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A gathering at the Royal Cork Yacht Club in Crosshaven this month celebrated the 40 consecutive years that the Moody 30, Shelly D and her various crews, have competed in the Autumn league writes Bob Bateman.

Purchased in 1978 at the Southampton Boat Show by Derval and Michael Murphy, after a meeting on the Moody boat show stand with designer Angus Primrose, she was delivered to Kinsale in Easter 1979.

Over the years she has been a regular competitor in all south coast events spending most of the summer months in Schull, West Cork before returning to Crosshaven in Cork Harbour for the annual winter series.

PA061181Shelly D, the Moody 30 sailed in her 40th Autumn League in October Photo: Bob Bateman

In the early eighties, she competed regularly in the Cork to Jersey and Kinsale Isles of Scilly offshore Races, with crew members, some of whom met again at the function, after a gap of up to 35 years.

With engine number three recently fitted, all are looking forward to season 41 which will include the RCYC 300 celebrations.

 DSC2840(above) Owners Derval and Michael Murphy and (below) celebrating the big 40 with friends and family at the Royal Cork Photos: Bob Bateman

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Anthony O'Leary's modified 1720 sportsboat 'Antix' was in a dead heat with Richard Leonard's Bolero Bandit in the second race of Royal Cork Yacht Club's O'Leary Insurance Group Winter Series writes Bob Bateman.

O'Leary still leads overall in the IRC Spinnaker Division with Leonard second and the Sunfast 32 Bad Company in third place.

Today's race featured an all-in start for the combined fleet for the Winter League that has four divisions; Club ECHO Spinnaker, CLUB ECHO White Sails and IRC Spinnaker and IRC White Sails with ECHO White Sails the biggest with 14 entries.

 DSC2942Today's light air second race of the Winter League Photo: Bob Bateman

Results here

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Anthony O'Leary's modified 1720 sportsboat 'Antix' leads IRC Spinnaker Division One after today's first race of Royal Cork Yacht Club's O'Leary Insurance Group Winter Series writes Bob Bateman.

After a dull start for the opening race, the day turned out to be very pleasant for this time of year giving competitors 15-knots of breeze from the west.

Traditionally, Clem and Wendy McElligott act as Race Officers for this RCYC league and so it was again this year.

Today's opener featured an all-in start for the combined fleet for the Winter League has four divisions; Club ECHO Spinnaker, CLUB ECHO White Sails and IRC Spinnaker and IRC White Sails with ECHO White Sails the biggest with 14 entries.

RCYC OLeary League1JellyBaby the Jones family J109 is second to the mod 1720 Antix after the first race of the RCYC O'Leary League. Photo: Bob Bateman

The course chosen was 73 that provided a running start at Cage (at the entrance to Crosshaven) across the harbour to the Corkbeg mark, then a beat back across the harbour again nd then a run to East Ferry 4, another beat to No.20 off Cobh and then a run down to East Ferry 2 and out of the harbour to Corkbeg and a finish line at Cage.

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RCYC OLeary League1RCYC OLeary League1RCYC OLeary League1RCYC OLeary League1RCYC OLeary League1RCYC OLeary League1RCYC OLeary League1RCYC OLeary League1RCYC OLeary League1RCYC OLeary League1RCYC OLeary League1RCYC OLeary League1RCYC OLeary League1RCYC OLeary League1RCYC OLeary League1

Results are here

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You thought 2019 was quite the busy sailing year in Ireland? Believe me folks, after writing last Saturday’s marathon review of one very special season, we went through the weekend in a state of mental meltdown which wasn’t helped by knowing that this weekend would naturally require an anticipation of what’s coming down the line in 2020.

But the fates are kind. So much is going to be happening afloat and ashore in the sailing and boating context in 2020 that reinforcements will be available at every juncture to look after details. So today’s piece is in the very broad strokes category rather than delving into the minutiae, giving some sense of what it will be like to live through the various special occasions and events which are going to be fired at us from nearly every Irish sailing centre.

Yet no matter which way you look at it, the Tricentenary of the Royal Cork Yacht Club is the beginning, the middle and the end of everything that will be happening in Irish sailing in 2020. Three hundred years. Three hundred? Is it something that we really grasp in any meaningful way?

Oh for sure, the latest global genetic research suggests that the first true ancestors of Homo Sapiens first appeared 200,000 years ago, living blissfully beside a large and verdant lake in the midst of what is now the Kalahari Desert in southern Africa. Evidently, in those days climate change was already past its infancy, but it’s the certainty of those 200,000 years which give pause for thought. Set against that, and the age of Newgrange or the Pyramids or other inert ancient monuments, and the 300 years of Cork sailing isn’t even the blink of an eye.

royal cork aerial3 Recreational sailing from Cork Harbour may have had several different locations for its main focal point over the centuries. But the one true flame of the spirit of sailing has burned throughout, and is very much alive and well at today’s Royal Cork YC headquarters at Crosshaven. Photo: Robert Bateman

But the Royal Cork Yacht Club is still very much alive and relevant to life in 2020. It may have moved its location from time to time in Cork Harbour, and it may have started life as the Water Club of the Harbour of Cork in 1720. But through these mutations, and through times of widely varying prosperity, the spirit - the vital spark of the club - has never been extinguished. In 2020, we’re going to have to grasp just what 300 years really mean in truly human everyday terms, because it’s likely that most of us – other than historians, archaeologists or whatever – think that the average human lifespan is probably the most comprehensible unit of historic time measurement, and anything beyond that is just so ancient as not to be thought about at all.

Fortunately, we have a very solid foundation on which to assess the story of Cork and world sailing. In 2005, the Royal Cork Yacht Club published its full history, based on its extensive and ancient archives which had been in the dedicated voluntary care of Dermot Burns for some time, and they got professional historian Alicia St Leger to make sense of it. The result of it all – so beautifully designed and produced by Tony O’Hanlon that it won national book and printing awards - was one massive and weighty tome.

We’re talking of a mighty volume 33cm (1ft 1in) x 24cm (9.5ins) and 5 cm (2ins) deep, weighing 6.75 lbs (3.1kg), with 480 pages and more images, illustrations and photos than you could count, every one of them an historic gem set in a book of breath-taking beauty For some readers, its sheer size is daunting. It’s definitely serious desk reading. But every page provides something of pure gold, and if you want a genuine sense of what 300 years is really like in a way to which sailing folk can relate, it is required reading, while also being a treasure trove of information which, in 2020 with its special celebrations, is more important than ever.

book 1829 cup4This typical page from the Royal Cork Yacht Club History - published 2005 - gives the detailed story of the 1829 Cork Harbour Regatta Cup (now in the club’s collection), which was won by Caulfield Beamish’s 42-ton cutter Young Paddy by a boat’s length. It was a very popular victory, as the boat – which achieved additional success elsewhere - was owner-designed and built locally on the shores of Cork Harbour. Reproduced by courtesy RCYC

Thus the book, nearly 15 years after its publication, continues to be an enormous credit to the Flag Officers, Committee, support volunteers and production team who created this priceless record with the full support of the membership of a club which is - in numerical terms of those living within everyday reach and actively involved – really quite a modest outfit, even if its very distinguished overseas membership significantly boosts the numbers.

So we’ll return to the History of the Royal Cork YC in due course today as we close in on July 2020, when global sailing and international powerboating fixes its focus firmly on Cork Harbour. That said, anyone coming to Ireland simply for the Cork festivities has it easy from the logistic points of view, as they’re thinking of just one thing in one month in the one place. Yet those of who actually live in Ireland in what we hope will be a summery place for the season that’s in it will have to work our way through a programme which would be quite busy even if the Royal Cork’s Megafest weren’t taking place.

These are some of the building blocks of the year in which this Tricentenary is taking place. In 2020:

  • Lough Ree Yacht Club is 250 years old.
  • Lough Erne YC is 200.
  • Howth Yacht Club is 125.
  • The Round Ireland Race from Wicklow on June 20th (now sponsored by SSE Renewables) celebrates its 40th Anniversary.
  • The GP14 Worlds are in Skerries from 25th to 31st July
  • The International Fireball Worlds take place at Howth from 5th to 14th August
  • The International Dragon Gold Cup is at Kinsale from 5th to 11th September

All the clubs with special celebrations will be looking for their place in the sun during 2020 while deferring to the Royal Cork’s unique and deservedly exalted status. And those clubs are also going to have to build any special happenings around the established pillar events which structure the season for cruiser-racers and occasionally One Design classes.

These include the Scottish Series from May 21st to 25th, the biennial Wave Regatta at Howth from Friday May 29th to Sunday May 31st, the developing season-long 2020 ISORA programme as the summer (we hope) takes hold, the SSE Renewables Round Ireland Race from Wicklow on June 20th, and the Bangor Town Regatta on Belfast Lough from 25th to 28th June, which will include the Sigma 33 Championship.

On top of that, 2020 is an Olympic Year, and with some good fortune Ireland will have a national place in the 49er class to add to the Laser Radial placed already secured in Tokyo by the time the Sailing Olympiad gets going at Enoshima in Japan from 27th July to the 6th August. That said, if we don’t get a direct skiff place, there’s a better-than-vicarious participation through Saskia Tidey of the Royal Irish YC, who has teamed up to secure a place in the 49er FX on the British squad with Charlotte Dobson of Scotland.

Meanwhile, back home the much-enjoyed Calves Week in West Cork swings into action with its proven success of a four day format starting at Schull on Tuesday August 4th. And though Cork Harbour in August will not be at quite the same white heart of energy it expended during July, RCYC will be staging at least three more national events in August with an emphasis on smaller boats, with the Open Championships for the National 18s, the Lasers and the Optimists.

national 18s cork5The latest version of the National 18s undergoing evaluation in Cork Harbour, which played a leading role in their introduction. The class will be holding their Annual Championship in August at Crosshaven as part of the RCYC Tricentennial celebrations. Photo: Robert Bateman

All three have special associations with RCYC, with the latest version of the National 18s, in particular, being more or less a home-grown (and club-financed) RCYC project, while the Optimist Opens in 2019 saw a Crosshaven/Kinsale winner in James Dwyer Matthews, though the class’s upper age limits will mean a new name on the title in 2020.

Yet as Dwyer Matthews won the 2019 series at Howth in the final race in a total fleet of 185 boats which included participants from 11 nations, the remarkable International Optimist Dinghy Association of Ireland is likely to be looking to honour the Royal Cork YC’s Tricentenary in its own way with a total fleet of more than 200 and even more international participation, for all that it’s a national open championship.

By the time those stratospheric numbers have been achieved, the frenetic pace of July 2020 in Crosshaven, as steadily brought together by Colin Morehead and his Cork300 Committee, will have become the latest chapter in the RCYC’s colourful history, and the basis of it is provided in the incomparable book of the club history.

A new chapter has already been added with the unique twinning of the Royal Cork YC with the Yacht Club de Monaco, and the recent international launching of the Tricentenary by Prince Albert II of Monaco in the YCM clubhouse. In sailing terms, the 300 years of the Royal Cork is quite something, but in absolute terms it pales somewhat when set against the 624 years that have seen he Grimaldi family holding sway as the Princes of Monaco, where they have been the ultimate stakeholders since 1395. There probably wasn’t a lot of recreational sailing going on in Ireland at that time…….

morehead monaco farnon6Colin Morehead, Chairman of Cork300, Prince Albert II of Monaco, and RCYC Admiral Pat Farnan at the recent launching of Cork300 in the Yacht Club de Monaco, which has a unique twinning arrangement with the RCYC, and will be giving its full support to the Tricentenary Celebrations.

Much is being made of the fact that the Royal Ocean Racing Club’s annual Morgan Cup Race is going to be from Cowes to Cork on July 8th, with a major trophy being presented by the Prince of Wales. For although Cork’s own Harry Donegan with his famous Gull was one of the participant-founders of the RORC after the first 1925 Fastnet Race with Gull third overall, while the new club continued to use the Fastnet Rock as a mark of that course, the first RORC Cowes to Cork race didn’t occur until 1954, when the winner in some decidedly heavy weather was Adlard Coles’ Nicholson yawl Cohoe II, while second overall was Geoffrey Pattinson’s big Robert Clark sloop Jocasta.

gull sailing7 Harry Donegan’s 17-ton cutter Gull of 1898 vintage is one of the most important boats in Cork sailing history. He owned her from 1921 until his death in 1940, and was a founder member of the RORC with participation in the first Fastnet Race of 1925, in which Gull placed third. Gull was also at Glengarriff for the foundation of the Irish Cruising Club in 1929, an event in which Harry Donegan played a central role. As keen for racing as he was for cruising, he was founding Honorary Secretary of the Cork Harbour One Designs from 1895. Photo RCYC

Adlard Coles – best-remembered these days for his book Heavy Weather Sailing - then took Cohoe II for a cruise in southwest Ireland, which is more or less what is planned for the cruising-minded visiting fleets after the mighty Tricentenary Fleet Review in Cork Harbour on Sunday July 12th. The skipper of Cohoe II particularly liked Dingle, at a time when that now-legendary port wasn’t on many cruise plans. But the rest of the RORC couldn’t give up racing, and their next venture was the Cork to Belle Ile Race, which was won by Jocasta.

jocasta cork8 Geoffrey Pattinson’s 55ft Robert Clark-designed alloy sloop Jocasta leaving Cork Harbour at the start of the 1954 RORC Cork-Belle Ile Race, which she won. Jocasta had come to Cork in 1954’s first RORC Cowes-Cork Race, which is going to be repeated in the RORC Morgan Cup Race on Wednesday July 8th 2020.

Subsequently, RORC races terminating in Cork Harbour tended to be from an Irish Sea start, but in 1970 for the Quarter Millennium, they’d a Cowes-Cork Races again, and in 1974 they’d another one, with line honours taken by Eric Tabarly with the 70ft Pen Duick. He made a point of visiting Carrigaloe in the upper harbour where his family’s Fife-designed cutter (the first Pen Duick) was built in 1898, as were several of the still-extant Cork Harbour One Designs, another Fife creation.

cork harbour od9The 1896-built Cork Harbour One Design Imp heading seawards at full power. The 1890s were a notable decade for yacht-building around Cork Harbour Photo Tom Barker

The superbly-sheltered character and much-indented shoreline of Cork Harbour means that – unlike Dublin Bay – there are many places where it has been possible to set up boat-building locations, and over the centuries since the time of the Water Club and beyond, new Cork-created yachts have appeared from these different locations to go on to build national and international reputations, vessels such as Caulfield Beamish’s owner-designed Young Paddy from the late 1820s.

The rush of creativity in the 1890s was typified by Pen Duick, while more recently the hotbed of ideas which was the Cork area in the 1970s to 1990s - when designers such as Ron Holland and Tony Castro, highly skilled boatbuilders like Killian Bushe, and Dick Leonard and his team at Crosshaven Boatyard, together with sailmakers like the McWilliam brothers – put Royal Cork racing achievement central stage.

Pen duick10Eric Tabarly’s famous 43ft cutter Pen Duick, another creation of the Cork Harbour energy of the 1890s. She was built to a Fife design in Carrigaloe in 1898.

The emergence of exceptional sailing talents to match these boats - people like Jimmy Payne and his son Somers, Clayton Love Jnr, Ted Crosbie, Harold Cudmore, Denis Doyle, Anthony O’Leary and Mark Mansfield - to name only eight out of a host of greats – is yet another aspect of a story so continuous and complex that its existence is probably the best we can hope to see acknowledged during 2020 when everyone will be busy getting on with celebration afloat and ashore, living in the present while being aware of this remarkable saga of sailing which has made the Royal Cork YC what it is today.

OLeary Antix Modern superstar – Anthony O’Leary’s 39ft Antix, RORC Yacht of the Year in 2014.

You’re never far from sailing history like this in Cork Harbour, and it’s way back beyond 1898 that we go for the origins of the other race which will be bringing fleets to Crosshaven, the pioneering 190-mile Dublin Bay to Cork Harbour Race of 14th July 1860, which was probably one of the first recognisably modern offshore races to be staged anywhere in the world.

The original account was in Hunt’s Yachting Magazine in the summer of 1860, subsequently, it appeared in To Sail the Crested Sea, the history of the first fifty years of the Irish Cruising Club published in 1979, and in the RCYC History of 2005 the story is told again – on page 155.

So although some other versions of the finishing order in the fleet of sixteen yachts seem to be circulating at the moment, the records with the RCYC on what became known as the Kingstown-Queenstown Race have it that the winner – finishing off Cobh in the lightest of airs at 5.20 am on the Monday July 16th – was the 39-ton cutter Sibyl, owned by Sir John Arnott and sailed by the renowned amateur skipper Henry O’Bryen, while second just three minutes later was the 80-ton cutter Peri (J W Cannon), and third only two minutes astern at 5.25 am was the 90-ton schooner Kingfisher (Cooper Penrose).

There were no handicap calculations in those pioneering “ocean match” days, so the Sibyl’s win was doubly sweet, as the entry fees were based on tonnage, and as the fourth smallest boat in the race, Sibyl’s payment was only 19 shillings and six pence, whereas the largest racer – the 167-ton schooner Mirage which was well off the pace – had to shell out four pounds three shillings and six pence for the doubtful pleasure of being beaten boat-for-boat by a vessel a quarter of her size.

kingstown cobh entry list12 The original entry listing for the first 190-mile Kingstown-Queenstown Race of 14th July 1860, including the varied entry fees. The winner – by just three minutes – was the 39-ton Sybil, listed No 6, owned by Sir John Arnott and sailed by renowned amateur skipper Henry O’Bryen. Courtesy RCYC

That Henry O’Bryen was able to find the last few minutes of concentration to take a win was quite something when – as the Hunt’s Magazine report put it – “the excitement was painfully intense”, for the ace amateur had spent the entire race on deck, and reportedly nearly always on the helm. As the Kingstown-Queenstown Race is going to be sailed again on July 9th 2020 to bring the Irish Sea fleets to the Tricentenary, by the time the fleets converge for the Review of July 12th, his achievements will be even better appreciated.

Once the Review has been completed, Volvo Cork Week 2020 gets underway on Monday July 13th, and includes the ICRA Nats and the European IRC Championship. But with demands on boats being at such a height, the Inter-services Racing for the Beaufort Cup, won by Commandant Barry Byrne and the Defence Forces crew in 2016 and 2018, is currently scheduled to be staged on Monday 20th July.

Meanwhile, the many cruisers which have been assembling will be heading west in a cruising tradition which is probably as old as the Royal Cork itself, and certainly was very central to the two-year Quarter Millennial celebrations in 1969-70. With Volvo Cork Week in full swing in and off the harbour, the pace will be different, but we can expect the RCYC to take it all in its stride, as they have been doing for three hundred years.

thunder child13The offshore powerboat Thunder Child, a project of Safehaven Marine led by Frank Kowalski, holds the Round Ireland & Rockall Record. The Cork300 programme will include a Powerboat Festival featuring a race to the Fastnet Rock and back to Cork Harbour.

And included somewhere in all this will be a major powerboat race. John Ryan of County Wicklow and Frank Kowalski of Safehaven Marine in Youghal have been upping the ante on serious offshore powerboat records with an Irish connection in recent years, and most appropriately the Royal Cork is the custodian of a trophy for the fastest powerboat time from Cork Harbour to the Fastnet Rock and back.

It’s appropriate because, somewhere at the heart of the current Royal Cork clubhouse building complex, there’s what was originally the 1923-built Cork Motor-Boat Club designed by architect Jim Buchan. They’d no sooner got it built than sailing types began moving in, then the Royal Munster YC from Monkstown moved down and took over, and then in 1967 the Royal Cork from its old base in Cobh moved across harbour for a reverse takeover of the Royal Munster in which, in due course, the Royal Munster was swallowed completely, with Crosshaven now home to the Royal Cork Yacht Club.

cork harbour motorboat club14Architect Jim Buchan’s design for the Cork Harbour Motorboat Club at Crosshaven in 1923, which was quickly absorbed into the Royal Munster YC and enlarged, and then further enlarged after the RMYC was amalgamated with the Royal Cork YC in 1967.

But what goes round comes round. Those motor-boaters of 1923 will be remembered. The accessibility theme which Colin Morehead and his team have been taking as the core of their Tricentenary programme has a very positive attitude towards grown-up powerboat racing, and another main event around a Powerboat Festival on 11th July will be a race to the Fastnet, and maybe on to the Skelligs as well. After three hundred years, if the RCYC think it might be worth giving it a whirl, a whirl is what it will get.

The programme is being adjusted to take account of boat availability realities, but at the moment the basic form in Cork Harbour is:

  • Friday 3rd July-Sunday 5th July: Seafest
  • Saturday 4th July-Tuesday 7th July: Feeder Cruises arrival
  • Saturday 4th July-11th July: Water Club Cup (Inter-club, 1720 Sportsboats)
  • Tuesday 7th July-Saturday 11th July:
  • Cruise Fest: Fleet/Class/Gatherings; Classic & Supperyacht Gatherings; Traditional Boat Gathering: Naval Gathering; Harbour Support Events; Feeder Races Arrivals.
  • Saturday July 11th: Powerboat Festival
  • Sunday 12th July: Fleet Review (all boats)
  • Monday July 13th Cruises in company depart
  • Monday July 13th – Friday July 17th Volvo Cork Week including ICRA Nats.
  • Saturday July 18th – Saturday July 25th: Glandore Classic Regatta
  • Monday July 20th Beaufort Cup
  • August – Championship Weeks back-to-back for National 18s, Lasers and Optimists

As we said at the beginning, this is only a very broad strokes outline stage – precision is emerging with every passing day. And as Autumn 2020 takes over, we hope that somebody remembers that, back in 1970 to round out the Quarter Millennium, the Royal Cork staged the annual Helmsman’s Championship, as it then was. Of the six finalists, five are still happily with us – Harold Cudmore, Maurice Butler, Owen Delaney, Michael O’Rahilly and the winner, Robert Dix. With the Royal Cork finally winding down a little after this Year of Years, some sort of Golden Jubilee event for them in the conclusion of Tricentennial Celebrations surely could be fitted in?

rcyc large15 Crosshaven, home of the Royal Cork Yacht Club. Could there be a more natural place to enjoy sailing? Set among green fields in a friendly village with a commodious yet sheltered harbour immediately accessible, and an interesting coastline on open sea within easy reach – Crosshaven has it all.

Published in Cork300

There was plenty of sailing action in Cork Harbour from Oppies to 50-footers today and there was some shuffling of places at the top of the IRC leaderboards after today's brisk racing at the Royal Cork Yacht Club's Horgan's Quay Cork Autumn Series held writes Bob Bateman.

Class Zero of the league had a start near White Bay then a short beat to No 5 and what amounted to a sleigh ride downwind for five miles to Cork buoy with a stiff cool breeze in the glorious winter sunshine.

royal cork autumn league 422This weekend's White Sails fleet course

A strong 3.7-metre ebb tide made for some tough upwind legs beats for all classes.

All other classes sailed in-harbour courses, the seven 1720s flew small kites such were the conditions.

Denis Murphy's Grand Soleil 40 Nieulargo continues to lead at the top six-boat fleet Class Zero fleet. Conor Phelan's Ker 37 Jump Juice stays second and is now three points off the lead.

royal cork autumn league 42Denis Murphy's Grand Soleil 40 Nieulargo

The two RCYC boats have established a good margin over a third-placed Kinsale entry, the Salona 45 Meridian skippered by Tom Roche, 11 points behind.

royal cork autumn league 42Conor Phelan's Ker 37 Jump Juice

royal cork autumn league 42The Kinsale Salona 45 Meridian skippered by Tom Roche

In eight boat Class One IRC, there is no change at the top as Kinsale's Elan 333 Artful Dodger (Finbarr O'Regan) still leads but after seven races sailed Paul & Deirdre Tingle's X-34 Alpaca is now second by a single point from the Jones family J109 Jelly Baby. 

royal cork autumn league 42Elan 333 Artful Dodger (Finbarr O'Regan)

royal cork autumn league 42Paul & Deirdre Tingle's X-34 Alpaca

royal cork autumn league 42The Jones family J109 Jelly Baby

Ronan & John Downing's Half-Tonner Miss Whiplash is now fourth.

royal cork autumn league 42Ronan & John Downing's Half-Tonner Miss Whiplash

The Cove Sailing Club Sonar, No Half Measures skippered by Ewan O'Keeffe has moved into the lead in eight boat class two IRC. O'Keeffe overtook Denis Byrne's Trapper T250 Cracker from Royal Cork Yacht Club but is on the same 11 points. Third is  Sean Hanley's HB31 Luas.

royal cork autumn league 42Denis Byrne's Trapper T250 Cracker

royal cork autumn league 42Alan Mulcahy's Quarter Tonner Runaway Bus from Kinsale Yacht Club is sixth

There is no change in the leaderboard after 12 races in the 1720 sportsboat fleet. Anthony O'Leary's Antix leads and second in the six-boat fleet is Tom Durcan and Clive O'Shea's T Bone four points behind O'Leary. Third is Olympic Finn campaigner Fionn Lyden sailing Spiced Beef. 

royal cork autumn league 42Anthony O'Leary's Antix

royal cork autumn league 42Tom Durcan and Clive O'Shea's T Bone

royal cork autumn league 42Fionn Lyden's Spiced Beef

The Whitesail One division is now led by Denis Ellis's First 35 Mazu from Cove Sailing Club.

In the seven boat White Sail Two fleet Kieran O Brian's MG335, Magnet stays on top.

royal cork autumn league 42

Full results here. Bob Bateman Photo gallery below.

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There were some changes at the top of the IRC leaderboards after today's racing at the Royal Cork Yacht Club's Horgan's Quay Cork Autumn Series held in Cork Harbour writes Bob Bateman.

Conor Phelan's Ker 37 Jump Juice has lost the overall lead in Class Zero IRC. Phelan but is only a single point from club mate Denis Murphy's Grand Soleil 40 Nieulargo at the top of the in the six-boat fleet. The two RCYC boats have established a good margin over a third-placed Kinsale entry, the Salona 45 Meridian skippered by Tom Roche, eight points behind.

In eight boat Class One IRC, there is no change at the top as Kinsale's Elan 333 Artful Dodger (Finbarr O'Regan) still leads but after five races sailed Paul & Deirdre Tingle's X-34 Alpaca is now second leaving Ronan & John Downing's Half-Tonner Miss Whiplash in third.

Denis Byrne's Trapper T250 Cracker from Royal Cork Yacht Club has eeked out a three-point lead over the early Cove Sailing Club leader in eight boat class two IRC. The CSC Sonar, No Half Measures skippered by Ewan O'Keeffe stays second but Waterford Harbour Sigma 33 visitor Flyover steered by David Marchant has been overtaken by Sean Hanley's HB31 Luas for third place.

Anthony O'Leary's 1720 sportsboat Antix leads after nine races. Second in the six-boat fleet is Tom Durcan and Clive O'Shea's T Bone three points behind O'Leary. Third is  Olympic Finn campaigner Fionn Lyden sailing Spiced Beef. 

The Whitesail One division continues to be led by Derry Good's X 362 Sport Exhale. Likewise in the seven boat White Sail Two fleet where Kieran O Brian's MG335, Magnet stays on top.

Full results here. See photo gallery of the league here

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Anthony O'Leary's 1720 sportsboat Antix leads after four of Royal Cork Yacht Club's Horgan's Quay Cork Autumn Series held today in Cork Harbour writes Bob Bateman. 

Second in the six-boat fleet is Tom Durcan and Clive O'Shea's T Bone two points behind O'Leary. Third is Gary Rhodes Heroes & Villains.

Over 70 boats are competing across 11 divisions in the premier South Coast Autumn series that has also attracted entries from Kinsale and Waterford Harbour. 

royal cork autumn league1Tight racing in the six boat 1720 class Photo: Bob Bateman

In the IRC divisions, Conor Phelan's Ker 37 Jump Juice continues to lead in Class Zero IRC. Phelan is two points clear at the top of the in the six-boat fleet over club mate Denis Murphy's Grand Soleil 40 Nieulargo. 

The RCYC leaders have established a good margin over a third-placed Kinsale entry, the Salona 45 Meridian skippered by Tom Roche.

royal cork autumn league1The Salona 45 Meridian skippered by Tom Roche on port tack Photo: Bob Bateman

In eight boat Class One IRC, Kinsale's Elan 333 Artful Dodger (Finbarr O'Regan) leads from Ronan & John Downing's Half-Tonner Miss Whiplash. Third is Paul & Deirdre Tingle's X-34 Alpaca. 

There were great conditions again for racing in Cork Harbour in just under 10 knots of breeze.

royal cork autumn league1Alan Mulcahy's Quarter Tonner Runaway Bus from Kinsale Yacht Club Photo: Bob Bateman

Denis Byrne's Trapper T250 Cracker from Royal Cork Yacht Club has eeked out a three-point lead over the early Cove Sailing Club leader in eight boat class two IRC. The CSC Sonar, No Half Measures skippered by Ewan O'Keeffe is now second but still ahead of Waterford Harbour Sigma 33 visitor Flyover steered by David Marchant. 

royal cork autumn league1Denis Ellis's Mazu, a First 35 from Cove Sailing Club competes in Whitesail One Photo: Bob Bateman

The Whitesail One division continues to be led by Derry Good's X 362 Sport Exhale. Likewise in the seven boat White Sail Two fleet where Kieran O Brian's MG335, Magnet stays on top.

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Published in Royal Cork YC

Conor Phelan's Ker 37 Jump Juice in Class Zero IRC leads after the first two races of Royal Cork Yacht Club's Horgan's Quay Cork Autumn Series held yesterday in Cork Harbour writes Bob Bateman.

Phelan, counting a first and a second in the six-boat fleet has a margin of two points over club mate Denis Murphy's Grand Soleil 40 Nieulargo. 

Freya XP50 Conor DoyleFreya, Conor Doyle's XP50 is third in IRC Zero Photo: Bob Bateman

untitled 5865Loch Greine Tom, Declan and Donal O'Mahony Photo: Bob Bateman

In eight boat Class One IRC, Desmond, Deasy & Ivers in the Sunfast 32 Bad Company are the leaders on four points from Ronan & John Downing Miss Whiplash. Third is the Jones Family J109 entry Jelly baby.

There were superb conditions for racing as captured (below) by Alan Mulcahy on the Quarter Tonner Runaway Bus. In frame is Freya, an XP50 and YouGottaWanna, a J24 racing in Cork Harbour in 10 Knots plus under spinnaker.

A Cove Sailing Club Sonar, No Half Measures skippered by Ewan O'Keeffe has the lead in eight boat class two IRC. In second is Waterford Harbour Sigma 33 visitor Flyover steered by David Marchant. Third is  Ian Hickey's Granada 38 Cavatin of the host club.

 DSC0614Denis Ellis's Mazu, a First 35 from Cove Sailing Club Photo: Bob Bateman

The White sail fleet sailed a course over at Whitegate and Whitesail One is led by Derry Good's X 362 Sport Exhale. A point of note here is that the Whitesail fleet is using their spinnaker poles to boom out jibs as agreed at this year's SCORA agm. A seven boat White Sail Two fleet is led by Kieran O Brian's MG335, Magnet. 

Maurice 'Prof' O'Connell of North Sails Ireland shot this onboard downwind video of Class Zero overall leader Jump Juice in the first race.

Published in Royal Cork YC
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Cork 300 will celebrate Royal Cork Yacht Club’s 300th anniversary, where it all began, and Cork’s maritime haven, with a series of events next summer.

In 2020, the Royal Cork Yacht Club in Crosshaven will celebrate its 300th anniversary with an exciting series of events on and off the water across Cork harbour, called Cork300.

As Afloat reported earlier, the official Cork 300 launch was held on Saturday to outline the events planned.

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.

Sailing communities throughout Europe and as far as Australia, Hong Kong and San Francisco are expected to attend the Cork300 celebrations - which will take place primarily during the months of July and August 2020 – to participate in the exciting variety of competitive and non-competitive nautical and on shore events scheduled, many of which are also open to the public.

As part of the celebrations, communities across Cork harbour will host a vast array of sailing, racing, food, and entertainment events, along with a number of talks, ensuring Cork will be the only place to be in Summer 2020.

The Cork300 summer celebrations, which will be preceded by several other events including European Maritime Day and Seafest in May, will centre on three lead events: The Great Gathering of cruising yachtsmen and yachts from around the world in July, Three Championship Weeks of competitive dinghy sailing in August, and The Club At Home Regatta for all fleets, also in August.

Highlights over the summer include an eye-catching Classic Yacht Regatta; the historic Kingstown/Queenstown feeder race from Dun Laoghaire to Cobh; the world-famous annual Volvo Cork Week Regatta, an International Powerboat Championship Festival which will take place in Ireland for the first time; a Wild Atlantic Way sailing ‘cruise in company’ for visiting yacht clubs; the Royal Cork Fleet Review which will be a fantastic parade of sailing craft in Cobh.and a Gathering of Naval Ships in Cork City. The prestigious Morgan Cup, awarded by the Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC) will also come to Ireland for the first time as part of Cork300.

The Royal Cork Yacht Club have also just received confirmation that His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, has graciously donated a specially commissioned trophy for a unique race from Cowes in the UK to Cork to celebrate the Royal Cork Yacht Club’s tricentenary celebrations and the special relationship that exists between our two countries and sailing communities. The trophy will be awarded to the line honours winner of the Morgan Cup race in 2020, which forms part of the Royal Ocean Racing Club’s Season Points Championship and starts from the historic Royal Yacht Squadron line in Cowes.

Commenting on the Cork300 events series, Chairman of Cork300 Colin Morehead said, “I am incredibly proud to be Chairman of Cork300 – this is probably the most significant historic milestone that the Royal Cork Yacht Club and the sailing community worldwide will see in our lifetime, so it truly is an honour to be part of … and to share where it all began.

“Everyone, everywhere around the world, is invited to join in the celebrations and be part of the Cork300 crew. We have a really exciting events series planned with lots of more news to announce over the coming months.

“We are especially delighted to hear of His Royal Highness, The Prince of Wales’ support this week. This truly is an honour.”

“Cork300 will promote community, international friendship, sustainability and the role of sailing worldwide. We want to inspire and motivate future generations to sail and we hope to leave a legacy for sailing and Cork harbour, Ireland’s maritime haven, into the future.”

“Of course, Cork300 is made possible only by the support of our partners - AIB the premier partner, Volvo, Port of Cork, Cork County Council, Cork City Council and Heineken, so we would like to sincerely thank them for their generosity.”

Also commenting, An Tánaiste Simon Coveney T.D. said, “Cork300 is a momentous event for the Cork region. In my view, it will be the most significant maritime event in Ireland in our lifetime. Cork300 is already attracting significant international interest and will firmly position Cork as a maritime haven and must visit destination for anyone involved in sailing worldwide. The committee have put a huge amount of work into planning what looks like an amazing schedule of events across Cork harbour in summer 2020, and I would encourage everyone to get involved – be part of the crew.”

Colin Hunt, Chief Executive Officer at AIB, the premier partners for Cork300, said, “AIB is delighted to be sponsoring Cork300 and helping bring what will be a momentous event to the city next summer. As a bank, we have deep roots in Cork and have been part of the community for well over 100 years which is why we are proud to be backing something which brings communities from all over the globe together in one place.”

The current Cork300 schedule of events includes:

The Great Gathering, 6-7 July
Cruising yachts from across Ireland, Europe and around the world will start gathering in Cork Harbour for the Cork300 Great Gathering. In addition, The Irish Cruising Club will host a cruise from Howth Yacht Club in Dublin down the East coast through Ireland’s Ancient East to Cork. Day trips will be organised at key tourism spots.

Cowes to Cork Race, The Morgan Cup, 8-10th July to include trophy generously donated by HRH The Prince of Wales
Presented by the Royal Thames Yacht Club the Morgan Cup forms part of the Royal Ocean Racing Club’s Season Points Championship. More than 100 yachts are expected to depart from the Royal Yacht Squadron line off in Cowes in the UK on July 8th to commence a challenging offshore race to Cork. The Trophy donated by HRH The Prince of Wales will be awarded to the Line Honours winner who is expected to arrive in Crosshaven on 10th July. Hosted by the Royal Ocean Racing Club, the Royal Yacht Squadron and the Royal Cork Yacht Club, the Morgan Cup trophy will be awarded to the winning crew on handicap under IRC Rating.

Kingstown/Queenstown Race, 9-10th July
The historic Dublin to Queenstown Cork race will take place from Kingstown (Dun Laoighaire) to Queenstown (Cobh), with boats arriving to the finish line at the Sirius Centre in Cobh (a former club house of the Royal Cork Yacht Club) on the evening of Friday July 10th. The Kingstown to Queenstown race was first held in 1860 and was the first ever ocean yacht race to take place in Great Britain.

Classic Yacht Regatta, 9-11th July
During the Classic Yacht Regatta, Classic yachts will race within Cork harbour, with large yachts racing outside the harbour, which will be a fantastic sight for all to see from viewing points on Camden Fort Meagher and Crosshaven.

International Powerboat Festival, 11-12th July
Three very different powerboat events, organised by Powerboat Ireland, will take place in Ireland for the first time ever on 11th July as part of Cork300. Spectators will have the opportunity to see classic boats from the past mix with solar and alternative energy boats of the future. Alongside these boats will be a modern fleet of endurance offshore racing boats who will compete for the honour of being crowned UIM Offshore Marathon World Champion. In addition, the UIM Long Distance World Record “Cork - Fastnet – Cork” awaits any team that wishes to take on the challenge.

Royal Cork Fleet Review/ Parade of Sail, 12th July 11am
Royal Cork Fleet Review and fantastic parade of sail with all types of sea craft will take place in Cobh between the Sirius building in the town centre and Haulbowline, which were both former club houses of Royal Cork Yacht Club. This event will be followed by the much-anticipated Cobh Air Spectacular.

Wild Atlantic Way Cruise, July 12th – 19th
Following the Royal Cork Fleet Review, up to 100 cruising boats will set sail on a multi-stop ‘cruise in company’ tour around the south west coast of Ireland, with ports of call in Kinsale, Glandore, Baltimore, Schull, Bantry Bay and finally Dingle. Events will be scheduled along the way in conjunction with other yacht/sailing clubs.

Volvo Cork Week, 13-18th July
The biennial Volvo Cork Week Regatta is always a highlight on the sailing and Cork social calendar. 2020 will incorporate events including the Beaufort Cup for military and emergency services crews and the 1720 European Championships. The world-famous regatta will also include nightly crew parties, ticketed public party nights with live musical entertainment, and a Ladies’ Day charity lunch event.

Glandore Classic Regatta, 18-24th July
The established Glandore Classic Regatta was postponed in 2019 in order to coincide with Cork300 in 2020. This year’s event is set to be the largest yet as outstanding classic boats from around the world flock to the famous West Cork coast.

The Three Championship Weeks, 2nd-22nd August
Three Championship Weeks will take place at Royal Cork Yacht Club for sailors from across Ireland and around the world.
Week 1 from August 2nd – 7th will host a number of dinghy class championships lead by the Clubs three-person National 18ft Class, a fleet with legendary stamina both on and off the water, including the National 18s – Cock of the North Trophy.
Weeks 2 and 3 will host the Irish Optimist National Championships for kids aged 9 – 15 and the Laser National Championships for adults and kids.

Throughout these weeks, the village of Crosshaven will host a wide range of on-site social activities and entertainment for all participants and their families.

Published in Cork Harbour
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Royal Cork Yacht Club, the oldest yacht club in the world, is now a major focus of attention locally, nationally and internationally following the announcement of 300th-anniversary plans last night writes Bob Bateman.

The marquee at Royal Cork was packed fort the official launch of 'Cork 300', the year-long celebrations for the tricentenary of the Club at Crosshaven.

In a busy week for RCYC, last night's launch coincided with the conclusion of the World Forum of the International Council of Yacht Clubs (ICOYC) hosted by the Cork Harbour Club over the last few days. 

Unfortunately, yesterday's plans for the ‘ICOYC Commodores Cup Sailing’ in the club's own 1720 sportsboat fleet beneath Camden Fort in the Harbour could not take place due to weather.

Cork 300 RCYC4Simon Coveney (left) and Colin Morehead Photo: Bob Bateman

Rear Admiral Kieran O'Connell acted as MC for the proceedings and the guest of honour was Tánaiste Simon Coveney. 

As Afloat reported previously, RCYC Vice Admiral Colin Morehead said the event is  “a milestone, a unique and special moment in the history of yachting,”

Morehead will take over as Admiral for the commemorative year next year. Listen into a podcast with Morehead and Afloat's Tom MacSweeney here.

In a series of announcements, RCYC revealed both Volvo and AIB Bank will play a key role in supporting the Cork 300 celebrations. 

A special trophy will be commissioned to mark the occasion of the RORC Morgan Cup race sailing from Cowes to Cork next year. 

Cork 300 RCYC4Cork 300 RCYC4Cork 300 RCYC4Cork 300 RCYC4Cork 300 RCYC4Cork 300 RCYC4Cork 300 RCYC4Cork 300 RCYC4Cork 300 RCYC4Cork 300 RCYC4Cork 300 RCYC4Cork 300 RCYC4Cork 300 RCYC4Cork 300 RCYC4Cork 300 RCYC4

Published in Cork300
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