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Cork Independent

Around the County

Breath taking crosshaven

Thursday, 18th August, 2011 8:00am

Crosshaven is a peaceful and quiet village located in a scenic area with views of Currabinny Wood and Cork  Harbour. There  is much to do and to see in Crosshaven where you can enjoy beautiful walks by the sea and river as well as enjoy all the gorgeous scenery that the famous sailing village has to offer.The village is most famous for the Royal Cork Yacht Club, which is widely acknowledged as the world's oldest Yacht Club. Founded in 1720, the club was originally known as the Water Club of the Cork Harbour and was established by William O' Brien, the ninth Lord Inchiquin, a great-grandson to the first Earl of Inchiquin, who was a courtier of King Charles the Second.O'Brien and five of his friends based themselves in a castle on Haulbowline Island, the lease of which Lord Inchiquin held. From that castle they regulated their sailing, membership and dining affairs according to a set of rules that today is known as 'The Old Rules'.Earlier on, there were several forms of sailing in the club which copied the manoeuvres of the navies of that time. Communication was done through flying different flags and firing  cannons. Each display and sequence of flags or guns had meaning and every yacht owner carried a common signal book on board which also allowed them to communicate with one another.Shortly before 1806 the club moved to the nearby town of Cove (Cobh today) as the British Admiralty decided that they had a greater need for Haulbowline Island than the yacht club did. The club used various premises in Cove as clubhouses but eventually in 1854 it moved in to a new building which stood directly on to the waterfront and was to become a major yachting centre as well as an important meeting place for Cork society.At this stage, membership for the yacht club was highly sought after and club records show that many candidates were disappointed. One of the lucky few who was chosen as a member was Prince Ferdinand Maximilian of Austria, later to be emperor of Mexico. One of the very first sporting heroes, Sir Thomas Lipton, who challenged for the America's Cup sailing his famous series of yachts called Shamrock, was admitted in to the club in 1900.The Royal Cork Yacht Club today comprises of a wide variety of sailing activities from young children in their dinghies and older members  involved  in racing for the majority of the year. The club has a significant number of cruising members, many of whom are content to sail the south and west coasts. Many sail south towards France, Spain, Portugal and the Mediterranean. The total number of members currently stands at about 1,500 people. The activities of the club are regarded as a  significant  tourism asset for the Cork area as well as contributing handsomely to the Crosshaven economy. European and Irish championships are held there regularly as well as Cork Week, which is held every two years and is regarded as Europe's most enjoyable regatta and attracts contestants from all over the world.Crosshaven was originally a Viking settlement, part of what is known as the the Ostman's Tancred after Cork City became a fortified English stronghold. According to  local  legend, Sir  Francis Drake sailed up the River Owenabue while hiding from the Spanish Amanda. The point in the river where he is alleged to have hid is known as Drake's Pool.  Today Drake's Pool is renowned for its scenic beauty.  Crosshaven railway station was the southern terminus of the Cork, Blackrock and Passage railway. The station opened on 1 June 1904 before eventually closing on 1 June 1932. The local secondary school, Coláiste Mhuire, was founded by the aunt of James Joyce who dreamt she was walking along the cliffs by Crosshaven one night. The town is  honoured  with two mentions in  Ulysses.Crosshaven AFC is the oldest soccer club in Cork and was founded in 1898. Bobby Tambling, Chelsea's all time top-scorer, is currently involved with the club, which has two pitches, an all-weather pitch and a gym located at Myrtleville Cross. The town also has an internationally successful indoor soccer team, that won the Isola Design Cup in 2005 and 2006. Crosshaven RFC was founded in 1972 and is also located at Myrtleville Cross.  As it is a fishing village, the maritime sector is very important. The town has five beaches which have been  important in promoting it as a tourism town internationally.  Crosshaven encompasses everything that is beautiful about Ireland. Its breath-taking views and its humble village along with a fascinating maritime history are unparalleled in Ireland. And best of all, it's only a few miles from Cork City. With plenty going on, check it out for yourself now!

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