A new sailing club in east Cork is hoping for county council help to establish its own headquarters and boost tourism in the area.
The founders of Youghal Sailing Club believe having a base will enable it to exploit the potential of the River Blackwater by providing year-round sport and leisure.
With interest in maritime activities growing, Youghal has about two dozen teenagers sailing various craft, including GP14s, a small, relatively inexpensive racing boat.
A group of parents formed the club to provide an organised structure for their children’s interest.
The club expects to have 50 members from the wider east Cork area by the year end and at least 100 when its membership year officially commences in mid- March. Annual membership fees range from €50 to €150.
“But we have no headquarters,” said club commodore Patrick Buttimer.
He said members avail of a single slipway at Nealon’s Quay car park near the town centre where, it was pointed out, sailors “have to change in the back of cars and vans, while de-rigging often infringes on disability parking spaces”.
The club, he said, would like Cork County Council to designate a section of the car park as a temporary clubhouse and storage area while it establishes itself fully. After that, it would seek council backing to allocate a section of land for a clubhouse, half a mile upriver on a Famine-era construction known as the Slob Bank.
Patrick said: “A feasibility study has already been conducted at the location as part of Youghal’s ongoing main drainage scheme.”
The club will present its project to next month’s East Cork Municipal District Council.
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