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Displaying items by tag: Cork Harbour

After seven races sailed in light and tricky conditions in Cork Harbour, local Optimist dinghy ace Ben O'Shaughnessy of Royal Cork Yacht Club continues to lead the AIB sponsored National Championships overall. 

The 79-main boat fleet sailed again on day three of the championships on the Harbour's Curlane Bank in light winds.

The 14-year-old Crosshaven sailor is now nine points clear of nearest rival Johnny Flynn of Howth Yacht Club. Flynn has a similar cushion on his Dublin clubmate, Rocco Wright, in third place on 29 points. Full results are here

See Bob Bateman's photo slideshow below

Published in Optimist

Not everyone gets the opportunity to restore a boat built by their grandfather, a gem of a boat whose construction started 70 years ago. But then, not everyone has had a professional seafaring and recreational sailing career to match that of Pat Murphy of Glenbrook on Cork Harbour. His working days at sea in his progression towards becoming a Master Mariner involved some very challenging contracts, while his varied sailing career has included many years at the sharp end of the International Dragon Class.

Slipping sweetly along, leaving scarcely any wake – this is classic sailing at its best. Photo: Robert BatemanSlipping sweetly along, leaving scarcely any wake – this is classic sailing at its best. Photo: Robert Bateman

In fact, it's such a fascinating story that we'll be covering it in much greater detail in a proper feature when the evenings have closed in, and the main part of the sailing in this harshly-compressed season has been completed to provide more time and space. But for now, last Sunday provided the opportunity for Robert Bateman to capture some glorious "essence of summer" photos which will be a tonic for everyone during the current spell of decidedly mixed weather in this national mood of anxiety as we deal with the pandemic.

Pinkeen is an Alan Buchanan-designed 23ft Colleen Class, of which three were built for Kinsale in the 1950s, with one of them – Pinkeen for Knolly Stokes of the distinguished Cork city clock-making firm – being built in Kinsale itself by Pat's grandfather, senior boatbuilder John Thuillier. He started the work in 1950, when he was already having a busy year as he was also founding Commodore of Kinsale YC in 1950, but as he happened to be already 80 years old, the boatbuilding was at a quiet pace, and it was 1952 when he had her completed.

Pat Murphy is particularly appreciative of the pleasure of restoring and sailing the boat his grandfather built Happy man. Having had a maritime career which included some very challenging work in distant places, Pat Murphy is particularly appreciative of the pleasure of restoring and sailing the boat his grandfather built. Photo: Robert Bateman

Over the 68 years since, Pinkeen has been here and there, including a stint in Galway. But Pat Murphy was always drawn to her, and when he bought her in 2005, she was back in Cork Harbour and definitely showing her age. He has done some of the restoration work himself and some heavier tasks have been undertaken on a piecemeal basis by professionals.

But in 2018 he got her to Jim Walsh in his international-standard classic boatbuilding and restoration workshops in Nohaval beside that hidden little inlet on the Cork coast between Crosshaven and Oysterhaven, and after Pinkeen had emerged, gleaming in sublime condition, all that was needed was this year's new suit of sails from UK Sailmakers of Crosshaven – also to recognised international classic practice in cream sailcloth – to make the project and the picture complete.

The result is a little boat which truly glows as she sails sweetly along, bringing joy to an exceptional owner-skipper, and great pleasure to the rest of us in a year when such special pleasures are trebly valuable.

The effortless way in which Pinkeen slips cleanly through the water "Leave no trace". The effortless way in which Pinkeen slips cleanly through the water is an example which can be usefully transferred to others areas of activity, while her sweetly-fitting classic-style sails from UK Sailmakers of Crosshaven demonstrate how important it is to get the complete look for the most satisfying and authentic overall result. Photo: Robert Bateman

The complete picture, with a recollection of times past. The elegant new sails from UK Crosshaven Sailmakers include the Colleen Class symbol first promoted in Kinsale in 1952. Photo: Barry Hayes

Published in Historic Boats

Ireland's Tokyo 2021 representative Annalise Murphy is set to rejoin the national Laser dinghy racing scene after a seven-year hiatus when she sails next week at the 2020 Laser national championships at Royal Cork Yacht Club.

The Rio Olympic silver medalist makes her return in Cork Harbour, the same venue she last sailed at a nationals in 2013, months before her European title win on her home waters at Dun Laoghaire Harbour.

Murphy is not the only Irish Olympic campaigner competing either as the battle for National honours heats up at Crosshaven from August 20th to 23rd.

As Afloat reported previously, due to COVID-19, the three fleet 2020 championships, one of the biggest dinghy events of the 2020 calendar, will now be split between two venues in the Harbour and be run separately.

The National Yacht Club ace will confront Aoife Hopkins and Eve McMahon, both unsuccessful rivals in the controversially cut-short trial for Tokyo 2021 who will also be competing in a mixed Radial fleet of 60 plus sailors. There is no entry – so far – however for Lough Derg's Aisling Keller, another 2021 trialist and the 2018 Irish champion who secured Ireland's berth for Tokyo.

Murphy's clubmate, Rio rep Finn Lynch, who is still bidding for a Tokyo nomination in the men's class will be in action in the 30-boat standard rig division as are other 2021 trialists Ewan McMahon of Howth and Belfast Lough's Liam Glynn.

The entry list is here

Published in Laser

Royal Cork Yacht Club is leaving no stone unturned in its efforts to stage next week's Laser dinghy National Championships, one of the flagship events of its tricentenary celebrations in Cork Harbour.

With the postponement of Phase 4 COVID 19 restrictions, the hosts are not in a position to locate all sailors in the proposed format of three fleets.

In order to ensure that they can hold a safe event, the AIB Sponsored Nationals will, therefore, be split into two events, according to an update from the Laser class.

The position now for the event is that the Radials and Standards will be based in Crosshaven, while 4.7s will be based in Ringaskiddy, where a new slip will give easy access to the lower harbour.

  • Standard and Radial Nationals hosted by the RCYC
  • Laser 4.7 Nationals hosted by Monkstown Bay Sailing Club (MBSC)

"The 4.7 Nationals are now being hosted by MBSC, an entirely separate event with separate documentation, organisation committees, a separate venue (Paddys Point, Ringaskiddy) and a separate race course",  Royal Cork's Alex Barry told Afloat.

It is expected further details will be available in the next few days. The event starts on August 20th.

Published in Laser

Cork based Irish Mainport Holding's Celtic Fergus, a tug stationed on the Shannon Estuary is currently dry-docking in Rushbrooke having departed this day last week bound for the Doyle Shipping Group facility in Cork Harbour, writes Jehan Ashmore.

It was during Monday that the Celtic Fergus was on a flood tide of the estuary when Simon Berrow of the Irish Whale & Dolphin Group (IWDG) captured this great photo of a Bottlenose dolphin bowriding the 24/45t bollard pull tug.

For information on how to identify ceteceans, learn more and join the work and efforts of the IWDG, visit their website here.

The 25m long Celtic Fergus having departed the Shannon Estuary from its base at the Port of Foynes arrived the next day into Cork Harbour, where the former Turkish tug Efesan Port was delivered by a cargoship in 2016.

The tug built in 2014 to Canadian designer Robert Allen was renamed Celtic Fergus and reflagged under the tricolor, the tug join Mainport fleetmates through subsidiary Celtic Tugs located at the mid-western waterway port operated by SFPC.

Celtic Fergus replaced the Celtic Banner to join fleetmates Celtic Rebel built 1984 and Celtic Isle completed two years later. Another pair of tugs but operated by DSG are DSG Alex and DSG Titan are also stationed alongside the site of Cork Dockyard. 

Afloat has observed in recent years the corporate theme by Doyle Shipping group in naming and renaming tugs using the operators company trading name which is abbreviated. This is demonstrated by the Rusbrooke based pair of tugs DSG Alex and DSG Titan on station at Cork Dockyard.

In addition a similar naming scheme also applies to Dublin Port Company, albeit by naming the UK built but French designed pilot cutter as the DPC Tolka which was delivered in December last year.

Published in Shannon Estuary

Excitement is building in the Royal Cork Yacht Club for this week’s AIB Optimist dinghy Nationals 2020 in Cork Harbour.

It will be the first time the Irish Optimist fleet will compete this year due to COVID and participant numbers at the event have been limited by organisers.

The event starts on Thursday but there has already been some pre-championship tuning going on at Crosshaven.

Photo slideshow below by Bob Bateman

Published in Optimist

Cork Harbour’s traditional boat fleet got a new gaff rig arrival this season when Crosshaven trawler skipper Gus O’Donovan launched his refurbished 1998 pilot cutter.

Gus bought the reproduction cutter on the east coast last year and was busy over the winter restoring her that included a new paint job.

Cork Harbour's newest Pilot Cutter was refurbished over the winter and now afloat at Crosshaven Photo: Bob BatemanCork Harbour's newest Pilot Cutter was refurbished over the winter and now afloat at Crosshaven Photo: Bob Bateman 

Gus buys paint in barrels for his trawler, so now she’s the same colour as the Majestic IV, part of Crosshaven’s fishing fleet.

Gus O'Donovan's Fishing Trawler, the Majestic IV at Crosshaven PierGus O'Donovan's Fishing Trawler, the Majestic IV at Crosshaven Pier Photo: Bob Bateman

Uile-Ioc swinging peacefully on her Cork Harbour mooring Photo: Bob BatemanUile-Ioc swinging peacefully on her Cork Harbour mooring Photo: Bob Bateman

The 18-footer was originally named Panacea when she came from Dun Laoghaire. Gus told Afloat that although it can be considered bad luck to change a ship's name, a translation can be acceptable so the fishing smack is now known as Uile-ioc, as Gaeilge.

The plans for Uile-ioc designed by Steve Prout and built in 1998The plans for Uile-ioc designed by Steve Prout and built in 1998 - she sails with one ton of ballast

Regular readers will recall that last week Gus, who is a former RNLI crewman, rescued two men last week when out at sea fishing off Cork Harbour. He spotted the two young men in a supermarket inflatable boat/toy with no lifejackets approximately 1 mile south of the Daunt Rock buoy. That story is here.

Onboard Uile-Ioc, the pilot cutter is fun to sail, according to new skipper Gus O'DonovanOnboard Uile-Ioc, the pilot cutter is fun to sail, according to new skipper Gus O'Donovan

Gus is keen to use the new purchase to teach his sons how to sail and even though he admits his hull is GRP, he didn’t want his kids to learn the ropes in a 'plastic fantastic’.

The overhauled inboard diesel engineThe overhauled inboard diesel engine

Sailing the 28' LOA Uile-Ioc in Cork Harbour Photo: Bob BatemanSailing the 28' LOA Uile-Ioc in Cork Harbour Photo: Bob Bateman

Gus also plans local trips with his family and friends in the Steve Prout design and has already been a couple of hours west of Cork Harbour on day sails and is enjoying handling the gaff rig.

Published in Cork Harbour
Tagged under

While other clubs have found it a big enough challenge simply resuming sailing in a regulation-compliant way, the 101-year-old Cove Sailing Club in Cork Harbour has also been bringing its new marina on stream, and in addition to resuming club sailing, it staged the first open event of the delayed 2020 season, the Squib Southerns, on July 25th-26th. It has been a superb team effort, but all teams need effective leadership, and CSC Commodore Kieran Dorgan has been providing it in a family tradition - his father Barry was in the same role, while on the water Kieran himself is no stranger to the front of the fleet with his First 36.7 Altair.

Published in Sailor of the Month

A win for Michael McCann in tonight's fifth and final race of the Union Chandlery July League at Royal Cork Yacht Club gives him the overall win of the IRC Spinnaker Division. McCann sailing the Etchells, Don't Dilly Dally had a single point lead over Annamarie and Denis Murphy's Grand Soliel 40, Nieulargo in a 14-boat fleet.

In a 12-boat White Sail division, the Grand Soliel 37 Prince of Tides (Frank Caul and John Molloy) wins by two points overall from the Sun Light 30 Expression.

Full results are here. Bob Bateman's Photo slideshow is below

Published in Royal Cork YC

Irish boats come, Irish boats go. And while some will always be remembered, others leave barely a twirl of wake in the communal memory. The best-remembered has to be Conor O’Brien’s world-girdling Saoirse. Yet it could reasonably be claimed that Harry Donegan’s Gull was the boat that made the difference, for she was there in Ireland when it mattered, whereas Saoirse was away, performing on the global stage.

The 50ft ketch Betty Alan at Mullaghmore Regatta 2019 Gull’s ghost? The 50ft ketch Betty Alan – built more than a hundred years after Gull – at Mullaghmore Regatta 2019. Photo: Brian Mathews

In 1921, the Donegan family of Cork bought Gull, an 1896 Charles E Nicholson-designed and Camper & Nicholson-built 18-ton gaff cutter, with a notably large jackyard topsail. The patriarch of the family, solicitor Harry Donegan (1870-1940) sailed her until his death on St Patrick’s Day of 1940, which came after a sublime 1939 end-of-season sail from Schull back to Cork Harbour, the perfect final passage for a great sailor.

During his time with the well-loved boat, he was soon busy with Gull in the final stages of the Civil War in 1922, carrying a messenger (Michael Collins’ sister, as it happens) with dispatches for the Pro-Treaty Government from Cork for eventual delivery to Commander-in-Chief Collins in Dublin, a task made necessary by the Anti-Treaty rebels destroying all other means of communication – road, rail, whatever - between the two cities.

Harry Donegan aboard his beloved GullThe extraordinary Harry Donegan aboard his beloved Gull. During their 19 years together, he and Gull’s achievements were many and various

After peace of sorts had broken out in 1923, in addition to a programme of cruiser-racing in and from Cork Harbour, Harry Donegan was soon back to his hobby of surveying popular cruising anchorages for his privately-circulated cruising guide to southwest Ireland. And then when the call came for entries for the novel Fastnet Race of 1925, despite the fact that Ireland’s Fastnet Rock was only a mark of the course with the start eastward out of the Solent from Ryde, and the finish at Plymouth in Devon, he willingly entered Gull to be one of the seven starters. She was in the lead overall at one stage, and at the finish she placed third.

Thus Gull was present at the foundation of the Ocean Racing Club - soon to be the RORC – in Plymouth in 1925, and four years later she was present at the foundation in Glengarriff in 1929 of the Irish Cruising Club, a project which had long been dear to Harry Donegan’s heart.

During the eleven years he had with the ICC (of which he was Vice Commodore), Harry Donegan was one of the club’s keenest active members, regularly bringing his demanding cutter round to the Irish Sea for ICC East Coast events, while at the same time playing the leading role in Cork Harbour, and somehow finding space for the occasional RORC racing foray as well.

Poole Harbour in Dorset, where Gull ended her days Poole Harbour in Dorset, where Gull ended her days, and Betty Alan was born 102 years after Gull had been built

In his latter days, his son Harry Jnr was an active partner on the boat, but after Old Harry died, things weren’t quite the same, Young Harry was interested in trying other boat types, and as soon as World War II was over, Gull was sold – now considered quite old by the standards of the time – to the south of England. The word is that she ended her days in the 1950s in a mud berth in Poole Harbour, gradually mouldering away into the bottomless sludge.

Yet it seems that while the corporeal Gull may have disappeared into Poole Harbour’s primaeval ooze, her friendly ghost was soon haunting the place, quietly looking for an opportunity to resume sailing the sea with the gift of fresh youth. But it wasn’t until 1998, when the noted local boatbuilder Ken Latham was commissioned to build the hull of a classically proportioned 50-footer, that Gull’s necessary opportunity presented itself, and somehow her spirit became successfully enmeshed in the style and appearance of a dreamship which was supposed to represent a miniaturised version of the very Scottish Alfred Mylne-designed 120ft gaff ketch Thendara from the 1930s.

The Mylne-designed ThendaraThe Mylne-designed Thendara. Betty Alan was originally conceived as a miniature of this Scottish classic.

Certainly, this had been the design brief for the late Jeremy Lines, who was a startling example of nominative determinism, for what could somebody called Lines possibly be, other than the in-house yacht designer for Camper & Nicholsons in their final glory days?

It was after his retirement that he was given the commission in his own right as a yacht designer for this meticulously-detailed 50-footer. And while he may have conscientiously tried to re-create Alfred Mylne as asked, the shadow of the genius of Charles E Nicholson was at his shoulder, and Gull emerged again – fresh and new and exquisitely built - beside Poole Harbour.

Not that anybody noticed at the time. In fact, it was upwards of twenty years later, at Mullaghmore on the Sligo coast, that a photo taken by Race Officer Brian Mathews at Mullaghmore Regatta 2019 rang a bell. And it wasn’t until a week or so ago, when were assembling a few photos to back up the Mullaghmore Regatta 2020 poster, that the mysterious ketch re-appeared, when it immediately clicked that regardless of the rig - which is indeed a quirky miniature of Thendara’s sail-plan – we were looking at the sweet sheerline and restrained stem of Gull all over again, even if they’re set in a beamy shoal-draft centreboard-carrying hull, whereas Gull was slim and deep.

When seen from more directly ahead, Betty Alan’s extra beam is much in evidenceWhen seen from more directly ahead, Betty Alan’s extra beam is much in evidence

Betty Alan’s commodious accommodationBetty Alan’s commodious accommodation makes for a refreshing change from extreme racing-programmed boats

Be that as it may, now we hear that not only is this cleverly-disguised Ghost of Gull haunting the Irish coast, but she has found herself a long-term mooring in Glengarriff, where Harry Donegan’s most-cherished dream of an Irish Cruising Club became reality ninety-one years ago.

It’s all a bit too much, but then a state of things being just a bit too much seems to be normality when you get into the orbit around Ed Maggs, who has owned this “genuine fake” (his own words) with his wife Frances since 2011. The ketch is now called Betty Alan after his parents, and somehow he finds the time to use her as she should be used, despite the attention-consuming occupation of being a Maggs brother in the almost absurdly blue chip antiquarian booksellers Maggs Brothers in the fashionable part of London. There, they’ve been selling rare or very rare or indeed invisibly rare books at splendid prices since 1853, while additionally purveying some extremely odd items of exceptional historic interest which, alas, we cannot specify in a website with a family readership.

Be that as it may, Ed’s talents and endeavours as an antiquarian bookseller are no more than a displacement activity. For his real calling – would he but allow it - is as a sailing writer, and more specifically a cruising writer. It may be a good old reliable cliché, but his quirky take on the things that happen in and on and around the Betty Alan to himself and Frances and their friends (a credibility-stretching lineup of characters in themselves) is what Myles might have called that familiar inhalation of clear oxygen and nitrogen and some spots of hydrogen and other gases, best known as a breath of fresh air if that’s what you’re having yourself.

Man among the merchandise – Ed Maggs at work Man among the merchandise – Ed Maggs at work. Photo: Maggs Bros

But as the very special bookshop is there to keep the show on the road, Ed has no need to turn himself into some sort of internet star or performance artist, which is the only way a modern cruising writer could afford a boat like Betty Alan. So instead, his fans can enjoy his works in semi-private club and association publications with words and thoughts to be savoured in leisurely style, instead of having your head blown off and your mind melted by electronic overload.

Thus we’ve been catching up in recent weeks through various sources on the great adventure, which was meant to be a two years (or thereabouts) circuit cruise round Britain and Ireland from Betty Alan’s home port of Burnham-on-Crouch in Essex, which is about as different a place from Glengarriff as you’ll find on this planet.

On this planet, misplaced or displaced intentions often produce the best cruise yarns. Betty Alan got as far as southwest Ireland, and then began significantly slowing down. When she got as far as Donegal, she came to a stop with a stay-for-a-while mooring at Teelin, and then laid up for the winter with the excellent services of Mooney Boats at Killybegs. And when she launched again, it was irresistible to revisit places back south, which may explain that star turn at Mullaghmore. But what with one thing and another, she now has a fulltime mooring in Glengarriff, and Ed and Frances have found themselves spending the Lockdown in the latest bright idea.

A distinct change of style from Burnham-n-Crouch in Essex – Betty Alan’s current base in Glengarriff at the head of Bantry BayA distinct change of style from Burnham-n-Crouch in Essex – Betty Alan’s current base in Glengarriff at the head of Bantry Bay

It’s a little old farmhouse that they’ve bought, with a bit of land - most of it heavily wooded - hidden away in the Roughty Valley midway between Kenmare and Kilgarvan. Thus they’ve the remarkable yet smooth life force of the Brennan brothers at Kenmare and Drumquinna to the southwest, and the forces of nature in the raw in the rugged frontier village of Kilgarvan, Kilgarvan of the Riding Clans, to the northeast, where ordinary folk run the danger of becoming the hyphen in Healy-Rae.

It is in the little farmhouse during this Lockdown that Ed Maggs has been writing for a select few of the woodlands and oddities of this place called Kilgortaree, and he does it with the same lively and totally frank frame of mind that he brought to describing the joys and hazards of cruising the coasts of Kerry and Connemara in detail.

And it all seems part of a perfectly natural and sensible process, when set in the story of how the Ghost of Gull has come to be happily haunting Glengarriff in recent weeks.

Published in Historic Boats
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