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Game on as Volvo Cork Week's Quarter and Half Ton Entries Shape Up

11th April 2024
The vintage half-tonner 2Farr pictured racing in Calves Week 2023. The boat has recently been refurbished and optimised ahead of competition at July's Volvo Cork Week Regatta where she will face the ICRA Boat of the Year, the half tonner Swuzzlebubble
The vintage half-tonner 2Farr pictured racing in Calves Week 2023. The boat has recently been refurbished and optimised ahead of competition at July's Volvo Cork Week Regatta where she will face the ICRA Boat of the Year, the half tonner Swuzzlebubble Credit: Bob Bateman

Competition in Volvo Cork Week 2024's IRC classes are shaping up with some interesting battles developing, particularly in the vintage quarter tonner and half tonner classes.

The 2024 regatta intends to embrace its traditional format, with each fleet rotating through various race courses over the five days of racing. Every day will bring new challenges and opportunities for competitors, from longer coastal courses raced offshore to round-the-cans racing inside the harbour. Some race days will feature multiple short races on Windward/Leeward and Olympic courses in the open waters off Roches Point lighthouse.

Some Volvo Cork Week classes may have slightly less variety in their racing format, but they are no less challenging. For instance, the 1720 European Championships and the RS21 UK&I Cup event will run on their own dedicated course, while the Volvo Cork Week Coastal fleet will have one longer race each day along the beautiful southern coastline.

Local yacht Alpaca off Roches Point in Cork Harbour Photo: Bob BatemanLocal yacht Alpaca off Roches Point in Cork Harbour Photo: Bob Bateman

The racing will be presided over by a recently appointed team of experienced race officers. They will meet each morning to review weather conditions and ensure the best racing possible for all fleets. This might mean taking advantage of an afternoon sea-breeze on calmer days or utilising the deep sheltered waters of the harbour to race in more inclement weather. 

Quarter Ton

In the Quarter-Tonners, entries have been lodged from Anchor Challenge, Panic, and Diamond, with more set to join from around Ireland and the UK, according to organisers.

Quarter Ton action off Cork Harbour Photo: Bob BatemanQuarter Ton action off Cork Harbour Photo: Bob Bateman

Half Ton

The reigning ICRA Boat Of The Year ‘Swuzzlebubble’ is an early entrant in the big-brother Half-Tonners class, where she will be joined by recently refurbished and optimised 2 Farr. This pairing is set for a closely watched battle in July.

 ‘Swuzzlebubble’ is an early entrant in the big-brother Half-Tonners class at Volvo Cork Week 2024 Photo: Afloat ‘Swuzzlebubble’ is an early entrant in the big-brother Half-Tonners class at Volvo Cork Week 2024 Photo: Afloat

In the IRC & ECHO handicap classes, local entries such as Luas, Bateleur88, and Prince of Tides are joined by travelling boats such as Aris, Valfreya, and Extreme Reality and the new J122 Mojito as previously reported by Afloat.

The Scottish 'El Gran Senor' competing at Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta 2023, the J122 will compete as the Welsh 'Mojito' in Volvo Cork Week 2024 Photo: AfloatThe Scottish 'El Gran Senor' competing at Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta 2023, the J122 will compete as the Welsh 'Mojito' in Volvo Cork Week 2024 Photo: Afloat

Non-Spinnaker

The level of interest in Non-Spinnaker/White Sail classes is high, with entries received from several ‘first-time’ skippers and crew, keen to experience racing at Volvo Cork Week.

1720 Euros

Several notable entries are already confirmed for the 1720 European Championships, including travelling boats Mo, After Midnight and Elder Lemon. With some UK 1720s already on the Royal Cork Yacht Club grounds waiting for the event, this is sure to be a championship to remember.

1720 sportsboats competing at the 2022 European Championships held as part of Cork Week 2022. The class returns this July for the 2024 title fight Photo Bob Bateman1720 sportsboats competing at the 2022 European Championships held as part of Cork Week 2022. The class returns this July for the 2024 title fight Photo Bob Bateman

The 1720s will be launched by crane in Crosshaven, with secure storage available for their trailers locally. These services are likely to be of interest to any travelling Quarter Tonners and Half Tonners.

Cape 31s

The high-performance Cape31 class previously attended Volvo Cork Week as a relatively new keelboat in 2022 but is now firmly established as the most exciting one-design class on the water.

Local Cork Harbour Cape 31, Antix Photo: Michael ChesterLocal Cork Harbour Cape 31, Antix Photo: Michael Chester

Entries received already include team Shotgunn from the Isle of Mann and top local boat Antix.

RS21s

The RS21s will be keen to make a mark at Volvo Cork Week 2024, as this is the first time the class will participate in the event.

RS21s will make their Volvo Cork Week debut in July 2024 Photo:AfloatRS21s will make their Volvo Cork Week debut in July 2024 Photo:Afloat

A unique element of this fleet is the availability of charter boats, provided in ready-to-race condition for the week by Kenny Rumball of INSS. Making this a very attractive package for those that can’t bring their own boats to Cork. Contact Kenneth@inss.ie for more details and keep an eye on the “Racing” section of the www.corkweek.ie website for updates.

Beaufort Cup

The Beaufort Cup is a unique inter-services regatta, hosted by the Irish Defence Forces in conjunction with the Royal Cork Yacht Club. The format for this year is unchanged, with the Beaufort Cup teams first taking on an offshore race around the iconic Fastnet lighthouse, before joining the Volvo Cork Week fleet for 3 days of inshore competition.

A number of veteran teams from the USA have expressed interest in competing, along with uniformed service teams from across Ireland and the UK.

Some of these crews are still looking for suitable boats for the event – any boat owner interested chartering their boat is encouraged to contact racing@corkweek.ie.

Note that, as the event rules require only 50% of a boat’s crew to be active members of the relevant service, interesting opportunities exist to charter your boat, join forces with a Service crew, and still sail aboard yourself with some of your own crew.

The Notice of Race for the Beaufort Cup is published on the event website.

Accommodation

The event organisers recognise the challenges of finding suitable accommodation for competitors and have sourced additional accommodation at great value for those seeking self-catering in Crosshaven. Check out the ‘Accommodation’ section of the event website and contact the club’s accommodation liaison directly for more information.

Competitors with their own campervans can be accommodated at Crosshaven Rugby Club, with appropriate facilities on-site only 1km from the Royal Cork Yacht Club. See www.crosshavenrugbyfc.com for contact details.

Note that a regular bus service to/from Carrigaline and Cork city provides access to accommodation options in these locations and stops directly outside the gates of the Royal Cork Yacht Club..

Social Diary

Entertainment will be provided each day after sailing, in a large marquee at the heart of the event site at the Royal Cork Yacht Club, with live music by Phil Holbird.

The Family Fun Day, including Cork Week's famous Coastal Market with family entertainment, will be on Sunday 14th July

The traditional ladies' gala lunch, in aid of the RNLI, will be held on Wednesday, 17th July.

A Battle of the DJs is planned for Thursday 18th July.

The week will be interspersed with several promotional events during the week and a number of sponsor activities.

Daytime fun will be available to all at the Royal Cork, with the club’s playground remaining available for use within an expanded family-friendly area, which will include a Play Zone for children’s games, a picnic area, coffee, ice cream, sweets, etc.

Multiple casual dining options will be available on-site, alongside retail outlets, spares, sail-repair and other facilities.

Afloat.ie Team

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