Sailing: Volvo Cork Week launch event postponed due to Storm Emma
Beaufort Cup organiser reports big increase in interest from British crews
The launch of Volvo Cork Week is expected to take place next week instead. David Branigan/Oceansport courtesy of Baltimore RNLI
With the current weather event taking a toll on sporting fixtures, the launch of a major sailing regatta on a historic island is the latest postponement due to Storm Emma’s arrival in Ireland.
All that is off, however, until next week when the venue will switch to the Officer’s Mess at the Naval Service Headquarters on neighbouring Haulbowline Island on Monday.
The military connection with the regatta stepped up two years ago for the inaugural Beaufort Cup, a highlight of the five-day series that brought together teams from military and rescue services.
Ireland’s Defence Forces A team on Joker 2, John Maybury’s J109 from Dún Laoghaire led by Commandant Barry Byrne, emerged overall winners and donated their €10,000 charity winnings to Crumlin Children’s Hospital and the RNLI.
Byrne is again co-ordinating the various entries for the Beaufort Cup and reports a big increase in interest from the United Kingdom, especially from J109 crews that will be major contenders.
“We’re also expecting crews from continental European services and interest is boosted by services trophy in the Round Ireland that ends close enough to make doing both events worthwhile,” he told The Irish Times.
Overall, entries are looking healthy for the entire event, according to regatta chairman Kieran O’Connell of the Royal Cork Yacht Club. “We have 60 confirmed entries and we think there’ll be an increase of about 20 per cent on the 2016 event which would be great.”
So far, the increase in numbers have come from one-design classes such as the 1720 and SB20 sportsboats plus the Dragon class that has mustered 10 entries with another five expected.
The drop in exchange rate value following the Brexit referendum has had a marginal impact but only in terms of value – entries and interest from the UK remains in line with recent Cork Weeks.
Longer term, regardless of the type of Brexit that emerges, in the worst-case scenario apart from some extra red-tape for visiting UK boats, O’Connell does not expect any reduction in interest for boats visiting from Britain.
Volvo Cork Week runs from July 16th to 21st and features a new format that allows crews to select the type of duration of racing event that they prefer.