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Royal Cork Yacht Club Gears Up For 300th Celebrations, More Inter–Club Racing Possible

3rd December 2017
Cork Harbour cruiser racing this month. The possibility of an all-harbour-clubs league throughout the season would add to the revived interest in cruiser racing Cork Harbour cruiser racing this month. The possibility of an all-harbour-clubs league throughout the season would add to the revived interest in cruiser racing Photo: Bob Bateman

There is a possibility that Cork Harbour could see more active inter-club racing next season.

Following the successful initial inter-club racing this past season between Monkstown Bay and Cove Sailing Clubs, there are to be meetings with the RCYC about the possibility of the Crosshaven-based club joining the existing duo next season, reports Tom MacSweeney. That would probably be based around Friday night whitesail racing. MBSC cruisers race whitesail only and the concept also has good support in Cobh. The RCYC reserves Fridays for whitesail only. The initial consideration is towads perhaps one race a month, starting from a central point in the harbour. That was tried for general cruiser racing a few seasons ago but wasn’t successful.

While the three clubs support each other’s annual ‘At Home’ regattas, the possibility of an all-harbour-clubs league throughout the season would add to the revived interest in cruiser racing which was discussed here.

A ‘Great Ocean Race,’ the possibility of the oldest single-handed Transatlantic race, the Transat, having one of its legs into and form Cork; a ‘Great Gathering’ of cruisers with ‘feeder’ events form several countries, a ‘Water Club Invitational Cup’ event that would recall the start of sailing in Cork Harbour by the ‘Water Club’ – are amongst the plans being developed at the RCYC in Crosshaven to mark its 300th anniversary in 2020. The Naval Service will be involved, fittingly as the original founders of what has become the RCYC, were based at Haulbowline. A Presidential visit and Salute by Naval vessels visiting during the sailing season of 2020, a Classic Gathering and events to involve the harbour communities are amongst the plans.

“In 1720, interest in the sport of sailing had progressed so much that 26-year-old William O’Brien, the 9th Lord Inchiquin and five of his friends got together to formalise their activities and in so doing established ‘The Water Club of the Harbour of Cork.’ This club is known today as the Royal Cork Yacht Club and it is the oldest yacht club in the world,” says the RCYC history. As people in Cobh will tell you, they enabled Crosshaven to establish its credentials when the then RCYC in Cobh merged with the Royal Munster YC at Crosshaven. Monkstown has also laid claim to helping the RCYC maintain that long history.

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