Cove Sailing Club:  Cobh Hero Returns

Friday 14th August 2009

OSTAR 2009 Class winner, Barry Hurley and “Dinah” arrived off Roche’s Point, with unnerving punctuality, at 1PM on Sunday 2nd August. They were met at Roche’s Point and escorted back to Cobh by a flotilla of boats from all over the harbor that had come out to welcome them home. It was great to see so many and such variety of boats out to meet them with many flying flags and bunting to add to the occasion.

It would have been a fine sight from the shore, as Dinah, flanked both sides by Cork Harbor Pilot boats, a Naval Service Rib, a Marine Transport vessel carrying Barry’s Family and friends and followed by an assortment of yachts, motor boats, fishing boats and ribs made their way along the Cobh Road. Barry Dorgan, sailing on John Doyle’s new boat, and carrying the Cove Sailing Club canon, fired several shots at Dinah as they passed the “Holy Ground” to signify the end of his fantastic journey. Barry later said that he was delighted by this – once he realized he wasn’t about to be boarded. John and Barry have promised to return the canon before they come out racing with us on Friday and not try to use it to scare off the rest of the fleet.

Barry then tied up at The Quays in Cobh to be welcomed by his family and friends. The Choir of the Commodore sang “The Holy Ground” and then Barry and his family were given a Civic Reception by Cobh Town Council.  The Mayor of Cobh presented Barry with a book of paintings of Cork Harbor and a special print by Mary McCaffrey from Cobh and Harbor Chamber.

Later that evening, Cove Sailing Club hosted Barry, his family and friends at the Marlogue Inn. Cove Sailing Club Commodore Dave Doyle spoke about some of Barry’s earlier exploits as a promising dinghy sailor at the club and presented Barry with his certificate of Honorary Life Membership and a statue of “Annie Moore”, as recognition of a fantastic achievement by a former Junior member of our club. Mr & Mrs Hurley were also presented with a framed Cove Sailing Club burgee to commemorate the occasion.

Barry then made an excellent acceptance speech and was clearly delighted by the whole day. In particular he mentioned that in all the years growing up and sailing round Cork Harbor and even as he sailed in bigger and bigger events farther afield he never dreamed that one day he would sail back into Cobh escorted by the Cork Pilots, the Navy, and all the other boats that came out to greet him. That would be something he would never forget.

I’m pretty sure that those of us who were out there on Sunday felt the same and it really was a great day for Cove Sailing Club. I do think there are one or two more adventures left in Barry Hurley and his exploits may inspire some of our current Juniors (and older dreamers) to go out and complete their own adventures so hopefully we may have a few more great days to come.

Cove Sailing Club would like to thank everyone involved who helped to make this a very special day and give a particular mention to the Naval Service, the Cork Pilots, Marine Transport, The Quays, The Marlogue Inn, Christy’s, Laser Print Services, Fast Frame, CH Marine and everyone who came out on the day and helped us celebrate a great achievement by a Cobh Sailor.

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Cove Sailing Club