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Minister Coveney Marks Royal Cork Yacht Club's 300th Birthday

30th August 2020
Minister Simon Coveney raises the Cork300 flag with Chief of Staff of the Irish Defence Forces, Vice Admiral Mark Mellett, Flag Officer Commanding Naval Service Commodore Michael Malone, and the Admiral of the Royal Cork Yacht Club Colin Morehead. Minister Simon Coveney raises the Cork300 flag with Chief of Staff of the Irish Defence Forces, Vice Admiral Mark Mellett, Flag Officer Commanding Naval Service Commodore Michael Malone, and the Admiral of the Royal Cork Yacht Club Colin Morehead.

Minister of Foreign Affairs and of Defence Simon Coveney TD marked the Royal Cork Yacht Club's 300th birthday at a small ceremony on Haulbowline island this weekend (Saturday 29 Aug), the Irish Naval Headquarters and home of the original 'Water Club of the harbour of Cork', as it was known back in 1720.

He was joined by the Chief of Staff of the Irish Defence Forces, Vice Admiral Mark Mellett, Flag Officer Commanding Naval Service Commodore Michael Malone, and the Admiral of the Royal Cork Yacht Club Colin Morehead.

The Minister also visited a new Royal Cork Yacht Club Exhibition, supported by AIB, at the Sirius Arts Centre in Cobh, another former home of the sailing club from 1854 to 1966. The exhibition, which will run until December, looks back on the history of the club over 300 years, and what life was like during its time in Cobh.

The Minister also visited a new Royal Cork Yacht Club Exhibition, supported by AIB, at the Sirius Arts Centre in Cobh, another former home of the sailing club from 1854 to 1966The Minister also visited a new Royal Cork Yacht Club Exhibition, supported by AIB, at the Sirius Arts Centre in Cobh, another former home of the sailing club from 1854 to 1966

The Royal Cork, which is the oldest sailing club in the world, had to rescheduled most of its Cork300 events series planned to celebrate its 300th birthday until July 2021, as a result of Covid-19.
The National 18 Southern Championships and the AIB 1720 Southern Championships went ahead this weekend, with activity limited to the water.

The hope is to truly mark the significant occasion next summer with a Tricentenary Maritime Parade in Cobh, a Tricentenary at Home Weekend Regatta, a Powerboat Festival, an exciting world-record attempt, A Family Race to the City, a Cork300 Gala Dinner in Cork City Hall, a Wild Atlantic Way Cruise in Company along the Cork and Kerry coastline, and more events yet to be announced.

The celebrations will coincide with the Irish Navy's 75th anniversary and the final year of Seafest in Cork, making it a significant year for maritime celebrations in the county.

Commenting at the ceremony at Haulbowline, Minister Simon Coveney said, "It is a real pleasure to mark the 300th birthday of the Royal Cork Yacht Club. This is the oldest sailing club in the world and it all began here on Haulbowline Island, where the headquarters for the Irish Naval service is today, 300 years ago. The Club has grown and expanded since then - starting in Haulbowline, then moving to the Sirius in Cobh, before it's current home in Crosshaven. It is a huge part of Cork harbour's history and it is a history we are all very proud of.

"We should have been celebrating with one of the most significant maritime festivals in the history of Cork harbour this summer, certainly in my lifetime, but because of Covid-19 none of that has been possible. I am delighted we could hold a small ceremony here with the Admiral of the Club Colin Morehead, the Chief of Staff of the Irish Defence Forces Vice Admiral Mark Mellett, and the Flag Officer Commanding Naval Service Commodore Michael Malone, to recognise this very important day."

Admiral of the Royal Cork Yacht Club Colin Morehead said, "I am really proud to stand here today at the original home of the Water Club of Cork, 300 years on from when it was founded by 25 pioneering individuals, alongside Minister Coveney, the Chief of Staff of the Irish Defence Forces and the Flag Officer Commanding Naval Service. It is with deep regret that we had to reschedule our celebratory events, but public health must come first. We hope that by 2021 we will be in a much better position to truly celebrate the momentous feat of having the oldest sailing club in the world here in Cork.

"I hope the public will visit the excellent exhibition at the Sirius over the coming months. As branch manager of AIB in Cobh, I am proud to have this exhibition in the town and to have it sponsored by AIB. I would like to sincerely congratulate the team at Sirius."

A number of sailing events are currently still scheduled to take place from September to November 2020, including the AIB Cork300 Autumn League which will be held over 5 weekends leading up to the October Bank Holiday. This is expected to be the largest yacht racing event on the South Coast of Ireland this year. Sailing teams from across the country also hope to compete in Cork Harbour for the title of AIB Irish Team Racing National Champion 2020 from 21-22 November.

Published in Cork300
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Tricentenary 'Cork 300' Celebrations at Royal Cork Yacht Club

Cork 300 is the overall name for a series of events which will be held in Cork Harbour and further afield in 2020 to celebrate the tricentenary of Royal Cork Yacht Club.

300 years earlier, 25 individuals came together and created what is now the oldest yacht club in the world (where it all began). Today, there are thousands of yacht clubs across the globe with a collective membership running into the millions.

Cork, its harbour and its communities will proudly celebrate all that is on offer to visitors to Irelands Maritime Paradise with a series of events throughout the year. Register your interest here.

The lead events will be as follows:

July – The Great Gathering (Keelboats)
August – The Three Championship Weeks (Dinghies)
August – The Club At Home Regatta (Keelboats & Dinghies)

Events include…

AIB 1720 Southern Championships 28th-30th August
Sadly, the 1720 Europeans scheduled to take place as part of Volvo Cork Week fell victim to the covid 19 pandemic. The Royal Cork Yacht Club is instead hosting the AIB 1720 Southern Championships 2020 as part of their Tricentenary At Home Regatta weekend. The 1720 class originated from an idea generated by some committed racing members of the Royal Cork Yacht Club with the first prototype taking to the water in 1994. Designed by Tony Castro, they have been delighting many a competitive sailor since.

Tricentenary at Home Regatta, 28th - 30th August:
The AIB Tricentenary at Home Regatta will be the biggest sailing event of the year in the Royal Cork calendar. Racing will be available for all classes both dinghy and keelboat with many visitors expected from up and down the Irish South Coast. The National 18 Southern Championships will also feature as part of the racing over the weekend.

Maritime Parade 29th August
A maritime parade, originally scheduled for July, will now take place during the Tricentenary Regatta on the 29th August, with the support of the Irish Naval Services and Port of Cork. The Admiral of the Royal Cork and other dignitaries will review the parade from one of the Irish Naval Service vessels which will be anchored in the vicinity of Haulbowline.

1720s Race from Haulbowline to Crosshaven, 29th August
Following the Maritime Parade, a race will take place between all of the 1720s boats from the Naval Signal Tower back to the Royal Cork Yacht Club in Crosshaven. The National 18 Class will also be participating.

RCYC Exhibition at the Sirius, 29th August to 19th December
A RCYC Exhibition will be launched at the Sirius Arts Centre in Cobh on August 29th following the day's events. The Sirius was the Royal Cork Club House from 1854 to 1966, and the Exhibition will take a look at what life was like at the yacht club during its time there.

Fastnet Challenge, 29th August
The Fastnet Powerboat Challenge originally scheduled for the last week of July has now been moved to the last weekend of August (Weather permitting). This will see the UIM Long Distance Cork-Fastnet-Cork World Record attempt competed for.

Cork300 Family Race to the City, 12-13 September
In conjunction with Cove Sailing Club's annual Cobh to Blackrock race, Yachts and craft from across Cork Harbour will take part in a race to Blackrock Castle, following on from which, they will continue to the city Quays where they will remain overnight and provide a spectacle of sail within the City environs.

AIB National 18 Championships, 12-13 September
The AIB National 18 Championships for adult sailors in the UK and Ireland will take place from 12-13 September in Crosshaven this year as part of the Cork300 celebrations.

AIB Cork300 Autumn League, 27 September-25 October
The premier yacht racing event on the South Coast this year, the AIB Cork300 Autumn League, will be held over 5 weekends leading up to the October Bank Holiday weekend. This is expected to be the largest yacht racing event on the South Coast of Ireland this year.

AIB Irish Team Racing National Championships 2020, 21-22 November
Sailing teams from across the country will compete in Cork Harbour for the title of AIB Irish Team Racing National Champion 2020

All races will be governed by the COVID-19 guidelines as laid out by Irish Sailing and organising clubs.

At A Glance – Royal Cork Tricentenary

Founded in 1720, by a group of 25 pioneering individuals, the Royal Cork Yacht Club is the oldest yacht club in the world, and its tricentenary celebrations will take a look back at the origins of ‘where it all began’, which is attracting significant international interest from thousands of yacht clubs across the globe

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