Last Thursday, 18th November saw members and their guests gathering at the yacht club over dinner to hear about the recent exploits of the Cork Harbour One Design Jap whilst participating in both the Regattes Royale in Cannes and Les Voiles in Saint Tropez late September / early October.
Our Admiral, Colin Morehead, who counted amongst the crew in St Tropez, opened the evening with a brief and light hearted account of his experience on board the 124-year-old yacht which was built in Cork Harbour at the Gridiron Works in Carrigaloe all those years ago. His introduction also included a lovely short video of past Admiral Bill Walsh recounting how he came to be one of the owners of the beautiful yacht over the last century which was enjoyed by the 40 or so people present.
This was followed by an excellent account given by Clayton Love about the CHOD Maritime Foundation and how it has been established to protect the yacht for future generations to enjoy. He set out how the structure evolved, its modus operandi and his open invitation for people to get involved. Whilst on the night Clayton was addressing mainly members of the Royal Cork, he stressed that Jap was accessible to all Cork Sailors – it is part of Cork’s maritime heritage.
Then club member Terry Birles who also competed at Les Voiles in Saint Tropez in September on board one of his own yachts, spoke about his desire to see Classic Yachts racing once more in Cork Harbour. Eagle eyed enthusiasts have seen one of his yachts, Fair Lady, arrive on a large transporter recently from which she was offloaded at Castlepoint yard where she will undergo a refit to include a new deck. Terry spoke about his belief that “it is the duty of those who are fortunate enough to be able to do so, to protect these vessels so that they may be enjoyed by the next generation”. True to his word, Terry kindly announced to everyone present that he had heard Jap was in need of some new sails and that he was delighted to advise that he had arranged for this to happen – his comments were welcomed with prolonged applause. He then presented a beautiful half model of his yacht Erin to the Admiral and suggested that it might encourage others to do the same to adorn the hallowed walls of our club – perhaps the members room upstairs?
Finally, Harold Cudmore took to the floor and spoke about his passion for classic yachts, his passion for Jap given that he was so instrumental in her return to Cork Harbour, his desire to see classic yachts racing once more in Cork Harbour, especially given the much-anticipated relaunch of Northerly next year and plans to add a classic fleet to Volvo Cork Week for the first-time next summer. Back in the 90’s Clayton Love Jnr had the foresight to purchase Jap and have her completely restored along with the fit out of a 40ft container to store and transport her. “It’s as simple as popping a stamp on it and sending her around the world” he said. Cudmore spoke about the regattas which would be of interest for Jap in 2022. Imperia, Monaco and Saint Tropez and not forgetting Cannes at which he said he has some unfinished business to attend to (Jap finished 3rd in class at the regatta in September!). There are also plans for a Fife Regatta in Scotland and it is believed that the offer of a mother ship had been secured before the night was out. However, he encouraged others to put their hands up and get stuck in. “Now is the time for a “slightly” younger generation to get involved” he said. Anyone interested in doing so should make contact in the first instance with Donal McClement
Next weekend at the Paris Boat Show, Admiral Colin Morehead will formally announce that entry into a classic fleet at Volvo Cork Week 2022 will be available for the first time. In recent months he has been working with our friends at the Atlantic Yacht Club with the support of the Yacht Club de France to encourage participation from amongst the significant Classic Fleet in France. More to follow in due course….