Sailor Eddie English takes part in 'My Weekend' ahead of Ocean to City Race where 500 rowers and paddlers will take to the sea

An Rás Mór — the Ocean to City race — takes place tomorrow as part of Cork Harbour Festival. Eddie English will be among the volunteers involved in running the event, which features up to 500 rowers and paddlers.
Sailor Eddie English takes part in 'My Weekend' ahead of Ocean to City Race where 500 rowers and paddlers will take to the sea

Eddie English of Sailcork on board Holy Ground off the marina at East Ferry near Cobh, Co Cork. Picture: Dan Linehan

TELL us a little bit about yourself and your work:

My name is Eddie English and I run SailCork in Cobh, along with my wife, Jo, and our team of instructors. We train people in sailing, powerboating, and navigation. I have been teaching since finishing college in UCC the guts of 50 years ago!

I grew up in Cobh, where all the family were into boating and sailing.

We are lucky enough to live on East Hill, in Cobh, overlooking Cork Harbour, from where I broadcast the weather forecast on Facebook every morning. Our two children, Aisling and Eamonn, help out in the sailing school when not at college or school and we enjoy family trips on our yacht, Holy Grounder.

We get to most events in the harbour and the next big one is the Ocean to City race, part of Cork Harbour Festival on Saturday, June 4. I will be running the safety side of things on the day, with a great team of over 100 volunteers afloat and ashore. The race starts in Crosshaven with nearly 500 rowers and paddlers. 

They have a tough course to row the 15-mile course or one of the shorter courses to the centre of Cork City. Hopefully, they will be encouraged, as usual, by spectators in Crosshaven, Cobh, Monkstown, Rushbrooke, Passage, and Blackrock, before the grand finish at Lapps Quay in Cork.

A previous Ocean To City race. The event takes place tomorrow.
A previous Ocean To City race. The event takes place tomorrow.

What is your ideal way to spend a Friday night?

Friday night, I love a couple of pints after the week .........but not too many, as we are usually working on Saturdays.

Lie-ins or up with the lark.. which is it for you?

Normal get up time is around 07.30, but if we are sailing on a yacht it could be around 06.00.......especially if we are teaching on one of our Sunshine Sailing Holidays in Spain, Croatia, or the Caribbean: That way, we make most of the day.

Does work creep into your weekend at all?

We usually have work at the weekends: It might be a yachting course or a powerboat course, or maybe a navigation course or a fun sailing course for junior sailors.

If money were no object, where would you head to on a weekend city break? And who would you bring with you?

I have never been to Vienna or Bordeaux — these are tops on my list — and I would revisit Lisbon, a beautiful city. I would bring my wife, Jo, who is a great traveller, and we enjoy similar places.

Closer to home, is there some place you like to head to recharge the batteries?

There are great places on the Great Island to connect with nature, but my real escape is Baltimore and the Islands.

Do you like to catch up with family/friends at the weekend?

During the winter, we love to have friends to dinner and during the summer it is great to meet friends afloat on Cork Harbour.

Do you get to indulge any hobbies? Even as a spectator?

I still do some racing on yachts and I love to watch rugby matches, especially when Munster are playing.

Entertain or be entertained? If it’s the latter, do you have a signature dish?

I used to do a lot of cooking, but Jo is so much better than me... and she has lots of signature dishes!

We have so many places to eat out in Cork, where are your go to spots for coffee/lunch/special meal?

The Long Valley for lunch, the Oar, in Crosshaven, for seafood, or al fresco at the Quays in Cobh, or top of the list: Ballymaloe.

Sunday night comes around too fast.. how do you spend it?

In the winter, family dinner and sit around the fire and, in the summer, nothing beats a barbecue overlooking Cork Harbour!

What time does your alarm clock go off on Monday morning?

Action time at 07.30.

Anything else you are up to...?

Preparing for the summer onslaught of pupils to the sailing school and final preparations for An Rás Mór, the Ocean to City race, tomorrow, Saturday, June 4, which is part of Cork Harbour Festival.


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