Of the fleet competing at Volvo Cork Week next week, a sizable number of competitors will be drawn from members of the Navy, Coast Guard, Army, air force, police and emergency rescue services.
And not just Ireland’s services as the inaugural Beaufort Cup extends to representatives from any country.
At least 50% of the crew of an entered yacht must be active members of the service in whose name the yacht is entered. There are now 13 Irish and British teams entered, bringing the overall Cork Week turnout to 105 boats so far.
In keeping with racing trends generally in Ireland, the J109s appear to be the weapon of choice for several teams, including the current Irish Class 1 national champion Joker 2 sailing with a 100% military crew.
Making good on his promise to take part when Minister for Defence, keen sailor Simon Coveney has also entered on the A35 Another Adventure while J109 Justus and Kinsale 45-footer Meridian make up the full Defence Forces squad. Crews on all four Irish military boats are “tri-service”, rather than pitting Army against Naval Service against Air Corps.
Meanwhile, non-military crews include two RNLI lifeboat teams that will no doubt have their sights set on the €10,000 prize to be donated to a charity of the winning team’s choice. The RNLI South-Coast team will be racing on ‘Endgame’ owned by Frank Doyle with RNLI lifeboat crew from the south coast on board. The crew will be made up of Ruth Concannon from Fenit RNLI, Johnny McKenna from Union Hall RNLI, Aidan O’Connor and James Fegan from Crosshaven RNLI and Fergal McGrath from Tramore RNLI. Frank Doyle’s existing crew Harry Donegan, John Lapthorne, Will Barry and Tadhg Concannon will also be on hand during the week.
Meanwhile, their counterparts in Baltimore lifeboat station announced their own crew-panel this week featuring prominent sailors with a strong combined racing pedigree.
Martin Darrer and Coleman Garvey have loaned their Projection 35 and crew of nine includes six of the Baltimore lifeboat crew led by Youen Jacob with Cathal Cottrell, Pat Collins, Jim Baker, Aidan Bushe, Brendan Cottrell, along with Nicholas O’ Leary, Sandy Remington and Coleman Garvey.
The two crews have received sponsorship and support from the Cape Clear Ferry Company for Baltimore RNLI and Helly Hanson and Solas Marine for RNLI South Coast.
And the Irish Coast Guard service will have a team competing on a Beneteau 36-footer drawing crew from around the country for a competitive entry coordinated by Crosshaven Coast Guard station. The Sea Fisheries Protection service has also entered a team on one of the largest boats at the event. The racing format promises a full range of tests, starting off with three inshore races on Monday, quickly followed by a 24-hour race to the Fastnet Rock and back. After the long race, the Beaufort Cup boats rejoin the main Volvo Cork Week fleet for the rest of the event that ends on Friday July 15.
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