Menu

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Growth of Interest in Dinghy Sailing Noted in Royal Cork Yacht Club Report

10th January 2024
The development of a mixed dinghy fleet is part of the Royal Cork Yacht Club’s programme to encourage more people into sailing
The development of a mixed dinghy fleet is part of the Royal Cork Yacht Club’s programme to encourage more people into sailing Credit: Bob Bateman

The growth of interest in dinghy sailing through the development of a Mixed Dinghy fleet, part of the club’s programme to encourage more people into sailing, is noted as particularly successful in the annual report of the Royal Cork Yacht Club.

Youth sailing has been given particular attention, and the club now has two 1720s and a J24 available for the development of Under-25 racing.

“The club got three RS Feva club boats. The RS Feva has established itself as the main dinghy in the fleet. The new 420 fleet has gathered significant momentum since it was established,” the report says.

Incoming Royal Cork Yacht Club Admiral Annamarie Fegan (left) with one of the club's top youth sailors Stephen O'Shaughnessy, and outgoing Royal Cork Yacht Club, Admiral Kieran O’Connell Photo: Bob BatemanIncoming Royal Cork Yacht Club Admiral Annamarie Fegan (left) with one of the club's top youth sailors Jonathan O'Shaughnessy, and outgoing Royal Cork Yacht Club, Admiral Kieran O’Connell Photo: Bob Bateman

While bad weather affected club racing, there was still a successful season of sailing, and it was “an excellent year for the RCYC on the international stage,” says Admiral Kieran O’Connell, noting the success of members at overseas events, maintaining the international reputation of the club and its competitive sailing standards. “A big well done to all members who competed in the many events across the year across the globe.”

“Inclement weather was a problem. A number of races had to be cancelled due to bad weather, but there was still a very active and successful year of sailing. The club ran 46 races throughout the Summer, Autumn and Winter leagues,” says the Admiral’s report.

Members will gather for the 303rd annual general meeting in the Crosshaven clubhouse on Monday night, January 22, for what will be a historic occasion.

The oldest yacht club in the world is set to elect current Vice Admiral, Annamarie Fegan, as the first woman to be its Admiral. When current Admiral Kieran O’Connell took office in 2022, he nominated her for that post. She was elected by
the members and is expected, in what has been the pattern at the club, to become Admiral as he completes his two-year term in office.

The 2024 1720 European Championships will be staged as part of Volvo Cork Week this July Photo: Rick TomlinsonThe 2024 1720 European Championships will be staged as part of Volvo Cork Week this July Photo: Rick Tomlinson

“This year is a Cork Week year and entries are already flowing in for the next edition of Volvo Cork Week since the formal launch of the event in October,” the Admiral says. “This legendary event has always attracted a large number of national and international entries since its inception. The exciting RS21 One Design Class will be a part of the 2024 event and the 1720 Europeans and discussions are on-going with several other fleets and classes. We have interest from the US and the UK for the Beaufort Cup – (the inter-Services competition).”

The annual report notes a slight drop in membership. “The club’s membership took a slight dip,” according to Kieran O’Connell, “but is still tracking well over the last few years, and the club’s finances are in a very healthy place after considerable capital projects that have enhanced the club and facilities for members. This year has been excellent, and we will, as always, endeavour to continue this trend for many years.”

Tom MacSweeney

About The Author

Tom MacSweeney

Email The Author

Tom MacSweeney writes a column for Afloat.ie. He is former RTE Marine Correspondent/Presenter of Seascapes and now has a monthly Podcast on the Community Radio Network and Podcast services

We've got a favour to ask

More people are reading Afloat.ie than ever thanks to the power of the internet but we're in stormy seas because advertising revenues across the media are falling fast. Unlike many news sites, we haven’t put up a paywall because we want to keep our marine journalism open.

Afloat.ie is Ireland's only full–time marine journalism team and it takes time, money and hard work to produce our content.

So you can see why we need to ask for your help.

If everyone chipped in, we can enhance our coverage and our future would be more secure. You can help us through a small donation. Thank you.

Direct Donation to Afloat button

Royal Cork Yacht Club

Royal Cork Yacht Club lays claim to the title of the world's oldest yacht club, founded in 1720. 

It is currently located in Crosshaven, Co. Cork, Ireland and is Cork Harbour’s largest yacht club and the biggest sailing club on the south coast of Ireland.

The club has an international reputation for the staging of sailing events most notable the biennial world famous Cork Week Regatta.

In 2020 RCYC celebrated its tricentenary under its Admiral Colin Morehead.

Royal Cork Yacht Club FAQs

The Royal Cork Yacht Club is the oldest yacht club in the world, and celebrated its 300th anniversary in 2020. It is one of the World’s leading yacht clubs, and is in the forefront of all branches of sailing activity. It is the organiser of the biennial Cork Week, widely regarded as Europe’s premier sailing event. It has hosted many National, European and World Championships. Its members compete at the highest level in all branches of sailing, and the club has a number of World, Olympic, continental and national sailors among its membership.

The Royal Cork Yacht club is in Crosshaven, Co Cork, a village on lower Cork Harbour some 20km south-east of Cork city centre and on the Owenabue river that flows into Cork Harbour.

The club was founded as The Water Club of the Harbour of Cork in 1720, in recognition of the growing popularity of private sailing following the Restoration of King Charles II. The monarch had been known to sail a yacht on the Thames for pleasure, and his interest is said to have inspired Murrough O’Brien, the 6th Lord Inchiquin — who attended his court in the 1660s and whose grandson, William O’Brien, the 9th Lord Inchiquin, founded the club with five friends.Originally based on Haulbowline Island in inner Cork Harbour, the club moved to nearby Cobh (then Cove) in 1806, and took on its current name in 1831. In 1966 the club merged with the Royal Munster Yacht Club and moved to its current premises in Crosshaven.

The Royal Cork Yacht Club today encompasses a wide variety of sailing activities, from young kids in their Optimist dinghies sailing right through the winter months to the not-so-young kids racing National 18s and 1720s during the remaining nine months. There is also enthusiastic sailing in Toppers, Lasers, RS Fevas and other dinghies. The larger keelboats race on various courses set in and around the Cork Harbour area for club competitions. They also take part in events such as the Round Ireland Race, Cowes Week and the Fastnet Race. In many far off waters, right across the globe, overseas club members proudly sail under the Royal Cork burger. The club has a significant number of cruising members, many of whom are content to sail our magnificent south and west coasts. Others head north for the Scottish islands and Scandinavia. Some go south to France, Spain, Portugal and the Mediterranean. The more adventurous have crossed the Atlantic, explored little known places in the Pacific and Indian Oceans while others have circumnavigated the globe.

As of November 2020, the Admiral of the Royal Cork Yacht Club is Colin Morehead, with Kieran O’Connell as Vice-Admiral. The club has three Rear-Admirals: Annamarie Fegan for Dinghies, Daragh Connolly for Keelboats and Mark Rider for Cruising.

As of November 2020, the Royal Cork Yacht Club has approximately 1,800 members.

The Royal Cork Yacht Club’s burgee is a red pennant with the heraldic badge of Ireland (a stylised harp topped with a crown) at its centre. The club’s ensign has a navy blue field with the Irish tricolour in its top left corner and the heraldic badge centred on its right half.

Yes, the Royal Cork Yacht Club organises and runs sailing events and courses for members and visitors all throughout the year and has very active keelboat and dinghy racing fleets. The club also hosts many National, European and World Championships, as well as its biennial Cork Week regatta — widely regarded as Europe’s premier sailing event.

Yes, the Royal Cork Yacht Club has an active junior section with sailing in Optimists, Toppers and other dinghies.

Charles Yes, the Royal Cork Yacht Club regularly runs junior sailing courses covering basic skills, certified by Irish Sailing.

 

The Royal Cork hosts both keelboats and dinghies, with the 1720 Sportsboat — the club’s own design — and National 18 among its most popular. Optimists and Toppers are sailed by juniors, and the club regularly sees action in Lasers, RS Fevas, 29ers and other dinghy classes.

The Royal Cork Yacht Club has a small fleet of 1720 Sportsboats available for ordinary members to charter.

The Royal Cork Yacht Club’s Club House office can provide phone, fax, email, internet and mail holding facilities for a small charge. Club merchandise and postcards may be purchased. Showers and toilet facilities are available 24 hours a day, free of charge. Parking is plentiful and free of charge. Diesel and petrol are available on site. Marina berths are generally available for a fee payable in advance; arrangements must be made before arrival.

Yes, the Royal Cork Yacht Club’s Club House has all of the usual facilities, including bars and restaurant, which are open during normal licensing hours. The restaurant provides a full range of meals, and sandwiches, snacks etc, are available on request.

Normal working hours during the sailing season at the Royal Cork Yacht Club are 9am to 9pm daily. For enquiries contact the RCYC office on 021 483 1023 or email office@royalcork.com

Yes, the Royal Cork Yacht Club caters for all types of events rom weddings, anniversaries, christenings and birthday celebrations to corporate meetings, breakfast meetings, luncheons, private dinners and more. For enquiries contact the Royal Cork Yacht Club office on 021 483 1023 or email office@royalcork.com

New members are invited to apply for membership of the Royal Cork Yacht Club by completing the Nomination Form (available from www.royalcork.com/membership) and returning it to The Secretary, Royal Cork Yacht Club, Crosshaven Co Cork. Nominations are first approved by the Executive Committee at its next meeting, and following a period on display for the members, and are reviewed again at the following meeting at which any objections are considered.

No; while ordinary members of the Royal Cork Yacht Club are usually boat owners, there is no requirement to own a boat when submitting an application for membership.

The annual feel for ordinary members (aged 30+) of the Royal Cork Yacht Club is €645. Family membership (two full members and all children aged 29 and under) is €975, while individuals youth (ages 19-29) and cadet (18 and under) memberships are €205. Other rates are available for seniors, associates and more. All fees quoted are as of the 2020 annual subscription rates.

Memberships of the Royal Cork Yacht Club are renewed annually, usually within 60 days of the club’s Annual General Meeting.
For enquiries contact the Royal Cork Yacht Club office on 021 483 1023 or email office@royalcork.com

©Afloat 2020