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Anthony O'Leary & Royal Cork Yacht Club Take Bronze at New York Invitational Cup

15th September 2019
Royal Cork Yacht Club on its way to a podium finish for Ireland at the New York Invitational Cup Royal Cork Yacht Club on its way to a podium finish for Ireland at the New York Invitational Cup Credit: Daniel Forster

Anthony O'Leary and the Royal Cork Yacht Club stepped on the podium last night in New York Yacht Club to claim Ireland's first top three result in the prestigious Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup.

While most of the attention was focused on the battle for first, there were a number of developments for the podium places. O'Leary and the Royal Cork Yacht Club team once again showed they love to sail in heavy air. They went 5-2-1, won the day, and took advantage of a couple of tough races by the Royal Canadian Yacht Club to claim Royal Cork's first Invitational Cup podium.

As Afloat reported previously, O'Leary's RCYC crew is: Cliodhna Connolly, Emma Geary, Sophie Browne, Clive O'Shea, Robert O'Leary, Nicholas O'Leary, Ben Field and Tommy Murphy. All week, the Crosshaven sailors were going one way on the New York Yacht Club leaderboard and moved up from sixth after the first race to fifth and were in fourth place going into the final day and managed to leapfrog Royal Canadian Yacht Club despite an eight points deficit.

RCYC New York5-2-1 results on the final day put Anthony O'Leary on the podium for the first time in New York Photo: Daniel Forster

"We're absolutely thrilled. This is our sixth visit, first time to make the podium, so it makes it very special," said O'Leary. "We were eight points behind Canada [starting the day] which is a lot in one respect, but with three races anything is possible. We had one dreadful result on Thursday. You just got to wait and see how the cards fall. We had a five [in the first race today] and you're thinking, 'They're may be two more races, maybe one.' Things seemed to go better and better for us. We're delighted."

RCYC teamThe RCYC team in New York

It all came down to the final race, as it should. Two teams of accomplished and motivated amateur sailors from opposite corners of the globe battling on a lumpy, windy Narragansett Bay for one of Corinthian sailing's most-prized trophies, the 2019 Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup.

Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron and San Diego Yacht Club started the 12th and final race separated by six points, which was anything but a safe margin in this competitive 20-boat fleet. The Australian team had the edge in the overall standings, but skipper Guido Belgiorno-Nettis and his team put the regatta title right in play with a sub-par start while San Diego bolted to the head of the fleet and was, for a while, back in the virtual regatta lead.

Using the superior boatspeed and sterling tactical that had gotten them out of trouble all regatta, Royal Sydney ground back into the top 10 and then into the top five, leaving San Diego hoping for a miracle that wouldn't come. The RSYS team was simply too polished. After 12 races in a full range of conditions, they sailed through the final finish line in fourth place to become the first Southern Hemisphere club to win the Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup.

"It's unbelievable," said Belgiorno-Nettis shortly after a dockside celebration with his team. "You can't describe the feeling of coming all the way from Australia, to be able to put a team together who I love dearly, every one of them, starting with my wife, to actually win a championship like this. The New York Yacht Club Invitational is one of great regattas in the world."

Save for one bad race on the regatta's third day, the San Diego Yacht Club team had sailed a nearly flawless regatta through nine races. Even though they carried a one-point lead into the final day, it was hard to bet against the youthful West Coast team. But then came the second windward mark rounding of today's first race. With Royal Sydney rounding ahead, in third place, San Diego tried to squeeze just too much out of a thin layline and ended up pasted to the windward mark while the bulk of the fleet sailed past. A certain top-10 finish became an 18th.

Now trailing first place by 13 points, SDYC skipper Tyler Sinks and crew showed remarkable reslience with a win in the second race while Belgiorno-Nettis and crew (at left) struggled to an eighth. That brought the title back into reach for the final race. With the pressure on, the Australians rose to the occasion.

"Luckily for us, we're good in the [stronger winds] and there was quite a lot of wind in that last race, and we were able to get the boat rumbling," said Belgiorno-Nettis. "Mike Dunstan, my main trimmer, and my other trimmer on jib, David Edwards, they just set up the boat so it was easy for me to sail. I could just punch the numbers out. It’s all about being consistent. So we were able to chip our way up from quite deep. We were in 12th at the start and ended up in fourth. That was pretty good. Occasionally I’d look around and see where people are…think to myself ‘oh how did that happen?'"

While most of the attention was focused on the battle for first, there were a number of developments lower in the standings. Anthony O'Leary and the Royal Cork Yacht Club team once again showed they love to sail in heavy air. They went 5-2-1, won the day, and took advantage of a couple of tough races by the Royal Canadian Yacht Club to claim Royal Cork's first Invitational Cup podium.

"We're absolutely thrilled. This is our sixth visit, first time to make the podium, so it makes it very special," said O'Leary. "We were eight points behind Canada [starting the day] which is a lot in one respect, but with three races anything is possible. We had one dreadful result on Thursday. You just got to wait and see how the cards fall. We had a five [in the first race today] and you're thinking, 'They're may be two more races, maybe one.' Things seemed to go better and better for us. We're delighted."

Another team that spent the day on the up escalator was the crew representing the host New York Yacht Club (at right), led by co-skippers Andy Fisher and Ray Wulff. After a very up-and-down regatta, the team found its groove on the final day. With three solid races, including a wire-to-wire win in the day's first race, Fisher, Wulff and Co. moved from 10th to sixth in the overall standings.

"As a team we just came together, and each day we were getting stronger and stronger," said Wulff. "Today we just felt, 'You know what, we've just got to go out there and sail as strong as we can.' Representing the Club, we wanted to make sure we finished on a strong note."

The regatta closed with a spectacular Rolex Awards Banquet on Harbour Court. Regardless of finish, it was a time for to celebrate a week of great sailing against friends old and new. 

The next Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup will be sailed in September of 2021. The request for invitation process will begin before the end of the year. For U.S. yacht clubs, next September's Resolute Cup is the only path to securing an invitation to the big show in 2021. 

Final results are here

1. Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron (AUS), 11, 9, 1, 3, 3, 2, 7, 1, 2, 4, 8, 4; 55 points; 2. San Diego (Calif.) Yacht Club, 2, 1, 3, 1, 2, 16, 8, 4, 1, 18, 1, 2; 59 points; 3. Royal Cork Yacht Club (IRL), 6, 6, 14, 2, 5, 1, 5, 18, 5, 5, 2, 1; 70 points; 4. Royal Canadian Yacht Club, 7, 3, 12, 5, 1, 5, 2, 11, 9, 2, 15, 14; 86 points;. 5. Southern Yacht Club (New Orleans, La.), 14, 19, 2, 4, 4, 8, 10, 9, 3, 8, 3, 3; 87 points; 6. New York Yacht Club, 8, 14, 7, 7, 8, 14, 1, 8, 11, 1, 5, 8; 92 points; 7. Royal Thames Yacht Club (GBR), 5, 5, 6, 19, RDG/8, 7, 3, 13, 6, 9, 11, 7; 99 points; 8. Japan Sailing Federation, 1, 4, 9, 11, 6, 9, 13, 5, 10, 7, 6, 19; 100 points; 9. Yacht Club Italiano, 4, 12, 5, 8, 11, 13, 6, 3, 15, 13, 4, 9; 103 points; 10. Royal Swedish Yacht Club, 9, 2, 8, 18, 13, 4, 9, 7, 8, 10, 14, 10; 112 points; 11. Yacht Club Costa Smeralda (ITA), 3, 7, 13, 9, 17, 3, 17, 2, 4, 11, 13, 15; 114 points; 12. Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, 12, 11, 11, 17, 10, 6, 12, 6, 16, 3, 7, 13; 124 points; 13. Itchenor Sailing Club (GBR), 16, 13, 10, 10, 15, 15, 4, 10, 7, 15, 19, 6; 140 points; 14. Norddeutscher Regatta Verein (GER), 10, 18, 18, 15, 14, 10, 16, 14, 13, 6, 10, 12; 156 points; 15. Yacht Club Argentino, 13, 15, 4, 16, 8, DSQ/21, 11, 12, 19, 19, 16, 11; 165 points; 16. Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club, 19, 8, 15, 6, 9, DSQ/21, 15, 17, 18, 12, 17, 16; 173 points; 17. Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club (AUS), 18, 17, 16, 14, 16, 11, 19, 15, 12, 14, 18, 5; 175 points; 18. Real Club Náutico de Barcelona (ESP), 15, 10, 17, 13, 18, 12, 14, 16, 17, 17, 12, 17; 178 points; 18. 19. Royal Yacht Squadron (GBR), 17, 16, 19, 12, 19, 17, 18, 20, 14, 16, 9, 18; 195 points; 20. Yacht Club de France, 20, 20, 20, 20, RET/21, 18, 20, 19, 20, RET/21, DNC/21, DNC/21; 241 points.

Published in Royal Cork YC
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Royal Cork Yacht Club

Royal Cork Yacht Club lays claim to the title of the world's oldest yacht club, founded in 1720. 

It is currently located in Crosshaven, Co. Cork, Ireland and is Cork Harbour’s largest yacht club and the biggest sailing club on the south coast of Ireland.

The club has an international reputation for the staging of sailing events most notable the biennial world famous Cork Week Regatta.

In 2020 RCYC celebrated its tricentenary under its Admiral Colin Morehead.

Royal Cork Yacht Club FAQs

The Royal Cork Yacht Club is the oldest yacht club in the world, and celebrated its 300th anniversary in 2020. It is one of the World’s leading yacht clubs, and is in the forefront of all branches of sailing activity. It is the organiser of the biennial Cork Week, widely regarded as Europe’s premier sailing event. It has hosted many National, European and World Championships. Its members compete at the highest level in all branches of sailing, and the club has a number of World, Olympic, continental and national sailors among its membership.

The Royal Cork Yacht club is in Crosshaven, Co Cork, a village on lower Cork Harbour some 20km south-east of Cork city centre and on the Owenabue river that flows into Cork Harbour.

The club was founded as The Water Club of the Harbour of Cork in 1720, in recognition of the growing popularity of private sailing following the Restoration of King Charles II. The monarch had been known to sail a yacht on the Thames for pleasure, and his interest is said to have inspired Murrough O’Brien, the 6th Lord Inchiquin — who attended his court in the 1660s and whose grandson, William O’Brien, the 9th Lord Inchiquin, founded the club with five friends.Originally based on Haulbowline Island in inner Cork Harbour, the club moved to nearby Cobh (then Cove) in 1806, and took on its current name in 1831. In 1966 the club merged with the Royal Munster Yacht Club and moved to its current premises in Crosshaven.

The Royal Cork Yacht Club today encompasses a wide variety of sailing activities, from young kids in their Optimist dinghies sailing right through the winter months to the not-so-young kids racing National 18s and 1720s during the remaining nine months. There is also enthusiastic sailing in Toppers, Lasers, RS Fevas and other dinghies. The larger keelboats race on various courses set in and around the Cork Harbour area for club competitions. They also take part in events such as the Round Ireland Race, Cowes Week and the Fastnet Race. In many far off waters, right across the globe, overseas club members proudly sail under the Royal Cork burger. The club has a significant number of cruising members, many of whom are content to sail our magnificent south and west coasts. Others head north for the Scottish islands and Scandinavia. Some go south to France, Spain, Portugal and the Mediterranean. The more adventurous have crossed the Atlantic, explored little known places in the Pacific and Indian Oceans while others have circumnavigated the globe.

As of November 2020, the Admiral of the Royal Cork Yacht Club is Colin Morehead, with Kieran O’Connell as Vice-Admiral. The club has three Rear-Admirals: Annamarie Fegan for Dinghies, Daragh Connolly for Keelboats and Mark Rider for Cruising.

As of November 2020, the Royal Cork Yacht Club has approximately 1,800 members.

The Royal Cork Yacht Club’s burgee is a red pennant with the heraldic badge of Ireland (a stylised harp topped with a crown) at its centre. The club’s ensign has a navy blue field with the Irish tricolour in its top left corner and the heraldic badge centred on its right half.

Yes, the Royal Cork Yacht Club organises and runs sailing events and courses for members and visitors all throughout the year and has very active keelboat and dinghy racing fleets. The club also hosts many National, European and World Championships, as well as its biennial Cork Week regatta — widely regarded as Europe’s premier sailing event.

Yes, the Royal Cork Yacht Club has an active junior section with sailing in Optimists, Toppers and other dinghies.

Charles Yes, the Royal Cork Yacht Club regularly runs junior sailing courses covering basic skills, certified by Irish Sailing.

 

The Royal Cork hosts both keelboats and dinghies, with the 1720 Sportsboat — the club’s own design — and National 18 among its most popular. Optimists and Toppers are sailed by juniors, and the club regularly sees action in Lasers, RS Fevas, 29ers and other dinghy classes.

The Royal Cork Yacht Club has a small fleet of 1720 Sportsboats available for ordinary members to charter.

The Royal Cork Yacht Club’s Club House office can provide phone, fax, email, internet and mail holding facilities for a small charge. Club merchandise and postcards may be purchased. Showers and toilet facilities are available 24 hours a day, free of charge. Parking is plentiful and free of charge. Diesel and petrol are available on site. Marina berths are generally available for a fee payable in advance; arrangements must be made before arrival.

Yes, the Royal Cork Yacht Club’s Club House has all of the usual facilities, including bars and restaurant, which are open during normal licensing hours. The restaurant provides a full range of meals, and sandwiches, snacks etc, are available on request.

Normal working hours during the sailing season at the Royal Cork Yacht Club are 9am to 9pm daily. For enquiries contact the RCYC office on 021 483 1023 or email [email protected]

Yes, the Royal Cork Yacht Club caters for all types of events rom weddings, anniversaries, christenings and birthday celebrations to corporate meetings, breakfast meetings, luncheons, private dinners and more. For enquiries contact the Royal Cork Yacht Club office on 021 483 1023 or email [email protected]

New members are invited to apply for membership of the Royal Cork Yacht Club by completing the Nomination Form (available from www.royalcork.com/membership) and returning it to The Secretary, Royal Cork Yacht Club, Crosshaven Co Cork. Nominations are first approved by the Executive Committee at its next meeting, and following a period on display for the members, and are reviewed again at the following meeting at which any objections are considered.

No; while ordinary members of the Royal Cork Yacht Club are usually boat owners, there is no requirement to own a boat when submitting an application for membership.

The annual feel for ordinary members (aged 30+) of the Royal Cork Yacht Club is €645. Family membership (two full members and all children aged 29 and under) is €975, while individuals youth (ages 19-29) and cadet (18 and under) memberships are €205. Other rates are available for seniors, associates and more. All fees quoted are as of the 2020 annual subscription rates.

Memberships of the Royal Cork Yacht Club are renewed annually, usually within 60 days of the club’s Annual General Meeting.
For enquiries contact the Royal Cork Yacht Club office on 021 483 1023 or email [email protected]

©Afloat 2020

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