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Royal Cork Yacht Club, Ireland

Last modified: 2011-08-26 by rob raeside
Keywords: royal cork yacht club | cork |
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[Royal Cork Yacht Club] image located by Jan Mertens, 14 March 2011

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Royal Cork Yacht Club ensign

The ensign of the Royal Cork Yacht Club can be seen on the club’s merchandise section, at
Jan Mertens, 28 March 2010

The ensign is navy blue, with the Irish national flag in the canton, a gold harp in the lower fly, with three gold crowns below it, and below the central crown the date 1720.


[Royal Cork Yacht Club] image located by Jan Mertens, 14 March 2011

The Dumpy Book of Ships and the Sea (1957) shows the burgee red with a harp surmounted by a crown.
James Dignan, 12 February 2008

The burgee can be seen on Royal Cork Yacht Club’s merchandise section, at
Jan Mertens, 28 March 2010

Historical Ensign

[Royal Cork Yacht Club] image located by Jan Mertens, 14 March 2011

The French ‘Album des pavillons nationaux et des marques distinctives’, 1923 edition, shows the ensign’s predecessor, the Red Ensign with the Irish shield – azure a lady harp crowned, or - in the centre of the Union Jack (canton) plus the burgee still flown nowadays.
Jan Mertens, 14 March 2011

“Pleasure sailing, if not yachting as we should like to understand it, begin to stir in 1720 with the establishment of the Water Club of the Harbour of Cork. An idea of the activities of the Water Club is best given by quoting from ‘A Tour Through Ireland’ which was printed for J. Roberts, Esq., in 1748. ‘I shall now aquaint your Lordships with a ceremony they have at Cork. It is something like the Doge of Venice wedding the sea. A set of worthy gentlemen who have formed themselves into a body, which they call the ‘Water Club’, proceed a few leagues out to sea once a year, in a number of little vessels, which for painting and gilding exceed the King’s yacht at Greenwich and Deptford.’
Some of the rules cannot be passed without mention.
‘1. Ordered that the Water Club be held once every spring tide, from the first spring tide in April to the last in September inclusive.
5. Ordered that the Secretary do prepare an Union flag, with the Royal Irish harp and crown on a green field in the centre. [This defaced Union flag was granted by the Lords of the Admiralty to William, Earl of Inchiquin, for the Cork Harbour Yacht Club in 1759] Ordered that the Water Club flag be hoisted on club days early in the morning on the Castle of Haulbowline."
These gay records cannot be followed after 1765 and thought there is an entry in 1806, the club seems to have done little other than present annual prizes for fishermen and rowing-boats until 1822, when a society which originated as a picnic club carried on at Haulbowline Island under the title of the Little Monkstown Club. In 1828 however, old Water Club members and Little Monkstowners got together to re-establish themselves under the title of the Cork Yacht Club. So started the oldest sailing club in existence, now the Royal Cork Yacht Club.”
From "King's Sailing Master" by Douglas Dixon.
David Prothero, 15 March 2011

Today, the RCYC is sometimes called Crosshaven Yacht Club, for being located in Crosshaven. Note, however that from 1917 to 1927 there existed a separate club called the Crosshaven Yacht Club.
Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 1 June 2011