The eagerly-awaited national Mermaid Championship getting underway today in Crosshaven with the Royal Cork YC has experienced two shoreside setbacks which have served to underline what a close-knit community is to be found this very special class. Senior skipper and former ISA President Roger Bannon of Dun Laoghaire’s return to the class is now ruled out for the time being, as he was taken ill yesterday but has happily recovered – though not enough for active sailing competition – after hospital treatment.
But noted class stars Jonathan and Carol O’Rourke of the National YC have not been so fortunate. While nearing the end of their road trail with their famous boat Tiller Girl to Crosshaven, a truck collided with them, and Jonathan, Carol and his son Alan all sustained serious injuries which saw their emergency treatment in hospital for broken bones, concussion and shock.
This morning, all are reported to be doing well, and as for Tilller Girll, while there has been damage it is by no means terminal. As racing gets under way, the thoughts of the Mermaid community and indeed all Irish sailing are with Roger Bannon, Jonathan & Carol O’Rourke, and Alan O’Rourke.