenal week where he was rarely out of the top three of his groups.

James Dwyer Matthews of the Royal Cork and Kinsale Yacht Clubs also had a strong showing bettering his performance in last month’s Torrevieja Trophy, placing 12th overall.

Jessica Riordan (Royal St George YC), Anna O’Connor (Royal Irish YC), Lucia Cullen (NYC/RStG), Rachel Flood (NYC), Trevor Bolger (RStG) and Peter Williams comprised the rest of the Irish contingent on the Costa Brava during the week.

Published in Howth YC

The festive feelings are nearly upon us again and that means that we will be all braving the cold and crisp winter morning to compete in the O’Leary Insurance Group Winter Series at the Royal Cork Yacht Club.

From 4 November for six consecutive Sundays, the O’Leary Insurance Group Winter Series will be held at Royal Cork Yacht Club in Crosshaven.

The Royal Cork website has the Notice of Race and entry form, as well as a link to keep track of race results, and all at the club are looking forward to welcoming visiting boats for this year’s Winter Series.

Two years ago the O’Leary Family presented the Royal Cork with the perpetual Irish Mist trophy to honour the memory of Archie O’Leary, a past admiral of the club.

This trophy will be awarded for the best performing boat under IRC. The club thanks the O’Leary family for their generosity.

Published in Royal Cork YC

#YouthSailing - The Royal Cork Yacht Club will host next year’s Irish Sailing Youth Pathway Championships, it has been announced.

The dates to save are 25-28 April 2019 when Ireland’s largest youth regatta comes to the world’s oldest yacht club.

It is also Irish Sailing’s primary talent-spotting event of the year — so is a must for budding high performance sailors looking to match the performance of Tralee Bay’s Justin Lucas at this year’s championships.

Published in Youth Sailing

The fourth running of the Horizon Energy PY 1000 at Royal Cork Yacht Club in Crosshaven today saw James McCann and Harry Whitaker sailing a 420 dinghy win €700 first prize writes Bob Bateman.

Racing on the Owenabue river opposite the RCYC clubhouse, there was a perfect ENE wind about 16 knots for the river race but there were plenty of capsizes too.

The PY1000 Race Officer was John Crotty assisted by David Barry.

McCann and Whitaker got a great start and led at the first mark in the mixed fleet of dinghies. 

Nigel Young Day BoatNigel Young and his youngest son James, aged 11, were second in the RCYC PY Horizon 100 in a boat built by Nigel’s father, Don Young. The Young Family have a long association with the YWDB Class, as Don built his first boat back in the 60’s and since that time has built about six more boats. The UK based class are all cold molded smooth skin boats and all varnished, no painting allowed! Nigel’s current boat PaPa 2 has now won the YW Dayboat Championships three times Photo: Bob Bateman. See full photo gallery below

Second place (and a prize of €200 went to father and son combo of Nigel (of North Sails Ireland) and James Young racing the family's vintage Yachting World Day Boat (above).

Darragh O SullivanKinsale Yacht Club's Darragh O Sullivan sailing a Laser was third. Photo Bob Bateman. See full photo gallery below

Third (€100) went to Kinsale Yacht Club's Darragh O Sullivan sailing a Laser (full rig), a previous winner of the event in 2016.  On form O'Sullivan recently won Monkstown Bay's Laser Yard of Ale Winter League, also saield in Cork Harbour

With a prize fund at stake, locally based International Judge Michael O'Connor was drafted in to police the Racing Rules of Sailing but there were no incidents to report.

The largest competing fleet was the 4.7 Lasers. The Mirror dinghy class made a determined effort to attend as their were none last year. Eoghan Duffy of Lough Ree Yacht Club (LRYC) and Cathal Langan Clontarf Yacht and Boat Club (CYBC) sailed as did Ben Graf and Hannagh Smyth of LRYC. And from Cove Sailing Club father and son Kieran and Sam Dorgan competed.

Again this year, return visitors Simon and Evie Crowe from Villiarstown on the River Blackwater in a GP14 competed.

Horizon Energy PY 1000 Race Photo gallery below by Bob Bateman

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Published in Royal Cork YC

There was a ding dong battle for overall prizes at Royal Cork Yacht Club's O'Leary Insurances Winter League in Cork Harbour on Sunday won out by Ted and Tom Crosbie in the X-302, No Excuse writes Bob Bateman.

A festive spirit and 20–knot north–westerly winds brought the league to a buoyant close that followed an equally upbeat SCORA agm at RCYC at the weekend. More details and a podcast with Kieran O'Connell here.

No Excuse won the all–in 29–boat IRC division by one point having finished second in the final race to Coracle IV's (Kieran Collins) third place.

Coracle IV won the Echo division by a bigger margin.

Results are here

A cold but dry race started at seven degrees but by the finish had dropped to a chilly two degrees. 

Race officers Clem and Wendy Mc Elligott Started from a Comitee boat at Cork beg with a Beat to No.8 buoy from there up to Cobh and then out of the harbour to No.3 buoy. Two rounds were sailed.

Published in Royal Cork YC

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

Interest in keelboat racing is increasing. Cruiser racing is on the way back! So says the Royal Cork Yacht Club’s Rear Admiral for Keelboats, Kieran O’Connell, writes Tom MacSweeney.

Clubs around the coast have experienced a fall-off in racing numbers at cruiser events over the past few years. ‘Keelboats,’ a traditional Class description, have changed fundamentally in design as cruiser/racers have evolved since they were first labelled as ‘keelboat racing’.

“There was a decline, numbers have been down, but this season there has been an improvement and an upsurge in interest,” O’Connell told the prizewinning club racers (See Afloat's Gallery here) at the annual presentation of prizes when he pointed to the turn-out for the Autumn series/October League and what has been a surprisingly big entry for the November/December Winter League which is still underway at the club, in which an average 30 yachts are on the water.

OLI D2 8751Cruiser racing on the up – Cork Harbour has seen strong turnouts for its Winter sailing season. Photo: Bob Bateman

“This is encouraging and indicates that interest and participation in cruiser racing is on the up. It has turned around after a few difficult years.”

Kieran O’Connell is also Commodore of the South Coast Offshore Racing Association (SCORA) which combines Southern clubs planning events for the annual sailing calendar.

To general applause, he told the RCYC cruiser racers that he intended to stay in office to steer ‘keelboat’ racing for a while yet. That is good news for the cruiser racing, as he has put a lot of work into orchestrating its revival.

More in the weekly Sailing Column in the Cork Evening Echo.

Published in ICRA

A yacht that went aground during racing in the O'Leary Insurance Winter League in Cork Harbour yesterday was successfully recovered by fellow competitors and Royal Cork Yacht Club officials writes Bob Bateman.

The 38–foot yacht that was competing in the White Sails division of the league when it hit a rocky area area known as 'Chicago Knoll' in the vicinty of Roches Point.  

Although there was a rising tide, a lee shore presented further potential difficulties for the stricken boat. The RNLI were called at 1.30pm.

Some quick thinking by RCYC's Michael Murphy got a line on to the yacht. Sails were taken down and furled and RCYC Rear Admiral Kieran O'Connell took a halyard from the tip of the yacht's mast in an effort to pull the yacht over to release her. Happily, it was a tactic that worked and Blue Oyster floated off the rocky area without any 'structural damage', according to an RNLI report.

Crosshaven RNLI, assisted in escorting the Blue Oyster back to the Royal Cork marina.

Meanwhile, conditions for race three, at the halfway point of the series, dawned with mist and zero wind. However, by start time a 10–knot south westerly breeze had filled in.

Scroll down for a gallery of images below.

Racing started off a committee boat at Corkbeg and the all–in fleet sailed to cage (P), No3 Buoy (S), Wno6 (P), Cage (S), No9 (S) No5 (S) and a finish at Cage.

OLI day3 17 9098Jelly Baby won the IRC race Photo Bob Bateman. Scroll down for photo gallery

Leading the race saw the J109 Jelly Baby Brian Jones, with Nigel Young of North sails onboard, leading at the Cage buoy followed by 1720 T Bone Tom Durcan/Clive O'Shea then Paul and Deirdre Tingle's Alpaca. Jelly Baby went on to win today's race IRC division.

Last year the O'Leary Family presented the Club with the perpetual Irish Mist trophy to honour the memory of Archie O'Leary, a past Admiral of the Royal Cork.

This trophy will be awarded for the best performing boat under IRC of the League.

OLI day3 17 9098

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Published in Royal Cork YC
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