‘Elsie’, a classic yacht. A new addition to Volvo Cork Week 2022 is a dedicated Classic Yacht Regatta. Photo: Bob Bateman

Too yacht to handle!

Thousands of spectators and competitors will set sail for Cork Harbour next week for the Volvo Cork Week 2022 regatta.

The world-renowned event returns to the Royal Cork Yacht Club in Crosshaven after a 4 year gap from this Sunday until the following Friday.

Racing within the harbour will take place from Monday-Friday and will include four championship events - the 1720 European Championships, the Irish Cruiser Racing Association (ICRA) National Championships, the Dragons South Coast Championships, and the SB20 Nationals.

The 4 events are in addition to the famous Beaufort Cup for international uniformed service personnel, which encompasses a race around the Fastnet Rock and back to Cork.

Speaking to the Cork Independent, Volvo Cork Week 2022 Racing Chairman Ross Deasy said crews have been arriving in Crosshaven since last weekend, adding to the sense of “pent up enthusiasm” surrounding the event.

“If you go down to the boatyard in Crosshaven now you would see some very exotic machines. People have been waiting a while for this.”

“They’ve had to put their lives on hold for a bit and I think a lot of sailors had put Cork Week 2020 in their diaries and that’s now become Cork Week 2022,” he said.

Throughout the week, approximately 200 Irish and international crews will take to the water, with competitors travelling from the US, France, Australia, Hong Kong, Wales, Scotland and Spain.

Mr Deasy said although his duties are onshore for the week, he hopes to get out on the water at some stage.

He said he will be “primarily setting up the race management teams before sailing, so I’ll have an early start getting weather and tide information. And then there are a number of briefings before the boats go to sea. Then it’s quiet until they come back in after racing and you have the results, prizes, any disputes or protests.

“There’s no referee out there. It’s a self-policing sport which means that sometimes there’s an hour of protest hearings afterwards before we can declare a winner for the day. We try to encourage everyone not to endanger their time at the bar by having one of these hearings. Have fun and come ashore and have a beer.”

A new addition to Volvo Cork Week 2022 is a dedicated Classic Yacht Regatta which will see classic yachts from around the world sail to Cork to partake in three days of racing in and outside Cork Harbour, including the famous 37 foot classic yacht Persephone, the 1919 classic Erin, and the 1957 luxury yacht Shamrock. Over 20 classic French boats will also arrive as part of the Bastille Day celebrations.

On shore, Volvo Cork Week will kick off on Sunday with a fun-filled family day on Sunday from 12-5pm, stretching across whole village of Crosshaven from the Royal Cork Yacht Club to Camden Fort Meagher.

There will be a range of activities for families including the famous Pipers Fun Fare and boat trips from Hugh Coveney Pier on the Cailín Ór.

The emphasis this year is on sustainability with coastal walks, competitions and games, as well as a new coastal market in the marquee at the Yacht Club.

There will also be a Volvo Cork Week Ladies’ Day charity lunch in aid of the Crosshaven RNLI on Wednesday, with Volvo brand ambassadors Amy Huberman and Brendan Courtney.

Launching Volvo Cork Week 2022 in May, Minister Simon Coveney, who plans to take part in the Beaufort Cup, said: “Events like this that attract visitors from around the world are very important for Ireland. The RCYC is the oldest sailing club in the world. It all began here and it is a huge part of Cork Harbour’s history that we are all very proud of.”

Volvo Cork Week 2022 will run from 10-15 July from the Royal Cork Yacht Club in Crosshaven.

The best recommended viewing points for the racing are Camden and the Church Bay in Crosshaven, the new Haulbowline Island Amenity Park in Ringaskiddy, and the promenade in Cobh.

For more information, visit corkweek.ie.