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Displaying items by tag: Royal Cork Yacht Club

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Founded in 1720, by a group of 25 pioneering individuals, the Royal Cork Yacht Club is the oldest yacht club in the world, and its tricentenary celebrations will take a look back at the origins of ‘where it all began’, which is attracting significant international interest from thousands of yacht clubs across the globe.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The current Cork300 schedule of events includes:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Published in Royal Cork YC
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“Twenty-five individuals formed the Water Club of Cork on Haulbowline Island, now the RCYC, in 1720. One yacht club with 25 members,” says the Royal Cork Yacht Club’s present Admiral, Pat Farnan. “There are now thousands across the globe whose combined membership in clubs runs into millions, all with one thing in common, a love of yachting.”

The oldest yacht club in the world will be a major focus of attention locally, nationally and even internationally this weekend when it announces the plans to celebrate its 300th anniversary - “a milestone event, a unique and special moment in the history of yachting,” according to Colin Morehead, Chairman of the club’s organising committee. He is currently RCYC Vice Admiral and will take over as Admiral for the commemorative year.

 DSC1051RCYC Admiral, Pat Farnan at this week's World Forum of International Yacht Club's Photo: Bob Bateman

The announcement is on Saturday evening. On Sunday morning the club will get back to basics when the Autumn Series for cruisers, previously known – and still popular for many as the ‘October League’ – begins.

The Tricentenary has been given the banner slogan “Where it all began”

The Tricentenary has been given the banner slogan “Where it all began” and I have been talking to Colin Morehead about the commemorative plans which, he says, will be a great event for Cork Harbour, marking Ireland as an island nation with a maritime sport that should be seen as wanting to involve everyone.

“It truly is a phenomenal sport,” he tells me on this week’s Podcast to which you can listen to below.

Published in Tom MacSweeney
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Royal Cork Yacht Club Admiral Pat Farnan welcomed the 2019 World Forum of the International Council of Yacht Clubs to Crosshaven in Cork Harbour today writes Bob Bateman.

The three-day event sees the Munster club host flag officers of some of the world's leading yacht clubs ahead of its 300th anniversary year celebrations in 2020.

Today's official opening included a flag-raising and opening ceremony at the Royal Cork Clubhouse followed by a welcome at Cobh Heritage Centre. 

Guests included the Deputy Mayor Cork County Seamus McGrath, Irish Sailing President Jack Roy and guest speaker Damian Foxall, the Irish Round the World sailor.

Delegates are staying at Cork's Fota Island Resort where the ICOYC Forum will take place along with a number of events at the RCYC itself and other historic locations around Cork Harbour including Cobh, Spike Island and the Naval Headquarters.

ICOYC Royal cork2A piper escorts in the guests

ICOYC Royal cork2Irish Sailing President Jack Roy, Guest Speaker Damian Foxall and RCYC's Colin Morehead

ICOYC Royal cork2Seamus Mc Grath Deputy Mayor of the County of Cork

ICOYC Royal cork2Pat Farnan, Admiral Royal Cork

ICOYC Royal cork2Assembled guests

ICOYC Royal cork2Raising the burgees

ICOYC Royal cork2President ICOYC Andy Anderson

ICOYC Royal cork2Chuck Lowry (Vice President for the Americas), Tyler Ellison Seattle and RCYC Vice Admiral Colin Morehead

ICOYC Royal cork2

ICOYC Royal cork2ICOYC Royal cork2ICOYC Royal cork2ICOYC Royal cork2ICOYC Royal cork2ICOYC Royal cork2

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Yesterday's Combined Clubs September Sailing Events in Cork Harbour saw Royal Cork Yacht Club stage the annual Naval Race writes Bob Bateman

A 16-knot southerly wind allowed RCYC Race Officer Peter Webster set a course east of No.11 buoy to send the fleet on a beat out to the mouth of the harbour to no. 3  buoy.

The fleet enjoyed a run back into the Harbour, a turn to port up the Cobh Roads before finishing off Haulbowline at the Naval Base.

See Bob Bateman Photo Gallery Below

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Published in Royal Cork YC

There are already notable entries in for Royal Cork Yacht Club's Autumn Series 2019 that begins in just over ten days time under new sponsor banner: Horgan’s Quay, Cork.

Racing starts on Saturday, September 29th and continues on October 06th, 13th, 20th & 27th at Crosshaven.

Kinsale Yacht Club Quarter Tonner 'Runaway Bus' skippered by Alan Mulcahy as well as Conor Doyle’s XP50 Freya also from Kinsale are making the return trip to Cork Harbour.

League stalwart Anthony O’Leary, fresh from his podium finish at the New York YC Invitational Cup, is also signed up to compete.

A 70-boat fleet is expected with three race areas.

The 1720 class will race on one area, the spinnaker boats on another and the Whitesail fleet will also have a dedicated race area.

Ciaran McSweeney will be the Principal Race Officer for the event this year with Barry Rose Race officer for the 1720s and Kieran O'Connell in charge of the Whitesail fleet.

RCYC's O'Connell said: 'We would like to thank our new sponsor of the 2019 Autumn Series Horgan’s Quay Cork. This new Development Spanning six acres and located on the River Lee next to the Port of Cork. We are delighted to be working with Horgan’s Quay Cork on this year's Autumn Series, and the Horgan’s Quay Cork Autumn Series

Sailing Instructions will be available online from the 27th of September 2019. Online entry and Notice of Race here

Published in Royal Cork YC
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A tremendous welcome was extended to the Rankin Dinghy Class by Royal Cork Yacht Club last weekend at its DinghyFest Regatta.

The largest fleet of Rankins ever gathered for the event. 21 boats assembled in the dinghy park, with 20 taking part in the racing.

This turned out to be the biggest participation from any dinghy fleet entered in the event.

RankinA contrast in styles as Rankins sail with other dinghy classes at DinghyFest Photo: Bob Bateman

A sincere thank you to the boat owners who made this such a successful weekend.

A special mention must go to those who for various reasons could not sail their boats and handed them over to other sailors. Tom Dwyer, Ruari Allen, David Doyle, Dominic Losty, the Scott family and Damien Aherne showed this generosity which boosted the numbers and gave others the experience of sailing these lovely boats.

RankinRankin owners and participants

The two days sailing were a joy with beautiful weather and racing conditions.

Saturday racing comprised of three races, sailed on the Curlane bank, at the back of Spike.

The fleet seemed to enjoy the competitive aspect of the racing regardless of their experience or boat condition.

After Saturday's results had been tabulated Conor and Robbie English were in Pole position with Ewan O Keeffe, The Cliodhna, The Helga and a number of others in hot pursuit.

Dave O’Keefe with son EwanDave O’Keefe with son Ewan Photo: Bob Bateman

Sunday's racing involved two races sailed in a beautiful breeze, once it filled in from the west.

A race on the Curlane bank was followed by our last race of the weekend. This comprised of a race around a few cans, with an upriver finish off the Marina at RCYC.

Helga sailing one of the earlier cold moulded RankinsOwen O’Connell and Mike O’Callaghan sailing Helga sailing one of the earlier cold moulded RankinsHelga sailing one of the earlier cold moulded Rankins Photo: Bob Bateman

This was a great bit of racing with Rankins going nip and tuck into a flukey headwind to finish at the clubhouse.

Overall results more or less followed Saturday's form so a huge congratulations to the English brothers who are the official 2019 Rankin World Champions. Their father Joe, who himself had a great love of the Rankin boat, would be very proud.

Ewan O Keeffe, crewed by his dad Dave was a good second with Maurice Kidney, crewed by Stephen Barry given third based on a countback with Daniel O'
Connell sailing the Cliodhna.

P9150728Discussing the finer points of Rankin Build Quality are John Doyle and Owen O’Connell Photo: Bob Bateman

To add to the fun and commitment of the English family, April English, crewing for Mark Bushe on Tom Dwyer's Rankin, both sailed and swam during the
race series. Well done April.

April EnglishApril English keeps a watchful eye out sailing in the Harbour race with Mark Bushe Photo: Bob Bateman

Outside of the official prize-giving, a number of presentations were made within the group.

Sienna Mills got an award for being the youngest participant.

 DSC0459Sienna Mills, the youngest Rankin competitor Photo: Bob Bateman

Elaine Moynihan and Fiona O'Connell sailing KevDec got best placed female crew and the Scott family got an award for the most travelled boat.

James and Fionn Burke were the deserving winner of the 2019 Rankin Spirit award for their unfailing enthusiasm and commitment to Class activities
since it's formation in 2014.

Rankin Spirit AwardJames and Fionn Burke winners of “The Rankin Spirit Award” with Conor English and Maurice Kidney

This award has had past winners in Jonny Wigham, Bud O Connell and Owen O'Connell. They are in distinguished company. Well done to James and Fionn.

All in all a very successful completion of the official class activities for 2019. 

With thanks to Maurice Kidney

Published in Rankin Dinghy

There some clean sweeps across the eight classes at Royal Cork Yacht Club's 2019 Dinghy Fest Championships held in Cork Harbour at the weekend writes Bob Bateman.

One of the biggest fleets of the weekend was the 19-boat Rankin World Championships fleet. Conor and Robbie English sailing ARC from the host club were runaway winners with wins in each of the five races. Second was Cobh Sailing Club's Ewan and David O Keeffe with Dan O'Connell John Hales third. The size of the victory in the 19-boat fleet also bestowed overall Dinghyfest Championship Status on the English brothers.

DinghyFest2 20191Racing for Rankin Dinghy World Honours at DinghyFest 2019 Photo: Bob Bateman

Three firsts and three seconds gave Royal Cork's Harry Twomey and Harry Durcan a three-point winning margin in the 12-point 29er Southern Championships. Clubmates Lola and Atlee Kohl sailing Illegal Entry were second with Dublin Bay's Elysia O'Leary crewed by RCYC's Chris Bateman third. 

DinghyFest2 20191Royal Cork's Harry Twomey and Harry Durcan

In a clean sweep for Belfast Lough in the Irish Multihull Championships, Adrian Allen and Barry Swanston of Ballyholme Yacht Club were winners by four points after six races in the ten boat fleet. Clubmates Matthew and James McNicholl were second and Mat McMurtry and Emma Greer were third.

DinghyFest2 20191Formula 18s raced for Irish Multihull honours

DinghyFest2 20191The Port of Cork sent a Pilot Boat to visit DinghyFest 2019 at Crosshaven

There appears to be no stopping Eoghan Duffy and Cathal Langan in the Mirror class this season and the Mirror Southern Championships raced as part of DinghyFest was no different. The Lough Ree Yacht Club duo lost the opening race of six but won the remaining to win by nine points overall. Second was another Lough Ree Yacht Club pair Luke Johnston and Sarah White with Jessica and Mark Greer from Sligo Yacht Club third. 

Ewan Barry, Stanley Browne and Richard Leonard sailing Stormy D are the new National 18 Champions by three points after six races sailed in an 11-boat fleet. The trio won three races to be ahead of the Johnny Durcan skippered Aquaholics. Charles Dwyer's Shark II sailing with John Coakley and Peter Stokes, the winners of August's Cock O' The North trophy, were third. 

DinghyFest2 20191Close racing for National 18s at a DinghyFest 2019 Weather Mark

In the 19-boat RS 200 Southern Championships fleet, Olympic Finn campaigner, Fionn Lyden sailing with Amy Harrington from Baltimore Sailing Club were overall winners with Donal O'Halloran and Nigel Young sailing under the burgee of Royal Cornwall YC were second. Erica Ruigrok and Sally Bell from Rush Sailing Club were third.

DinghyFest2 20191Fionn Lyden sailing with Amy Harrington in the RS200

In th smaller seven boat RS 400 fleet, thiRSty sailed by Govan Berridge David Coleman of Killaloe Sailing Club won after six races sailed from RCYC's Luke McGrath and Cian Jones. Third was Playbuoy sailed by Northern Ireland's Ryan Glynn and William Findlay from Strangford Sailing Club.

DinghyFest2 20191RS400 racing

Finally, Harry and Simon Pritchard from Monkstown Bay Sailing Club were winners of the RS Feva Southern Championships with six straight wins in the ten boat class. Cork Harbour crews Patrick Bruen and James Murphy were second with David Mcsweeney and George O Keeffe third.  

See photo gallery below by Bob Bateman. Overall results here

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Published in Royal Cork YC

Anthony O'Leary and the Royal Cork Yacht Club stepped on the podium last night in New York Yacht Club to claim Ireland's first top three result in the prestigious Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup.

While most of the attention was focused on the battle for first, there were a number of developments for the podium places. O'Leary and the Royal Cork Yacht Club team once again showed they love to sail in heavy air. They went 5-2-1, won the day, and took advantage of a couple of tough races by the Royal Canadian Yacht Club to claim Royal Cork's first Invitational Cup podium.

As Afloat reported previously, O'Leary's RCYC crew is: Cliodhna Connolly, Emma Geary, Sophie Browne, Clive O'Shea, Robert O'Leary, Nicholas O'Leary, Ben Field and Tommy Murphy. All week, the Crosshaven sailors were going one way on the New York Yacht Club leaderboard and moved up from sixth after the first race to fifth and were in fourth place going into the final day and managed to leapfrog Royal Canadian Yacht Club despite an eight points deficit.

RCYC New York5-2-1 results on the final day put Anthony O'Leary on the podium for the first time in New York Photo: Daniel Forster

"We're absolutely thrilled. This is our sixth visit, first time to make the podium, so it makes it very special," said O'Leary. "We were eight points behind Canada [starting the day] which is a lot in one respect, but with three races anything is possible. We had one dreadful result on Thursday. You just got to wait and see how the cards fall. We had a five [in the first race today] and you're thinking, 'They're may be two more races, maybe one.' Things seemed to go better and better for us. We're delighted."

RCYC teamThe RCYC team in New York

It all came down to the final race, as it should. Two teams of accomplished and motivated amateur sailors from opposite corners of the globe battling on a lumpy, windy Narragansett Bay for one of Corinthian sailing's most-prized trophies, the 2019 Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup.

Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron and San Diego Yacht Club started the 12th and final race separated by six points, which was anything but a safe margin in this competitive 20-boat fleet. The Australian team had the edge in the overall standings, but skipper Guido Belgiorno-Nettis and his team put the regatta title right in play with a sub-par start while San Diego bolted to the head of the fleet and was, for a while, back in the virtual regatta lead.

Using the superior boatspeed and sterling tactical that had gotten them out of trouble all regatta, Royal Sydney ground back into the top 10 and then into the top five, leaving San Diego hoping for a miracle that wouldn't come. The RSYS team was simply too polished. After 12 races in a full range of conditions, they sailed through the final finish line in fourth place to become the first Southern Hemisphere club to win the Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup.

"It's unbelievable," said Belgiorno-Nettis shortly after a dockside celebration with his team. "You can't describe the feeling of coming all the way from Australia, to be able to put a team together who I love dearly, every one of them, starting with my wife, to actually win a championship like this. The New York Yacht Club Invitational is one of great regattas in the world."

Save for one bad race on the regatta's third day, the San Diego Yacht Club team had sailed a nearly flawless regatta through nine races. Even though they carried a one-point lead into the final day, it was hard to bet against the youthful West Coast team. But then came the second windward mark rounding of today's first race. With Royal Sydney rounding ahead, in third place, San Diego tried to squeeze just too much out of a thin layline and ended up pasted to the windward mark while the bulk of the fleet sailed past. A certain top-10 finish became an 18th.

Now trailing first place by 13 points, SDYC skipper Tyler Sinks and crew showed remarkable reslience with a win in the second race while Belgiorno-Nettis and crew (at left) struggled to an eighth. That brought the title back into reach for the final race. With the pressure on, the Australians rose to the occasion.

"Luckily for us, we're good in the [stronger winds] and there was quite a lot of wind in that last race, and we were able to get the boat rumbling," said Belgiorno-Nettis. "Mike Dunstan, my main trimmer, and my other trimmer on jib, David Edwards, they just set up the boat so it was easy for me to sail. I could just punch the numbers out. It’s all about being consistent. So we were able to chip our way up from quite deep. We were in 12th at the start and ended up in fourth. That was pretty good. Occasionally I’d look around and see where people are…think to myself ‘oh how did that happen?'"

While most of the attention was focused on the battle for first, there were a number of developments lower in the standings. Anthony O'Leary and the Royal Cork Yacht Club team once again showed they love to sail in heavy air. They went 5-2-1, won the day, and took advantage of a couple of tough races by the Royal Canadian Yacht Club to claim Royal Cork's first Invitational Cup podium.

"We're absolutely thrilled. This is our sixth visit, first time to make the podium, so it makes it very special," said O'Leary. "We were eight points behind Canada [starting the day] which is a lot in one respect, but with three races anything is possible. We had one dreadful result on Thursday. You just got to wait and see how the cards fall. We had a five [in the first race today] and you're thinking, 'They're may be two more races, maybe one.' Things seemed to go better and better for us. We're delighted."

Another team that spent the day on the up escalator was the crew representing the host New York Yacht Club (at right), led by co-skippers Andy Fisher and Ray Wulff. After a very up-and-down regatta, the team found its groove on the final day. With three solid races, including a wire-to-wire win in the day's first race, Fisher, Wulff and Co. moved from 10th to sixth in the overall standings.

"As a team we just came together, and each day we were getting stronger and stronger," said Wulff. "Today we just felt, 'You know what, we've just got to go out there and sail as strong as we can.' Representing the Club, we wanted to make sure we finished on a strong note."

The regatta closed with a spectacular Rolex Awards Banquet on Harbour Court. Regardless of finish, it was a time for to celebrate a week of great sailing against friends old and new. 

The next Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup will be sailed in September of 2021. The request for invitation process will begin before the end of the year. For U.S. yacht clubs, next September's Resolute Cup is the only path to securing an invitation to the big show in 2021. 

Final results are here

1. Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron (AUS), 11, 9, 1, 3, 3, 2, 7, 1, 2, 4, 8, 4; 55 points; 2. San Diego (Calif.) Yacht Club, 2, 1, 3, 1, 2, 16, 8, 4, 1, 18, 1, 2; 59 points; 3. Royal Cork Yacht Club (IRL), 6, 6, 14, 2, 5, 1, 5, 18, 5, 5, 2, 1; 70 points; 4. Royal Canadian Yacht Club, 7, 3, 12, 5, 1, 5, 2, 11, 9, 2, 15, 14; 86 points;. 5. Southern Yacht Club (New Orleans, La.), 14, 19, 2, 4, 4, 8, 10, 9, 3, 8, 3, 3; 87 points; 6. New York Yacht Club, 8, 14, 7, 7, 8, 14, 1, 8, 11, 1, 5, 8; 92 points; 7. Royal Thames Yacht Club (GBR), 5, 5, 6, 19, RDG/8, 7, 3, 13, 6, 9, 11, 7; 99 points; 8. Japan Sailing Federation, 1, 4, 9, 11, 6, 9, 13, 5, 10, 7, 6, 19; 100 points; 9. Yacht Club Italiano, 4, 12, 5, 8, 11, 13, 6, 3, 15, 13, 4, 9; 103 points; 10. Royal Swedish Yacht Club, 9, 2, 8, 18, 13, 4, 9, 7, 8, 10, 14, 10; 112 points; 11. Yacht Club Costa Smeralda (ITA), 3, 7, 13, 9, 17, 3, 17, 2, 4, 11, 13, 15; 114 points; 12. Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, 12, 11, 11, 17, 10, 6, 12, 6, 16, 3, 7, 13; 124 points; 13. Itchenor Sailing Club (GBR), 16, 13, 10, 10, 15, 15, 4, 10, 7, 15, 19, 6; 140 points; 14. Norddeutscher Regatta Verein (GER), 10, 18, 18, 15, 14, 10, 16, 14, 13, 6, 10, 12; 156 points; 15. Yacht Club Argentino, 13, 15, 4, 16, 8, DSQ/21, 11, 12, 19, 19, 16, 11; 165 points; 16. Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club, 19, 8, 15, 6, 9, DSQ/21, 15, 17, 18, 12, 17, 16; 173 points; 17. Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club (AUS), 18, 17, 16, 14, 16, 11, 19, 15, 12, 14, 18, 5; 175 points; 18. Real Club Náutico de Barcelona (ESP), 15, 10, 17, 13, 18, 12, 14, 16, 17, 17, 12, 17; 178 points; 18. 19. Royal Yacht Squadron (GBR), 17, 16, 19, 12, 19, 17, 18, 20, 14, 16, 9, 18; 195 points; 20. Yacht Club de France, 20, 20, 20, 20, RET/21, 18, 20, 19, 20, RET/21, DNC/21, DNC/21; 241 points.

Published in Royal Cork YC
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