Seafaring fun spills ashore for party time

WHEN the going gets tough, the tough get going, but when the going gets too easy, there’s nowhere to go, except the bunk or the pub.

It was a bit like that for a while at ACC Bank Cork Week as Crosshaven basked in bouts of sunshine and occasional light winds.

For once, the sailors envied the strollers, hawkers and gawkers as they wandered through the tented village erected for this biennial celebration of seafaring.

On shore, Ladies Day was being celebrated in style and it seems that this year’s look was undeniably nautical but nice. Everything from ra-ra dresses to double-hulled heels was on view.

The Simon Community benefited to the tune of more than €50,000 as the ladies who lunch came together for afternoon tea (by that is meant champagne and strawberries) to support one of Cork city’s favourite charities.

The chattering classes were all talk about Revenge, J-90 and Bluemoose. These sounded like a line-up of boats waiting for racing to start, but, no, they were very much land-based bands playing in the canvas bars that provide sustenance for seafarers and party-goers alike.

Cork Week is not all about sailing. There is plenty to do for landlubbers whose only connection with boats is sitting with a cool beer, watching the world sail by.

Each night after the sailing, there is live music, bands and discos in four different marquees, including main stage playing host to such headline acts as Paddy Casey, Aslan, The Walls, Bagatelle, Revenge, J-90 and Bluemoose and support acts from new up and coming Cork artist Nicole Maguire.

Last night, J-90, a five-piece rock-rap band based in Cork, were humming. Earlier in the day, another J-90, owned by namesake Dan Buckley, was also making music of sorts on the water.

There is an Irish Bar with live music each night until 2am, from bands and artists such as Roy Buckley, Quaide, Amadáns & Bodhráns, Liam Byrne (Christy Moore tribute act), The Celts and many more.

Among the crews both enjoying Cork Week day and night Manly Sailing, from Sydney, led by Aussie Chris Stockdale and Irishwoman Anne Hogan. When Anne took up a contract in Australia with a telecom company in 2000, her intention was to stay for two years. Things didn’t quite work out that way. She quickly developed a passion for three things: sailing, Australia and partner Chris. Having been to Cork Week in 2006, Chris regards it as the best anywhere — and not just for the sailing.

“We hadn’t been featuring too prominently in the results so the crew decided to adopt a different tactic after racing and quite literally take out the opposition.”

He turned his captain’s log into a sailor’s blog, telling his fans back home: “An English yacht called Anticipation is coming first in our division and when we bumped into them in the bar last night our lot decided to show them how Aussies party. They all headed out to the pub where beer challenges, choruses of Waltzing Matilda and a late night ensued but the crew assure me that they were only doing it for the good of the team.”

That’s what makes Cork Week so attractive: A heady mixture of bumpers-style racing at sea and frenzied fun ashore. The massive tented village in Crosshaven plays host to 5,000 competitors and almost 100,000 spectators.

That means serious sailing by day and serious partying at night.

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