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After today's Volvo Cork Week Harbour Race, the 100–boat fleet is poised to crown its Cork Week and IRC European champions tomorrow.

One hundreds yachts, of all shapes and sizes, graced Cork Harbour on the fourth day of Cork Week. The weather lived up to the spectacular location with bright sunshine bathing the course for most of the day. Tony Langley's TP52 Gladiator romped around the course in under two hours to take line honours but after time correction Eric De Turckiem's Teasing Machine was the winner of IRC Zero. Towards the end of the race, fresh breeze favoured the smaller yachts, and the overall results after IRC correction favoured the pocket rockets.

Teasing Machine Eric De Turckiem's Teasing Machine was the winner of IRC Zero Photo: Bob Bateman

Richard Matthews' H39 Oystercatcher XXXIRichard Matthews' H39 Oystercatcher XXXI. Photo: Bob Bateman

Charlie Frieze Scottish team, racing Mills 36 Prime Suspect, was the overall winner, their rivals in IRC One, Richard Matthews' H39 Oystercatcher XXXI was second overall and John Swan's Half Tonner Harmony from the Howth YC was third.

“We got a good start which was crucial in such a big fleet, clear air on the short beat and room at the top mark was the early goal.” commented Charlie Frieze. “Once we were inside the harbour we were able to run a symmetrical spinnaker in the light air, whilst others had to sail greater distances to keep their asymmetric spinnakers filled. In the later part of the race the breeze built, which helped us punch through the negative tide.”

Prime Suspect will be awarded the coveted Hugh Coveney Trophy on Friday at the Final Prize Giving. Richard Matthews' Oystercatcher XXXI was second overall and John Swan's Harmony was third.

 DSC3520In IRC Three, John Swan's Half Tonner Harmony was the winner. Photo: Bob Bateman

Robert McConnell's A35 Fools Gold took line honours in IRC Two, one minute ahead of Richard Goodbody's J/109 White Mischief after time correction. Pat Kelly's J/109 Rush was third by just ten seconds.

In IRC Three, John Swan's Half Tonner Harmony was the winner. The team from Howth are now firm favourites to win IRC Three having won six out of eight races. For the Harbour Race, Paul & Deirdre Tingle's Alpaca was second and Patrick Farcy's Cavok was third.

 DSC3670In IRC Coastal One, Sheila & James Tyrrell's Aquelina from Arklow was second by just seven seconds Photo: Bob Bateman 

In IRC Four, Paul Gibbons' Royal Cork team, racing Quarter Tonner Anchor Challenge posted their sixth win of the regatta by a comfortable margin from the Under 25 Howth team, racing J/24 Ireland's Eye Kilcullen. Andrew & Cheissie Laming's team from the St. Mawes Sailing Club in Cornwall was third.

 DSC3420George Sisk's Farr 42 Wow was third in the Harbour race Photo: Bob Bateman 

The winner of The Harbour Race for Coastal Fleet One was Nick Ogden's Ulula. Sheila & James Tyrrell's Aquelina was second by just seven seconds. George Sisk's Farr 42 Wow was third for the Harbour race but retains the class lead. Martin Breen's Dehler 37 Port of Galway is dominating the Coastal Fleet 2 Class, scoring their third win today.

The inaugural ISA Try Sailing Invitational is part of Volvo Cork Week. The initiative aims at introducing as many people as possible to the joys of sailing. Racing in 1720 sports boats, the teams enjoyed the atmosphere and adrenalin rush of The Harbour Race.

“To think that a few months ago, none of these people had ever sailed a boat before, they have come a long way.” commented Voxpro's Donal Hegarty, winner of the Harbour Race. “Sailing is a great way to get people together and our company is also using the initaitive to raise money for charity. The new sailors showed how far they had come today, the chat was about tide and shifts and for them to come and race at one of the world's best know regattas, had them star gazing.”

Racing at Volvo Cork Week, incorporating the IRC European Championship, concludes tomorrow with up to three races scheduled. Tomorrow night the first IRC European Champion will be crowned.

Cork Week Harbour Race Photo Gallery

Cork Week reporter Louay Habib

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Volvo Cork Week's Harbour Race highlight for the combined 100–boat fleet took place today.

Bob Bateman captured the action for in the gallery below:

There were separate IRC and ECHO handicap divisions

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Royal Cork Yacht Club entries lead class zero and four after seven races sailed at Cork Week 2016 but other IRC fleets are being led by yachts from other sailing centres drawn from across the Irish Sea at Dun Laoghaire, Howth and Swansea.

Seven of the ten races scheduled for the inaugural IRC European Championship have now been completed. Yachts equally matched by the IRC Handicap system, competitors have enjoyed a variety of courses, testing the all round ability of crew and their yachts. On Day Three, all of the IRC Classes were racing in the Atlantic Approaches on either the Windward Leeward or Slalom Course. The key to a top performance today was reacting to the squalls and shifts.

 DSC3063Eric De Turckiem's A13 Teasing Machine from La Rochelle is competing in Class 0. Photo: Bob Bateman


Royal Cork's Anthony O'Leary, racing Ker 40 Antix, leads the class by virtue of two wins today but it was far from easy. Race 5 was won by 14 seconds and Race 7 by 30 seconds on IRC corrected time. Eric De Turckiem's Teasing Machine, more akin to offshore sailing, struggled on the windward leeward course dropping to third. Tony Langley's TP52 Gladiator is now second in class.

“It's a small but very selective field” commented Anthony O'Leary, “Our competition races in some of the world's top races and has been very successful. So to be leading today is very satisfying. Tomorrow's Harbour Race is not part of the IRC European Championship but there are very prestigious trophies up for grabs and we will be racing just as hard to win. Friday we will find out who has won the class, and it would be a very special win if we can achieve it.”

 DSC2797 Conor Phelan's Jump Juice from Royal Cork is third overall after seven races in IRC one. Photo: Bob Bateman


Tony Ackland's Swansea YC team, racing Dubois 37 Dark Angel, leads a highly competitive class having won three out of seven races. Jay Colville's East Down YC team, racing First 40 Forty Licks, is second by just half a point from Charlie Frize's Scottish team, racing Mills 36 Prime Suspect. Seconds count in this highly competitive class, epitomised by a dead heat for second between Prime Suspect and Forty Licks in Race 5. Royal Cork's Conor Phelan, racing Ker 37 Jump Juice, is just half a point off the podium.

“It's going well and that is down to great team work and some excellent local knowledge from Robert O'Leary. We are out racing most of the time in Swansea but this is the one big regatta of the year for us. I have been coming here for years, I think I have only missed two regattas but we have only won a single race before. Tomorrow's Harbour Race doesn't count for the IRC Europeans but we will be staying in the zone, having said that, it is one of the crew's birthday, so we will have a couple of drinks tonight, as we often do. We will keep concentrating on winning our class. Winning the IRC European Trophy would be unbelievable but we can't influence the racing in other classes.”

 DSC3134Michael Boyd's JPK 10.80 Audrey  Photo: Bob Bateman


RORC Commodore Michael Boyd, racing JPK 10.80 Audrey, scored two victories today and Royal Irish's Timothy & Richard Goodbody, racing J/109 White Mischief, also won a race to put pressure on the class leaders. Robert McConnell's A35 Fools Gold also made up ground on the leaders. However, Royal Irish's Paul O'Higgins, racing JPK 1080 Rockabill VI, is still the class leader.

X43 Alcapa Paul and Deirdre Tingle's X-34 Alpaca from the Royal Cork YC. Photo: Tim Wright


John Swan's Howth YC team, racing Half Tonner Harmony, had a great start, winning two of today's races and placing second in the last. Harmony has a net points score of just seven for the IRC European Championship, scoring five bullets. Paul & Deirdre Tingle's X-34 Alpaca is second in class, just a point ahead of Patrick Farcy's French team racing, JPK 9.60 Cavok, which finished the day in style, winning the last race.

 DSC3309The Howth YC Under 25 team racing J/24 Ireland's Eye Kilcullen Photo: Bob Bateman


Paul Gibbons' Royal Cork team, racing Quarter Tonner Anchor Challenge, scored two bullets and a second today, to lead the class by a single point from the Howth YC Under 25 team racing J/24 Ireland's Eye Kilcullen. Both teams are very much in the frame for the overall win in the IRC European Championship. Former Royal Cork Admiral Peter Deasy, racing Sunfast 32 Bad Company, with Mark Ivors and Frank Desmond, had a better day at the races, scoring three podium finishes to end the day in third.


Irish Sea yachts Wow (George Sisk) from Dun Laoghaire and Aquelina (James Tyrrell) from Arklow Sailing Club lead a six–boat fleet after three races sailed. In coastal two, Martin Breen's Port of Galway, and Derek Dillon's No Big Deal from Foynes, both Dehler types, lead the six–boat class.

Racing at Volvo Cork Week continues tomorrow with all competitors racing in one of the world's largest natural harbours. Cork Harbour has over 200 miles of coast line with spectacular vistas, including the iconic town of Cobh, which will be a excellent vantage point for race fans.

Day Three photo slideshow below by Bob Bateman

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A mix of English, Welsh, Dun Laoghaire, Howth and Cork yachts lead IRC divisions one to four after today's coastal fixture on the second day of racing at Cork Week. Although leaders have established a points cushion in IRC divisons one, two and three, there is still all to play across the near 100–boat fleet as the biennial regatta enters its half way stage tomorrow morning.

In IRC Zero, the TP52 Gladiator leads a three boat turnout by one point from Anthony O'Leary's Ker 39 Antix. In IRC One, the Swansea based Dubois 327 Dark Angel of Tony Ackland continues to lead from East Down's Forty Licks, a First 40 skippered by Jay Colville. Third but on equal points with the Northern Ireland entry is Royal Cork's Jump Juice (Conor Phelan).

There is no change either at the top of the 12-boat IRC 2 division where Royal Irish yacht Rockabill (Paul O'Higgins) now has a ten point lead over Rob McConnell's A35 Fools Gold from Waterford Harbour Sailing Club on 16 points. Third is O'Higgins's club mates Timothy & Richard Goodbody in the J109 White Mischief also on 16 points after four races sailed.

In IRC three, Royal Cork's Paul Tingle was smiling like a Cheshire Cat after today's Coastal Race, as was his wife Deirdre at the helm of X-34 Alpaca. After a race lasting six hours, Alpaca was the top boat in IRC 3 by under three minutes from John Swan's Half Tonner Harmony from Howth Yacht Club.

X43 Alcapa Home club challenge – Paul and Deirdre Tingle's X-34 Alpaca from the Royal Cork YC. Photo: Tim Wright

“It was fantastic absolutely brilliant, ten knots of breeze hugging the shore line after the start, rock hopping all the way against the flooding tide to Big Sovereign and then kite up all the way back but some rain showers came in and sucked away the wind, which was frustrating but not nearly as much as the finish. As we approached Roches Point the wind just died and we must have put in half a dozen tacks up tide to make the finish. The last hundred metres took over five minutes and we thought we might have lost it there. So to come in and find out we won is just amazing, we will be having a glass in the Royal Cork tonight.”

“The young Dublin lads racing Ireland's Eye Kilcullen are a handful, they never give it up"

In IRC four, Royal Cork's Paul Gibbons, racing the quarter Tonner Anchor Challenge, scored an impressive victory in the Coastal Race winning by nearly an hour.

Anchor Challenge, with Cork Olympian Mark Mansfield onboard, now leads IRC Four, which is proving to be extremely competitive as Paul Gibbons explains: “The young Dublin lads racing Ireland's Eye Kilcullen are a handful, they never give it up. Bad Company is always well sailed and the Sigma 33 SeaHawk will be a handful especially when the breeze picks up, so we are taking nothing for granted but we also have one eye on the IRC European Trophy. I believe that after a few more races, it will boil down to four or five boats that can win it and we want to be one of them. Today in the Coastal Race we knew we had to get a good start, if the bigger boats got in front, we would have found it hard to pass them. Beating up the shore was all about staying high and by doing that e avoided tacking, which slowed some of the other boats down. A big win today but we know we have to keep it up, if we are going to win our class and then who knows after that.”

Racing at Volvo Cork Week continues tomorrow with the Beaufort Cup teams joining the faster IRC boats on the Olympic Course southeast of Roches Point. IRC 3&4 and the Sportsboats will tackle the Slalom Course south of Roches Point, whilst all other classes will race in Cork Harbour.

A black tie Gala Dinner for the Beaufort Cup is being held tonight at the Naval Base. 

See full results here

Cork Week reporter: Louay Habib

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The Irish Defence Forces Team, racing the Irish national champion J19 yacht Joker 2, and skippered by Cmdt Barry Byrne, has won the inaugural Beaufort Cup Fastnet Race held as part of Volvo Cork Week.

The 140–mile overnight race was a race from Cork Harbour around the famous West cork rock and back to Cork Harbour.

Racing continues for the Beaufort Cup with three days of inshore racing. The offshore win has put the team in the driving seat to win the prestigious new trophy, and €10,000 for their nominated charity.

“We are over the moon.” smiled Barry Byrne. “Late last night in light airs, most of the fleet compressed together and we gybed out for more wind offshore and got it. From then on we kept our position between the Fastnet and the boats behind to consolidate on that gain and those tactics got us through. But it was a tough fight all the way to the Rock and a tough slog all the way back. We are looking forward to the inaugural Beaufort Cup Gala Dinner tonight, to meet our colleagues from overseas to discuss the challenges to come.”
Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government, Simon Coveney, was racing on board “Another Adventure,” with the Irish Defence Forces Team in the Beaufort Cup Fastnet Race. Minister Coveney is one of the biggest supporters of the new international services sailing competition, now part of Volvo Cork Week.
“The Fastnet Lighthouse is famous internationally as an iconic symbol of sailing and we felt that it was important to have a race around it to encourage foreigners, in particular, to come and race. This year we are testing the water, so to speak, and it was super.” commented Simon Coveney. “We have 12 teams and six of them went around the Fastnet within five minutes, which is fantastic racing. We have two teams from Britain and another from Northern Ireland and Irish teams from the Defence Forces, Marine Institute,Fisheries Board, the RNLI and the Coastguard. We have promises from lots of other countries who want to come in two years time. What we would like to build over the next few years is the world's largest services event, with top quality racing for services teams from all over the world. The structure will be an offshore race followed by inshore racing and you won't find a better harbour to race than Cork and the coastline is just spectacular. We want people to come and experience the hospitality and competitive racing of Volvo Cork Week. We hope that in the future to cast the net much wider and receive teams from Canada, France, Germany, Spain and Portugal and build on what we have started this year.”

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The first Beaufort Cup race around the Fastnet rock for 13–competing boats has until 3pm this afternoon to complete the handicap course. 

The yachts departed at 10am from Cork Harbour Naval Base yesterday and last night at around 9pm yachts were closing in on the Fastnet in the 150–mile marathon.

The new military and emergency services regatta – with a first prize of €10,000 – is being run as part of Cork Week and has been enthusiastically embraced by Housing Minister and former Defence Minister Simon Coveney, who promoted the concept of the Beaufort Cup last year.

Coveney joined his brother Patrick on the Greystyones Sailing Club based A35 Another Adventure to enter with a Defence Forces crew.

Simon Coveney_YachtHousing Minister Simon Coveney gives a media interview on his way to the start of yesterday's first race of the Beaufort Cup. Screenshot: TV3

The Irish Defence Forces D team on Merdian and the PSNI on Freya were leading the race as the yachts closed on the lighthouse off Cape Clear, 12 hours after starting off Haulbowline.

Once back in Cork Harbour today, the 13 boats will have a rest day before resuming competition in Class 2 with the rest of the  Cork Week 2016 entries.

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Volvo Cork Week at Royal Cork Yacht Club has Irish boats in the frame of three of its most competitive classes after racing opened for all classes today. In 12–boat IRC class two Dubliner Paul O'Higgin's in his new this season JPK 10.80 Rockabill VI has won all three races but, it was far from easy for the Royal Irish YC team, as Paul explains: “I would say we were lucky today, we won the second race by one second and the last race by four seconds. The reaching angles of the slalom course also suits us better than other designs but later in the week the windward leewards may favour others, especially if we have light winds.” IRC Two is extremely competitive, Ian Nagle's Royal Cork team racing J/109 Jellybaby is second, just a point ahead of Robert McConnell's A35 Fools Gold from Waterford Harbour SC. Royal Irish skipper, Richard Goodbody racing J//109 White Mischief finished the day with a second to secure fourth in class.

In IRC one, another 12-boat class Swansea Yacht Club's Tony Ackland in the Dubois 37 Dark Angel leads from Royal Cork's own Ker 37 Jump Juice skippered by Conor Phelan. East Down yacht Forty Licks, (First 40) skippered by A Colville lies third.

In an 11–boat IRC division four, Cillian Dickson's Ireland's Eye, a J24 from Howth Yacht Club, leads Paul Gibbons Farr Quarter Tonner Anchor Challenge from the home club. 

Cork Week got off to a supersonic start with a fly-by of four PC9 aircraft passing over the start line of the Beaufort Cup fleet, heading for the Fastnet Rock for their offshore race. 12 teams have entered the inaugural international services competition supported by the Irish Defence Forces, with a top prize of 10000 euros to a nominated charity.

For the remainder of the Cork Week fleet, there was racing on the first day in Cork Harbour and the Atlantic Approaches. A solid 12 knots of breeze from the North decrease during the day but a significant sea state remained for competitors on the Slalom Course and Windward Leeward course south of Roches Point.

AntixHome boat Antix skippered by Anthony O'Leary races in class zero. Photo: Tim Wright

In a three boat IRC Zero, three races produced three different winners. Tony Langley's TP52 Gladiator, with son Bernard taking over the helm, took the first race. However, as the wind subsided for the second, Anthony O'Leary's Royal Cork team, racing Ker 40 Antix, took the win. Eric De Turckiem's French A13 Teasing Machine ended the day with a bullet in the last race, to lead the class by a single point from Antix. Gladiator is just two points off the lead in third.

Olympian Peter O'Leary was calling tactics on Antix. “Gladiator is so fast, we will struggle to be any where near her in tomorrow's coastal race and Teasing Machine is a reaching machine. All three boats are very different but so are all the different courses for Volvo Cork Week. It is going to be an interesting week.”

The story of the day has to be Mike Henning's Alice. Prior to Volvo Cork Week, Mike's team sailed Mumm 36 Alice over 300 miles to Crosshaven from the Hamble UK but horror of horrors, the boat was badly damaged below the chain plates shortly after arrival. A replacement charter was rapidly sort and Grand Soleil 43 Quokka started the trip from the UK, only to be turned back by foul weather off Lands End. Royal Cork's Anthony O'Leary came to the rescue, launching a 1720 for the British team to charter and race in the mixed sportsboat fleet. There were three races today for the fleet and Alice won all three.

“None of the crew have ever sailed a 1720 before and after our bad luck we did not have high expectations today!” smiled Mike Henning. “The Royal Cork have been truly amazing, helping us in every way they could, down to lending us buoyancy aids. I have to admit we did get a few astonished looks from the rest of the fleet, when we won all the races today. I would have thought we have now put a big target on our back and we will be in for some great competition.”

Johnny Swan Half Tonner Harmony HYCJohnny Swan's Half Tonner Harmony from Howth Yacht Club has a perfect score of three race wins so far Photo:

In IRC Three, Howth YC's John Swan, racing Half Tonner Harmony, scored a perfect three bullets today. Patrick Farcy's JPK 9.60 Cavok, from Yacht Club de la Rade de Brest, is in second place with Royal Cork's Paul & Deirdre Tingle, racing X-34 Alpaca, just a point behind in third.

Racing continues at Volvo Cork Week tomorrow, the IRC Classes will be taking on the long coastal course with the potential for an eight hour race along the rugged coastline of West Cork.

Full Cork Week results here

Volvo Cork Week reporting: Louay Habib

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Awareness of Cork Harbour’s long and colourful history of sailing has become so widespread and generally acknowledged that there’s a risk that the Irish and global sailing community will take it all for granted. Equally, the wonderful natural harbour of Cork, intertwining so peacefully and naturally with the handsome countryside about it, is such a constant in life that the ready opportunities it offers for sailing and boating of all sorts may not be getting used to their full potential. Volvo Cork Week 2016 – which gets under way this weekend – is primarily about sailboats up to the top international level going out racing. But the organisers are well aware of what a special opportunity this major regatta provides to re-energise the long-established links between Cork Harbour’s sea and land with the communities within their interaction, and they have planned accordingly. W M Nixon takes up the story.

For the very sea-minded community of Crosshaven, Volvo Cork Week 2016 is going to be an event in tandem. Naturally the headlines will be grabbed by the results of each day’s racing, which goes into full-ahead mode on Monday and continues through Friday. But while the boats are at sea, Crosshaven finds itself a different role as a bustling village which will be providing a variety of entertainment and attractions ashore.

crk week2 The fleet’s in port. Crosshaven during Volvo Cork Week. Photo: Robert Bateman

crk week3The Royal Cork YC’s clubhouse at Crosshaven has expanded over the years Photo: Robert Bateman

In fact, so keen is the village to get on with this side of things that they’re gearing up for it this morning, with Volvo Family Day getting started at noon in the area around Crosshaven Village Square. There really is something for everyone of every age, with the Volvo Classic Car Display in town for that essential element of big boys’ toys to inspect. And there are tickets on sale to win a new Volvo V40, for which the draw will be at 4.0pm. But meanwhile, in addition to a host of entertainments for kids of all ages, there’s an intriguing twist to the ongoing programme with livewire TV personality Dermot Bannon of “Room to Improve” live in the Village Square Marquee at 2.00pm for a Q & A session which, let’s face it, could go in any direction when there’s a lively weekend audience.

Through the week, while the focus will be increasingly on the Royal Cork YC’s large and often music-filled compound where it will all culminate with the prize-giving and fireworks display on the Friday night, another part of the harbour will be involved on Tuesday when teams competing for the Beaufort Cup (of which more anon) will be hosted at a black-tie Gala Dinner at the Naval Base in Haulbowline.

crk week4The variety of boats racing in Volvo Cork Week is central to its attraction

crk week5Coming in from the sunny Cork sea…..the choice of courses includes in-harbour racing, but it’s the best of the sport outside the harbour which provides real champagne sailing
In fact, so well-filled is the shoreside programme that you wonder how chairman Kieran O’Connell and his team in the Volvo Cork Week 2016 Organising Committee found the time to create such a varied programme afloat. But they’ve done that too, with the waterborne areas in the overall care of Race Director Donal McClement, whose experience of regattas both in Cork and at other major international venues is surely unrivalled.

In addition to the trophies which have become synonymous with Volvo Cork Week (their incredible ages in many cases reflecting Cork Harbour’s unrivalled sailing history), this year’s Week, in addition to a strong emphasis on the ISA’s Try Sailing initiative, will include two new events, the European IRC Championship and the Beaufort Cup.

The Beaufort Cup is a stroke of inspirational genius, as it’s an international series within a series for maritime agencies, the military and marine emergency services of all kinds. Although one of the overseas competitors for the Beaufort Cup – The Royal Engineers Yacht Club from the UK – has been actively involved with ocean racing virtually since the first Fastnet Race of 1925, not all the maritime agencies have boats of their own such as the REYC’s J/109 Trojan of Upnor. But owners from home and abroad have volunteered to have their boat’s crew include personnel of whom at least 50% are involved in the maritime and emergency sphere, and thus we find that there are fourteen very competitive boats with noted owner-skippers such as John Maybury with the J/109 Joker 2, Frank Doyle with the A 35 Endgame, Simon Coveney with sister-ship Another Adventure, Tom Roche of Kinsale with the Salona 45 Meridien, and Conor Doyle with the X442 Freya, who are eligible for the Beaufort competition.

crk week6The Beaufort Cup series will include a race round the Fastnet, so it’s serious stuff, and with Frank Doyle’s Endgame team drawing on the talents of the famous Baltimore lifeboat crew, we get some idea of the standards involved, with the winning team receiving a €10,000 charitable donation in addition to the Beaufort Cup.

The Beaufort Cup is named in honour of Admiral Sir Francis Beaufort (1774-1857), the hydrographer and meteorologist who invented, among other things, the Beaufort Scales for measuring sea and wind conditions. He was born in Navan in County Meath, and it is many years now since the then Chairman of An Taisce’s Meath Branch, one Michael Boyd, unveiled a memorial in honour of Admiral Beaufort in the heart of Navan.

crk week7Michael Boyd, Commodore RORC, with Kieran O’Connell, Chairman of the Organising Committee, Volvo Cork Week 2016These days, Michael Boyd is best known as Commodore of the Royal Ocean Racing Club. Having taken an excellent third overall in IRC with the First 44.7 Lisa in the recent Volvo Round Ireland Race, he will be in new territory in Volvo Cork Week, as he’ll be racing for the first time with a JPK 10.80, in this instance the French-numbered Audrey.

The JPK 10.80s will be one of the special points of interest in Volvo Cork Week, as three are racing, the other two being Dream Pearls from France (Eric Mordret and Arnaud Delamara), which has been among the front-runners in this year’s RORC programme, and Paul O’Higgins’ Rockabill VI from the Royal Irish YC, which had her moments of glory towards the top of the leaderboard in the Round Ireland, but never fully recovered from being one of the handful of boats which got hung up in a local calm at Inishtrahull for three dreadful hours.

In the open competition for the European IRC Championship, many boats are forces to be reckoned with, and it should be remembered that in the same regatta in 2014, Michael Boyd and Niall Dowling with the Grand Soleil 43 Quokka ended up being top boat overall despite being up against the likes of the Ker 40 Catapult, which has since become Anthony O’Leary’s Antix.

crk week8Hanging in there. At Volvo Cork Week 2014, Quokka (Michael Boyd & Niall Dowling) is sailing in clear air and keeping station on the higher rated Catapult. By the end of the regatta, Quokka was overall champion. Photo: Robert Bateman

crk week9The Ker 40 Antix in her former existence as Catapult at Volvo Cork Week 2014. The next six days will see her making the challenge as Antix to be overall champion. Photo: Robert Bateman

Inevitably, though, the focus will be on the glamour girls of Class 0, where an epic battle is lining up with overtones of the Commodores Cup 2014, when Antix in her former existence as Catapult was often head-to-head with French Skipper Eric de Turckheim’s A13 Teasing Machine. The Machine – having since covered herself in glory in events as diverse as the Rolex Sydney Hobart and this year’s Volvo Round Ireland - has been on the hard in Crosshaven getting TLC in recent days (they kept her keel shape hidden, though the twin rudders were much in evidence), so it will be battle royal with Antix and Sir Richard Matthews’ new H39 Oystercatcher XXXI.

crk week10She is currently one of the most successful ocean racers in the world. Eric de Turckheim’s A13 Teasing Machine (above & below) on the hard in Crosshaven, with her twin rudders revealed, but her keel coyly hidden. Photos: Robert Bateman

crk week11

crk week12Fresh out of the wrappers - Sir Richard Matthews’ new H39 Oystercatcher XX

But complete newness is no guarantee of success, and another favoured boat, rating at the bottom end of Class O, has to be Conor Phelan’s Ker 36.7 Jump Juice (RCYC), which may be of 2006 vintage, but she just keeps on winning.

As ever, there’s a goodly turnout of J/109s – nine of them this time round – and after her brief but successful existence as Dave Cullen’s Euro Car Parks to win Class 3 in the Volvo Round Ireland, Pat Kelly’s Storm is her old self again, complete with the abiding honour of having been an ICRA Boat of the Year in times past, and she’ll be fresh and ready for battle with noted J/109 newbies Tim & Richard Goodbody (RIYC) with White Mischief.

crk week13The J/109s will have nine boats racing

For those who like a taste of open water while returning to a very hospitable port each evening, there’s a Coastal Division in two classes where participants include the likes of Sheila & James Tyrrell’s J/112E Aquelina, and two of the leading Dun Laoghaire boats, George Sisk’s Farr 42 WOW and Chris & Patanne Smith’s J/122 Aurelia in Class 1, while Class 2 has strong west coast participation with Derek & Conor Dillon’s Dehler Nova Big Deal from Foynes, and Martin Breen’s Dehler 37 Port of Galway.

The fleet is so diverse that simply seeing the results emerging is going to give a fascinating overview of the contemporary cruiser-racer and offshore scene, and when it’s set in the context of Cork, you get all sorts of added dimensions brought to us through the extraordinary sailing history of this remarkable place.

crk week14Yacht racing as it was in 1852. The fleet at the Royal Cork YC regatta about to race from a moored start

Volvo Cork Week as we know it today as a biennial festival was established in 1978 when the late Archie O’Leary was Admiral of the Royal Cork YC, but there had been other weeks or at least four day regattas before that, a notable one being in 1970 when the Royal Cork was celebrating its Quarter Millennium.

Inevitably, with the Tricentenary in 2020 coming down the line, significant events in Cork sailing history are being high-lighted and re-examined, and one special “first” which Organising Chairman Kieran O’Connell hopes to mark by a re-enactment is possibly one of the first offshore races held anywhere in the world, from Dublin Bay to Cork Harbour in July 1860.

crk week15Navy days. Haulbowline as seen from Cobh at mid 19th Century
It was inspired by the then Admiral of the Royal Cork, Thomas G French. Following a week of regattas at what was then Kingstown, he put up a prize of 15 guineas or something similar, and sixteen boats raced to Cork Harbour, though few of them got under way with the urgency shown by Rambler 88 and Teasing Machine at the start of the Round Ireland Race three weeks ago.

However, it’s the finish which will be a matter for discussion at tomorrow night’s opening ceremony for the sailing side of Volvo Cork Week 2016. According to Kieran O’Connell’s report, the winner in 1860 was Cooper Penrose’s 90-ton schooner Kingfisher in a race without any handicaps being applied.

That may indeed be the report which appeared in some of the newspapers of the day, as Kingfisher was first past Roche’s Point at daybreak to enter Cork Harbour. Yet the later detailed report in Hunt’s Yachting Magazine in the following weeks made the claim that the yachts were in fact racing to a finish line well up the harbour, off the Royal Cork clubhouse at Cobh. In struggling up the harbour in light airs, the noted amateur helmsman Henry O’Bryen, sailing Sir John Arnott’s 39-ton cutter Sybil, outsailed both the big Kingfisher and the 80-ton cutter Peri (J W Cannon) to snatch the lead at the finish, the finish times being 0520 (Sybil), 0523 (Peri) and 0525 (Kingfisher).

crk week16The Royal Cork Yacht Club’s former clubhouse in Cobh when it still was the RCYC. Following the merger in 1966 of the Royal Cork with the Royal Munster YC, Crosshaven became the club headquarters. Today, the former clubhouse at Cobh is a Heritage Centre.

If boats racing from Dun Laoghaire to Cork manage times as close as that, they’ll have had a fine race of it, and it will be further encouragement to the Royal Cork to persist in this new-fangled sport of yacht racing, For, as has been frequently pointed out, racing played no role whatever in the early years of the Water Club of the Harbour of Cork from its foundation in 1720. The fleet’s function was to show that it could sail in close and disciplined formation like a naval squadron, and that provided them with enough excitement for the day – if anyone wanted a race, they could send their crews off in the gig for a rowing race, and the yachtsmen could wager on the results.

Thus it seems that the vulgarity of racing yachts in Cork Harbour was kept at bay until the 1780s, but quite when in the 1780s we don’t know. The earliest known mention of a race in connection with the Water Club come from July 1787 when a notice in the Cork Hibernian Chronicle of July 23rd stated that on Thursday July 26th “the Yachts of the Harbour of Cork are to sail from Roches Tower, exactly at eight o’clock in the morning, to go round Cable Island from thence to the Blockhouse at Hawlbowling (sic). The first yacht past the Blockhouse shall be deemed the winner, and the owner is entitled to the Anchor”.

The way this is stated seems to suggest that, by this time, races by the Water Club were nothing new in Cork Harbour sailing. As to what “entitled to the Anchor” precisely means, that muddies the water still further. The Anchor could have been a trophy of some kind. But on the other hand, “entitled to the Anchor” might have meant that after the finish, the winner could anchor wherever he wished in the harbour, with the rest of the fleet obliged to anchor near him in formation. As most of the yachts were kept moored off their owner’s houses, it would have been a matter of prestige to have the fleet come to your personal anchorage.

All of which reminds us that history, whether of sailing or whatever, should be registered as a controlled substance, to be administered by qualified medical staff in white coats in a clinical environment…

Volvo Cork Week 2016. Entries as of the 28th of June. Entries: 105

Sail NoBoatType of BoatOwnerClass EnteredHandicap
GBR7005R Trojan of Upnor J109 REYC Beaufort Cup TBC
GBR8588R Jungle Drum J88 Stuart Southwick Beaufort Cup 1.035
IRL1206 Joker 2 J109 John Maybury Beaufort Cup 1.015
IRL2067 Justus J109 Dan Buckley Beaufort Cup TBC
IRL3209 Endgame A35 Frank Doyle Beaufort Cup 1.026
IRL3511 Another Adventure A35 Simon Coveney Beaufort Cup 1.032
IRL4076 Meridian Salona 45 Thomas W Roche Beaufort Cup 1.120
IRL4477 Freya X442 Conor Doyle Beaufort Cup 1.090
IRL9834 True Penance Projection 35 Martin Darer Colman Garvey Beaufort Cup 1.018
IRL9876 Coast Guard Benneteau 36 Conor McNally, John McLoughlin Beaufort Cup 0.880
IRL?? Exhale X43 Diarmuid & Hilda Good Beaufort Cup 1.079
IRLMIT Marine Institute   Marine Institute Beaufort Cup TBC
IRLPOG Port Of Galway   Port of Galway Beaufort Cup TBC
IRL2820 Y'Dream Beneteau First 36.7 Sean Riordan Beaufort Cup 1.003
FR38757 Teasing Machine A13 Eric De Turckiem Class 0 1.169
GBR4321 Oystercatcher XXX1 H39 Sir Richard Matthews Class 0 1.136
GBR8833R Dark Angel Dubois 37 Tony Ackland Class 0 1.098
GBR11152L Gladiator TP52 Tom Wilson Class 0 1.393
IRL708 Antix Ker 40 Anthony O Leary Class 0 1.215
IRL2007 Jump Juice Ker 37 Conor Phelan Class 0 1.104
FRA13220 Trilogy 2 One off Peterson 46 Jean Gabriel Samzun Class 1 1.059
FRA38418 Audrey JPK 10.80 Michael Boyd Class 1 1.045
FRA43645 Dream Pearls JPK 10.80 Eric Mordret & Arnaud Delamare Class 1 1.045
GBR1385L X Beat II Beneteau 40.7 Andrew O'Sullivan/Peter Pope/Lain Wright Class 1 1.054
GBR4031R SAILPLANE Beneteau First 40 Adrain McCarroll Class 1 1.083
GBR4041R Forty Licks First 40 Jay Colville Class 1 1.083
GBR5991T Prime Suspect Mills 36 Charlie Frize Class 1 1.067
GBR6638R Alice Mumm 36 Simon Henning Class 1 1.075
GBR8038R Roxstar XP 38 Murray Findlay Class 1 1.084
GBR9380R Forward Thinking Reflex 38 Stephen Nicholls Class 1 1.053
IRL7386 Lynx Clipper Reflex 38 John Spottiswood Class 1 1.049
IRL10800 Rockabill VI JPK 10.80 Paul O'Higgins Class 1 1.046
GBR37N Antilope Grand Soleil 37 Willem Wester Class 2 1.033
GBR3135L Jumbuck J109 John Allison Class 2 1.014
IRL1111 Team Stampede Benneteau 36.7 Tony Purkiss Class 2 1.017
IRL1242R White Mischief J109 Timothy & Richard Goodbody Class 2 1.012
IRL3061 Fools Gold A35 Robert McConnell Class 2 1.022
IRL7991 Jigamaree J109 Ronan Harris Class 2 1.014
IRL9494 NowWhat DIBOIS 33 Barry Heskin & Jim Grealish Class 2 1.018
IRL9609 Jellybaby J109 Ian Nagle Class 2 1.026
IRL29832 Jump n'Shout A35 James Crockatt Class 2 1.028
IRL33000 w1Da Dulcibella w1Da 33 OOD Rory Staunton Class 2 1.020
IRL35221 Alpaca X34 Paul & Deirdre Tingle Class 2 0.998
IRL44444 Magic Touch First 34,7 Steve Hayes Class 2 1.004
NED10922 vrijgezeilig J109 Michel Hiesweiller Class 2 1.009
IRL1141 Storm J109 Pat Kelly Class 2 1.014
FRA29340 CAVOK JPK960 Patrick Farcy Class 3 0.985
GBR1039 Aurora Contessa 33 Oscar Chess Class 3 0.927
GBR3663 Mischief of Mersea Carter 36 Martin Sykes Class 3 0.935
GBR4860T Skyhunter J35 Ronan Fenton Class 3 0.974
GBR9653R DayDream X332 Stephen Cutford Class 3 0.980
IRL1078 Jostler J92 Patrick Beckett Class 3 0.965
IRL1295 Lisador Dehler 36 Henry Hogg Class 3 0.969
IRL1484 Harmony Half Tonner John Swan Class 3 0.948
IRL6021 Ellida X332 Ria Lyden Class 3 0.981
IRL16859 Bad Company Sunfast 32 Desmond Deasy Ivors Class 3 0.934
GBR4264 Afrita Sigma 33 Andrew & Cheissie Laming Class 4 0.912
IRL0000 Animal Formula 28 Gerard O Sullivan Class 4 0.912
IRL78 No-Gnomes Nich 1/2 ton Leonard Donnery Class 4 0.907
IRL680 Ireland's Eye Kilcullen J24 Cillian Dickson Class 4 0.887
IRL3087 Anchor Challenge Farr Quarter Tonner Paul Gibbons Class 4 0.917
IRL4506 SeaHawk Sigma 33 Clem & Wendy McElligott Class 4 0.913
IRL5098 YaGottaWanna J24 Dave Lane & Sinead Enright Class 4 0.886
IRL6564 Monkey Business Formula 28 MOD Bill McConnell Class 4 0.910
IRL7071 Out Rigger 707 MOD Jimmy Nyhan Club Regatta Fleet 0.903
IRL1359 WishBone Holman31 Joanne McKenna Club Regatta Fleet 0.822
IRL3612 Sweet Dreams Sun Odyssey 36i Batt & Helen O Leary Club Regatta Fleet TBC
GBR7797T Foxtrot Beneteau 36.7 Hilary Davies Coastal Class 1 1,010
GBR8911R Ulula Bermudian Sloop Nick Ogden Coastal Class 1 1.098
IRL1301 Kayachtic Hanse 400 Mike Walker Coastal Class 1 TBC
IRL1477 Saxon Senator X37 Eric & Wan Waterman Coastal Class 1 1.035
IRL1507 Aquelina J-112E Sheila & James Tyrrell Coastal Class 1 1.060
IRL3207 Aris Bermudan Sloop Wolfgang Kallenberg Coastal Class 1 0.997
IRL4208 WoW Farr42 George Sisk Coastal Class 1 1.123
IRL35950 Aurelia J122 Chris & Patanne Power Smith Coastal Class 1 1.077
GBR380 Rioja J80 Dominic Baxter & Ernie Dillon Coastal Class 2 0.953
GBR606 Jedi J80 Fergus Coughlan Coastal Class 2 0.958
GBR1317 Violet Flame Benneteau 31.7 David Wilkins Coastal Class 2 TBC
GBR4183 Poppy Contention 33 John Roberts Coastal Class 2 0.902
IRL816 Serifa Saler 40 Rory Fitzpatrick Coastal Class 2 0.910
IRL1975 Tambourine Thomas One Off Kieran Collins Coastal Class 2 0.878
IRL3492 Big Deal Dehler Nova Derek Dillon Coastal Class 2 0.934
IRL5687 Port of Galway Dehler 37 CR Martin Breen Coastal Class 2 0.952
IRL9992 Split Point Dufour 34 Seamus Gilroy Coastal Class 2 0.956
GBR1983C Wildebeest 4 Brenta 24 Derek Buchanan Mixed Sports 0.960
IRL1771 Cosmic 1720 Brian Jones Mixed Sports 1.022
IRL1772 Heroes & Villains 1720 Gary Rhodes Mixed Sports 1.022
IRL1804 Aquatack 1720 Denis Murphy Mixed Sports 1.021
IRL2500 Elder Lemon 1720 Robert Dix Mixed Sports 1.013
GBR1786Y Thistle Husler 25.5 Peter Webster Non Spinnaker 0.803
IRL408 Julia B She 33 Bill O Mahony Non Spinnaker 0.854
IRL733 Thalia Sigma 400 Aubrey Leggett Non Spinnaker 1.028
IRL1033 Loch Greine Hanse 311 Tom/Declan/Donal O Mahony Non Spinnaker 0.916
IRL1523 Speedy Gonzales 26 Mark Reardon Non Spinnaker TBC
IRL1528 Beau Reve Beneteau First 30 Paddy McNamee Non Spinnaker TBC
IRL2382 Xerxes IMX38 Dan O Neill Non Spinnaker 1.024
IRL3276 Roaring Forties Beneteau First 35s5 Clodagh O Donavan Non Spinnaker 0.983
IRL4004 Objection! Sun Odyssey 35 Kevin Murray Non Spinnaker 0.955
IRL4434 Minx 111 Sigma 33 Tom McNeice Non Spinnaker 0.892
IRL7006Y Ashanta Thompson T31 Richard O'Halloran Non Spinnaker 0.832
IRL7212 Phaeton   Clive Doherty Non Spinnaker 0.830
IRL9515 Bonanza Hunter Impala Judy McGrath Non Spinnaker 0.890
IRL1750 RCYC 2 1720 Richard Hayes Try Sailing Challenge 1.022
IRL1760 RCYC1/NYC 1720 Helen Cooney Try Sailing Challenge 1.022
IRL1768 RCYC3 1720 Voxpro Try Sailing Challenge 1.022
Published in W M Nixon

The inaugural International Inter Services Sailing Competition ‘The Beaufort Cup’, hosted by the Royal Cork Yacht Club and supported by the Irish Defence Forces starts on Monday, 11th of July, off Haulbowline Island, the home of the Irish Naval Service. The Beaufort Cup invited sailing teams from their associated national services; 50% of each team must be active in the service they represent. Racing will take place over five days in a mix of challenging offshore, and tactical inshore, racing. Teams will get the chance to enjoy the renowned social experience of Volvo Cork Week and the winning team will also have €10,000 donated to a nominated charity of their choice while the winner will also be eligible for the ‘Boat of the Week’ prize at Volvo Cork Week 2016.

Boats have been borrowed and chartered for the event by a number of the competing teams. Current Irish Class 1 national champion yacht Joker 2, a Dun Laoghaire J109, is sailing with a 100% military crew. Minister Simon Coveney will compete too and he has chartered the Greystones Sailing club based A35 Another Adventure for the event.

South coast sailors Martin Darrer and Coleman Garvey have loaned their Projection 35 and the crew of nine includes six of the Baltimore lifeboat crew led by Youen Jacob with Cathal Cottrell, Pat Collins, Jim Baker, Aidan Bushe, Brendan Cottrell, along with Nicholas O’ Leary, Sandy Remington and Coleman Garvey.

The Irish Coast Guard service will have a team competing on a Beneteau 36-footer drawing crew from around the country for a competitive entry coordinated by Crosshaven Coast Guard station. The Sea Fisheries Protection service has also entered a team on one of the largest boats at the event. The racing format promises a full range of tests, starting off with three inshore races on Monday, quickly followed by a 24-hour race to the Fastnet Rock and back. 

The beginning of the race will be a fantastic spectacle and members of the public are invited to view all of the action from Cobh Pier. A military display will take to the skies at 9.30am sharp with four PC9 Flypast aircrafts, an AW139 Helicopter, and a CASA aircraft. In addition there will be two Mogwag 18.5 tonne armoured vehicles plus crew, along with naval vessels HMS Dragon (UK), Fort Rosalie (UK) and the FS Thetis from France present at Cobh Pier.

The initial 24 hour Offshore Race will be started by the RCYC Race Officer, Peter Crowley, at 9.55am with thirteen participating teams. The teams include; The Royal Engineers, The Royal Logistics Corps, the PSNI, four teams from the Irish Defence Forces, the Sea Fisheries Protection Agency, the Marine Institute, the Port of Galway, Baltimore Lifeboat, Crosshaven Lifeboat and the Coastguard

Published in Cork Week
Tagged under

Next week Royal Cork Yacht Club will fling open its doors to over a thousand visitors, for a tremendous warm welcome, to the oldest yacht club in the world at Volvo Cork Week writes Louay Habib. Competitors from The Netherlands, Ireland, England, Scotland, Wales, and France, will savour the atmosphere ashore and relish the opportunity to race in one of the world's largest harbours and the stunning coast line of the Atlantic Approaches. 

Cork Week has never been afraid to take the initiative with innovative changes to the format of Ireland's longest running regatta. This year has particular significance as  Cork Week will stage the first ever IRC European Championship. Also more than a dozen teams from the UK and Ireland will contest the inaugural Beaufort Cup in which at least 50% of a team's crew must be active members of uniformed services such as: Navy, Coast Guard, Army and Emergency Rescue Services. Cork Week has also put feeder races in place from Falmouth in the UK hosted by the Mylor Yacht Club and from Dun Laoghaire to Cobh, hosted by the Royal Irish Yacht Club. The latter re-enacts the Kingstown to Queenstown Race first run in 1860. For competitors that are new to sailing, or prefer to sail shorthanded, the non-spinnaker and Coastal Classes are ideal and for one-design adrenalin junkies the sportsboats provide the perfect thrill.

Tony Langley's TP52 Gladiator Tony Langley's TP52 Gladiator Photo: onEdition

Countries collide in the big boat clash with Tony Langley's all-pro British TP52 Gladiator topping the bill, having won the 2016 J.P.Morgan Round the Island Race in a fleet of over 1500 boats. Antix and Jump Juice will be flying the burgee of the Royal Cork Yacht Club. Skippered by Anthony O'Leary, Antix will have double Olympian, Peter O'Leary, providing the strategy. Conor Phelan's Ker 37, Jump Juice, is the current ICRA National Champion. Eric De Turckiem Teasing Machine is a proven offshore weapon. This year the French guided missile won class in the Rolex Sydney Hobart and the RORC Caribbean 600. A veteran of Volvo Cork Week, Richard Matthews, will be racing his brand new Humphries 39, Oystercatcher XXXI, with skills from local expert Eddie English and Tony Ackland will be hoping for Welsh fire from his Dubois 37 Dark Angel.

Anthony O'Leary's AntixAnthony O'Leary's Antix will be flying the burgee of the Royal Cork YC. Photo: Paul Wyeth

There is a hot prospect of intense competition, with three JPK 10.80s enjoying a close battle. RORC Commodore Michael Boyd, racing Audrey, will be taking on Mordret & Delamare's Dream Pearls. The French team have been in scintillating form in the RORC offshore series, winning class in three out of four races. From the Royal Irish YC, Paul O'Higgins team racing Rockabill VI is a former class winner at Volvo Cork Week. Other proven winners include Charlie Frize Mills 36 Prime Suspect, Simon Henning's Mumm 36, Alice and Jay Colville's First 40 Forty Licks. What promises to be one of the battles of the regatta will be in the J/109s. Royal Irish skipper Richard Goodbody, sailing White Mischief with his Irish Olympic son Tim, will come up against Ian Nagle's Royal Cork team racing Jelly Baby, winner of the 2015 J/109 UK Open Championship.

Dream Pearls JPK 1080Mordret & Delamare's Dream Pearls, one of three JPK 1080s at Volvo Cork Week. Photo: Paul Wyeth

“The Royal Cork Yacht Club welcomes all our competitors and visitors to Crosshaven for Volvo Cork Week 2016” commented. Kieran O’Connell, Chairman Volvo Cork Week 2016. “We are looking forward to the great quality and variety of racing on the water with which Volvo Cork Week has become internationally synonymous. Shoreside, we have once again put together an unrivaled mix of entertainment and specially look forward to Friday night’s performance by The Frank and Walters, followed by a fantastic firework display. My sincere thanks go to our major sponsor Volvo who have taken the lead in sailing event sponsorship throughout Ireland, we are delighted to be part of this undertaking. Words of thanks must also go to our other sponsors, as without them, this event would be difficult to run and last, but by no means least a big THANK YOU to all our volunteers who donate an immeasurable amount of time and effort. I wish you all a safe and fun filled week both ashore and on the water.”


Published in Cork Week
Tagged under
Page 6 of 15

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