Annamarie Fegan Appointed New Admiral at Royal Cork Yacht Club

24th January 2024

Posted In: Be In The Frame

The Royal Cork Yacht Club in Crosshaven, the world’s oldest yacht club dating back to 1720, announced an historic milestone recently 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. 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.

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. We want to make it accessible for all who wish to give it a try.

For instance, every 6th class child in Crosshaven gets the chance to do a one-week sailing course and people of all ages can sign up for our Try Sailing courses. While some people enjoy the competitive side, some just want to enjoy being part of a club and having fun on the water. For instance, the mixed dinghies with kids are huge now – they really enjoy it.” 

Commenting on being the first female to hold the highest position in the club, Admiral Annamarie said,

“As the club’s first female Admiral, I stand on the shoulders of outstanding female members who worked tirelessly for the club but were not given this opportunity.

I am confident that we have amazing girls rising up through the ranks who will be well suited to take on this post in the future. I’m very excited about working with the new leadership team as the volunteers are the backbone of the club.”

Annamarie Fegan takes to the helm in a year that the club is hosting two prestigious events – the Irish Sailing Youth Nationals in April, and the bi-annual Volvo Cork Week from 15-19th July.

Commenting, Minister Simon Coveney said “The Royal Cork Yacht Club has always been a pioneer for sailing, both in Cork and internationally. As the oldest sailing club in the world it has led the way in the growth of sailing. Annamarie’s leadership will inspire a new generation of sailing families. I am confident that under her leadership the Royal Cork Yacht Club will remain at the cutting edge of sailing in the coming decades.”

Pictured: Annamarie Fegan (Image – Bob Bateman).