An International Power Boat Festival will take place in Cork Harbour and the waters off the Cork coast on 11th and 12th July 2020.

The Festival, which is a first for Ireland, is part of the Cork300 events series, which celebrates the Royal Cork Yacht Club’s 300th birthday (tricentenary) – the oldest yacht club in the world.

Four major, and very different, powerboat events will take place during the Festival, three of which will be held in Ireland for the first time.  The Royal Cork Yacht Club is inviting a mix of classic boats from the past along with solar and alternative energy boats of the future, and endurance offshore racing boats.

In addition, the UIM Long Distance Cork-Fastnet-Cork World Record attempt will take place, and there will also be a Classic Motorboat Rally, where you can see classic and alternative energy boats.

Colin Morehead, Chair of Cork300 and Admiral of the Royal Cork Yacht Club said, “I am delighted to see the return of powerboat racing to Cork Harbour after many years.

“The Cork300 events series was developed to look back at ‘where it all began’ and celebrate the Club and Cork harbour’s 300 years of history.  We are proud to again host milestone historic events like the Harmsworth Trophy after so many years. It is incredible to think that Cork hosted the first inter-nation powerboat race in the world.  The entries this year will be considerably faster than those which raced in 1903 but the atmosphere and excitement across the harbour will be no less incredible”, he said.

“Sustainability is very important to the Royal Cork Yacht Club so we aim to honour the past, present and future of powerboating, and promote the use of alternative energy and classic boats.”

“The Flag Officers of the Royal Cork Yacht Club would like to invite Offshore Powerboat Racers from around the world to participate in our International Powerboat Festival, and help us to celebrate and honour those who came before us.  Without their efforts, we may not have the vibrant sport that we see today. We sincerely hope that as in 1903, this event will be the start of a truly historic future for the Sport of Offshore Racing”.

The International Powerboat Festival is run in association with the Union International Motonautique UIM, the Powerboat Association of Northern Ireland, the Irish Powerboat Association, and the Trustees of the British International Harmsworth Trophy.

UIM Offshore Marathon World Championship.  (11th July)
This event will see a modern fleet of endurance offshore racing boats taking on the waters off the Cork Coast. Competition for the UIM World Championship Endurance Marathon 2020 will take place over two races. Weather permitting, both races will be held on the same day.

Race 1  From Cobh to Mizen Head , around the iconic Fastnet Lighthouse and back to Cork Harbour. (136 Nautical Miles)

Race 2  From Cork Harbour heading east to Capel Island and back to Cork Harbour. (65 Nautical Miles)

British International Harmsworth Trophy (11th July)
In honour of the Royal Cork Yacht Club hosting the inaugural Race for the historic Harmsworth trophy over 100 years ago in 1903, The Trustees of the Trophy will bring this Trophy back to its birthplace in Cork.  The Royal Cork will once again host a series of races for those competitors determined to get their names inscribed beside some of the legends within Offshore International racing.

The event will run alongside the UIM World Championship and will truly be an offshore challenge. (Total Distance 201 Nautical Miles)

HISTORY:  In 1903 the RCYC in association with the Automobile Club of Great Britain and Ireland and its offshoot the Marine Motor Association along with the support of Irishman Alfred C Harmsworth who donated the “International Cup for Motorboats” now known as the World Famous “British International Harmsworth Trophy” set about running a series of Races from Queenstown up the River Lee to the city of Cork,  a  distance of 8.5 Miles. With an average speed recorded at 19.53 mph, who was to know that over the next 100 years or so competition for this Trophy would play a critical part in the development and evolution of the Racing Powerboats we see today. Throughout the Trophy’s history, winning has been a matter of National Pride, none more so that when “Garfield Wood” in a series of “Miss America’s” won the trophy for the USA on 8 separate occasions. Competitors from 11 Nations have won the trophy since 1903 with the USA taking the most wins on 21 Occasions, Followed by Great Britain, Canada, Italy, Austria, Norway, Argentina, Monaco and Australia.

UIM Long Distance Cork-Fastnet-Cork World record. (12th July)
The UIM Long Distance World Record “Cork-Fastnet-Cork” awaits any team that wishes to take on the challenge. It is presently set at 2 Hours 6 Minutes and 47 seconds. In order to set a new record, any team taking on this challenge has to go from Cork harbour to the Fastnet Rock and back to Cork harbour, a total distance of 115.2 Nautical Miles, in a faster time. Those achieving this will not only be honoured with a UIM World record but also get their names inscribed on the All-Black FPT Challenge Trophy.

Classic Motor Boat Rally (12th July)
A Classic Motor Boat Rally will take place on Sunday 12 July.  In honour of the Royal Cork’s hosting of the inaugural Harmsworth Cup Race in 1903, the course will be similar to the original Harmsworth course from the 1903 Royal Cork Yacht Club building (Now the Sirius Arts Centre) in Cobh, Co. Cork to Cork City via Blackrock Castle on the River Lee.

Fleet Review
There will be a fleet review for all Royal Cork and visiting yachts/craft with the Admiral and Flag Officers of the yacht club and other dignitaries between two of the former club premises on Haulbowline Island and Cobh. There will be a few surprises on the day and everyone participating in the International Powerboat Festival is strongly encouraged to participate in what will be a fitting spectacle to celebrate where it all began.

Other events taking place this summer for Cork300 include an eye-catching Classic Yacht Regatta; the historic Kingstown/Queenstown race from Dun Laoghaire to Cobh; the world-famous annual Volvo Cork Week Regatta, a Wild Atlantic Way sailing ‘cruise in company’ for visiting yacht clubs; the Royal Cork Fleet Review which will be a fantastic parade of sailing craft in Cobh, and a Gathering of Naval Ships in Cork City.  The prestigious Morgan Cup, awarded by the Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC), will also come to Ireland for the first time as part of Cork300.

Cork300’s premium partner is AIB along with official partners Port of Cork, Cork County Council, Cork City Council, Volvo Car Ireland, Heineken, Musto and Dubarry.
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