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Taoiseach Salutes 300 Years of Sailing in Royal Cork Tricentenary Maritime Parade (Photo Slideshow)

29th August 2021
An Taoiseach Micheál Martin and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Defence Simon Coveney aboard a Navy RIB with dignitaries hosted by Royal Cork Yacht Club Admiral Colin Morehead for the 300th celebrations
An Taoiseach Micheál Martin and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Defence Simon Coveney aboard a Navy RIB with dignitaries hosted by Royal Cork Yacht Club Admiral Colin Morehead for the 300th celebrations Credit: Bob Bateman

An Taoiseach Micheál Martin joined the club’s Admiral Colin Morehead earlier today to salute 300 years of sailing in Cork at a Tricentenary Maritime Parade across Cork Harbour. They reviewed a stunning spectacle of 100 colourful yachts on board the LE Roisin, after greeting the sailors and families on the water. The naval vessel was anchored alongside the Irish Naval Headquarters at Haulbowline Island, where the Water Club of the Harbour of Cork (now the Royal Cork Yacht Club) was founded back in 1720.

The Taoiseach and Admiral were joined by a host of dignitaries to mark the momentous occasion, including the Mayor of the County of Cork Cllr. Gillian Coughlan, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Defence Simon Coveney TD, the Lord Mayor of Cork Cllr. Colm Kelleher, Flag Officer Commanding Naval Service Commodore Michael Malone, Ann Doherty, Chief Executive, Cork City Council, CEO of AIB Colin Hunt, the premier sponsor of the Regatta and Cork300, and key sponsors.

The Maritime Parade was followed by the biggest sailing event of the year in the Royal Cork calendar, the AIB RCYC Tricentenary Regatta, with racing officially started by the Taoiseach, after which an Admiral’s Lunch was held at the Crosshaven club. The Regatta will continue for the rest of the weekend and can be viewed across the harbour.

Over 100 participating boats lined up at Cage buoy off Crosshaven at 10 am  and assembled at No 18 buoy before the fleet made its way past the L.E. Roisin  berthed at the berth off Haulbowline for the official salute and the lowering of the Cork300 pennant Photo: Bob BatemanOver 100 participating boats lined up at Cage buoy off Crosshaven at 10 am  and assembled at No 18 buoy before the fleet made its way past the L.E. Roisin  berthed at the berth off Haulbowline for the official salute and the lowering of the Cork300 pennant (below) Photo: Bob Bateman

Participating boats lined up at Cage buoy off Crosshaven at 10 am  and assembled at No 18 buoy before the fleet made its way past the L.E. Roisin  berthed at the berth off Haulbowline for the official salute

The Clayton Love skippered Golden Apple led the parade of sail. This was the the former Coveney family ketch Golden Apple that sailed round the world on an 18-month voyage to raise funds for the Cork-based Chernobyl Children's Project.The Clayton Love skippered Golden Apple led the parade of sail. This was the the former Coveney family ketch that sailed round the world on an 18-month voyage to raise funds for the Cork-based Chernobyl Children's Project in 1997 Photo: Bob Bateman

The tricentenary events were originally scheduled to take place in 2020 as part of a phenomenal Cork300 celebration across Cork Harbour to celebrate the sailing club’s 300th anniversary and heritage as the oldest club in the world. However, they had to be postponed because of the Covid-19 pandemic and many of the larger high profile international events, such as The Great Gathering, the Powerboat Festival, and Volvo Cork Week, which were set to attract thousands of sailors and competitors from around the globe, could not be rescheduled.

Dick Gibson's Mandalay is dressed overall for the special occasionDick Gibson's Mandalay is dressed overall for the special occasion Photo: Bob Bateman

An Taoiseach Micheál Martin said, “This is a truly significant historic milestone for the Royal Cork Yacht Club, Cork Harbour, and the sailing community worldwide, so it is truly an honour to celebrate where it all began. Although many events to mark the milestone were cancelled or postponed over the last year, the legacy from Cork300 will live on. The Royal Cork has positioned Cork Harbour as one of the most desirable locations in the world for sailing events, and hopefully, this will help secure Ireland’s bid to host events like America’s Cup here.”

Former RCYC Admiral Bill Walsh and his wife participated in the Parade of Sail Photo: Bob Bateman

Admiral of the Royal Cork Yacht Club and Chairman of Cork300 Colin Morehead said, “The Royal Cork is delighted to be in a position to put on a weekend of celebratory events to mark the club’s tricentenary one year on. We are of course disappointed not to be joined by our international comrades and thousands of spectators as originally planned, but we hope we have left them with a desire to visit Cork when life returns to normal.”

At the end of parade was another round the world yacht Saol Eile with former RCYC Admiral Ted Crosbie at the helm.  At the end of parade was another round the world yacht Saol Eile with former RCYC Admiral Ted Crosbie at the helm Photo: Bob Bateman

Also commenting, Minister Coveney said, “It’s a privilege to be here today to celebrate this historic event with the Royal Cork, the Taoiseach and the naval service.”

Yachts racing in the at home regatta assembled a second time for a starting gun opposite the Naval base. Initially proceedings got under way in light winds but a second race started off the no. 8 buoy in perfect sailing conditions.Yachts racing in the 'At Home' regatta assembled a second time for a starting gun opposite the Naval base. Initially proceedings got under way in light winds but a second race started off the no. 8 buoy in perfect sailing conditions in Cork Harbour Photo: Bob Bateman

The tricentenary celebrations were supported by the premiere partner for the Regatta and Cork300, AIB, the Irish Naval Services, and other Cork300 partners Volvo Car Ireland, Port of Cork, Cork County Council, Cork City Council, Heineken, Musto and Doyle Shipping Group.

RCYC 300th Celebrations Photo Gallery by Bob Bateman

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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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