RNLI lifeboat crew on the south coast to battle it out for first Beaufort Cup
RNLI volunteer lifeboat crew are used to working together in challenging conditions out on the water but a major event during Volvo Cork week will see them pitted against each other along with their colleagues in the emergency services.
The Beaufort Cup invites sailing teams representing their national services to race over five days in a mix of challenging offshore and inshore races, including round the Fastnet, to be crowned the Beaufort Cup holder and receive a €10,000 for their nominated charity. The event is being run by the Royal Cork Yacht Club and is supported by the Irish Defence Forces.
The RNLI has two teams participating in the cup with lifeboat crew from Baltimore RNLI making up one group while the RNLI South-Coast team, made up of lifeboat crew from Fenit, Union Hall, Crosshaven and Tramore RNLI lifeboat stations makes up the second one. The rules state that the team must be made up of at least fifty percent crew from the emergency services.
The Baltimore RNLI team will be racing on a projection 35 boat ‘True Penance’ given to them for the event by Martin Darer and Colman Garvey. The crew will be made of Skipper Youen Jacob, Baltimore RNLI all-weather lifeboat crew and inshore helm, Nicholas O’Leary, tactician and second skipper, Cathal Cottrell, Baltimore RNLI all-weather lifeboat mechanic and crewmember, Pat Collins, Baltimore RNLI all-weather lifeboat assistant mechanic and assistant coxswain, Sandy Remington, Jim Baker all-weather and inshore lifeboat crew, Colman Garvey, co-owner of ‘True Penance’ and Aiden Bushe, all-weather lifeboat assistant coxswain. Aidan will race offshore and be replaced by Brendan Cottrell, all-weather lifeboat assistant coxswain later in the week, so that the lifeboat station will remain fully operational with a crew on-call and available at all times.
The RNLI South-Coast team will be racing on ‘Endgame’ owned by Frank Doyle with RNLI lifeboat crew from the South coast lifeboat stations. The crew will be made up of Ruth Concannon from Fenit RNLI, Johnny McKenna from Union Hall RNLI, Adain O’Connor and James Fegan from Crosshaven RNLI and Fergal McGrath from Tramore RNLI. Frank’s existing crew Harry Donegan, John Lapthorne, Will Barry and Tadhg Concannon will also be on hand during the week.
The two crews have received sponsorship and support from Cape Clear Ferry Company for Baltimore RNLI and Helly Hanson and Solas Marine for RNLI South-Coast.
Commenting on the Beaufort Cup, Crosshaven RNLI and RNLI South-coast crewmember James Fegan said, ‘This is going to be a fantastic event and we are very grateful to the Defence Forces for supporting it and making it happen. We usually work side by side with our colleagues from other lifeboat stations and agencies during search and rescue operations so this is very different for us. I feel it could get quite competitive out there in the sea but may the best team win.’
Also speaking on the event Baltimore RNLI station mechanic and ‘True Penance’ crewmember Cathal Cottrell added, ‘Everyone knows we take our sailing very seriously down here and we will be looking to bring home the Cup. It is going to be a tough few days of racing. With so many lifeboat crew onboard I don’t think we will need to call out the lifeboat. I want to wish all of the crews from across the emergency services the best of luck. We will see them at the finish line.’
The offshore race will start on Monday 11 July off Haulbowline Island, the home of the Irish Naval Service.
RNLI media contacts
For more information please contact Niamh Stephenson RNLI Public Relations Manager Tel: 087 1254 124 / 01 8900 460 email Niamh_Stephenson@rnli.org or Nuala McAloon RNLI Press Officer Tel: 087 6483547 email: Nuala_McAloon@rnli.org
Key facts about the RNLI
The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.