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Royal Cork Yacht Club Plaque Unveiled at Naval Base, Haulbowline

27th September 2015
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(from left) Minister for Agriculture, Food, The Marine and Defence, Simon Coveney, RCYC Admiral Pat Lyons and Rear Admiral Mark Mellett DSM. Photo: Robert Bateman

The sun shone at its best for Royal Cork's Unveiling of a Commemorative Plaque at the Naval Base in Haulbowline in Cork Harbour last Friday writes Claire Bateman. The Naval Base was resplendent and also at its best. From driving over the newly reconstructed bridge following the cars of other guests arriving there was a feeling all round something important was about to take place. From the cheery greeting of the security personnel to the welcoming cup of tea or coffee at the Officers Mess the atmosphere was filled with bonhomie and anticipation._MG_9686

This was the day of the eagerly awaited official unveiing of the newly refurbished plaque commerating the location of the Club’s first clubhouse in 1720 at Haulbowline Island. While enjoying the refreshments, the buzz of conversation and meeting with the club representatives and friends was creating a remarkable atmosphere for what was to be a remarkable occasion and coupled with the Naval Personnel resplendent in their immaculate uniforms and the Royal Cork representatives in their formal club attire made for an elegant gathering to mark the occasion.

L. to R. Captain Michael Malone, Cdr. William Roberts and Lt. Jason O'Brien. Photo Robert Bateman

L. to R. Captain Michael Malone, Cdr. William Roberts and Lt. Jason O’Brien. Photo Robert Bateman

The occasion was marked by the presence of the highest ranking Naval Service Officer in Ireland, Rear Admiral Mark Mellett DSM, soon to be Admiral and Chief of Staff of the Irish Defence Forces. On arrival the guests were welcomed by Commodore Hugh Tully of the Naval Service and then it was time for the arrival of the Minister for Agriculture, Food, The Marine and Defence, Simon Coveney T.D. The Minister ‘of course’ is also a popular member of the Royal Cork Yacht Club.

Minister Coveney addressing the attendance. Photo Robert Bateman

Minister Coveney addressing the attendance. Photo Robert Bateman

The formal part of the proceedings then commenced with an address by Commodore Hugh Tully who invited the Minister to perform the ceremony of the unveiling of the commemorative plaque. The Minister gave a most interesting account of the entire history of the Royal Cork to date from sailing in Cork Harbour in the 1600s to the formation of the Water Club of the Harbour of Corke in 1720. His speech then ranged to developments in the harbour some of which have already taken place with more in the pipeline involving a total spend of half a billion euro for the area. Here one has to say the Minister has pushed relentlessly for the betterment of the harbour and its surrounds and is to be highly commended for this. The Minister then unveiled the commemorative plaque that was originally commissioned by the late Bernie Cahill during his term as Admiral of the Royal Cork.

Royal Cup Admiral Pat Lyons. Photo Robert Bateman

Royal Cup Admiral Pat Lyons. Photo Robert Bateman

The current Admiral of the Royal Cork, Pat Lyons, then spoke and referred to the excellent relationship enjoyed between the Naval Service and the Club. He also referred to the plans being made for the celebrations for the 300th anniversary of the yacht club with which the Naval Service will be very much involved and details of which will be revealed as time moves on towards 2020.

Former RCYC Admirals T.E.Crosbie and David O'Brien. Other former Admirals in attendance were Archie O'Leary, Bill Walsh, Tony O'Connor, Bill O'Mahony, Anthony O'Leary, Peter Crowley, Hugh Mockler and Paddy McGlade. Photo Robert Bateman

Former RCYC Admirals T.E.Crosbie and David O’Brien. Other former Admirals in attendance were Archie O’Leary, Bill Walsh, Tony O’Connor, Bill O’Mahony, Anthony O’Leary, Peter Crowley, Hugh Mockler and Paddy McGlade. Photo Robert Bateman

The official part of the proceedings concluded with a blessing from the Naval Chaplain, Fr. Des Campion, and the naval personnel and their guests then enjoyed a delightful lunch in the elegant surrounds of the Officers Mess and the celebration finished on a high note.

Naval Chaplain Fr. Des Campion. Photo Robert Bateman

Naval Chaplain Fr. Des Campion. Photo Robert Bateman

It was a happy day, a proud day, and a day to get a glimpse of life inside the naval base and see what wonderful work they do. We read all about them and their difficult work in the far flung corners of the world and also patrolling our own shores. To enjoy their hospitality, cordiality and graciousness to their guests was indeed a delightful experience. We, the Irish people have an awful lot to be proud of in our defence forces and a lot to thank them for as they are always there in times of need and never shirk from the often very arduous duties they carry out on our behalf.DSC_1859DSC_1854

Afloat's Claire Bateman with (left) Rear Admiral Mark Mellett and Neil Kenefick

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Published in Royal Cork YC
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Royal Cork Yacht Club

Royal Cork Yacht Club lays claim to the title of the world's oldest yacht club, founded in 1720. 

It is currently located in Crosshaven, Co. Cork, Ireland and is Cork Harbour’s largest yacht club and the biggest sailing club on the south coast of Ireland.

The club has an international reputation for the staging of sailing events most notable the biennial world famous Cork Week Regatta.

In 2020 RCYC celebrated its tricentenary under its Admiral Colin Morehead.

Royal Cork Yacht Club FAQs

The Royal Cork Yacht Club is the oldest yacht club in the world, and celebrated its 300th anniversary in 2020. It is one of the World’s leading yacht clubs, and is in the forefront of all branches of sailing activity. It is the organiser of the biennial Cork Week, widely regarded as Europe’s premier sailing event. It has hosted many National, European and World Championships. Its members compete at the highest level in all branches of sailing, and the club has a number of World, Olympic, continental and national sailors among its membership.

The Royal Cork Yacht club is in Crosshaven, Co Cork, a village on lower Cork Harbour some 20km south-east of Cork city centre and on the Owenabue river that flows into Cork Harbour.

The club was founded as The Water Club of the Harbour of Cork in 1720, in recognition of the growing popularity of private sailing following the Restoration of King Charles II. The monarch had been known to sail a yacht on the Thames for pleasure, and his interest is said to have inspired Murrough O’Brien, the 6th Lord Inchiquin — who attended his court in the 1660s and whose grandson, William O’Brien, the 9th Lord Inchiquin, founded the club with five friends.Originally based on Haulbowline Island in inner Cork Harbour, the club moved to nearby Cobh (then Cove) in 1806, and took on its current name in 1831. In 1966 the club merged with the Royal Munster Yacht Club and moved to its current premises in Crosshaven.

The Royal Cork Yacht Club today encompasses a wide variety of sailing activities, from young kids in their Optimist dinghies sailing right through the winter months to the not-so-young kids racing National 18s and 1720s during the remaining nine months. There is also enthusiastic sailing in Toppers, Lasers, RS Fevas and other dinghies. The larger keelboats race on various courses set in and around the Cork Harbour area for club competitions. They also take part in events such as the Round Ireland Race, Cowes Week and the Fastnet Race. In many far off waters, right across the globe, overseas club members proudly sail under the Royal Cork burger. The club has a significant number of cruising members, many of whom are content to sail our magnificent south and west coasts. Others head north for the Scottish islands and Scandinavia. Some go south to France, Spain, Portugal and the Mediterranean. The more adventurous have crossed the Atlantic, explored little known places in the Pacific and Indian Oceans while others have circumnavigated the globe.

As of November 2020, the Admiral of the Royal Cork Yacht Club is Colin Morehead, with Kieran O’Connell as Vice-Admiral. The club has three Rear-Admirals: Annamarie Fegan for Dinghies, Daragh Connolly for Keelboats and Mark Rider for Cruising.

As of November 2020, the Royal Cork Yacht Club has approximately 1,800 members.

The Royal Cork Yacht Club’s burgee is a red pennant with the heraldic badge of Ireland (a stylised harp topped with a crown) at its centre. The club’s ensign has a navy blue field with the Irish tricolour in its top left corner and the heraldic badge centred on its right half.

Yes, the Royal Cork Yacht Club organises and runs sailing events and courses for members and visitors all throughout the year and has very active keelboat and dinghy racing fleets. The club also hosts many National, European and World Championships, as well as its biennial Cork Week regatta — widely regarded as Europe’s premier sailing event.

Yes, the Royal Cork Yacht Club has an active junior section with sailing in Optimists, Toppers and other dinghies.

Charles Yes, the Royal Cork Yacht Club regularly runs junior sailing courses covering basic skills, certified by Irish Sailing.

 

The Royal Cork hosts both keelboats and dinghies, with the 1720 Sportsboat — the club’s own design — and National 18 among its most popular. Optimists and Toppers are sailed by juniors, and the club regularly sees action in Lasers, RS Fevas, 29ers and other dinghy classes.

The Royal Cork Yacht Club has a small fleet of 1720 Sportsboats available for ordinary members to charter.

The Royal Cork Yacht Club’s Club House office can provide phone, fax, email, internet and mail holding facilities for a small charge. Club merchandise and postcards may be purchased. Showers and toilet facilities are available 24 hours a day, free of charge. Parking is plentiful and free of charge. Diesel and petrol are available on site. Marina berths are generally available for a fee payable in advance; arrangements must be made before arrival.

Yes, the Royal Cork Yacht Club’s Club House has all of the usual facilities, including bars and restaurant, which are open during normal licensing hours. The restaurant provides a full range of meals, and sandwiches, snacks etc, are available on request.

Normal working hours during the sailing season at the Royal Cork Yacht Club are 9am to 9pm daily. For enquiries contact the RCYC office on 021 483 1023 or email [email protected]

Yes, the Royal Cork Yacht Club caters for all types of events rom weddings, anniversaries, christenings and birthday celebrations to corporate meetings, breakfast meetings, luncheons, private dinners and more. For enquiries contact the Royal Cork Yacht Club office on 021 483 1023 or email [email protected]

New members are invited to apply for membership of the Royal Cork Yacht Club by completing the Nomination Form (available from www.royalcork.com/membership) and returning it to The Secretary, Royal Cork Yacht Club, Crosshaven Co Cork. Nominations are first approved by the Executive Committee at its next meeting, and following a period on display for the members, and are reviewed again at the following meeting at which any objections are considered.

No; while ordinary members of the Royal Cork Yacht Club are usually boat owners, there is no requirement to own a boat when submitting an application for membership.

The annual feel for ordinary members (aged 30+) of the Royal Cork Yacht Club is €645. Family membership (two full members and all children aged 29 and under) is €975, while individuals youth (ages 19-29) and cadet (18 and under) memberships are €205. Other rates are available for seniors, associates and more. All fees quoted are as of the 2020 annual subscription rates.

Memberships of the Royal Cork Yacht Club are renewed annually, usually within 60 days of the club’s Annual General Meeting.
For enquiries contact the Royal Cork Yacht Club office on 021 483 1023 or email [email protected]

©Afloat 2020

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