The Glandore Classic Boat Summer School organised by the Glandore Harbour Yacht Club will take place on July 12 and 13.
Glandore is well known for its Classic Regatta that occurs every two years attracting beautiful boats from Ireland and abroad to its picturesque anchorages; the Club has organised this biennial summer school since 1993 so this is the 10th edition.
The school programme covers themes of Irish maritime, coastal community, environment, heritage, policy and development, and of course the boats with their associated industry and traditions always feature in a big way.
The Summer School sessions will be held the Kilfaughabeg Church in Glandore beginning on Saturday morning with a presentation from Marie Healy of Bord Failte on the newly launched Wild Atlantic Way. This will deal with the project itself and its expected impact on the coastal community and environment. Jim Kennedy of Atlantic Sea Kayaking will speak about his adventure tourism business in the context of the Wild Atlantic Way and our rich natural habitats.
Following on, there will be presentations on our ocean and the renewable energy resources all around our coast —John Keating of the Irish Marine Renewables Industry association will address this. There are a number of interesting historical topics also being covered; Marcus Connaughton or RTE’S Seascapes programme will give a perspective of Ireland’s Maritime Heroes, from Edwin Bransfield to John deCourcy Ireland. Pat Ruane of the Cork City Architectural Conservation Office will be speaking about how the old City of Cork was shaped around our maritime trade. Dr John Borgonovo of UCC will be telling us about the Maritime Landings in County Cork by the Irish Free State in 1922, mentioning the Free State Landing in Union Hall.
To close the afternoon, there are two final items, a very interesting interview with Don Street of Iolaire. Don is a long term resident of Glandore and is known worldwide for his books, ‘Cruising Guides to the Caribbean’, his ‘Atlantic Crossing Guides’ and his famous volumes of ‘The Ocean Sailing Yacht’. The final speaker, well known sailing journalist and maritime historian Winkie Nixon who will provide a provocative viewpoint asking ‘Why shouldn’t the Irish be a Seafaring People?’
On Saturday evening, the Kilfaughabeg Church Restoration group has organised a Traditional Music Concert at 8pm featuring Jim Murray (guitar) with Fiona Kelleher (vocals) and Ciaran O’Connell (banjo) (entry is €10)
The Summer School continues Sunday morning beginning at 11am when John Kelleher of the new Union Hall lifeboat station will be on hand to tell of the project, the base set up, and the boat itself. Then, from a new RNLI to an old RNLI, Colm Sliney of the Mary Stanford Project in Ballycotton, will tell participants about his group and their work in rescue and preservation plans for the former Ballycotton lifeboat (1930 to 1959), the only RNLI vessel ever awarded a medal by the RNLI! There are important contributions on new boat builds also. Noel Ryan and Willie Kirwan will speak about the new Bantry Long Boat built in Co Offaly, the Sionn Mhara. Stephen Henning will talk about the new Namhog built in Clonakilty by the Men’s Shed group. Noted author and yachting historian Hal Sisk will share an understanding on how the modern amateur sport of yacht racing developed; particularly how the advent of railway travel assisted the growth of sailing!
The last session will be on Sunday afternoon and will focus on the recent renovations and relaunch of traditional and classic sail and work boats from Hegarty’s Boatyard at old Court. Participants will hear the latest progress updates on the Ilen, an account of the wonderful work on the Eve first launched in 1893 over 120 years ago! There will also be updates on the following boats, Teal, Oilean na Ean, An Suire, Sile a Do and Speckled Wood.
Overall, a very varied Summer school of maritime history environment and heritage lies in prospect of the weekend with something of interest to most during the two days. The subscription for the two-day lecture series is €15.