Beaufort Cup honours services in sailing battle

An appropriately breezy day marked the official launch of the Beaufort Cup and Volvo Cork Week yesterday on board the LE Róisín off Cobh and close to the racecourse area for July’s biennial spectacle.

Beaufort Cup honours services in sailing battle

The new cup is dedicated to teams drawn from all branches of services – military, emergency, civilian and voluntary.

Already, the Irish Defence Forces have declared three boats with a possible fourth mooted while the Royal Navy and US Corps of Engineers entries are expected.

The French Ambassador to Ireland Jean-Pierre Thébault was on hand to confirm that once Olympic team selections were out of the way, he hopes that one or possibly two crews will compete in the series.

France will have a naval vessel in attendance and a Royal Navy ship is also expected for the event that will run concurrently with Volvo Cork Week.

The Beaufort Cup is dedicated to Rear-Admiral Beaufort who was born in Co. Meath and gave his name to the wind strength scale he devised in 1805.

Efforts are under way to secure entries from An Garda Siochana as well as the Police Service of Northern Ireland while the event is also open to RNLI lifeboat crews. A prize-fund of €10,000 for a charity nominated by the winning crew is at stake.

While the Beaufort Cup will be staged parallel with the main Cork Week series, a departure from the standard regatta will be an offshore race to the iconic Fastnet Rock and back.

A big push for entries for Cork Week is underway with organisers hoping to rebuild the regatta progressively over several events.

The event takes place from July 10 to 15 and so far, entries have been received from Ireland, Northern Ireland, the United Kingdom and France.

The target entry for this Summer’s event is 150 boats, approximately a 40 per cent increase on the 2014 turnout.

In addition to the services regatta, big draw is expected to be the inaugural staging of the European IRC Championships during the week itself. Seven countries hold IRC national championships since the first British series in 2000.

Meanwhile, IRC handicapping and moves by the rival ORC system will be discussed today at the Castletroy Park Hotel in Limerick when the annual Irish Cruiser Racing Association annual conference gets underway at 10.30am.

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