Hosted by the Royal Cork Yacht Club, Cork Week is a well organised event which attracts 500 racing yachts, lured by its reputation of being one of the best sailing regattas in the world.
Run by sailors for sailors, Cork Week combines hard-core racing with what can only be described as a professional level of socialising. The racing is varied and challenging, with four courses raced over five days.
The Co Cork village has to accommodate more than 5,000 sailors for the week — and as many socialites each night — not to mention the hundreds of spectators who watch the racing from the shore.
In fact, one of the problems for Cork Week organisers is that there are often as many participants as spectators and that makes it one of the largest sporting events in the country.
And while the Royal Cork has an ideal riverside location for hosting such an event, virtually none of the shoreside facilities exist long before the regatta starts.
Cork Week, which is sponsored by the Irish Examiner, always provides a great spectacle for visitors and competitors.
The week-long regatta is run on a voluntary basis by the members of the Royal Cork Yacht Club, and with the help and support of the local community.
A steering group oversees and directs spending in excess of €1 million and manages a “workforce” of more than 400 people up to and during the week.
Race committee chairman Dave Meagher said: “It’s great to see so many of the Commodore’s Cup sailors competing in different classes at Cork Week and we are looking forward to exciting racing.”
Mr Meagher has surrounded himself with a highly experience team, dedicated to the job they are doing.
“Everyone who is involved in Cork Week is a volunteer. Their help ensures the race management runs smoothly and that competitors have a great time,” he said.
Another feature of Cork Week is the feeder race, prior to the start of the week itself.
Last evening there was a head-to-head battle between British TV presenter Ben Fogle and Team Caffari hoping to set the first official World Speed Sailing Record for the Portsmouth to Cork trip. The race was won by Fogle and his Volvo Yacht Club team on board the John Merricks.
* For a full list of events and all competing boats, visit www.corkweek.com