Ocean to City, Cork 2018

Ocean to City, Cork 2018


Ocean to City – An Rás Mó – June 2018

  •  Crew
    Stuart Milne
    Gary Parke
    Carlton Barnard
    Yonadab Diez-Urkidi

    Guy Fisher

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This was a first visit to Cork for the Ocean to City race for the Shiplake Outloars (other than Carlton who had skiffed the race a while ago).

Carlton towed the boat via the ferry to Rosslare and spent a week near Cork with his family and the rest of the crew flew out on Friday evening.

We all lucked out with the amazing weather and the course was kind to us.

After a massive Irish breakfast near the marina, there was plenty of time to kill until the race.


The start was calmer than the Great River Race and we soon settled in to the first Ocean part of the course, heading out to a marker in the bay before making a sharp left turn before racing to the other side. The swell grew but did not cause a major problem.  

The gigs and the Celtic Longboats are more suited for the rougher ocean conditions and we struggled to keep pace with them in this section.

Heading to the next major turn, crews bunched up and we had a couple of altercations with other boats fighting for position.

The next flatter section on the river, allowed us to match and start to claw back on the other boats, with our Jolly boat being much more suitable for these conditions.

We swapped rowers here. Not knowing the course, and whilst trying to avoid boats, we narrowly missed grounding on the shore, hitting only our rudder.


We headed in to the open Loch and managed to keep our pace going and found the often unforgiving conditions kind to us.

We began to encounter more craft joining here for the shorter race – kayaks, paddelboards and slower rowing boats and managed to weave our way through.

The final part of the river was a straight drag race to the end, with the crowds building up as we approached the illusive finish line.

Unfortunately, it took about 4 hours to recover our boat via the one crane organised by the race officials. Fortunately the sun was still shining and there was a pub right next to the quay.


We ended up missing the prize giving and have no real idea how we fared in the race and ended up with a very respectable time of 2:31.43.

Cork was very busy with their festival and the Cork Marathon on the Sunday.

Yona met some of his Spanish rugby mates rowing their Traineras boats they had brought over from the Basque Country.

Carlton headed home for his marathon 14 hour drive back the next day and Guy and Yona flew back Sunday.

Gary and Stuart stayed on for the Craic on Sunday night – as the photo below demonstrates!  

A great weekend and well worth the effort.