THE RNLI has received a €5,000 donation from the Irish Defence Forces team that won the Beaufort Cup during last year’s Volvo Cork Week.
The competition invites sailing teams from the military and emergency services to take part in a series of races in an event that has become a firm favourite in the racing calendar.
Last July Baltimore RNLI, on their boat Juggerknot, gave the Defence Forces boat Joker 2, a close run in the competition but were ultimately pipped at the post.
The winning team receives a prize fund of €10,000 to be given to a nominated charity but the Defence Forces opted to split their donation, giving €5,000 to Crumlin Children’s Hospital and €5,000 to the RNLI.
At a presentation which took place in the Crumlin Children’s Hospital in Dublin, the Defence Forces were represented by chief of staff Vice-Admiral Mark Mellett, Cmdt Barry Byrne who was the skipper of the winning boat, Colonel Ray O’Lehan and Captain Deirdre Fahy. Present to receive the donation for the RNLI were Baltimore chairperson of fundraising Declan Tiernan and RNLI media manager Niamh Stephenson.
Speaking following the presentation Mr Tiernan said: ‘It was a lovely surprise when we heard that the Defence Forces were donating half of their prize to the RNLI and we were incredibly honoured to share it with Crumlin Children’s Hospital. The Beaufort Cup provided a fantastic week’s racing and it came down to a close finish between the Defence Forces and Baltimore RNLI at the end.’
He also acknowledged Crosshaven RNLI who had a boat in the race and performed exceptionally well. ‘All of this has just whetted our appetite to come back bigger and better next time and Commandant Byrne should expect another nail-bitter to the finish. We are tremendously proud of our team and are so grateful for the generosity of the winners from the Defence Forces.’
Declan went on to thank those who had helped the station to enter the competition by providing or sponsoring support. Andrew Algeo, who donated his boat Juggerknot free of charge for the crew to race and PPL Ltd, James and Joanne McKenna, Peter O’Flynn Cushman from Wakefield, Peter and Anthony O’Leary from O’Leary Insurance and Bushes Bar all provided generous sponsorship.
The Baltimore RNLI crew onboard Juggerknot were: Youen Jacob, skipper; Peter O’Leary, tactician and two-time Olympian; Pat Collins; Cathal Cottrell (mechanic); Jim Baker; Aidan Bushe; Kieran Cotter, and Jim Griffiths. Also onboard were Gerry Haughton, Sandy Remington (bowman) and Fionn Lyden.