The Telescope

The newsletter of the S.C.G.S.C.

Volume 1, Issue 1
February, 2000

Hello everyone
We start a new year hoping to have a great year of sailing and hopefully the weather will be kind to us. While 'Oasis' is not back in the water yet some of our skippers have plans for cruises to far off places. More of that anon.

The Round Ireland
The Round Ireland sub-committee is still busy trying to put together sponsorship for this event. If anyone believes that they can help, please contact any of the following: Martin Landers, Harry Field or Eamonn Foley.

A New Skipper
It has been some time since we had a new skipper. Dermot O'Mahony has received his certificate and has been appointed 'Skipper' at the last committee meeting. We wish him fair sailing and pleasant winds in this, his first season in charge.
We hope that he will not give up his other talent, that of cooking. He would be the first person on the editor's list for crew such is his excellence in the galley and another Douglas man, John O'Riordan would be the second due to his great selection of vintage wines.

& A New Member
We would like to welcome our newest member Pat Kelly to the club. Pat is the husband of Rose O' Shea i/c. Passage West. We hope to see both of you sailing shortly. Pat brings the present number of members to 45 at present.

Ford Week
Martin Landers is putting together a crew to race in Ford Week at Crosshaven.
It takes place between the 15th and 21st of July.
The cost is £60 per person is for five days of what promises to be very exciting racing and includes a pass for the week, for the fun ashore in the tented village each night. I understand that accommodation may be available onboard for the crew at night.
We expect that Martin will take responsibility for the moral wellbeing of the crew and will count the numbers aboard each night and that any stowaways will be ejected.
This is going to be serious racing, because of this no guests or children will be allowed to sail only the paid up members of the crew. The fee must be paid to Martin by the 1st of March, as the entry fee to the R.C.Y.C has to be paid by that date.

Planned Cruises
Eamonn Foley is planning to go west along the coast during the year as well as going to the Scillies.

Eoghan Allen has plans to bring the delivery crew back to the Scillies, as they did not have enough time to woo the comely maidens on their last visit.

Martin Landers is looking towards France for his cruise this year. Now is the time to put in your order for the wine. He was seen measuring each locker and the space under the floor recently. He is also at present looking at the possibility of the Scillies in May.

Pat Fitzgerald is hoping to spend a week sailing west along the coast going as far as Dingle or even Kilrush. He is hoping some other skipper would then do the trip back to Crosshaven. This is a great way of getting to places that you would not normally have the time for on a week's cruise.

Pat Fleming hopes to do one offshore cruise as well as a coastal cruise this year. Depending on the amount of interest among members, he hopes to go to either the Channel Islands & France or to the Scillies. The Channel Islands cruise would take approx. 12 to 14 days calling at the following places: - Scillies, Guernsey, Jersey & St. Malo and spending approx. 2 nights in each harbour. The coastal trip would be along the South West Coast taking about a week and might involve teaming up with another skipper to do a 'one way' trip.

Michael Collins, the crewmember extraordinair is again planning another trip, this time with Paddy Allen.

Paddy Allen, our esteemed Commodore is organising with Michael Collins, a short cruise to the Scillies in early June. Paddy and Michael have being studying for the Coastal Skipper Certificate over the winter and both wish to put up some mileage and at the same time do some serious navigation. The cruise is intended to take four days, two days sailing and two days at the islands. If interested contact Paddy at 021-814685.

At this rate we will soon have a regular ferry service from Crosshaven to the Scillies.

We have no word on John Murphy's, Dermot O'Mahony's or Harry Field's plans yet but we will keep you posted.

Renaming the yacht
The club is registering 'Oasis' in Ireland in Ireland with the Dept. of the Marine as we wish to use her further afield than Ireland and England. As the Channel Islands is not part of the U.K. or E.U. and France is very sticky with regulations, we will have to register her to be able to use 'Oasis' in these waters. We have discovered that the cost renaming a registered boat would be expensive and we would need the permission of the minister to do so. Because of this the committee has decided, as we can not afford at present the extra cost of a name change we will stick with the present name. We would like to thank those of you who submitted names for the boat. You never know we might use one of them for the next boat.

Updating membership details
If you received a 'membership details form' with this newsletter, it means you bloody well did not return the one you got in August of last year! Please return this one. The editor is blowing a fuse and is threatening to cross you off his mailing list. An up to date list of members will be sent out with the next newsletter, so now is your last chance for this year.

Annual General Meeting
The AGM of the club will take place at the Garda Club, Penrose Quay, Cork on Friday the 10th of March. This will be a very important one for the South Coast section as it is intended that both the South Coast & East Coast sections would formally separate and the club would change its name to become the South Coast Garda Sailing Club & the East Coast Garda Sailing Club. It would be putting into being what has really already happened in effect since 1995 and will mean that 'Oasis' will become the property of the South Coast members instead of being the property of the Garda Sailing Club.

Ajay's log
Ajay's log has fallen into the hands of the editor. It was hoped to take extracts from it but apart from one or two skippers very little was written into the log. An example of some of the entries would read as follows:

" Date……., Skipper………, Crew………, Destination: Crosshaven to Glandore. Signed Skipper……….."

Surely they must have had a pleasant trip? Maybe they saw a dolphin? Someone must have told a joke?

Skippers! when you fill out the log, of course fill out the entries but also tell us about what went on during the cruise, so that we can all share in the experience when we read about it in the log when we go aboard or in the newsletter during the winter. However one entry caught our attention: It was a cold Friday in May in the year of our lord 1997, off the south coast of Ireland somewhere East of Kinsale. A crewmember begins the log on the good ship 'Ajay'………………….

"Great crack but I'm bloody freezing, I can't even write! The Fleming skipper is asleep, the first mate is deranged, his son is skiing on our 9 knot surf, the second mate really doesn't give a damn, he thinks the place is haunted. The third mate, well he's only interested in smoking fags and spotting birds from the Sovereign Isles and then there's me - Well who else is going to sail the boat!

"The skipper wrote: - "Who ever wrote the above is going to be hung from the yard arm at dusk which is soon, once we find out who she is !! "

And by the way Joan, I'm still gunning for you.
Signed, Pat.

Disabled sailing
This month we have an article from Triona O'Neill, our Secretary who has being sailing since she was in a pram. Martin introduced Triona O'Neill to the Garda Sailing Club and she has acted as the OOD (starter) in our last two regattas in Kinsale. She is rumoured to be the only person who can put manners on Landers. She is well known for jumping in when the going get though and is always there to lend a hand both ashore and afloat. Under her crusty exterior lies a soft heart. She has been involved in disabled sailing from its beginnings in Cork and while she has taken a back seat as far as committee work is concerned she is still actively involved as a helper. This is her story:

On returning from working in London in 1979, having worked there for three years and yearning for the sea, I became steadily involved in Kinsale Yacht Club. This Club is very dear to my heart as I have several memories of my parents and their friends attending various dinners at the various locations the Club had prior to anchoring at their present location. The Ladies of the Club used to prepare the dinners, each taking on a separate course each week. The princely sum of five shillings (25p) was charged for the meal, seven shillings (35p) if music was provided!

Serving my time as Hon. Sailing Secretary of the club in the early ‘80’s gave me an insight into the Club organisation as such. Going on the water to race is exhilarating for the participants, but behind the scenes there is much work to be done to ensure that all will go well for the race. Clashes with other events in the nearby harbours, organising officers of the day who will start and finish the race, provision of committee boats, getting courses laid, etc. etc…the list is endless. Then you also have the various Classes in the Club, i.e., the Cruiser fleet, the Dragon fleet, the 15’s, Mirrors, Oppies and Challengers etc etc. It all takes time and is a very thankless position.

Having worked in the Medical field, I had a lot of contact with persons with disabilities. These people of various ages had differing disabilities, from Spina Bifida and Muscular Dystrophy to M.S. or M.N.D, being blind or partially sighted, deaf or a combination of both. They did have one common problem and that was coming to terms with their disability and of integration with abled bodied persons. It was from my own experience that I felt I had something to offer. Here I was, healthy, able bodied and I enjoyed what life had to offer. To be honest, I made the most of life anyway.

I got interested in the disabled sailing group in the earlier days of its onset and helped with fund raising with people like Eddie Mullins, Eric Geary, Eddie English etc, but because of work commitments and working abroad I was unable to participate fully. The group purchased a Challenger trimaran or two initially with funds raised and in the year of the disabled in 1981 several companies mainly in Cork sponsored a boat.

You had Barry's Tea, Ecco Shoes to mention just a few. These boats proved to be what was required to entice persons with disabilities to come and try the sport of sailing leaving the disability behind and enjoy the camaraderie! Things took off in Cork and later one or two of the boats went to Dublin.

Now these Challengers, while they fill a void in peoples life's, they can also wreck you! They are ideally designed (by a disabled woman!! - Diane Campbell) for use on water reservoirs and the like (not on the open sea as in Ireland! They are stable and great fun in a breeze, but they are also very labour intensive in that you need at least two able bodied persons to get these boats in and out of the water. Because of this they failed to take off in Dublin (lazy louts) while they were very successful in Cork.

There was mighty craic taking place in Cobh thanks to Eddie English. Unfortunately the slipway in Cobh is extremely steep and it took its toil on thevhulls and also the people in wheelchairs found it difficult in transferring to andvfrom the boat because of the incline. Each year in September visitors fromvEngland came over to race against our gang at either Crosshaven, Kinsale or Cobh.

At one such event, in Crosshaven in 1987, several visitors were over, our members were out to win, but unfortunately, the Royal Cork had laid on two other events, which clashed with the Challenger event. They did not realise quite how labour intensive these boats were and the National 18 class had their Cock of the North Championships which took several of the original gang of helpers away and another dinghy event which also wiped clean the helpers. I remember that year John Twomey lost his wheelchair during the event such was the craic!

Not being involved at that time, I strolled to the Club on the Saturday night to have a quite (no such thing!) drink and the place was alive to say the least. This was all prior to your Ford Cork Week and not long after the gruelling World Quarter Ton Championships which we had participated in. Needless to say, the last to leave were the Challenger gang. They were so glad that the event was over and that they had survived!! There were some complaints in that there were no helpers available and that the organisation was poor from the Club itself. While they knew that the Club was unaware of the intensity of the dinghies themselves, they felt that after at least the first day, more bodies would appear and help out. This was not to be. That was when I stated that we should take the event to Kinsale and show the rest of the clubs around the country what was needed to provide integration for persons with disabilities.

Little did I realise then what I was taking on? Needless to say, the following year came. No maintenance was carried out on the boats that had been abandoned at the Show Grounds (free of Charge) and September was looming on the horizon. By mid July I was panicking and brought together some of the members of the group, John Twomey, James & John Whelan and Eddie Mullins. Following a deep discussion it was decided to bring the challengers to Kinsale by lorry, assemble them and see what happens. This was done in due course and the boats just lay there and were taken out only every so often. September arrived and we had assembled a marquee effect (thanks to the committees contacts and again free of charge) outside in the dinghy park to make it more accessible for the people. A great amount of fun was had over the two or three days and great friends were made. Some new comers even came to watch what was going on - the news had spread through the grapevine at last.

The following year saw the season begin in earnest. An organised Committee under the leadership of Retired Navy Captain Bob Guthrie ensured that things would run more smoothly. Once again the boats were brought from the Show grounds (free of Charge), assembled and each night there were more people brought out on these Challengers for a go at sailing. The able bodied persons were worn out with the hauling and pulling of the Challengers up and down the slipway in Kinsale but at least the numbers of disabled sailors was increasing which was the main objective of the group who called themselves the Irish Disabled Sailing Group.

"Come and Try it" weekends were organised and these proved quite successful and encouraged yet more sailors to come along and be a part of great fun. Of course the Club was gaining also out of this and even though we had to haul the wheelchairs around the Lower O’Connell street side of the club for easier access it didn't seem to dampen the spirits of the lads and lassies. Again September came and we had many visitors from both Scotland and the mainland and the craic that emerged even drove the group further. Not only this, but Kinsale Yacht Club were in the throes of refurbishing their clubhouse and there was no way this was going to be completed without the provision of facilities for disabled persons. September 1993 saw a refurbished Clubhouse together with full disabled facilities and the biggest Challenger fleet to date in the Club with 27 Challengers competing for the Irish championships! What pride.

Friends from all walks of life were made during my 18 years involved with the disabled sailing. Friends who are wheelchair bound, bound by their callipers or crutches, bound by the lack of hearing or sight or just helpers like me.

Triona later sailed on the 'Lord Nelson' the sail training vessel for the disabled as a helper. As you receive this newsletter she is off to the Canary Islands to team up with it again. Lucky sod.

We hope to have the story of how she scaled to the top of the mast on this tall ship later in the year.

There is always a need for helpers at Monkstown & Kinsale. If you have some free time to help someone less abled bodied than yourself, give Triona a call at 021-373064 or 086-8200257 or contact the following:

Kinsale Yacht Club Tel: 021-772196 Monkstown Sailing Club Tel: Not available

Buy & Sell
A GP14 sailing dinghy in need of a mast and boom.
It is good condition having been store indoors for the past number of years. With a new mast and boom she would be lovely sight on the water. The GP14 is a popular dinghy class in Cork harbour and raced every Wednesday night in Cobh.

A dolphin wet suit.

Blue in colour to suit someone of medium build and approx. 5 ft. 10 ins. in height.

Enquiries for both items to Eoghan Allen at 021-811563 or

The official launch
The official launch of 'Oasis' will take place at the Garda Club towards the end of April. 'Oasis' will be moored on Penrose Quay near the club and will be dressed for the occasion. This means that she will have flags up the rigging etc. and will be looking very smart

This is the time of the year that the club suddenly loses members! Yes this is the time we have to roll up our sleeves and start to work on the boat. Some people think that this just happens mysteriously in the middle of the night. Well, it's time some of you woke up! Don't leave it to the same few as in previous years.

Contact: - Eoghan Allen 021-811563, Paddy Allen 021-814687, Martin Landers 087-2076646 or any of the committee for more information.

Contributions to the newsletter are not only welcome but are encouraged. A few members have submitted articles that have been very interesting and informative. We would hope that many more members would try their hand at writing for the newsletter.

Anything will be considered, sailing or otherwise, so don't be shy. We will give any help, editorial or otherwise that you may need.

All articles should be in writing and should be sent to: Pat Fleming, 7 Woburn Drive, Melbourn Estate, Bishopstown, Cork. Or emailed to

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