Crosshaven's RCYC 1720 sailing celebration left up the creek, but Brightwater still has wind in its sales

Crosshaven developments set to total 390 houses have boosted the population of the quiet seaside village, writes Tommy Barker
Crosshaven's RCYC 1720 sailing celebration left up the creek, but Brightwater still has wind in its sales

Wednesday 11th July 2012 - Crosshaven, Ireland: Class 2 boats competing at the biennial Cork Week in Crosshaven, Ireland. Photograph: David Branigan | Oceansport
Wednesday 11th July 2012 - Crosshaven, Ireland: Class 2 boats competing at the biennial Cork Week in Crosshaven, Ireland. Photograph: David Branigan | Oceansport

As is the case with just about every major, and minor, sports event due in 2020, from the Olympics to darts, this summer’s festivities to mark a major anniversary of the 1720-founded Royal Cork Yacht Club in Crosshaven have been left high and dry, becalmed and up the creek by the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Virtually every one of the celebratory events, visitor swells and economic boom planned by the Crosshaven sailing community, from spring through to August 1 this year has been cancelled, from club, national and European races and regattas, with sailing leagues operating on a ‘virtual’ basis – a rather dry approximation of the real thing, even if still competitively fought over.

But, given its 300 years span of existence, the Royal Cork Yacht Club is a sporting body that in its long and gilded past has also witnessed many devastating events, from world wars, the arrival and departure of major naval fleets, the Irish Famine in the 1840s, up to and including a raft of global pandemics.

They include the 1968 Hong Kong flu; the 1956-58 Asian Flu, and the 1918 flu epidemic that claimed between 20-50 million lives; several outbreaks of cholera, other Asiatic or Russian flus, and the HIV/Aids virus that claimed 36m worldwide since the 1980s.

None compared to the Black Plague, Bubonic Plague: spread by shipping and port-hopping by fleas hitching a ride on rats, voyaging from continent to continent, it wiped out 75-200 million lives over a seven year span, between 1346 and 1355, about four centuries before leisure sailing took a persistent hold in Cork harbour, in 1720.

The good news is that all of those devastating pandemics eventually passed, even if a few took several years to dissipate or counter.

So, in the great scheme of things, the wheel turns, tides rise and fall, winds come and go, and humankind adapts. Like other sporting codes, the Cork club, Crosshaven and the wider community will have to gauge how the winds blow and see their time in the sun; maybe a 301st big birthday celebration?

Like the still-evolving sailing club, which started on Haulbowline island and moved later to Queenstown/Cobh, much has changed in Crosshaven down the centuries and decades. Even the recent past has seen a significant demographic shift, with a rapid growth in full-time population to over 2,600, in what for years before was a seasonal boating, fishing and tourism village on an estuary, just before the mouth of the expansive Cork harbour.

Much of that change was down to the arrival of the Brightwater new homes development, already over 200 houses, since the scheme by O’Flynn Construction arrived in Crosshaven back in 2003: it’s still continuing with Drakes Point. On completion the linked schemes may see c 390 houses of all sizes and many types delivered by 2022: that’s quite some impact on a relatively small, year-round community.

Fresh to market this week is a smart-order three-bedroomed mid-terrace home, being sold by a young and growing family who are seeking to trade up in the vicinity, and are selling in order to fund their move.

No 163 Brightwater is just shy of 1,100 sq ft, and is priced at €275,000 by estate agent Ann O’Mahony of Sherry FitzGerald.

It could have an appeal to buyers at either end of a spectrum, from traders-down to starters-out, and Ms O’Mahony reckons it will be first-time buyers in the main who will go for it and prevail.

The Price Register shows No 163 last sold back in 2016, when it transacted at €253,000, and the Register lists 89 sales alone since 2010, including a block sale of some units in 2015.

The stronger sales have been in the mid €300ks, and top on the register was No 82 selling for €390,000 in 2010.

The Register also records a further 85 sales in the later phases of Brightwater, Drakes Point, mostly since 2016 and broadly in the €200-€350,000 price band (before Vat if new), with the highest price listed at €465,000 for new-build No 5 Drakes Point in late 2018 or €527,775 inc Vat, according to another register.

Sherry Fitz’s Ms O’Mahony says No 163’s in walk-in condition for its next occupants, is finished to a very good standard and is centrally located within the popular development.

Internally, the C1 BER-rated family home has a hall, with double doors to a living room with coved ceiling and open fireplace, and the full-width kitchen/diner behind has large porcelain floor tiles, in contrast to the wood-effect laminate flooring used in most other rooms.

There’s understairs storage (no utility), a guest WC and above two of the three bedrooms are doubles and one’s en suite, with a shower, while the main family bathroom has a shower over a bath…handy for washing wetsuits and swimwear.

Externally there’s off-street parking on a cobble drive and an enclosed back garden with lawn and shed, for sails, boots, body boards and bikes.

VERDICT: Brightwater has the wind in its sales.

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