Cork Week - Europe’s best fun regatta
- On 28 06 2010
Get afloat aboard "Holy Grounder" or RIB "Excalibur" with SailCork -- still a few places left - call Jo on 021 4811237
Cork sailors love regattas - fact- they are at it since the early 1700s! During my years as a teenager there was a very active offshore racing scene in Cork. This meant that besides local races and regattas we raced up and down the coast and to and from ports abroad. It was great to be involved in fantastic racing abroad but even better if we could do it on our own doorstep - so in 1978 a number of enthusiasts in the RCYC laid the beginnings of Cork Week. We all had a fantastic time and more importantly so did the visitors- and the rest, as they say, is history! Cork Week has grown from strength to strength and not only is it an important event on the international regatta circuit but a very important social event in Ireland! - not to be missed!
The excitement for competitors has already begun with crews practicing feverishly and boats beginning to converge on Cork for the regatta. Already some of the support boats including "Zig Zag" the Oyster 82 are berthed in Cork Harbour - the Admiral of the RCYC, Paddy Mc Glade, is leading the members in preparing to vacate dinghies and several other boats to make room for the scores of visitors. By July 9 most of the boats will be here and the buzz in the Royal Cork will be amazing! It will be a great sight to see boats gathered from all parts of the world including the latest and greatest racing machines. Peter Deasy and his hardworking team of Cork Week volunteers have left no stone unturned to ensure this is an amazing event - months of preparation by the Cork Week Crew ensures that this is one of the most successful regattas in the world.
The "Yacht Club" will be transformed with the addition of a tented village to cater for the food, drink, dancing and every need of the competitor. There is a fantastic programme of entrertainment with music every night including bands such as - The "Marvels", "Fred", the "Frank and Walters", the "Coronas" and "J90". Jerry Fish and friends will perform in their own inimitable style at the "Fastnet Bar" every night! Denis Murphy and his crew will ensure nobody has to wait for a drink! Anna Marie Fagan and her team at "Excellent Choice" will provide several excellent choices for diners on the club site and David Boreau and his team will fill the club dining room every night and of course Anne Lordan and her team will ensure that the rafters are roaring in the club bar!
Competitors and their friends will number over three thousand and add the members and local enthusiasts to that and there will be up to 7000 on site at night! That makes for a REAL party. The fun begins after racing every day about 16:00 and goes on into the wee small hours of the morning. During the day there is still a buzz as there are shops and stalls on the regatta site selling all the sailing fashion gear and lots more to interest the sailor!
But the real action is on the water. Visitors will explore the harbour and hoist and lower sails to practice on Saturday and Sunday - and of course get to know everybody ashore! The village will wake up on Monday 12 Jul and shake itself as boats begin to spring into action. As the boats head out for the racecourses from Crosshaven it is truly spectacular - a virtual parade of sail! Spectators, friends and even fans offer plenty of encouragement and Cork Harbour seems to take on a special happy demeanor for the week. As the boats stream out the river crews will beaver away on preparing for the first day of racing on this amazing body of water - Corks inner and outer harbour.
Cork Week prides itself on being a regatta for sailors run by sailors. Top Irish skipper Anthony O' Leary will not be competing as he is leading the top class team who will run the racing - now considered to be some of the best racing in the world. Racing takes place on different courses for different classes every day for 5 days. Most of the courses are set outside the Harbour and are set each day to match the conditions. The most spectacular race for spectators is the "Harbour Race" which takes place mainly in Cork Harbour with the boats rounding a mark off Cobh in the middle of the race around lunchtime - so plenty of vantage points around the harbour to see this! The heights of Camden and Roches Point are good spots and of course Cobh to see the boats at the turning mark.
I am lucky enough to be competing on a top class boat and will be crewing as navigator aboard Richard Matthews "Oystercatcher". I have sailed with the same team from West Mersea in Essex for nearly 20 years and I am really looking forward to the racing. Of course I will be doing my usual reporting on radio and you will be able to hear live updates from yours truly on Cork's 96fm.
Of course the best way to see the racing and get in the spirit of Cork Week is to be afloat - SailCork is offering special packages to charter "Holy Grounder" with a skipper and get out there to see the action in comfort- or get out on the SailCork RIB "Excalibur" and speed around the courses and catch all the action!! Day trips on Holy Grounder Mon 12, Tue 13 and Wed 14 (Booked out Thur + Fri) Half Day trips aboard 30kn RIB Excalibur - For more info contact Jo on 021 -4811237
Enjoy watching the Cork Week action on video!
I wrote an article for Afloat Magazine giving tip for racing at Cork Week - most of tips are very valid - Sailing in Cork Week
Great entertainment for Cork Week:
|12th July - Monday||Setmaker|
|13th July - Tuesday||The Marvels|
|14th July - Wednesday||FRED followed by the Frank and Walters|
|15th July - Thursday||The Chapters and The Coronas|
|16th July - Friday||Devil's Bit and J90|