The Telescope

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

Volume 1, Issue 5 August, 2000

The club would like to send their condolences to Donal Barry on the recent death of his mother. May she rest in peace

Due to a family illness, Martin Landers had to pull out from skippering 'Oasis' in Ford Week.

Eamonn Foley picked up the reins and skippered the boat throughout the week. We understand that there was not a cross word among the crew and they gave a fair account of themselves in the racing.

The editor spent a pleasant half-hour in Cobh watching 'Oasis' passing the town under spinnaker while all the time they were gaining on the boats ahead of them. The only complaint we heard was that we need new sails, as they want to do even better next time.

Martin was back for the last race on Friday in which they practised the spinnaker overboard drill.

John Murphy supplied the following information.
The Crew: Martin Landers, Eamonn Foley, Harry Field, Michael Coughlan, Miriam McGuire, Richard Laws, John McSweeney, Eddie O’Sullivan, Paul Hogan, John Murphy
Guest Foredeck: Garrett Nyhill.

Cork Ford Week would be different this year as we had a dedicated crew for the whole week on Oasis. This, it was thought would lead to a more productive team over the weeks racing.

The first hurdle faced by the team was the early withdrawal of skipper Martin Landers due to illness in the family. This meant the responsibility of Skipper fell on the shoulders of Eamonn Foley.

We had a guest on board to do foredeck named Garrett Nyhill (Our secret weapon) who came with a lot of experience on 1720’s in Crosshaven. By day four the crew were full of admiration for this guys knowledge and the amount of information he had passed on to the crew on the workings of a Spinnaker.

On Sunday, the day before the racing started Paul (the hulk) Hogan decided to test the strength of the fittings on the boat and see if the jib was up to the task. Some repairs were made after Paul released his grip on the chequebook.

Later that evening Eamonn Foley and John Murphy began the week the way they meant to go on and began their beer sampling. They were back aboard by 1.30 am and both slept soundly.

Day 1
'Oasis' arrived at the start of the first race a couple of minutes late due in no way to the previous night's entertainment. The blame was shifted to Paul Hogan who knew nothing about it. The first two days racing was largely influenced by light winds and meant the crew had to concentrate as much as possible on sail trimming and boat balance. Oasis is a large vessel and struggled with a poor headsail so boat balance was very important in light airs. Paul took an even tighter grip on the chequebook when he heard the mention of 'free beer'

Eamonn, John and Paul stayed on board that night each with a cabin of their own and all doors were locked!

Day 2

The course was an Olympic type course and we had a good start. The spinnaker hoists went well and except for bad gybe we had a good race. We crossed the line in 25th place out of 49 but dropped to 37th on handicap. In the second race we crossed the line in 16th place but dropped to 29th once the handicap was taken into account. We had a late finish and didn't reach the mooring until 7.30 pm. Michael Coughlan had some difficulty deciding which direction to steer the boat up the river as all the crew had a different idea on which way he should go, but we made it in time for more beer and another good night.

Day 3
Day three was a Coastal race over 31miles from Crosshaven to Kinsale. It was hard to motivate the crew as they had found a natural beer, which claimed to have no hangover effect, but the only problem was that it was mixed with other beers to lethal effect. Good winds at the start saw the crew on a beat to the Old Head of Kinsale. The race became interesting when a blanket of fog descended off the Old Head. It made for interesting sailing to hear "Starboard" and see another Yacht ghost out of the fog right on our water. At this stage many boats gave up but the crew of Oasis sailed on. Paul was keeping up his strength with mars bars and coke. The Fog lifted and shortly afterwards we rounded the mark off the old head and set-up for a Spinnaker run home. After this great effort it was disappointing to see the Committee boat move off the finishing line after the 20th boat crossed as we were in sight of a very reasonable finish. There was a lot of protest from other boats to the race committee and it was decided to give all the boats left in the race a 21st place finish. A very disappointed crew lifted spirits and had a good night on shore. Paul Hogan was boasting that he would sign a cheque for a new suit of sails but he was still inebriated from the night before.

Eddie O'Sullivan got too much sun and toasted one side of his face. He promised to turn the other cheek for the next race. We were now 37th overall, no thanks to the race committee.

Day 4
Day four saw Oasis racing in Harbour with a very reasonable wind. This was welcome because if winds were light Oasis would struggle in strong tides. On rounding No. 13 in Cobh Harbour we hoisted spinnaker for a run up the harbour in front of Cobh town. Spectator included Commodore Paddy Allen and Newsletter Editor Pat Fleming. They were treated to some excitement when the crew trying to drop the Spinnaker left go a Spinnaker sheet too soon and lost control of the kite. However, we soon had everything under control and rounded the mark for a beat to the finish line.

Our first ever threat of a protest came at the mark, but the skipper of the other boat was politely ignored. This seemed to have worked along with a friendly salute at the finishing line.

By the end of day four we were a respectable 37th in the fleet (Echo) and it was felt we should be a bit higher up the fleet but luck was against us. Well done to Eamonn Foley who had skippered to this point. The crew were now a "well oiled racing machine" after 'happy hour' in the Dublin Brewing Company tent but I am not sure enough oil was applied for the final day which would see the "Admiral" Martin Landers take the helm for the last race.

Garret befriended a nice little American girl called Maryloo who was invited to our dinner table. The natural brew was starting to flow when Paul who was tired of listening to us headed back to 'Oasis' for a quick nap. The less wise embarked on an evening of drinking and singing. Sunburnt and tired we were still singing at 2.25 am when the four who were left headed for the ferry back to the boat. Two who shall remain nameless missed the last ferry and were seen paddling a small boat towards 'Oasis' about 3 am.

Paul Hogan asleep in his berth did not know what was happening when three members of the crew launched into his cabin. After another hour of singing to all our neighbours, the skipper called a halt to proceeding. The last thing that was heard that night was Paul Hogan quietly slipping the lock on his cabin.

Day 5
A new regime….. Landers is back!

The first question he asked was " What the f*** are you all doing in the bunks".

Nobody moves. Martin is told he is the new galley slave. It was a quite boat this morning due to the many sore heads aboard.

The race start was delayed due to winds increasing to 25/30 knots and this ensured that at least half the crew were fit to sail. A hard race lay ahead. Martin Landers on the helm would see a splendid start with Oasis in the top four over the line. Some excellent tactics and we were ahead looking for the mark with the unusual problem of no one ahead of us to follow. Then disaster, spinnaker and bag fell over board due to the rough windy conditions and a major rescue of both sail and bag commenced.

What a crew? Harry Field, Paul Hogan, Eamonn Foley, Richard Laws and Miriam McGuire got saturated rescuing the Spinnaker from the water. Michael Coughlan did all but go over the side to rescue the bag. Martin Landers and John Mcsweeney and myself trimmed sails and helmed the boat in a manoverboard manoeuvre, which 'Yachting Monthly' would be proud to write about. In less than 10 minutes we were back racing somewhat wet but delighted to be still in the race and had all sails on board.

We were 16th over the finish line and ended up 18th on handicap which was a total injustice to our performance but the crew in excellent spirits hoisted the Spinnaker one more time, to dry it out and sailed on a run in the harbour at one point reaching 9 knots surfing.

The smile and bright eyes of Martin Landers at the finish meant only one thing.

The crew had learned more about sailing in this one week of racing than any two years of cruising could have done. We had faced a serious situation and had recovered expertly and finished the race when many would have given up.

The last word heard on board was Eamonn Foley saying "I do not want any more drink, I'll have a coffee instead" (Ed. Bet that thought didn't last long?)

I am a great supporter of cruising and have always felt it more important than racing, but this week on the water has changed my thinking. Racing a boat in closely contested races sharpens the senses and quickens a sailor's reaction to all situations at sea. If you want to learn to sail go racing!

Ed: My apologies to John. I got my hands on the logbook and filled in the pieces that John had left out. So, Ford Week crew, don’t blame John for squealing. He didn't, I did! It was just good investigative journalism by the staff of the Newsletter.

Ford Cork Week Festival
The festival which is 'Ford Cork Week' needs to be mentioned. Many of the crew sampled the entertainment in the compound and suffered the next day (everyday!) The event was very well managed an all credit goes to the organising committee of the Royal Cork Yacht Club and their volunteers. There was a definite consensus from the crew that it was the best festival they were ever at. Details of the entertainment side and the Crack had by all on board can be found in the Oasis Log. It is too detailed to print here but makes for entertaining reading.

I would like to thank the Ford Cork Week Crew on Oasis. Everyone was very different in character but worked well together. Management in An Garda Síochána should have been on board Friday evening to see what real team building is all about.

Finally, all credit for an excellent week of fun, games drink and music goes to Martin Landers who made great personal effort to organise the whole event for us and missed most of it himself. Thank you Martin from all the Crew.

John Murphy.

'Oasis' is going west again on the 5th of August. Pat Fleming and crew are joining members of the East Coast Garda Sailing Club who have chartered yachts in Kinsale and are also bringing their own yacht 'Raphael' which will be visiting the Scillies before heading direct for West Cork. At least 5 yachts will be involved in the cruise.

With this invasion from the east coast it will be necessary to make sure that they 'behave' themselves so the south coast has directed the crew of 'Oasis' to protect the coast as well as out-drink, out-sing etc. etc. the dubs.

At present Pat has 4 definites with a few probables in his crew. He hopes for a few more before setting off. He will have his mobile with him for anyone who may wish to join the crew along the way. Sleeping accommodation is limited but he will take as many daysailors as possible. If you are interested in joining the cruise at any stage after they have departed from Kinsale, ring Pat's mobile, he is hoping to have the phone turned on each day between 12 noon and 1pm or leave a message and he will contact you the same day and let you know in which harbour they are in.

Pat is having difficulty with the messaging service on his phone. If you cannot access it on 087-2351473 try 087-3351473 which seems to work.

The plan at present goes something like this: - Saturday - Kinsale to Glandore. Sunday - Glandore to Baltimore. Monday - Baltimore to Crookhaven or Schull via the Fasnet. Tuesday - Cape Clear for a barbecue. Who knows after that?

We have at last persuaded Victor Shine to join our motley crew. Victor is also a qualified skipper and can fix almost anything that can break on a boat. Welcome aboard Victor.

Pat Fleming is running a training cruise to the gas rigs on Saturday the 24th of August.

It is planned to train crew on navigation etc. during the cruise, which should take, about 10 to 12 hours.

'Oasis' will be departing at 8 am on Saturday morning and it is hope to be back in the early evening for a meal and some drinks.

Contact Pat or Paddy Allen to book a berth.

It now seems that our plans to help introduce young offenders to sailing are coming to fruition.

We understand that members of the JLO scheme and the VEC have been down to Crosshaven to view 'Oasis' and were very impressed with what they saw and our planned programme.

The VEC Young Persons Fund is giving us £4000 for the purchase of the necessary safety equipment. The club hopes to commence the training programme by the first week in August. We will be following the Irish Sailing Association's competent crew syllabus.

We have always had a problem with skippers and crew and getting them together to sail as often as possible. In the early days we had only three skippers, Martin Landers, Pat Fitzgerald and Pat Fleming. As we did not have a boat of our own full time during 1993 to 96, the three skippers used to take leave and use most of their rest days to make full use of the boat when she was in Cork.

They used to make many phone calls to crewmembers to try to get as many people out as often as was possible. Family life suffered and phone bills soared during those times and they were more then once left at the marina when no crewmembers turned up as promised.

When we got our own boat we tried at first to divide the members up so that each skipper was responsible for a certain number of members who were normally on the same unit as the relevant skipper. It meant that the skipper had to ring for crew when he was going out sailing and sometimes the crew would ring the skipper. Again soaring phone bills for the skippers but there was still no improvement on the numbers going sailing.

Paddy Allen joined the club and suggested a skipper's list be published each month. The newsletter began to be published again around the same time. It was felt that if members were informed of what was happening in the club then it would be their own fault if they did not go out on the boat and that they wouldn't be able to complain. How wrong we were!

If you look at it from the skipper's point of view, he is asked by Paddy to commit himself for two days a month to take people out. The skipper has to commit himself for a date that can be up to four weeks away and the two days represent 25% of his rest days. The crewmember is not committing himself to anything. He can ring up the day before to see if there is still space available. The skipper can be sitting at home, as late as the morning of the day in question knowing he is committed to take people out on that day but not knowing if he can go out, as he may have had no crew contacting him. One skipper has cancelled three days already this season when he had no crew to be able to take the boat out.

There is nothing stopping a crewmember booking and organising a daysail or cruise and then finding a skipper to take him or her where they want to go. Why leave it up to the skippers all the time. Mick Collins has done it this way on more than one occasion with great success.

Unfortunately as happened recently, one member contacted one of the skippers to see if he was going out on a date he was down for, but had to cancel as he was in court. But this goes along with the job.

The skippers list for August covers 24 out of the 31 days in the month and includes coastal cruising, training and daysails.

We also now have the web site for those of you who are on the Internet.

If anyone has ideas on how to get more people out sailing and/or ideas on how we can improve the running of the club, please let any on the committee know or send them direct to the editor of the newsletter.

It is our club and we all will have to play a part if we want to see it grow and improve.

Don't forget to visit our web site at As well as information about the club, it also has a discussion forum where you can debate with each other any topic that comes to mind.

There is a section for members to book 'Oasis' and if you have a computer this is where you should check first before ringing a skipper for a sail.

User name: gardasc Password: oasis

If you want to know what is going on, this is the site for you.

Remember to contact the booking officer, Eoghan Allen for details of the sailing program or if you wish to book 'Oasis' as a skipper or crewmember.

If you are on the Internet, please try the web site first.

Eoghan may be contacted at 021-811563 or 087-2834104.

The following items have been found aboard 'Oasis' and are in the saloon awaiting collection.

A baseball hat, a pair of deckshoes, a watch and an 'olde chart' of Cork Harbour.

There have been complaints from members that the 'Oasis' is being left in an untidy manner by some crews. Even worse is the fact that on two occasions recently it was also dirty. The committee had to show guests around 'Oasis' recently and luckily one of the committee went down early to find the cabin as if a party had just taken place. There is no excuse for this.

Please leave the boat in the condition that you would like to find it in when you board.

Also some items of equipment have been moved around the boat or have been removed from the deck.

We would ask the skippers and crew to replace any items in the lockers where they are normally stored so that everyone will know where they are the next time.

The jackstays have been removed from the deck. Where are they? These form part of the safety equipment on the boat and should be replaced immediately by the member concerned.

The spray hood was also removed and should have been replaced once racing was finished.

If any member who has an E-mail address is getting the newsletter by post would they please

forward their address to the editor at the address below.

Any article, advertisement or suggestion for the newsletter should be forwarded to:
Pat Fleming 7 Woburn Drive, Melbourn Estate, Bishopstown, Cork or e-mailed to

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