History of Sailing in Cork
Mariners have sailed the seas for thousands of years but it was the Dutch who invented the sport - back in the 1600's Sailing came to Ireland in the early 1700's - to Cork Harbour. Muiris O' Brien the Earl of Inchiquin sailed from his estate in the eastern end of Cork Harbour. The harbour is said to be the second largest natural harbour in the world - second only after Sydney in Australia.
The sailing waters he used are just at the entrance to East Ferry - where SailCork sails today - sailing has been carried on in these waters for 300 years - SailCork are the proud standard bearers of this tradition.
The "Cork Water Club" was founded in 1720 on Haulbowline Island and it's direct decendant the "Royal Cork Yacht Club" was based in Cobh for nearly 200 years. During the late 1800's Queenstown (Cobh) was home to major international events - second only to Cowes in England as a yachting venue. The RCYC is now based in Crosshaven across the harbour.
Cork Harbour proudly follows the tradition of sailing with SailCork based in East Ferry, Cove Sailing club in Cobh, Monkstown Bay Sailing Club in Monkstown , The Naval Yacht Squadron in Haulbowline and the Royal Cork Yacht Club in Crosshaven. Indeed one of the world's leading regattas "Cork Week" is run every two years from Crosshaven attracting an entry of up to 500 boats - this event was run by Eddie English of SailCork in 2002.
Eddie English Blog
Haulbowline Island - a short history
The island of Haulbowline in Cork Harbour lies just across the water from the town of Cobh. Fortifications were built here in the early 1600's but in 1707 the Earl of Inchiquin of Rostellan, William o' Brien, took a lease on the island. His grandfather, Murrough O' Brien, the first Earl of Inchiquin had introduced sailing to Ireland during the 1660's at Rostellan - sailing the waters near East Ferry. It is likely that all the O' Briens sailed on these lovely waters now frequented by the dinghies and other boats from SailCork. We know for certain that the 4th Earl, also William was definitely involved in the " Water Club" in 1720 - but it is possible that the club existed on Halubowline before this date.