The story of Holy Grounder - SailCorks flagship
- On 28 01 2009
Cobh Wed Jan 28 - foggy morning, sunny afternoon with light southerly winds- but more breeze coming!
The town of Cobh has been an important seaport for centuries. The eastern part of the town was very populous and was the major venue for shoreside socialising - it earned the name of "The Holy Ground" Most sailors would be familiar with the words of the famous song - "......and still I live in hopes to see the Holy Ground once more ..... fine girl you are!! Cobh people are often known as "Holy Grounders".
A few years after we began SailCork we decided to design and build a boat for training. I got together with local boatbuilder Dave Rankin and we drew up plans based on a traditional salmon yawl - we got Ron Holland, the yacht designer, to have a look and he too approved!
We drew the timber from Lismore and Baltimore and built her over a few months. My brother Joe built the sails in Crosshaven - it was to be an all Irish boat for English. We launched her at Christmas of 1978 and called her the "Holy Grounder". She had great success as a training boat and we even sailed her to Dublin (that's another story!) Unfortunately she broke her back in a storm on the slip at East Beach in the early 1990's. Still that was not the end of her - we cut her in tow form stem to sten and mounter her like a huge half model of our restaurant the "Bistro" on East Beach in Cobh. She presided over many great days and nights until 2002 when the Bistro was closed. We needed a replacement!
After 25 years doing the figures and researching vessels for our cruising school we decided that it was time to make a move in 2008. I had been very impressed by the Beneteau 36.7 - a good cruiser racer. When my friend Paul O' Higgins and his wife Finola were selling theirs I decided to bite the bullet - Finola and I sailed together as kids and her dad Jack sailed with my father Eamonn in National 18s back in the dark ages. Jack was 90 last Saturday - adn still hale and hearty - fair play Jack!
So the deed was done and the new "Holy Grounder" was handed over in Dublin in early May 2008 - read about her first season tomorrow!