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#OptimistBaltimore Sailing Club have started preparations for the annual invasion of Irish Optimist sailors for the week from next Sunday 17 February.

The International Optimist Dinghy Association of Ireland’s (IODAI) team of coaches are making plans for training both on and off the water.

Participating sailors are reminded to check and label all their equipment before packing for the week, especially if it has been put away all winter.

“We are looking forward to a great week of fun, action and friendships both on and off the water,” the IODAI said.

Meanwhile, registrations are now open for the 2019 Optimist Trials which will take place as part of the Irish Sailing Youth Nationals at the Royal Cork from 25-28 April.

Entry is by invitation only based on 2018 season results. Entries made before 10pm on Thursday 28 March will avail of the early bird rate of €120 (entry thereafter is €200) with the final date for entries no later than 10pm on Thursday 11 April.

Published in Youth Sailing

An early end to a gale-lashed ICRA National Championships series at the Royal Cork Yacht Club didn't stand in the way of John Maybury's Joker 2 from successfully defending his Division 1 title and lifting the trophy for the third consecutive season. The Royal Irish YC winner was one of five titles decided over the weekend that saw a prudent race management decision not to continue racing even inside the shelter of Cork Harbour this morning.

"I honestly hadn't given any thought to the hat-trick," admitted Maybury. "But now that we've won it, it's fantastic!" Joker 2 is already the ICRA Boat of the Year for its successful 2016 season and the national title for 2017 will make the J109 a benchmark for the remainder of the year.

"It may have been a small fleet but the pedigree of the competition was excellent," commented Joker 2's tactician, Olympic veteran Mark Mansfield. Maybury was the only successful defender at Crosshaven over the three days with new national champions in all other classes.

Equinox_howth_yacht_clubHowth Yacht Club's Ross McDonald on Equinox won the Division 2 national title Photo: Bob Bateman

Straight wins for Paul Gibbons Quarter-tonner Anchor Challenge delivered a convincing win in the ten-boat Division 3 where Howth Yacht Club's Anthony Gore Grimes was the first runner-up on Dux. However, clubmate Ross McDonald on Equinox won the Division 2 national title, taking over from fellow Howth sailor David Cullen on Checkmate XV after gear damage on Saturday ended his defence.

Anchor Challenge 3087Straight wins for Paul Gibbons' Quarter-tonner Anchor Challenge (IRL 3087) gave him the Division 3 title. Photo: Bob Bateman

Breaking the past-form of Cork/Dublin national winners, Daragh McCormack from Foynes Yacht Club celebrated his newly-acquired J24 Stouche with the Division 4 national title. The 12-fleet was the largest at the ICRA championship this year with the J24 class accounting for nine of the boats and all seven top places.

Stouche_J24Daragh McCormack's Foynes Sailing Club J24 Stouche was the Division 4 national title winner. Photo: Bob Bateman

After the sad loss of Scottish entry Inis Mór on delivery to Cork a week ago, the depleted Division 0 saw a thrilling match-race series instead between local Robert O'Leary at the helm of Tony Ackland's "We had great fun, real match-racing. They gave us a good run and in only one race did both boats finish more than four boat-lengths apart," O'Leary said while predicting a re-match at the Sovereigns Cup in ten days time and Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta in July.

Meanwhile, the results from Saturday also stood for the White Sails fleets with Denis and Anne-Marie Murphys’ Grand Soleil 40 Nieulargo topping Division A under ECHO handicap while Clodagh O'Donavan’s Beneteau 35s5 Roaring Forties won Division B.

After a weather-lashed second day, principal race officers Jack Roy and Peter Crowley again opted to race both fleets inside Cork Harbour for the final day. But in spite of strong sunshine, westerly winds gusting to gale force kicked up a heavy chop even inside the harbour so the decision was made to abandon the series with the five races already successfully sailed.

"The ICRA championships this year were as much a test of racing skills as seamanship for everyone who participated - the 2017 champions are worthy winners," said ICRA Commodore Simon McGibney. "Clearly, the sport has issues to address including the fixtures conflict and small fleets. But ICRA will consult with our sailors in the coming months to find solutions so that we can deliver an exciting championship at a great venue - Galway Bay in August 2018".

ICRA prizegiving photos are here

Published in ICRA
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Erin McIlwaine from Newcastle in Co Down leapfrogged overnight leader Conor Horgan of Royal Cork Yacht Club to take the win at the inaugural Topper Winter Championships held at Crosshaven in Cork Harbour this weekend writes Bob Bateman.

Erin also took the Ladies prize from a fleet of 29 boats. In the 4.2 fleet, Lewis Thompson of Donaghadee and Ballyholme counted six straight wins in his division.

Given the rain over much of Europe, Cork was very lucky with the weather, frosty mornings giving way to clear days with light north westerly breezes.

Four races were sailed on Saturday leaving just two to be completed on the Sunday and here competitors had to contend with a rain squall during the morning.

 
Published in Topper

#RORC - Royal Cork Yacht Club is bidding to host the IRC European Championship once again in 2020 after a successful inaugural event during Volvo Cork Week this July.

Royal Ocean Racing Club Commodore Michael Boyd made the announcement at the prizegiving ceremony as he unveiled Marseille as the host venue for the second annual championship over the first two weeks of July 2017.

In 2018 the event will move to Cowes on the Isle of Wight and the 2019 championship is tentatively scheduled for Scheveningen in the Netherlands.

Boyd confirmed that an application had been received from the Royal Cork to host in 2020, which also marks the club's tricentenary, and that RORC decision-makers "hope to respond very soon".

"Looking forward to Marseille, I would point out that the Royal Ocean Racing Club has strong links with French yachting, especially UNCL, and we are sure that IRC European Championship in Marseille will be a superb event," added Boyd.

Published in RORC

Champion youth sailor Harry Durcan of Royal Cork took a swim during heavy weather training at last week's 420 dinghy training camp in Schull, West Cork. The near miss between the two 420s was captured on video and can be seen below.

Following on from the Schull session, the next 420 training will take place in Cork Harbour on March 5th. The training will be led by Ross Killian, ISA National Coach with an assistant coach on the water. Cost will be €50 per sailor/€100 per boat for the weekend, which will go ahead subject to a minimum of 4 boats.

 
 
Published in 420

#teamracing – A Royal Cork 2K Racing Team skippered by George Kingston and Fred Cudmore compete at the Royal Club Tevere Remo in Rome today. After scoring fourth place at the last event at Yacht Club de Monaco, the team are ready for three days of intense racing. 

The Cork team pictured above are: Fred Cudmore, George Kingston, Sarah O'Leary, Sonia Minihane, Phil O'Leary, Sean Cotter, Emma Geary and Ian McNamee

Published in Team Racing
Tagged under

#optimist – A top Irish youth sailor has opted out of his place on the European Optimist team in favour of a place on the startline at the world championships in October.

Irish champion sailor Harry Durcan (14) from Royal Cork and Baltimore Sailing Club who came third at the trials this year has made the tough choice to go to the worlds on his own as the IODAI are not sending a team this year.

Harry has opted to go to the Worlds instead of the Europeans as you cannot attend both under Irish Optimist Dinghy Association (IODAI) rulings.

Normally the top five finishers at trials go to the Worlds but this year IODAI are not supporting a team because it's been held during school term.

The World Championships this year are on in San Isidro, Buenos Aires, Argentina in October. Durcan's preparations will be to train with the Irish 2014 Optimist European Team from now until the European event in Dun Laoghaire in order to help them and himself. He will also attend all the Irish regional events. He then plans to train with the Danish Team and their coach Dennis Passke for the week before the Europeans in Dun Laoghaire. He will then travel to Weymouth for the British Nationals at the 2012 Olympic Games venue and from there to Germany for the German nationals in August.

harrydurcanitalianprize

Harry picks up a top Optimist prize in Italy

He goes as the only Irish sailor to Argentina but has completed two world championships before, in Lake Garda in 2013 and the Dominican Republic in 2012.

Durcan also competed an event in Riva Del Garda at Easter and placed 9th out of 800 sailors, the best ever result for an Irish sailor at such an event. In March he was in Oman for an event with some of the top sailors from Europe. 'I am now looking forward to a fun Summer ahead and getting some training and racing under my belt' he told Afloat.ie

Published in Optimist

#optimist – Yesterday Optimist sailors in Cork and Dublin were packing a punch into training in Cork and Dublin writes Claire Bateman. Royal Cork YC members of the Irish Optimist Squad were training at Howth Yacht Club and other RCYC squad members were training in Cork Harbour where they presented a spectacular sight as they appeared to be literally flying up and down and around in a stiff W/SW bitingly cold breeze in the immediate vicinity of the club.

Next week Optimist training will move to Baltimore for the mid term schools break and sailors will spend the full week undergoing rigorous coaching and workouts. It also provides the opportunity for a mid term family break for other members of the families as they generally move to Baltimore for the week.

This is an extremely important year for the Optimist Class as the European Championships 2014 will take place in Dublin. A decision has been taken not to compete in the World Optimist Championships 2014 but to concentrate wholly on the European Championships. Obviously the venue is very accessible for the Irish sailors and will give some extra competitors the chance to participate where they might not have been able to access the Worlds at some far lung venue.

The Royal St. George Club will host the Europeans from July 12th to 20th, 2014 and credit for securing the event for the country must be given to Frank O'Beirne of RStGYC. This means that Ireland as the host nation will have fourteen places instead of the usual seven.

Following the Worlds, Optimist action will move on to the CH Marine Irish Optimist Nationals and Open Championship to be hosted by the Royal Cork Yacht Club from August 14th to 17th, 2014.

Published in Optimist

#royalcork – Cork Harbour was alive with boats today with dinghies and cruisers writes Claire Bateman. On the water the Optimists were sailing their Cobbler League, the Lasers were sailing as were the 420's and also the Toppers and it was even possible to watch the Phil Morrison designed new National 18 prototype.

In the third day of the CH Marine League Race Officers were indeed fortunate to get in two races for the competitors as light winds were the order of the day with about 6 knots from the North. With a 3.5m tide and racing starting at the top of the tide it was essential especially for the Class 1, 2 and 1720 fleets sailing outside the harbour to sail the best course to get to the weather mark. But then it is factors like this that make sailing interesting.

Rob McConnell in Fools Gold did not have it all his own way in IRC 1 to day posting a second and a fourth but was able to discard the fourth while Jump Juice had a good first race taking the gun and is lying second overall, with Freya lying third.

Things are very tight at the top of IRC2 with Bad Company on 9 points with Waterford raider Shane Statham in Slack Alice just one point adrift but Paul Tingle got Alpaca going well today and took the gun in the first race in that class.

IRC 3 and Sigmas sailed the inner harbour course today and Kieran Collins' Tambourine leads from Finbarr Dorgan's No Half Measures while in the Sigmas Wendy and Clem McElligott had two firsts today and now top the leaderboard in that class.

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1720 racing. More photos below. Photo: Bob Bateman

The eight boat 1720 fleet is led by Denis Murphy's Aquatack on 9 points, while Salve Marine Racing, with a little bit of help from tactician Anthony O'Leary, is just one point adrift . In Class 4, Alan Mulcahy's Sundancer leads on 5 points from Shelley D while the positions are reversed in ECHO. Finally, in IRC Whitesail Michael Wallace's Felix is getting the better of Conor O'Donovan's Xtension but it was Tom McNeice who took the two wins today.

Racing continues next Sunday with FG at 11.55

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Published in Royal Cork YC
Page 1 of 8

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. 

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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