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RCYC Dinghy Fest 2019 Saw Biggest Ever Rankin Fleet

16th September 2019
2019 Rankin World Champions - Conor and Robbie English 2019 Rankin World Champions - Conor and Robbie English Credit: Bob Bateman

A tremendous welcome was extended to the Rankin Dinghy Class by Royal Cork Yacht Club last weekend at its DinghyFest Regatta.

The largest fleet of Rankins ever gathered for the event. 21 boats assembled in the dinghy park, with 20 taking part in the racing.

This turned out to be the biggest participation from any dinghy fleet entered in the event.

RankinA contrast in styles as Rankins sail with other dinghy classes at DinghyFest Photo: Bob Bateman

A sincere thank you to the boat owners who made this such a successful weekend.

A special mention must go to those who for various reasons could not sail their boats and handed them over to other sailors. Tom Dwyer, Ruari Allen, David Doyle, Dominic Losty, the Scott family and Damien Aherne showed this generosity which boosted the numbers and gave others the experience of sailing these lovely boats.

RankinRankin owners and participants

The two days sailing were a joy with beautiful weather and racing conditions.

Saturday racing comprised of three races, sailed on the Curlane bank, at the back of Spike.

The fleet seemed to enjoy the competitive aspect of the racing regardless of their experience or boat condition.

After Saturday's results had been tabulated Conor and Robbie English were in Pole position with Ewan O Keeffe, The Cliodhna, The Helga and a number of others in hot pursuit.

Dave O’Keefe with son EwanDave O’Keefe with son Ewan Photo: Bob Bateman

Sunday's racing involved two races sailed in a beautiful breeze, once it filled in from the west.

A race on the Curlane bank was followed by our last race of the weekend. This comprised of a race around a few cans, with an upriver finish off the Marina at RCYC.

Helga sailing one of the earlier cold moulded RankinsOwen O’Connell and Mike O’Callaghan sailing Helga sailing one of the earlier cold moulded RankinsHelga sailing one of the earlier cold moulded Rankins Photo: Bob Bateman

This was a great bit of racing with Rankins going nip and tuck into a flukey headwind to finish at the clubhouse.

Overall results more or less followed Saturday's form so a huge congratulations to the English brothers who are the official 2019 Rankin World Champions. Their father Joe, who himself had a great love of the Rankin boat, would be very proud.

Ewan O Keeffe, crewed by his dad Dave was a good second with Maurice Kidney, crewed by Stephen Barry given third based on a countback with Daniel O'
Connell sailing the Cliodhna.

P9150728Discussing the finer points of Rankin Build Quality are John Doyle and Owen O’Connell Photo: Bob Bateman

To add to the fun and commitment of the English family, April English, crewing for Mark Bushe on Tom Dwyer's Rankin, both sailed and swam during the
race series. Well done April.

April EnglishApril English keeps a watchful eye out sailing in the Harbour race with Mark Bushe Photo: Bob Bateman

Outside of the official prize-giving, a number of presentations were made within the group.

Sienna Mills got an award for being the youngest participant.

 DSC0459Sienna Mills, the youngest Rankin competitor Photo: Bob Bateman

Elaine Moynihan and Fiona O'Connell sailing KevDec got best placed female crew and the Scott family got an award for the most travelled boat.

James and Fionn Burke were the deserving winner of the 2019 Rankin Spirit award for their unfailing enthusiasm and commitment to Class activities
since it's formation in 2014.

Rankin Spirit AwardJames and Fionn Burke winners of “The Rankin Spirit Award” with Conor English and Maurice Kidney

This award has had past winners in Jonny Wigham, Bud O Connell and Owen O'Connell. They are in distinguished company. Well done to James and Fionn.

All in all a very successful completion of the official class activities for 2019. 

With thanks to Maurice Kidney

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The Rankin Dinghy of Cobh, Cork Harbour 

A Rankin is a traditional wooden dinghy which was built in Cobh, of which it’s believed there were 80 and of which The Rankin Dinghy Group has traced nearly half. 

The name of the Rankin dinghies is revered in Cork Harbour and particularly in the harbourside town of Cobh.

And the name of one of those boats is linked to the gunboat which fought against the Irish Volunteers during the 1916 Easter Rising and later for the emergent Irish Free State Government against anti-Treaty Forces during the Irish Civil War.

It also links the renowned boat-building Rankin family in Cobh, one of whose members crewed on the gunboat.

Maurice Kidney and Conor English are driving the restoration of the Rankin dinghies in Cork Harbour. They have discovered that Rankins were bought and sailed in several parts of the country.