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Displaying items by tag: Cork Week

#corkweek – Racing Chairman, Anthony O'Leary has revealed that there are some 'enterprising' changes to the Harbour Course Race for Cork Week in two weeks time writes Louay Habib.

With less than two weeks to go until the start of Cork Week, the Royal Cork Yacht Club is a hive of activity, the club is bracing itself for the arrival of well over a thousand competitors and over the past few weeks, local sailors have been working hard preparing their yachts moored in the safe confines of marina. A steady stream of yachts from overseas has begun to arrive in Crosshaven to get ready for the big event, with the many more expected to arrive this coming weekend.

Whilst the courses for Cork Week remain in the same likeable format there are some changes to the Harbour Course:

"For the last day of racing, we intend to have the whole fleet in Cork Harbour, which should be a fantastic spectacle." Commented O'Leary. "The Race Committee has also decided to award a long standing and very prestigious trophy at this year's event. The Carroll Cup dates back to 1858 and this year will be the prize for a Harbour Race Time Trial. The Moonduster Mark – Cobh Mark –No.18 buoy section is a distance of 1.8nm and it is our intention to time each boat in the Harbour Race over this distance and apply their IRC handicap, to find the winner of the Carroll Cup 2012. The particular part of the course passes an area known as The Holy Ground and is featured in song and verse and is very much part of the folklore of Cork Harbour."

The Royal Cork is the oldest yacht club in the world and a glittering array of silverware will be awarded at Cork Week. In addition, for 2012 all class winners will be also go home with a fine keepsake. The Belleek Group has been making fine china in Ireland for well over a century and overall class winners will receive a Belleek Living Trophy as a memento of their success.

This year, like many other regattas, the number of yachts attending is down on previous years. However well over one hundred yachts will be competing at Cork Week and the fun-factor looks like it could be at an all time high.

Dermot Cronin from the Malahide Yacht Club will be racing his First 40.7, Encore for the first time but this is not the first venture to Cork Week for Dermot and his crew, as he explains; "We enjoyed 2010 so much, even though we suffered a badly cracked mast with my old J/35. We did a pub-crawl to 'wake' our lost mast and loved the BBQ'd cod and black pudding served up by the local pubs. We'll definitely be setting out in search of that this year. I particularly like a smaller regatta at Cork. As after top class racing on the water, shoreside has a more laid back feel than past years. In the days of 600+ boats, getting to the bar was like wrestling through rush hour on the London underground!"

The ½ tonner Insatiable was built in 1985 and beautifully restored with the help of the Pendennis Shipyard in Falmouth. The crew are all friends from Cornwall and include a National and European Laser 4000 champion, Jon Wilson. Skipper Tim Cunliffe explains why the team have decided to bring Insatiable to Cork Week for the first time. "Most of the crew have been to Cork Week before and what makes us come back is good racing and on shore entertainment, some provided by our own crew! All of us have sailed to a very high level and we see Cork Week as a major regatta that we hope to do well in and hopefully win. On top of that we are really looking forward to enjoying the excellent Irish hospitality."

From the Clyde, Christine and Robin Murray's First 40, Elf Too will be competing at Cork Week, Elf Too arrived safely in Crosshaven on the 24th June and Christine is really looking forward to Cork Week. "This is the fourth time, I have come for the regatta and I just love it, Crosshaven is where my husband and I confessed our undying love for each other. The racing is so well managed and we all just have such a great laugh. We are also looking for a crewmember for Cork Week to cover for maternity leave for our pit-girl, if you apply you will definitely need a sense of humour."

Elf Too's did supply an application form to join their crew but it does contain some expressions that are not suitable for family viewing!!

Published in Cork Week
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#CORKWEEK – It's all hands on deck for the crew of [email protected] Week, as they get ready to bring visitors to Cork Week for a weekend of free family fun at the Royal Cork Yacht Club (RCYC) in Crosshaven on July 7th and 8th.

All Aboard is a new, interactive, weekend for Cork Week 2012, featuring water-based attractions and shoreside entertainment, all designed to bring out the child in everyone.

Royal Cork Yacht Club Admiral Peter Deasy says: "Cork Week and the Royal Cork Yacht Club have never seen anything like it. We have exhibits travelling from near and far - life sized whales, dolphins and turtles are traveling over from the UK for the weekend, Oceanworld Aquarium are sending their touch pool creatures from Dingle, the Star Dome is coming to bring the wonders of the solar system to life, and that's before we even mention high speed rib-trips and Dragon Boat racing. A lot of hard work has gone into creating a unique event. We really are delivering something for everyone, and we're looking forward to an exciting weekend."

Visitors hitting the shoreline in Crosshaven for All Aboard can float away in the Under the Sea Marquee with life-sized replicas of dolphins, whales and turtles. Meet real, live tiny sea creatures in touchpools.

There will be Dragon Boat Races, run by the maritime cultural organisation Meitheal Mara, which will give visitors the chance to race these spectacular boats to the beat of the Dragon Boat drum. Grab a paddle, or shout from the shoreline to be part of this unique event. You can Follow the stars in night sky in the Star Dome in the Sun Sea & Stars Marquee, or walk the plank with Captain Jack.

High-speed rib rides, (extra charge) will give visitors the chance to experience the exhilaration of bouncing off the crest of a wave at full throttle, with a chance to see a dolphin or even a basking shark, but one thing's for certain – everyone will have a blast!

Try spinnaker packing races, bubble workshops and many more hands-on activities, enjoy the wandering musicians, magical entertainers and face-painting, or just unwind, enjoy Coffee and Cake in the Clubhouse, casual lunch in the Food Court or a little retail therapy in the extensive selection of shops in the Cork Week Village.

For family fun for all get to All Aboard @ Cork Week on July 7th and 8th, from 11-5 daily. Admission is FREE & with hundreds of FREE Parking Spaces

Published in Cork Week

#CORKWEEK – In six weeks time, there will be eight different classes racing at Cork Week. The vast majority of the yachts will be racing under IRC and ECHO handicap systems but Cork Week also boasts two one design classes, which will be bristling with talent. These are not closed events, far from it. Sailors from overseas are always given a very warm welcome to Cork Week and the one design J/109 and 1720 classes are sure to provide exhilarating racing.

The J/109 Irish National Championships will be part of Cork Week and it is an open event. This month, Royal Cork Yacht Club's Ian Nagle's racing J/109 Jelly Baby scored a fine win in the BMW Irish ICRA National Championship at Howth Yacht Club. In a very competitive division Jelly Baby won a tense last race to defeat the defending champion; Pat Kelly's J/109 Storm II from Rush Sailing Club. Jelly Baby will be racing in the J/109 Irish National Championship at Cork Week and Nagle is relishing the prospect.


Ian Nagle's J109 is the boat to beat at Cork Week in July

"I honestly believe this year has the makings of the best Cork Week for ages. It looks like we will have a similar number of boats as last year and I am absolutely delighted. In my opinion, the commercialisation that comes with a huge regatta means that it detracts from the sailing. The slimming down of Cork Week means it will be an event for sailors rather than a mass audience. Like-minded people out to have some great racing and a few pints afterwards that is what Cork Week should be all about. In 2010, we had a fleet of 18 with some fantastic close racing in the J/109s. Close spirited racing in heavenly surroundings, sailing up past Cobh up the harbour with boats all around you is just brilliant but there are so many wonderful courses, in Cork we are absolutely spoilt for choice.

After sailing, as soon as you walk off the boat there is a great atmosphere with everybody having a ball. I don't think you get that at too many places these days. It will be a great buzz in Crosshaven this year and the Irish J/109 Nationals will be a great event, I wouldn't miss it for the world."

The 1720 Sportsboat class first raced at Cork Week in 1996 and the class quickly established itself as an affordable competitive keelboat with 68 yachts on the start line in 1998. The 1720 Class has attracted world-class sailors, including Ben Ainslie and Dean Barker (who both failed to make the podium in 1998!). As an exciting fast planing keelboat, the 1720 experience is difficult to match. In recent years the 1720 Class has been undergoing something of a renaissance in Ireland with 25 pocket rockets based in County Cork alone.

From 8-10th June, the Royal Cork will host the 1720 National Championship with Mark Mansfield and Terry English looking to retain their title. Anthony O'Leary was runner up in 2011 and O'Leary will most definitely be looking to go one better in the National Championships but not during Cork Week, as he will be at the helm of his Ker 39, Antix for the regatta.


Antix, the Irish IRC champion will be back in action again in Cork week.

"I expect there could be as many as fifteen 1720s at the Nationals, which bodes well for Cork Week," suggested Anthony O'Leary. "However, I know of at least three excellent 1720s available for charter for Cork Week. The 1720 is quite literally made for Cork Week, it is a fantastic opportunity for sportsboats enthusiasts. Great racing, good company and serious bang for your buck. A well-sorted 1720 will charter for about 1500 Euros for Cork Week, split five-ways that is extremely good value."

Besides the two one design classes, there will be six different handicap divisions and a separate prize for Quarter Tonners. From custom built yachts to cruising yachts racing under white sails only, Cork Week provides a sublime sailing environment for a wide variety of sailors, young and old.

Published in 1720
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#CORK WEEK – With just under two months to the 18th edition of Cork Week entries are beginning to build momentum. With the Euro 20% down on the pound sterling and promises of better value for competitors writes Louay Habib. Cork Week is on track to deliver a first class sailing regatta, especially to sailors visiting Ireland's most prestigious yachting regatta from overseas.

Cork Week's Chairman, Pat Lyons sums up what Cork Week is all about. "Cork Week comes along every two years and offers an occasion to celebrate all that is best about how we can enjoy the wonderful facilities that our environment has placed on our doorstep. In Cork Harbour, we have a world class maritime playground and by bringing together a sailing event of international quality, the Royal Cork provides an opportunity for both sailors and spectators alike to meet old friends, engage in a top class sailing competition, and enjoy the waterside hospitality and entertainment for which Crosshaven is renowned."

A bevy of Cork 1720s are expected for Cork Week and rumour has it that several professional sailors will be making an appearance to take on top Irish competition. In the IRC racing classes, several winning yachts are returning to defend class wins from 2010 including; Paul Kirwan's Sigma 38, Errislannan, who was jointly awarded Cork's top award of Boat of the Week last time out. Conor & Denise Phelan's Kerr 37, Jump Juice will be returning to defend their hard fought class victory in 2010 and a large contingent of Corby Yachts is expected including Richard Goransson's Inga from Sweden with round the world sailor, Matt Humphries calling tactics and four time Volvo Ocean Race veteran, Richard Mason amongst the crew.

Earlier this year, The Royal Cork Yacht Club became the first club in Ireland to be awarded Five Gold Anchors by the Yacht Harbour Association. Gavin Deane is the new General Manager of the Royal Cork Yacht Club and he lives in Crosshaven and his family have been part of the fabric of the RCYC for generations. With 20 years of experience in the luxury hotel industry, Gavin is highly accomplished hotelier that is deeply passionate about Cork Week.

"It is a common misconception that Cork Week is expensive. The entry fee for Cork Week includes your mooring fees and if you want to arrive a few days before the event and stay a couple more after, there will be no additional charge. As far as catering facilities, Anthony McCann and his team have been doing a fantastic job for the club this year and will have a variety of menus available, including breakfast each morning. In the Tented Village, we will also have BBQ food as well as a food court with gourmet fast food and oriental cuisine, all at competitive prices. We are determined to deliver a memorable event."

In addition to top class racing, the fabled on-shore craic in the tented village has become one of the main ingredients in the success of Cork Week with some of Ireland's best bands performing live each evening. However, Cork Week 2012 will have a few changes. There are many people attracted to Crosshaven during the regatta who do not get out on the water and the Cork Festival will give the event village a more interesting agenda for them and the racing crews at the end of the day. A large exhibition tent has been earmarked for the festival, which takes place on the first weekend of Cork Week. Plans include a whale workshop, an aquarium touch tank and other attractions. The festival will also host cultural and artistic flavours of the region including the work of local artists and vendors of local fayre.

Many sailors who work in the marine industry have not been to Cork Week due to the strict policy of not allowing professionals to race in most classes. However, this year the rules have been totally relaxed, one upshot of this change has attracted sailors from the Volvo Ocean Race to Cork Week. The round the world race ends in Galway shortly before Cork Week and several sailors involved in the Volvo Ocean Race have already entered for Cork Week. However, there will be no change to course variety at Cork Week Regatta this year and Cork Week scoring will include Progressive ECHO so results will be provided on a dual scoring basis with results and prizes for both IRC and ECHO.

"It is still a 5 course Dinner for 2012! Desert on the final day will be the Harbour Course for all and the possibility of a start line from one of the three historic forts of Cork Harbour" confirmed Cork Week Racing Chairman, Anthony O'Leary. "Cork Week has had a separate race team for each course for many years. In many cases race teams have managed same course for a number of Cork Weeks so they have the confidence that goes with plenty of practice!"

Published in Cork Week
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#CORK WEEKCork Harbour's international sailing event known as Cork Week which takes place every two years at Royal Cork Yacht Club, has always provided a wealth of shore side activity and this year's event, which takes place in Crosshaven from July 7th to 13th looks like being the most family friendly ever!

An exciting programme of events has been put together including the Under The Sea Marquee, which will host The Whale Workshop on its first ever visit to Cork. Now in his 20th year of operation, Andy Starbuck introduces children to the amazing marine wildlife around our coast. Featuring life size, and lifelike replicas The Whale Workshop explains the spectacular lives of some of our biggest sea creatures and reveals the secretive habits of some of the smaller and lesser-known species.

Our friends at the Oceanworld Aquarium in Dingle will be bringing some of their smallest residents to meet the visitors to All Aboard. With their expertise in sealife, Oceanworld will be using touch pools to give a "hand on" experience.

For those with a competitive streak, Meitheal Mara, the Cork City based Maritime Cultural Organisation will be bringing their Dragon Boats and will give the more adventurous visitors a chance to race these on the river!

There will also be shore based sea-faring challenges, boat building demonstrations and lots of things designed to get the whole family involved.

Also on site will be a host of delicious culinary choices for everyone in the Cork Week 2012 food court.

Be sure you don't miss out on this free admission event taking place in the Royal Cork Yacht Club from 11am – 5pm on Saturday and Sunday the 7th & 8th of July.

As always racing will start Monday the 9th of July and will consist of 5 days of exhilarating competitive racing.

Proudly supported by Cork's 96FM and the Irish Examiner, Cork Week 2012 takes place at the Royal Cork Yacht Club, from July 7th to 13th.

Published in Cork Week

Details of Cork Week 2012, Europe's biggest regatta organised by a single club, were announced today at an event in Cork Harbour Commissioners. Held on a biennial basis at the Royal Cork Yacht Club in Crosshaven, Co. Cork, Cork Week is a Grand Prix sailing event and is renowned, worldwide, for exciting and challenging racing. SCROLL DOWN FOR TODAY'S LAUNCH PHOTOS BY BOB BATEMAN.

Cork Week, which takes place from July 7th to 13th, primarily attracts sailors for the quality of its sailing. Boats from all over the world are expected, and this year, entries have already been received from as far away as South Africa and Hong Kong and it promises to be one of the most competitive events yet with the relaxation of the professional sailor rule. Cork Week 2012 will also host the J109 Irish National Championships following the very successful European Championship at Cork Week 2010.


Royal Cork Admiral Peter Deasy, Cork County Mayor Tim Lombard and Cork Week Chairman Pat Lyons at the Cork Week 2012 launch today in the Port of Cork. More Photos from Bob Bateman below.

However, in addition to top class racing, the fabled on-shore tented village lets all crews interact socially in a fun way which has become one of the main ingredients in the success of Cork Week. The centrepiece of this year's entertainment line up is "Bodega by the Sea" – which sees Cork's Club Bodega setting sail down river, bringing with it a motley crew of Ireland's biggest Bands & DJs. Cork Week will see acts such as Soul Driven, Pontius Pilate & the Naildrivers, The Papa Zittas, Death By Chocolate and some of the country's best-known DJs.

Speaking at the Launch, Cork Week 2012 Event Chair, Pat Lyons, said that the organisers of this year's sailing spectacular see the event as an opportunity to bring a sparkle to the south coast. "Every day we hear tales of doom and gloom and in these times we badly need to grasp every opportunity for a bit of fun", he commented. "Cork Week comes along every two years and offers an occasion to celebrate all that is best about how we can enjoy the wonderful facilities that our environment has placed on our doorstep. In Cork Harbour, we have a world class maritime playground and by bringing together a sailing event of international quality, the Royal Cork provides an opportunity for both sailors and spectators alike to meet old friends, engage in a top class sailing competition, and enjoy the waterside hospitality and entertainment for which Crosshaven is renowned."

More about Cork Week courses in the 2012 Irish sailing preview here. All of Afloat's Cork week 2012 coverage here.

An additional event this year is All [email protected] - Shoreside Family Fun which is all about extending a Cork Week welcome to a whole new group of people: children and families for whom this may be their first visit to Cork Week. Organiser, Máiread Roberts says "we are putting the final touches to a great line-up of activities – getting out in the harbour amongst the boats, having interactive sea creature adventures shore side, maritime workshops and a food fair and market in the Club's Tented Village."

RCYC Admiral Peter Deasy said: "We in the Royal Cork are very confident that the support of the people of Cork and in particular, Crosshaven, will insure that Cork Week 2012 will, once again, prove that people are prepared to enjoy their hard earned leisure time in what has always been one of the best sailing, and fun, regattas in Europe."

Proudly supported by Cork's 96FM and the Irish Examiner, Cork Week 2012 takes place at the Royal Cork Yacht Club, from July 7th to 13th. For more information, including on line entry, visit

Published in Cork Week
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#CORK WEEK–  In recent years, the Quarter Tonner Class has enjoyed a renaissance and as such a separate class looks likely for Cork Week writes Louay Habib. The retro class of sailing boats gave a shot in the arm to the two major south-coast regattas a year ago and 2012 looks like it will be no different. Although its heyday was 30 years ago, the revitalised Quarter Ton class in Britain and Ireland, is experiencing a new lease of life. The class competed at both the ICRA Nationals and the Sovereign's Cup.

Cork Week Racing Chairman, Anthony O'Leary says they are delighted to welcome quarter ton class to Crosshaven "Cork Week will be attracting a number of Quarter Tonners but we feel that as these yachts have been extensively optimised and other yachts racing in Class IRC 6 should be treated separately, hence there will be a prize for the best yacht in the class excluding them and another for the best Quarter Tonner."

Ian Travers from Kinsale has been very much part of the revival of the Quarter Ton Class in Ireland.

"I know of at least five other Irish Quarter Tonners that are going to be competing at Cork Week and I wouldn't miss it for the world. Especially as this year, I will be racing Per Una. Eamonn Rohan and I bought her and she has great pedigree, pity about the owners!" joked Ian.

"I would say the local favourite Tiger will be the one to beat but all the QTs in Ireland would dearly love to see some of the UK boats come over for the craic. I can assure you they would get a good battle on the water and some lively evening entertainment!"

The first Cork Week took place in 1978 and since then people from across the world return time after time to experience a truly unique regatta. There's the fantastic variety of courses, the picturesque setting and the legendary shore side entertainment but Cork Week has a sprinkle of magic that can only really be understood by those who come to Crosshaven and enjoy the full hospitality of the Royal Cork Yacht Club.

With less than four months to go to the start of Ireland's most prestigious yachting regatta, competitors are relishing the thought of returning to Crosshaven for Cork Week.

The oldest yacht club in the world, the Royal Cork, is getting ready for the big event and the club is in great shape, as Cork Week Chairman, Pat Lyons explains. "The club and our marina are in excellent condition and this was confirmed in February by the award of a 5 Gold Anchor Marina by The Yacht Harbour Association in conjunction with the RYA. The Royal Cork is the first Yacht Club in Ireland to be awarded this prestigious title and it is a fine assessment of the fantastic efforts of all the staff. We are delighted to have been awarded this impressive title prior to Cork Week 2012, so as all our competitors can enjoy a top level of facilities and services this July."

Entries for Cork Week 2012 are gathering pace, besides a large contingent of Irish boats, many yachts travel from far and wide to come to Crosshaven for the regatta.

Sailing Logic's Reflex 38, Visit Malta Puma will be skippered by Tim Thubron, the Hamble based sailor had a great start to the year with a class winning performance in the RORC Caribbean 600.

"Well Cork Week is one of the biggest events in the yachting calendar and Visit Malta Puma had a huge amount of fun last time round. This will be my 6th Cork Week, it's an occasion I have always looked forward to." Enthused Thubron.

"The courses are challenging and have great variety including the Harbour Course, which always throws up a few surprises. It's nice to have a different and equally challenging course everyday, it just makes it a proper regatta really. I am sure we will have some very competitive racing, in 2010 we narrowly missed out on a big class win to Rockabill V and this year, we expect some exciting action not only with Irish boats but from other countries as well. After racing, the event village is full of old sailing friends and it's great to catch up and have a pint with those guys and chat about the day's racing.

Lots of regattas have tag lines but Cork Week really is – run by sailors for sailors - the hospitality from the Yacht Club, local pubs and restaurants is unmatched, Cork Week is a tribute to the whole community in Crosshaven."

The J/109 Class will be holding the Irish National Championships at Cork Week, Greg Burgess' Welsh J/109 Bluejay will be back to defend their dramatic last race win in 2010 and a large contingent from Dublin are also expected. Former Irish J/109 Class Captain, John Maybury and skipper of Joker has hopes for great occasion.

"Cork Week was chosen for our National Championship because it is the regatta with the highest profile in our calendar and we hope for a big turn out" Commented John Maybury. "It is important to stress that the event is open to all nationalities, not just the Irish fleet. In 2010 there were 18 J/109s at Cork Week and it would be fantastic to see a similar number this year. We have 15 J/109s that race on a regular basis in Ireland and we hope to have visitors from overseas to swell that number. The racing will be extremely competitive and once ashore, there are a huge variety of facilities. The Royal Cork Yacht Club, the race village, the restaurants and the pubs provide everything from simple fayre to gourmet cuisine, it is going to be an event not to be missed - Great racing with a fantastic atmosphere."

On something of a 'busman's holiday', Gael Pawson, Editor of Yachts & Yachting magazine, will be racing at Cork Week on Neil Thomas' Prima 38, Mighty Max 2, which will be sailing over to Cork from Liverpool.

"Cork Week is a fabulous event and I've always really enjoyed it but for some reason for the last few years I have been quite busy and I just haven't managed to fit it in." Commented Gael.

"This year I just thought I needed to make an extra effort because it's just been too long without racing in Ireland. In the past I have raced in one design and sportsboats at Cork, so I have never raced on the harbour course. I can't wait to get back to Crosshaven and finally get the grand tour of Cork Harbour.

What I really like about Cork Week is that there is serious racing with high level people as well as sailors there just for the fun of it. But everybody ashore takes a bit of time to have a giggle, the regatta is a good blend of laughter and serious sailing. One of the strengths of Cork Week is the range of music in the evenings, you can move around and really enjoy the night, not just standing around drinking but you can have a bit of a dance as well, I like that mixture."

Published in Cork Week
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#ROYAL CORK - It was "uncharted waters" for the Royal Cork Yacht Club in Crosshaven last night as it hosted its first ever film screening, a showing of the John Huston classic Moby Dick.

The epic adventure, starring Gregory Peck, was shot on location in nearby Youghal, and tells the story of the obsessed Captain Ahab's pursuit of the titular whale.

Joleen Cronin of the Crosshaven Film Club told the Irish Examiner: "There are lots of people throughout Cork who were involved in the making of the film and it’s a real celebration of movie making and special effects for its time."

The screening is hoped to be the first of many special events at the world's oldest yacht club, which will be hosting the biennial Cork Week regatta from 7-13 July.

Published in Royal Cork YC

#CORK WEEK – South Africa's Tokoloshe, Holland's Tonnerre de Breskens, Hong Kong's Signal 8 and Ireland's own Ker 39 Antix will make up one of the most competitive class zero divisions for Cork Week in many years and the early news such an international line up is bound for Cork Harbour is a major advance for Crosshaven organisers, Royal Cork Yacht Club.

From Cape Town, South Africa Mike Bartholomew will be racing at Cork Week with his Mills 40, Tokoloshe. The sleek blue hull has been tremendously successful and was in fine form last year, winning the prestigious Britannia Cup at Cowes week. A previous winner of at the Scottish Series and RORC Easter Challenge, Tokoloshe has a fine racing pedigree and represented South Africa in the 2010 Rolex Commodores' Cup.


South Africa's Tokoloshe is heading for Cork Week in July

Mike Bartholomew explains why he is returning to Cork Week having missed the 2010 edition.

"At the start of the year, we planned out our season and Cork Week wasn't going to feature. However, we have changed our plans and will be in Crosshaven in July. The reason behind it is the relaxation of the rules about sailors classed as professionals. Tokoloshe is based in Hamble and most of the crew live in the village and work in the marine industry. None of them are paid to sail on Tokoloshe but because they are classed by ISAF as pros, this caused a major problem when entering Cork Week. I am delighted that the rules have been relaxed because we love coming to Cork Week, fantastic racing and a great atmosphere ashore, it really does tick all the boxes."

From Breskens, Holland Piet Vroon will be racing his Ker 46, Tonnerre de Breskens. 2010 RORC Yacht of the Year and Overall Round Ireland winner, Tonnerre has been one of the most successful yachts on the international racing circuit. Piet is now in his 80s and knows a thing or two about yacht racing. He has competed in 26 Fastnet Races, as skipper including last year's record-breaking race. Whilst Piet may well be one of the oldest competitors at Cork Week, his crew is composes of young aspiring sailors but none of them are paid to sail, that is Piet's way.

"I don't care much for the huge parties in the event village after racing but the boys love it. I prefer to relax in the evenings and get recharged for the next day's racing. The race management at Cork Week is first class and the variety of courses is excellent, one big advantage at Cork Week is that, besides the Harbour Course, there is very little tide, which means far better courses than say Cowes Week. I was introduced to Crosshaven by Dennis Doyle many years ago and I have been coming ever since."

signal 8 JMCW

Jamie McWilliam returns from hong Kong with Signal 8

From Hong Kong, Cork Week will be welcoming back one of their son's Jamie McWilliam with his brand new Ker 40, Signal 8. The McWilliam family needs no introduction to Cork Week regulars. However, Jamie has lived in Hong Kong for many years and missed out in 2010.

"We plan to bring Signal 8 over to compete in the RORC IRC Nationals in June and we have an extensive programme throughout July with our sights firmly set on the Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup but Cork Week is most definitely a must.

The key ingredients to a successful regatta are great courses and excellent race management. There are other regattas that can match the superb range of courses at Cork Week but in my opinion, nobody does it better than Cork Week. If I was going to give competitors one good tip, it would be get some local knowledge on board. Back in 2000 on Swan 48 Jacobite, we were sailing towards the finish, rock hopping under Weaver's Point. Keith MacKeown was on board and his house was just yards from the finish line. Keith was lying on the foredeck with his head over the bow as we went in ducking the bricks, it made one hell of a difference to our result."

From Cape Town, South Africa Mike Bartholomew will be racing at Cork Week with his Mills 40, Tokoloshe. The sleek blue hull has been tremendously successful and was in fine form last year, winning the prestigious Britannia Cup at Cowes week. A previous winner of at the Scottish Series and RORC Easter Challenge, Tokoloshe has a fine racing pedigree and represented South Africa in the 2010 Rolex Commodores' Cup.

From Crosshaven, Ireland's Anthony O'Leary from the host club is delighted to be renewing old rivalries at the helm of his Ker 39, Antix.

"It is fantastic to hear that the South African King 40 Tokoloshe is coming to Cork Week and now that Jamie McWilliam will be bringing Signal 8 all the way from Hong Kong as well, it will make for a very competitive division. We three have been both sides of very close results in recent years and it is bound to be a real struggle on the water. Knowing Mike and Jamie, I am sure there will also be plenty of banter at the yacht club after racing!

To win at Cork Week, you have to race consistently well every day; the variety of courses evens out the design differences between the boats. I have no illusions, winning against good opposition is never easy but it makes racing at Cork Week all the more rewarding."

Published in Cork Week

#CORK WEEK - Pat Lyons of Royal Cork Yacht Club has spoken to website The Cork News about the city's hopes for the 2012 Cork Week regatta.

Crosshaven in Cork Harbour will host the club's biggest regatta - which takes place every two years - from 7-13 July this summer.

“Sailing in Ireland and Cork is in great shape,” says Lyons, who is expecting more than 250 boats to pack the harbour for racing and more.

The event is also perfectly timed just two weeks ahead of the 2012 Olympic Games in London, where Royal Cork Yacht Clubman Peter O’Leary will vie for gold with Dublin yachtsman David Burrows in their two-man keelboat.

Though the economic downturn has had a serious effect, costs have been cut across the board and some rules have been relaxed to allow for the widest possible level of participation.

“There are three factors that make Cork special," says Lyons. "Firstly, there is the number of boats and the various fleets. Secondly, there are 10 races planned. While that doesn’t always pan out due to the weather, we have pretty settled weather conditions and an excellent coastline in Cork, with hills running down to the sea.

"And finally, there is the harbour, which, if the weather impacts, provides excellent shelter. We’ve always been able to achieve a higher level of competition than a lot of other regattas, with at least one or two races per day.”

As previously reported on, preparations for the event have already kicked off with the launch of a dedicated new website.

The Cork News has more on the story HERE.

Published in Cork Week
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