‘Quality of racing was second to none’ despite fall in yacht numbers

Over 100 yachts took to Cork Harbour yesterday in a huge race to mark the final day of one of the country’s top regattas.

After an initial hour-long delay to allow for the passage of a massive container ship through the mouth of the harbour, some 115 yachts of all classes took to the waters of the inner harbour just after 12 noon for the final competitive event of the Royal Cork Yacht Club’s Cork Week 2012.

The fleet provided a great spectacle as yachts raced from Roches Point in as far as Cobh, where the vessels turned at a mark just off-shore.

RCYC manager, Gavin Deane, who oversaw the Cork Week event, said it was one of the busiest race days the harbour has seen in recent years.

And he said while the level of Cork Week entries was down on previous years — 600 yachts competed at the height of its popularity — organisers felt the event was still a success.

“We are pleased overall. The numbers may be down but the quality of racing was second to none,” Mr Deane said.

The success of the All Aboard family initiative, and the Bodega by the Sea venture — introduced for the first time this year — will be incorporated in Cork Week 2014, he said.

The All Aboard venture attracted up to 10,000 people to Crosshaven last weekend, he said.

Cork Week chairman Pat Lyons said these new initiatives had helped introduce new people to the RCYC and to sailing.

And he said the quality of racing ensured that Cork Week has maintained its international reputation.

“Obviously, the economic climate is determining the level of entries and the level of commercial activities,” he said.

“But we have made our plans accordingly and have reduced the scale of our event to cope with the changing nature of the economy.”

The bad weather affected visitor numbers, especially to the night-time shoreside activities, which were down about 15% to 20%.

But Joleen Cronin, who runs award-winning Cronin’s pub and restaurant, said Cork Week delivered a huge boost to the local economy.

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