Royal Cork Yacht Club appoints first female admiral in 303-year history

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The Royal Cork Yacht Club in Crosshaven, the world’s oldest yacht club dating back to 1720, announced an historic milestone with the appointment of its first female Admiral, Annamarie Fegan.

In addition, the new executive will include three females for the first time, bringing fresh perspectives and direction to the club’s leadership. 

Over its remarkable 303-year history, the Royal Cork Yacht Club has evolved from being a gentlemen’s sailing club to a family-oriented institution. This latest achievement, with a female taking up the highest ranking position of the club, represents another progressive step forward in promoting diversity and inclusivity within the sailing community. 

Annamarie Fegan, an ardent sailor and a devoted member of the club for many years, brings a wealth of knowledge and passion to her new role. Her appointment highlights the club’s commitment to empowering women in the sport and fostering an environment where all members can thrive.

Anne Marie and family on Nieulagro at Rolex Fastnet Race start off Cowes 8 

Over the last 25 years, Annamarie has held a number of voluntary positions within the club. She was instrumental in hosting some of the club’s biggest events, including the Volvo Cork Week. She has achieved much both on and off the water.

Former owner of catering business An Excellent Choice, Annamarie re-trained as a co-creational psychotherapist and recently completed a masters in the psychotherapy of relationship mentoring. On the water, she has enjoyed many sailing triumphs, her proudest being with her daughters Molly and Mia, her husband Denis and the Nieulargo Crew as they won the best Irish boat in the iconic Fastnet Race last year.

Annamarie’s ambition is to get more people on the water. Commenting, she said, “I’m really passionate about giving opportunities to get more young people on the water.  We have pathways for all ages into sailing from young kids to teens and adults. Not everyone can afford to own a boat but every boat needs a crew and we are always looking for crew.

“Anyone can get involved these days and it’s a really great sport. You learn fantastic skills from basic boat-handling to decision-making. Most of all it’s fun and challenging!  We here at the Royal Cork are working really hard to break through the social and financial barriers that may have prevented people from trying out sailing up to now.”

Founded in 1720, the Royal Cork Yacht Club is the oldest yacht club in the world. With a rich history and a commitment to promoting sailing excellence, the club has played a vital role in shaping the maritime heritage of the Cork region.  

The club offers a range of courses and training opportunities for people of all ages from Junior Try sailing , cadets, optimist, Keelboats, topper and laser fleets, adult beginner and advanced sailing courses and the recently revived mixed dingy fleet which feeds into the junior academy. 

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