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Jack O'Keeffe of Cork is Afloat.ie 'Sailor of the Month' for April

1st May 2021
Jack O'Keeffe's election as Chairman of the globally-spread Drascombe Association has highlighted the extensive voluntary work of someone who normally functions under the radar
Jack O'Keeffe's election as Chairman of the globally-spread Drascombe Association has highlighted the extensive voluntary work of someone who normally functions under the radar Credit: W M Nixon

There are several organisations in Ireland's varied maritime life that don't need a high profile to do good and useful work by stealth, and you'll find Jack O'Keeffe of Carrigaline in Cork is involved with several of them. But his recent election as Chairman for two years of the internationally-operating Drascombe Association has inevitably raised his profile and drawn fresh attention to a range of characterful little boats which almost defy categorisation.

Yet they're undoubtedly multi-purpose, for although their ease of trailering is one of their key features, several have made transoceanic cruises, while others have ventured – often in small lightly-organised groups – far into hidden rivers that more orthodox cruising boats can't reach.

The flexibility of the Drascombes' way of doing things meant that in the stop-start times of pandemic-plagued 2020, they probably managed a better cruising season than most other boat types. And Jack O'Keeffe's willingness to take on the mantle of pre-research and organization while leading by example makes him a very worthy "Sailor of the Month".

Convenient cruising in "thin water" – Drascombes make a handy mid-day beach stop in Galway Bay. Photo: Jack O'KeeffeConvenient cruising in "thin water" – Drascombes make a handy mid-day beach stop in Galway Bay. Photo: Jack O'Keeffe

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