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Revived Rankin Dinghy Dominating Cove Sailing Club League

2nd August 2021
Gary Mills and family in their Rankin dinghy in Cork Harbour
Gary Mills and family in their Rankin dinghy in Cork Harbour Credit: Bob Bateman

The Rankin dinghy revival has positively impacted Cove Sailing Club and is a source of satisfaction to those who have made great efforts over the past few years to restore this historic fleet in Cork Harbour.

Two of the stalwarts of that revival are battling at the top of the Club's Wednesday Night Dinghy League – Maurice Kidney and Owen O'Connell.

As regular Afloat readers will recall, Kidney and Conor English were the two men who drove that revival and Afloat was invited back to Whitepoint in 2019 was invited back to Whitepoint in 2019, just outside the town, to witness the latest stage in the remarkable progress of what they started as “a dream”. 

The 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. 

Cove Sailing Club's Wednesday Night Dinghy League Photo: CSC/FacebookCove Sailing Club's Wednesday Night Dinghy League Photo: CSC/Facebook

The league lead has changed hands several times. After seven races, with one discard allowed, the two are locked together at the top on 12 points, a slight advantage resting with Kidney, who has three first placings, while O'Connell has two.

Owen O'Connell's blue hulled Rankin dinghyOwen O'Connell's blue hulled Rankin dinghy

Another Rankin, sailed by Gary Mills, is tied just behind, this time with Jon Keenan's Solo, both on 27 points.

Maurice Kidney at the helm of his RankinMaurice Kidney at the helm of his Rankin Photo: Bob Bateman

Cove Cruiser League

After seven races in the Friday night cruiser league, whitesail ECHO handicap Gary Mills is the leader in his Shipman 28, Tonga, followed by Nick O'Rourke's First 22, Bright Wings and Brian Curtis sailing Déjà Vu third.

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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.

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