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Displaying items by tag: Royal Cork Yacht Club

The Royal Cork Yacht Club is the new Mitsubishi Motors Sailing Club of the Year, both in honour of its Tricentenary in 2020, and in celebration of a busy and successful season in 2019. The hospitable club faces this unprecedented new year with an inspiring serenity, strengthened in awareness of experience gained and achievements attained in the many years of its existence and supported by the global sailing community in its outstanding world status.

Yet even as the special events for the season of 2020 were being planned during 2019 and earlier, 2019 itself has seen some notable sailing achievements by Royal Cork members of all age groups, both at home and abroad. But when a club is operating in the unique timeframe which is the story of the Royal Cork Yacht Club, perhaps we should think in terms of measurable decades of successful club activity to get a more accurate picture of RCYC life afloat and ashore.

yacht club conference cork Paying their respects to seniority. Delegates to the World Forum of the International Council of Yacht Clubs in September 2019 at the Royal Cork YC. Photo: Robert Bateman

And in a longer view, the Royal Cork Yacht Club now tops the leaderboard in the number of times it has been Mitsubishi Motors Sailing Club of the Year. This informal contest to honour those clubs which best fulfilled the objectives of effectively meeting the needs – afloat and ashore – of members who in turn were active in voluntarism in club activity, while at the same time relating positively to the community in which they were located yet also achieving sailing success at all levels at home and abroad, began modestly in 1979 by being limited to the clubs of Leinster.

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But in 1986 - when Mitsubishi Motors Ireland took over what is now the longest-running sponsorship in Irish sailing - the competition was extended to all Ireland, and the Royal Cork became pace-setters, a benchmark of multiple sailing and sports social activities against which other clubs are inevitably measured.

oleary lyons keane3 The sixth time the Royal Cork became “Club of the Year” was in 2015. At the awards ceremony in the Crosshaven clubhouse were (left to right) Anthony O’Leary ( Sailor of the Year 2014 for his successful captaining of the Irish Commodore’s Cup team), RCYC Admiral Pat Lyons, and Frank Keane of Mitsubishi Motors. Photo: Robert Bateman

Royal Cork Yacht Club has been Mitsubishi Motors Club of Year in 1987, 1992, 1997, 2000, 2006, 2015, and now 2020. With successive Admirals at the awards ceremonies in the clubhouse giving thoughtful acceptance speeches which have helped to define what continues to make a sailing club successful in a rapidly changing modern Ireland in an increasing complex global sailing environment, the RCYC has contributed greatly to the general awareness of what makes a successful club thrive.

Thus it was appropriate that in September 2019, one of the gatherings which recognised and benefitted from the Royal Cork’s unique experience was when Admiral Pat Farnan and the RCYC at Crosshaven welcomed the delegates to the World Forum of the International Council of Yacht Clubs, staged in Cork in honour of the approaching RCYC Tricentenary.

RCYC New Years Eve Ball27 The calming presence…..RCYC Admiral Pat Farnan and his wife Carmel at this week’s New Year’s Eve Tricentenary Gala Ball. After two years of guiding the club through successful seasons and the build-up to the Tricentenary, Admiral Farnan stands down at the AGM on January 20th. His extensive maritime and administrative experience, which has included being Harbour Master of the Port of Cork, has been invaluable for the club at this special time Photo: Robert Bateman

Today, the Royal Cork may have its very effective clubhouse/marina home base at Crosshaven, but over the 300 years and more of recreational sailing, its focus has been at different centres on the magnificent natural amenity which is Cork Harbour, while the founding members kept their boats at the anchorage or quayside which was most convenient to their often-waterside homes.

Thus the original title of The Water Club of the Harbour of Cork was the more accurate description of the club’s nature, and there’s a certain irony in that today, it probably once again describes the club with more precision. Convenient berthing facilities all round Cork Harbour have improved significantly in recent years, the most recent being the construction of a marina at the 101-year-old Cobh Sailing Club on the other side of the harbour. So although Royal Cork YC at Crosshaven has had Ireland’s longest-established coastal clubhouse marina since 1974, marinas and local clubs have since expanded all round the harbour at places as diverse as East Ferry, Cobh, Monkstown and in Cork city itself.

crosshaven aerial5 High summer in Crosshaven, where the Royal Cork’s marina – a pioneering project when it first opened in 1974 – has become an award-winning amenity. While there are now other marinas and developing clubs dotted around the superb natural harbour, the Royal Cork at Crosshaven is thought of as “The Mother Club”. Photo: Robert Bateman

Yet although these neighbourhood clubs have their own active local scene, the fact is they still look to the Royal Cork YC as the Mother Club. And thanks to the diligence of RCYC archivists such as the dedicated Dermot Burns, it is the Royal Cork which is the repository of priceless records and memorabilia, historic trophies, important maritime works of art, and significant portraits, all of which are eloquent testimony to the extraordinary and unrivalled history of recreational sailing in Cork Harbour.

This unique collection enabled the far-sighted publication in 2005 of an impressive and weighty book, the award-winning History of the Royal Cork Yacht Club, written by historian Alicia St Leger using the material so tirelessly organised by Dermot Burns. It was far-sighted to publish this valuable record back in 2005, as that provided plenty of time for the story of the club to fully enter world sailing’s consciousness, such that now that we are in the Tricentenary Year - which was ushered in this week by a Tricentenary New Year’s Eve Gala Ball at the clubhouse - the world sailing community is fully aware of the Royal Cork’s special status, and is giving every fair wind to the celebration of Cork300.

rcyc book6 The History of the Royal Cork, published in 2005, is a massive, detailed and informative work which set the stage and context for the approaching Tricentenary. In addition to its valuable contents, the book’s exceptionally high production values also won specialist awards.

The committee putting it all together for 2020 has been chaired by Colin Morehead, whose dedication to making newcomers welcome in sailing is such that in 2017 he was presented with the Irish Sailing President’s Award as “Volunteer of the Year”. In a bewildering era when much of the world sees a decline in voluntarism and the sense of belonging in clubs and other like-minded groups, the amount of social capital which Irish sailing clubs have in their strong voluntary ethos is incalculable in value, and is something to be encouraged and cherished in every way possible.

coveney morehead7Tanaiste Simon Coveney TD – whose family has long been connected with the RCYC – with Vice Admiral Colin Morehead, who is chair of the Cork300 Committee. Photo: Robert Bateman

Here again, the Royal Cork is a leader, for the voluntary willingness of the members - in what is not a large club numerically speaking - enables it to punch well above its weight and keep its historical traditions alive, while at the same time being in the forefront of national and international sailing development.

Thus although the RCYC has - like other clubs – seen its fleet grow with the introduction of series or mass-produced boats made in remote and anonymous factories, it is the only club in Ireland –and one of the very few in the world – which has initiated new classes in modern times.

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Back in the 1890s and early 1900s, many clubs were in on this sort of project, and the Royal Cork led the way with the introduction of the Fife-designed, locally built Cork Harbour One Designs in 1895. Some of them still sail in beautifully restored form. But since then, Cork sailors have not been content to take in boats created elsewhere, for in 1994 they commissioned the completely new Cork 1720 Sportsboat to designs by the then locally-based Tony Castro (there’ll be maybe as 50 of them racing during the Tricentenary celebrations) and then in 2014 when a completely new Phil Morrison design for the National 18 appeared on Cork Harbour, it emerged that it was the Royal Cork YC which had released vital funds to make the Ultimate’s introduction possible.

chod elsie8The Cork Harbour One Design Elsie, restored by Mark Bushe. The Fife-designed class originated in 1895, and all were built at locations around Cork Harbour. Photo Robert Bateman
1720 sportsboat9The Cork 1720 Sportsboats originated through the RCYC in 1994 to designs by Tony Castro. It is expected that there will be as many as fifty of these now-classic Sportsboats taking part in the Tricentenary Regatta. Photo: O’Brien
national 18s ultimate10Another new design which has originated in modern times with support from the RCYC is the Phil Morrison-designed National 18 Ultimate, which appeared on Cork Harbour in 2014. Photo: Robert Bateman

With this sort of energetic innovation going on with projects which won’t be completed overnight, it’s clear that we should be considering the achievements of at least the past decade in making the Royal Cork the Mitsubishi Motors Club of the Year for 2020, but in truth perhaps we should really be taking a much longer view, and one indicator of the RCYC’s continuing and growing vitality is the number of winners of the All-Ireland Helmsman’s Championship which they have provided over the years since its introduction in 1947, the most senior – Teddie Crosbie of 1950 – very happily still being with us. It’s an impressive list of many talents who have proven their worth in a wide variety of boats and sailing;

  • 1950: Ted Crosbie
  • 1955 & 1960: Clayton Love Jnr.
  • 1956 & 1957: Somers Payne
  • 1972: Harold Cudmore
  • 1990 & 1999: Mark Mansfield
  • 2003: Neil Hegarty
  • 2006 & 2012: Peter O’Leary
  • 2007: Stefan Hyde
  • 2008, 2009 & 2010: Nicholas O’Leary
  • 2011 George Kenefick
  • 2014 & 2015: Anthony O’Leary
  • 2016: Alex Barry

The All-Ireland Junior Championship was only established as recently as 1975, but Cork sailors have been in on it from the get-go:

  • 1975: Joe English
  • 1986: Tom McWilliam
  • 1986: Jamie McWilliam
  • 1988: Nicholas O’Leary
  • 2000: Peter O’Leary
  • 2002: Robert Collins
  • 2003: Erica Tate
  • 2004: Katie Tingle
  • 2006: George Kenefick
  • 2013: Seafra Guilfoyle
  • 2014: Harry Durcan
  • 2015: Peter McCann
  • 2016: Johnny Durcan
  • 2018: Atlee Kohl
  • 2019: Chris Bateman

chris and olin bateman 11Chris & Olin Bateman on their way to winning the All-Ireland Junior Championship at Schull in the last weekend of September 2019. Photo INPHO/Bryan Keane
james dwyer matthews12 RCYC’s James Dwyer Matthews, winner in the International Optimist Class of the big-fleet British Spring Opens and the 185-boat Irish Opens. Photo: IODAI

Cork Harbour’s exceptional strength in the Junior Division has never been greater than it is at present, a situation which surely augurs well for the continuing good health of the area’s sailing scene for years to come. In 2019 in addition to Chris & Olin Bateman’s victory in the Junior Championship in September, young Cork sailors had been making their mark ever since March, when Optimist Champion James Dwyer Matthews of RCYC swept the board in the big-fleet British Spring Opens at Lymington, and then in August he went on to become the Irish Open Champion in an even bigger fleet at Howth.

harry durcan13Sailor of many successes. RCYC’s Harry Durcan won the All-Ireland Junior Title in 2014, and he is currently the top Irish Intervarsity Keelboat Helm, seen here with the medal he won in the California Invitationals in March 2019
cit team california14 The CIT Team – many of whom are RCYC – in action in California

Meanwhile in University keelboat racing. it was Cork all the way, with CIT Sailing Club’s team headed by RCYC’s Harry Durcan and Grattan Roberts winning out from University College Cork in a close-fought Irish championship in J/80s, and in a very long-distance challenge to the Invitationals in California for the Port of Los Angeles Trophy, they returned home with the Bronze Medals.

Taking on the special challenge of racing keelboats in America which are of a completely new marque was something which Cork’s adult sailors also took on with enthusiasm, with the Royal Cork team led by Anthony O’Leary (whose contribution to Cork sailing’s international success over many decades is incalculable) throwing themselves into the maelstrom of the 20-team New York YC Invitationals in Newport RI in September.

ic37 asymmetric action15 Corinthian competition to professional standards – Ireland represented by RCYC and captained by Anthony O’Leary milling their way towards a Bronze Medal in the 20-team New York YC Invitationals at Newport RI in September

This was sailed in the new IR37s from Irish-based designer Mark Mills, and though it was a Corinthian event, it emerged that many crews had spent as much time as possible familiarising themselves with these attractive new boats as more of them became available through the summer, whereas the Cork crew arrived in Newport as IR37 virgins.

They put that right very quickly indeed, with their skipper observing that anyone who could make a good fist of racing a Cork 1720 would have a head start in getting to know an IR37, and their learning curve was so successfully upwards that at the final stages a silver medal was a remote possibility, but as it is they came home with the Bronze and a very high level of regard among the opposition.

Meanwhile, at home the RCYC had opened its main 2019 season on a high note by hosting the Irish Sailing Youth Pathway multiple classes event in April. The club’s extremely active Junior Section provides racing for Optimists, Mirrors, Lasers and RS Fevas, while other classes catered for include Nationals 18s, SB20s and Multihulls. Then in August they hosted the first-ever Crosshaven staging of the Mermaid Nationals (won by Darragh McCormack of Foynes) and in September the annual DinghyFest showcased the impressive variety of classes the club caters for.

2019 dinghyfest16RCYC’s DinghyFest 2019 in September attracted an impressive variety of new and long-established classes. Photo: Robert Bateman

But numerically speaking, the great strength of the RCYC is its thriving fleet of cruisers and cruiser-racing, often in a family setting. This past year or two we’ve seen the pace being set by the Murphy family with their Grand Soleil 40 Nieulargo, while the J/109 Jelly Baby and the Jones family keep up a family sailing tradition which is bred into Cork’s maritime genes.

jelly baby sailing17The Jones family’s J/109 Jelly Baby in action in typical Crosshaven sailing style. Photo: Robert Bateman

After all, it was Cork’s own Harry Donegan who flew the flag for Ireland in the inaugural Fastnet Race of 1925 with his cutter Gull, a boat which was regarded as an integral part of the family. So much so, in fact, that the late great Denis Doyle, who was to take up the Cork offshore racing standard with Moonduster, could remember as a child going to Sunday lunch in the winter at the Donegan household (for all the Cork sailing families seem to be inter-related) and after lunch as the adults settled down to chat, the many children were put to work sand-papering the dozens of varnished wooden blocks which were essential to Gull’s complex rig. But as Denis wistfully recalled: “We children were never ever allowed to do the actual varnishing - Old Harry did that himself after we’d gone”.

gull1Harry Donegan’s Gull sailing under her decidedly labour-intensive rig. While the Royal Cork’s first offshore race of 1860 will be re-enacted with the ISORA Dun Laoghaire to Cobh Race in July 2020, it was Gull’s participation and third place overall in the inaugural Fastnet Race of 1925 which placed Cork sailing in the heart of 20th Century offshore racing development. Photo courtesy RCYC

This is the way it is with Cork sailing – it is one of the few places in Ireland where going sailing really is regarded as a totally normal and very important part of everyday life. For that alone, the Royal Cork YC deserves to be “Club of the Year” for this year and maybe every year. But this seemingly natural state of affairs is only guaranteed by the continual recruiting of officers, committee and volunteers who quietly keep in place the structures in which sailing is kept as such an integral part of day-to-day life.

It has produced a sailing scene which naturally brought forward sailors of such talent that they moved on into successful professional careers in yacht racing, though it seemed a very big move when Harold Cudmore Jnr took it for the first time in 1974. But since then specialists like Olympian Mark Mansfield and Maurice Prof O’Connell and others have shown that Cork Harbour is a very effective nursery for sailing talent of international quality.

mark and prof18 The Royal Cork’s output of top-class sailors spreads far beyond Crosshaven – Mark Mansfield and Maurice Prof O'Connell are seen here getting the J/109 EuroCarParks up to speed early in the 2016 Round Ireland Race. They were the only Irish boat to win their class that time round. Photo O’Brien

It was only 53 years ago that Clayton Love Jnr, through quiet persuasion and diplomacy, brought about the merger between the Royal Cork YC in its stately but out-dated 19th Century clubhouse in Cobh, and the Royal Munster YC in its developing 20th century base in Crosshaven. Crosshaven much more conveniently provided the facilities to be the main centre for contemporary Cork Harbour sailing, but it took patience and skill those fifty and more years ago to bring about the change which ensured there was an active Royal Cork YC ready to celebrate its Quarter Millennium in 1969-70. Since then it has remained as the focal point of a growing sailing scene which has now filtered back to every corner of the harbour, yet still looks to the Royal Cork YC in Crosshaven as the Mother Club.

It is kept in thriving health by constant attention, skilled management, and sailing success afloat. While the increasing pace of the 2020 planning by Colin Morehead’s Cork300 committee has inevitably drawn growing attention during 2019, it has been doubly important that club life should continue with its own busy programme during this past year.

The calm and frequent presence of Admiral Pat Farnan ensured this, supported by his team of Colin Morehead in his additional role as Vice Admiral, and three Rear Admirals: Brian Jones (Dinghies), Kieran O’Connell (Keelboats) and Mike Rider (Cruising), while Secretary/Treasurer Pat Harte, Membership & Events Sub Committee Chair Annamarie Fegan, and Marina & Facilities Chair Simon Brewitt kept their sections on the chosen path.

Nevertheless, an operation the size and complexity of the Royal Cork’s headquarters ashore and afloat at Crosshaven will need skilled professional input, and the club could have spent vast sums of money-drawing up and implementing the recruitment profile of the ideal person to fill the multi-tasking post of General Manager of the world’s senior yacht club. But fortunately, the perfect candidate was right there so ideally in their midst that an extensive search wasn’t required, such that now it is impossible to imagine today’s Royal Cork Yacht Club without Gavin Deane’s reassuring performance as General Manager.

albert and gavin19Gavin Deane (right) with Prince Albert of Monaco at the ceremony which twinned the Yacht Club de Monaco with the Royal Cork YC in honour of the latter’s Tricentenary. Photo courtesy RCYC
But all these talented and dedicated people would find that much of the beneficial effects their good work might go completely unseen were it not for the ubiquitous presence of photographer Robert Bateman. In some ways the astonishing survival of the Royal Cork Yacht Club for 300 years has at times been a matter of luck. And for many years, the club has never been so lucky as in its enthusiastic photographer. If a good picture says a thousand words, then Bob Bateman has said millions of eloquent words in telling us what a remarkable and continuing story there is at Crosshaven and on Cork Harbour, and everyone is in his debt for his exceptional dedication in recording all sailing, and in particular in recording the sailing and shore life of this unique club.

We congratulate the Royal Cork Yacht Club, very deservedly the Mitsubishi Motors Sailing Club of the Year for the seventh time in 2020

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Royal Cork Yacht Club celebrated the new year's arrival in style at Crosshaven, Cork Harbour last night in anticipation of a bumper Cork300. 2020 is an important anniversary year in which the oldest yacht club in the world will celebrate its tricentenary writes Bob Bateman.

On a still night on the Owenabue river, over 100 attended the gala dinner with a champagne reception.

At the appointed time, RCYC Admiral Pat Farnan welcomed the new year in with a canon on the club lawn.

Photo gallery below by Bob Bateman

RCYC New Years Eve Ball5

RCYC New Years Eve Ball5

RCYC New Years Eve Ball5RCYC New Years Eve Ball5RCYC New Years Eve Ball5RCYC New Years Eve Ball5RCYC New Years Eve Ball5RCYC New Years Eve Ball5RCYC New Years Eve Ball5RCYC New Years Eve Ball5RCYC New Years Eve Ball5RCYC New Years Eve Ball5RCYC New Years Eve Ball5RCYC New Years Eve Ball5RCYC New Years Eve Ball5RCYC New Years Eve Ball5RCYC New Years Eve Ball5RCYC New Years Eve Ball5RCYC New Years Eve Ball5RCYC New Years Eve Ball5RCYC New Years Eve Ball5RCYC New Years Eve Ball5RCYC New Years Eve Ball5RCYC New Years Eve Ball5RCYC New Years Eve Ball5RCYC New Years Eve Ball5RCYC New Years Eve Ball5RCYC New Years Eve Ball5RCYC New Years Eve Ball5RCYC New Years Eve Ball5RCYC New Years Eve Ball5RCYC New Years Eve Ball5RCYC New Years Eve Ball5RCYC New Years Eve Ball5RCYC New Years Eve Ball5

Published in Royal Cork YC

The well attended Royal Cork Yacht Club Laying Up Supper last weekend featured some important club annual awards presentations by Admiral Pat Farnan witnessed this year by special guests from the Royal Yacht Squadron in Cowes writes Bob Bateman.

Neighbouring Cork clubs were well represented too with Kinsale Yacht Club's Commodore Dave O'Sullivan, Commodore Kieran Dorgan from Cove Sailing Club, Johanna Murphy, Commodore of SCORA and the Naval Squadron's Brian Matthews all attending.

Special guests at this year's supper were Bruce Mauleverer and Trish Lewington, Secretary, of the Royal Yacht Squadron from Cowes. 

Anthony O'LearyAnthony O'Leary was named RCYC Sailor of the Year

RCYC's Sailor of the Year was awarded to Anthony O'Leary who was presented with the Doyle Family Trophy for his outstanding performance in the United States in September. O'Leary and an RCYC crew took Bronze at the New York Invitational Cup as Afloat reported here

This year’s Cruising Boat of the Year Trophy was awarded to Split Point Skippered by Maeve McDonagh and Seamus Gilroy. The cruising duo embarked on a cruise of 890 nautical miles, on their Dufour 34 taking in the Isles of Scilly, Cornwall, Devon and Brittany. The cruise visited over 12 different ports, all of which had their own unique navigational and pilotage and returning to Crosshaven in Cork Harbour some 24 days later.

 DSC3504Bruce Mauleverer Royal Yacht Squadron, Gavin Deane Gen Mng. Royal Cork, Trish Lewington, Secretary Royal Yacht Squadron, Admiral Pat Farnan, Royal Cork and Colin Morehead Vice Admiral Royal Cork

Michael Murphy, from RCYC and Schull Harbour Sailing Club who owns and sails the Moody 30 “Shelly D” was awarded a special prize for supporting the Autumn Leagues for 40 years in the same boat, as reported by Afloat here. Afloat Correspondent Tom MacSweeney also featured Murphy in a recent podcast here.

 DSC3504 Michael Murphy, from RCYC and Schull Harbour Sailing Club “Shelly D” was awarded a special prize for supporting the Autumn Leagues for 40 years in the same boat

Rebecca O’Shaughnessy was awarded Under 25 Sailor of the Year, one of her achievements was being a member of Andrew Crosbie's crew onboard a National 18 that won the Royal Cork PY1000 Race back in March.

 DSC3504Rebecca O’Shaughnessy - Under 25 Sailor of the Year

Celine McGrath was awarded RCYC Volunteer of the Year.

 DSC3504Celine McGrath - Volunteer of the Year

For competing in away events, the Jones Family were awarded (National) Boat of the Year for their competitive J109 entry Jelly Baby that was unfortunately involved in a collision at the of the season in the Winter League. 

 DSC3504The Jones Family were awarded (National) Boat of the Year for their competitive J109 entry Jelly Baby

Published in Royal Cork YC

With Cork Harbour Winter racing falling victim to gales like Dublin Bay, Royal Cork Yacht Club presented the overall prizes for its O'Leary Insurance Winter League writes Bob Bateman.

Competitors gathered in the bar of the RCYC for mulled wine and mince pies and for the Christmas presentation of the 'Irish Mist' Perpetual Trophy in Memory of Archie O’Leary a former Admiral of the Club. 

In the spinnaker division, Anthony O Leary's modified 1720 sportsboat continued its series-long lead to collect the overall trophy. Second was the J24 YaGottaWanna with the Sunfast 32 Bad Company (Desmond/Ivers/Deasy) in third place.

Paul and Deirdre Tingle's X34 Alpaca was the winner of the 15-boat White Sail division. Second was Aidan Heffernan's Dufour 36 Indulgence. Third was the HB 31 Luas skippered by Sean Hanley.

Full results are here. Prizegiving photos below.

 DSC3588Denis Murphy's 'Nieulargo' was second in Spin 1 IRC

 DSC3588 Clem and Wendy McElligott who each year lay up their Sigma 33 Sea Hawk and become ROs for the winter League

 DSC3588Paul Tingle's “Alpaca” was the All in W/S winner

 DSC3588David Jones (tight) was the Winner (Under 25 Fleet)

 DSC3588Dave Lane, Ye Gotta Wanna” ,1st Spinnaker Echo

 DSC3562Rear Admiral Cruising Mike Rider, 1st White Sail2 EchoSean Hanley Luas 1st White Sail2 IRCSean Hanley, Luas 1st White Sail2 IRC

Frank Caul,  John Molloy Prince of Tides 2nd White Sail1 EchoFrank Caul, John Molloy Prince of Tides 2nd White Sail1 EchoAidan Heffernan Indulgence2nd White Sail IRCAidan Heffernan, Indulgence 2nd White Sail IRC

Frank Desmon, 'Bad Company' Spinnaker 2 IRC  Frank Desmon, 'Bad Company' Spinnaker 2 IRC

Published in Royal Cork YC
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The Royal Cork Yacht Club, the oldest yacht club in the world, today launched its online entry system for the prestigious Volvo Cork Week 2020 regatta which will see hundreds of boats and thousands of yachtsmen and women from around the globe compete on the waters around Cork Harbour from July 13th – 17th.

The world-renowned biennial regatta, first held in 1978, is expected to attract a bumper fleet of entries and will this year incorporate the Irish Cruiser Racing Association National Championships, 1720 European Championships, the Beaufort Cup, a Classic Yacht regatta and the southern championships for the International Dragon Class.

All qualifying boats entered in Volvo Cork Week 2020 will automatically be entered into the ICRA National Championships, the pinnacle of the Irish inshore cruiser racing calendar which will see the Irish National Champion declared.

Volvo Cork Week has historically been regarded as a ‘must-do’ regatta on the international sailing calendar due to its unparalleled reputation for exhilarating competitive racing over a variety of race courses in fair sailing waters and its incredible line-up of post-racing off the water entertainment and social activity.

mariette corkMariette will attend Cork300 celebrations this July Photo: Bob Bateman

This year’s Volvo Cork Week has extra special significance as it forms a key part of the Royal Cork Yacht Club’s historic ‘Cork300’ celebrations marking what is the oldest yacht club in the world’s tricentenary.

Volvo Cork Week Director of Racing, Rosscoe Deasy said: "I look forward to welcoming sailors from around the world to Cork Harbour in 2020 in celebration of the Royal Cork Yacht Club's tri-centennial year. We have a packed schedule and the season's centrepiece will be the renowned Volvo Cork Week in July. Notably, the 2020 regatta will also include championship events such as the IRC Europeans, the ICRA Nationals, the 1720 Europeans and the Beaufort Cup.

1720 racing cork week1720 Euoprean racing will be staged as part of Cork Week Photo: Bob Bateman

“Since 1978, every Cork Week has delivered a unique mix of top-notch competition afloat & top-class entertainment ashore, and next year will be no different. In fact, judging by the interest received and the stories of glory days already being retold, Volvo Cork Week 2020 will set a new standard on both counts. This event has been 300 years in the making, no sailor should miss it.”

Richard Colwell, Commodore of the Irish Cruising Racing Association said, “The ICRA is delighted to be partnering with the Royal Cork Yacht Club to hold the Irish Cruiser Racing National Championships as an integral part of Volvo Cork Week 2020. We encourage all of the cruiser racing fraternity in Ireland to travel and take part in what promises to be an exciting and competitive event, as part of Royal Cork’s broader Tricentenary celebrations. With visitors from countries all over Europe, it is important that Irish Cruiser Racing shows the strength that we have across all classes from White Sails to Cruiser 0 at the National Championships and so contribute to the competitive racing expected.”

A bumper fleet of more than 50 yachts from Ireland, UK, Netherlands, Spain and elsewhere around Europe is expected to compete in the 1720 Sports Boat European Championships as part of Volvo Cork Week 2020. The race committee is particularly pleased to host this European Championship event due in part to the fact that the original idea for the 1720 was conceived by a group of committed racing members of the Royal Cork Yacht Club. This distinctive class of boat also took its name from the year in which the club was founded.

Beaufort Cup racing for Military and rescue teams as part of Cork Week 300 celebrations Photo: Bob BatemanBeaufort Cup racing for Military and rescue teams as part of Cork Week 300 celebrations Photo: Bob Bateman

The third edition of the Beaufort Cup, the prestigious international inter-services sailing regatta, will also be hosted by the Royal Cork Yacht Club with the support of the Irish Defence Forces, during Volvo Cork Week. A specially commissioned perpetual trophy in honour of Sir Francis Beaufort, creator of the Beaufort Scale, will be presented to the overall winner of the regatta which will entail a mix of challenging offshore and tactical inshore racing, including an overnight race around the iconic Fastnet Rock and back to Cork. International teams from their associated national emergency services are invited to compete in this prestigious competition, with the proviso that 50% of each team must be active in the service they represent.
Volvo Cork Week will also host a dedicated Classic Yacht Regatta for the first time in 2020. Classic Yachts from around the globe will sail to Cork to celebrate ‘Where It All Began’ and partake in three days of racing in and outside Cork Harbour. This event will also provide a fantastic viewing spectacle for shoreline onlookers.

Ross DeasyRoss Deasy, Cork Week Regatta Organiser

In addition to this, the International Dragon Class will return to Volvo Cork Week in 2020 following their very successful outing in 2018, to hold their Southern Championships in Cork.
Royal Cork Yacht Club is also delighted to host the recently announced 2020 IRC European Championships, organised by the Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC), during Volvo Cork Week 2020. The Notice of Race and online entry for this much anticipated standalone event offering a varied race programme, with a mixed range of courses set in and around Cork Harbour, is expected to be available shortly.

As always, the atmosphere in Crosshaven, home of the Royal Cork Yacht Club, will be second to none both during and ahead of Volvo Cork Week 2020, with a series of national and international races to Cork taking place in the run up to the five-day regatta.

These include the highly prestigious Morgan Cup race - organised by the Royal Ocean Racing Club since 1958 - which will cross the Celtic Sea to Cork for the first time ever with the support of the Royal Yacht Squadron and the Royal Cork Yacht Club. This 324nm race will carry an attractive points-weighting for the 2020 RORC Season Points Championship and is expected to attract a substantial fleet. The line honours winner for this race will be the first recipient of a specially commissioned perpetual trophy graciously donated to the Royal Cork Yacht Club by His Royal Highness, the Prince of Wales, to honour the club’s tricentenary and the close relationship between the United Kingdom, Ireland and its sailing communities.

morehead monaco farnon6Vice-Admiral of the Royal Cork Yacht Club and Cork300 Chairman, Colin Morehead (left) with His Serene Highness Albert II, Sovereign Prince of Monaco (centre) and Royal Cork Admiral Pat Farnan

Meanwhile, the historic Kingstown to Queenstown feeder race from Dun Laoghaire to Cobh will take place on July 9th, enhancing the build-up to Volvo Cork Week 2020 with a re-enactment of what is acknowledged as the first-ever offshore race to take place in the British Isles, in 1860.

A competitive fleet will also set sail on an 800nm race from Heligoland, Germany, to Cork, Ireland, on July 4th competing for the Robbe and Berking German Offshore Trophy, arriving ahead in Ireland of the historic Volvo Cork Week 2020.

Vice-Admiral of the Royal Cork Yacht Club and Cork300 Chairman, Colin Morehead, said: “The biennial Cork Week regatta has seen many friendships and memories created since it was first held in 1978. I would encourage everyone to return to Cork Harbour next year and join us in celebrating Where It All Began by participating in Volvo Cork Week 2020 and help restore its status as Europe’s largest fun regatta.

Online entry to Volvo Cork Week 2020 opens here from 10:00hrs Thursday 28th November.

Published in Cork Week

Today's fourth race of the O'Leary Winter League at Royal Cork Yacht Club was not for the faint-hearted writes Bob Bateman.

Strong wind over tide produced testing conditions in Cork Harbour that led to the dismasting of Kieran O’Brien's MG335 Magnet. O'Brien now lies third in the White Sail division after counting a retiral from today's race.

Shelly D (Michael Murphy) had a block collapse that also led to their retiral from the White Sail Division.

RCYC OLeary league1Anthony O Leary's modified 1720 Antix leads the IRC SPIN division overall

RCYC OLeary league1Annamarie and Denis Murphy's Grand Soleil 40 Nieulargo is lying second in the IRC Spinnaker Division

RCYC OLeary league1Richard Leonard's Bolero, Bandit

RCYC OLeary league1Mike Ryder's Freya, a Dehler 37

RCYC OLeary league1The fleet at Royal Cork Marina

Full results here

Published in Royal Cork YC
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Junior sailing achievement was honoured at Royal Cork Yacht Club's laying up supper and youth prizegiving at the Crosshaven Clubhouse at the weekend writes Bob Bateman. 

A full house was in attendance to salute Optimist champion James Dwyer Matthews who won the main prize donated by Roy Disney from a shortlist of five top RCYC achievers.

RCYC Admiral Pat Farnan presented the prizes in the company of the club's flag officers and junior class captain, parents and sailors.

RCYC Junior 20191James Dwyer Matthews receives his prize from RCYC Admiral Pat Farnan (right) and Rear Admiral Dinghies Brian Jones

RCYC Junior 20191Robyn Lynch took a lead roll in “Try Sailing. Fiona Young (left) made the presentation

RCYC Junior 20191Fiona Young Mixed Dinghy Class Captain makes a special award to Chris Bateman

RCYC Junior 20191RCYC Junior 20191Celine McGrath and Fiona Young

RCYC Junior 20191Rear Admiral Dinghies Brian Jones addresses the Junior Prizegiving

RCYC Junior 20191The Optimist Class Captain Craig O’Neill

RCYC Junior 20191Copper Fleet winners Fionn Hayes and Olin Bateman

RCYC Junior 20191

RCYC Junior 20191JAndrew O'Neill first in silver

RCYC Junior 20191JP Curtin ist Gold Liam Duggan 2nd Gold Harry Moynan 3rd Gold Optimists

RCYC Junior 20191James Coakley, Ella O’Neill, Julie O’ Neill, Pat, James Murphy, Richard Mc Sweeney, Justin Lucas,Jamie Verrer,James Dwyer Matthews.RCYC Junior 20191

RCYC Junior 20191RCYC Junior 20191RCYC Junior 20191RCYC Junior 20191

RCYC Junior 20191RCYC Junior 20191RCYC Junior 20191RCYC Junior 20191

 DSC3426The Frank Thompson Memorial Perpetual Cup for outstanding contribution to RCYC Dinghy Sailing to Barbie and Clayton Kohl included in the picture are Admiral Pat Farnan and Rear Admiral Dinghies Brian Jones

Published in Royal Cork YC
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In a brisk northerly breeze, Royal Cork Yacht Club's O'Leary Insurance Group Winter Series reached the halfway stage this afternoon with three great days of sailing so far this November writes Bob Bateman.

Crews were back on Cork Harbour waters today after Friday's RCYC clubhouse celebrations for the Summer League prizegivings that Afloat featured here

Anthony O'Leary's modified 1720 sportsboat 'Antix' continues to lead overall in the IRC Spinnaker Division but Annemarie and Denis Murphy's Grand Soleil Nieulargo is up to second place. 

"Race Officers Clem and Wendy McElligott made good use of the harbour with Course 65"

Race Officers Clem and Wendy McElligott used the opportunity presented by the stiff breeze to make good use of the harbour and set course 65 to give crews plenty of chances to demonstrate their skills, especially in the spinnaker fleets.

Unfortunately, a startline collision took place between Cavatina and Jelly Baby with some resulting damage.

Jelly Baby Hull damageHull damage on the J109 Jelly Baby after today's race course collision

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.

Bob Bateman's photo gallery is below. Full results here

The startline for race threeThe startline for race three

John Hanly and John OConnors Fast BuckJohn Hanly and John OConnor's Fast Buck

NieulargoNieulargoMia Murphy with Nigel Young on NieuglargoMia Murphy with Nigel Young (left) on Nieuglargo

nieulargo breezeNieulargo (owned by Annmarie and Denis Murphy) with Mia Murphy on helm revelling in the conditions

Alan Mulcahy Runaway BusAlan Mulcahy's Runaway Bus

Approaching Mark in Cork HarbourApproaching a turning mark in Cork Harbour

 DSC3147(Above and below) A gybe on Antix DSC3147

 DSC3147 DSC3147 DSC3147 DSC3147

PB170738Race Officers Clem and Wendy McElligott

PB170738PB170738PB170738PB170738PB170738PB170738Ian Heffernan’s IndulgencePB170738PB170738PB170738PB170738PB170738PB170738

Published in Royal Cork YC
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A Royal Cork Yacht Club members forum at Crosshaven reviewed the 2019 racing season, ECHO handicapping and discussed options for 2020 last night before the club held its league prizegiving.

The winners of its series of year-long club leagues in Cork Harbour were applauded and presented with a fine range of trophies.

Prizes were presented by the Club's Rear Admiral Kieran O'Connell.

Another club prizegiving will be held on December 7th where the Club's own sailor of the year award will be made.

RCYC League prizegiving1The super line up of RCYC League Prizes

Winners Photo Gallery by Bob Bateman below 

RCYC League prizegiving2Kieran O’Brien's “Magnet”, second in RCYC Superleague is presented with his trophy by RCYC Rear Admiral Kieran O'Connell (right)

RCYC League prizegiving3Sean Hanley's ”Luas” Fitzgerald’s Menswear IRC W/S 3rd and Ronan Enright Solicitors League 1st in Spinnaker 2 Division

RCYC League prizegiving4Ria Lyden's” Elida” winner of Ronan Enright Solicitors League Echo Spinnaker 1

RCYC League prizegiving5Frank Desmond's “Bad Company” winner of Ronan Enright Solicitors League IRC Spinnaker 2 IRC

RCYC League prizegiving6Jim Hughes's Club 1720 2nd IHS in Ronan Enright Solicitors League

RCYC League prizegiving7Batt O’Leary's “Sweet Dreams” Winner IHS in Ronan Enright Solicitors League

RCYC League prizegiving8Molly Murphy ”Nieulargo” winner of Club Echo Spinnaker Division North Sails League. Pictured With Nigel Young of North Sails RCYC League prizegiving9Kian Jones “Jelly Baby” winner of North Sails League IRC spinnaker Division

RCYC League prizegiving10Mark Ivers of “Bad Company”, Winner Of North Sails League Spinnaker 2 Division

RCYC League prizegiving12Wendy Mc Elligott” Sea Hawk” Fitzgerald’s Menswear LeagueWinner Club Echo Spinnaker Division

RCYC League prizegiving13Mary Jones “Jelly Baby” winner Fitzgerald’s Menswear IRC1 Spinnaker Division RCYC League prizegiving14Eugene O’Loughlin “Kerensa” 3rd Fitzgerald’s Menswear IHS Division

RCYC League prizegiving15(Above and below) Clodagh O’Donovan, “Roaring Forties”, winner Of the best performing Boat on IHS for the year

RCYC League prizegiving17

RCYC League prizegiving18Ian Hickey “Cavatina” winner of the best performing White Sail boat

RCYC League prizegiving19(above and below) Denis Byrne, winner of the best performing boat of the year in Spinnaker 2

RCYC League prizegiving21

RCYC League prizegiving20Brian Jones “Jelly Baby” Winner of the best performing boat in Class 1

Published in Royal Cork YC
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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


Published in Royal Cork YC
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