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Royal Cork Yacht Club Crew Lying Fourth in New York Invitational, Howth in 17th Place

15th September 2021
Royal Cork (IRL) gybe ahead of Royal Thames (GBR) in the first day of racing at the New York Invitational Cup. Royal Thames are overall leaders with fourth overall RCYC finishing one place behind Royal Thames in each of the first two races of the Cup
Royal Cork (IRL) gybe ahead of Royal Thames (GBR) in the first day of racing at the New York Invitational Cup. Royal Thames are overall leaders with fourth overall RCYC finishing one place behind Royal Thames in each of the first two races of the Cup Credit: Daniel Forster

Anthony O'Leary's Royal Cork Yacht Club team lie fourth overall after day one of the New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup at Newport Rhode Island. A second Irish team from Howth Yacht Club in County Dublin are in 17th place after three races sailed.

There are strong starts to a regatta and then there's the day on the water put in by Royal Thames Yacht Club to open up the racing in the 2021 Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup.

The British team, which won the event in 2015 and has sailed in all but one of the seven editions, finished second in the first race, repeated that feat in the second and then tacked on an emphatic win in the day's final contest. The RTYC team will fly the golden spinnaker on Day 2 of the event, and carry a 7-point lead over the host New York Yacht Club, which sits second, a point ahead of 2017 champion Southern Yacht Club.

Anthony O'Leary's Royal Cork Yacht Club team (bow number 13) lie fourth overallAnthony O'Leary's Royal Cork Yacht Club team (bow number 13) lie fourth overall Photo: Daniel Forster

"Very pleased," said RTYC skipper John Greenland. "You know it’s a tough regatta. To be able to finish a day and know you’ve got a great starting point…We were just thinking, normally we’re coming off the water [on Day 1] thinking, 'How are we going to catch up with that fast boat.' Luckily we’ve had that day, so it’s great."

The Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup is a biennial regatta hosted by the New York Yacht Club Harbour Court in Newport, R.I. Since the event was first run in 2009, it has attracted top amateur sailors from 48 of the world’s most prestigious yacht clubs from 21 countries. After five editions in the Swan 42 class, the 2021 event will be the second sailed in the IC37, designed by Mark Mills. 

It was forecast to be a challenging day on Rhode Island Sound, for both competitors and the race committee, thanks to a breeze that moved around like a pre-schooler confined to his seat for too long. And while the long-term progression was in one direction, there were plenty of holes in the breeze and the random oscillations that drive tacticians crazy.

Greenland chalked up RTYC's success to the all-powerful combination good speed and solid decisions.

"I think trying to keep the boat going, the boat powered up and getting over the waves was really important," he said. "[Ian Dobson] was on tactics and getting us on the right side of the shifts and in pressure. I think it was just as important to be in the pressure as it was to get the shifts right today."

Greenland also noted that having a team that has been here before—27 total times across the team, and seven times himself—was helpful on the opening day, which followed a hectic three days of mandatory practice, meetings and social activities.

"I guess I’ve got more used to the fact it’s a big event with a lot going on, and you’re not going to be overwhelmed by that aspect of the event, but still the same level of nerves going into the first race with 19 great teams all of whom can be on the start line and win this regatta," he said. "[We] go into today knowing the beast of the event a bit better. It’s great to be here. Everyone knows the challenges that have been had by all the teams thing to attend this event and the yacht club to put it on, but it’s fantastic to be here."

Finishing one place behind Royal Thames in each of the first two races was Royal Cork Yacht Club. Like Greenland, Royal Cork skipper Anthony O'Leary has been to all seven Invitational Cups. He and his crew, which includes two of his sons, know well the nuances of the event.

"We had some difficult starts," said Robert O'Leary, Anthony's son. "We managed to get out of the first two well. Really tough on in the last race. Playing the middle, in these boats, on the first beat isn’t really the tactic we go for. But we were forced into it. We were happy to come out with two thirds and, of course, the 11th in the last one will hurt a little bit. But every score counts and you’ve got to fight for every place."

Counting two 16s and a 14 in the first three races, Howth Yacht Club are lying 19th overallCounting two 16s and a 14 in the first three races, Howth Yacht Club are lying 17th overall Photo: Daniel Forster

While IC37 designer Mark Mills is an Irish resident, and his designs are quite popular in Europe, the IC37 does not yet have a foothold in Ireland. Robert O'Leary said the team came to this event worried that lack of time in the boat would be a handicap.

"We were quite worried the last two years that the American boats, and any of the other teams that had a boat, would catch up a bit, getting the boats up to speed quicker," he said. "But we were quite happy with our boatspeed today and how we’re getting around the race track. So we’re a little less worried today than we were at the start. We know it’s a tough regatta, every place counts, and we’ve just got to keep grinding away."

Royal Cork finished the day with 17 points, good for fourth place in the overall standings. In fifth, just one point further back, is The Royal Vancouver Yacht Club, which had, by far, the best day of the four rookie teams.

"My personal secret goal is I was hoping for one top-five finish in this event," said Cochrane, after a 7-5-6 on their first races in the IC37. "To be sitting in fifth overall after the first day…just to be able to play, to be in the same water at this level, and we can look at them and see their set up, we’re just trying to learn as much as we can. But boy, they’re good. They know the boats really well, and it’s just a pleasure to be here and to learn from them."

Cochrane is one of four Olympians on the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club team. That kind of talent is a great way to climb a steep learning curve. He was also quick to credit the efforts of the host club to get each team up to speed.

"I just can’t thank [the New York Yacht Club] enough for organising all the coaching and everything," he said. "If we had come in here and not had access to that, there’s no way we would’ve been able to get around the race course the way we did today. It’s really a testament to how welcoming and open this event is."

Whether he and his Royal Vancouver team feel the same way tomorrow, when the breeze is expected to be in the mid-teens, remains to be seen. They'd do well to consider this bit of advice from Greenland, who's seen all sides of this event: "You start each day as if it’s the first day of the regatta."

It worked today. There's no reason it can't work tomorrow.

2021 Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup Day 1 Results

  1. Royal Thames Yacht Club 10 GBR 2 2 1 2 2 1 5
  2. New York Yacht Club 19 USA 4 1 7 4 1 7 12
  3. Southern Yacht Club 3 USA 1 10 2 1 10 2 13
  4. Royal Cork Yacht Club 13 IRL 3 3 11 3 3 11 17
  5. Royal Vancouver Yacht Club 15 CAN 7 5 6 7 5 6 18
  6. San Diego Yacht Club 17 USA 12 4 5 12 4 5 21
  7. Eastern Yacht Club 16 USA 12 6 4 12 6 4 22
  8. Yacht Club Costa Smeralda 14 ITA 7 12 3 7 12 3 22
  9. American Yacht Club 8 USA 9 11 8 9 11 8 28
  10. The San Francisco Yacht Club 2 USA 17 7 9 17 7 9 33
  11. Royal Swedish Yacht Club 6 SWE 10 8 18 10 8 18 36
  12. Nylandska Jaktklubben 12 FIN 6 18 13 6 18 13 37
  13. Royal Canadian Yacht Club 5 CAN 13 9 16 13 9 16 38
  14. Yacht Club Italiano 18 ITA 10 17 12 10 17 12 39
  15. Noroton Yacht Club 7 USA 15 14 10 15 14 10 39
  16. Yacht Club Argentino 9 ARG 14 13 17 14 13 17 44
  17. Howth Yacht Club 4 IRL 16 16 14 16 16 14 46
  18. Itchenor Sailing Club 11 GBR 19 15 15 19 15 15 49
  19. Royal Bermuda Yacht Club 20 BER 18 19 19 18 19 19 56
Published in Royal Cork YC, Howth 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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