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Kinsale and Crosshaven RNLI have announced renowned International maritime journalist Bob Fisher as guest speaker at the annual RNLI "Sailing by the Lee" lunch on Friday, 27th  January, 2012 at the Maryborough Hotel, Douglas, Cork.

Proceedings will commence at 12.00 (with a complimentary drinks reception) followed by a three course lunch at 12.45. The guest speaker’s presentation will be followed by a luxury raffle and random spot prizes.

Tables of 10 are again selling for a discounted price of €400 this year; 10 places for the price of 8. Individual tickets €50 each. Please contact Susie Travers at 087 9183337 or susie.elliott@cantillons.com for more information and reservations. Tickets are on sale on a first come, first served basis.

Bob Fisher’s first recorded sailboat victory was on August Bank Holiday 1937 in a Brightlingsea One-Design.  He was two years and four months old and while having no recollection of the part he played, he was assured of his presence on board by his father, who was in charge of him for the day and didn't want to miss racing with his friends.

Brought up in a little fishing/yachting village on the English East Coast, there was nothing in the way of his desire to get afloat.  While he listened to the "old salts" in the Fishermen's shelter at the top of the Hard, he learned of the America's Cup from those who had Shamrock and Endeavour emblazoned across their jerseys.  It started a lifelong search for the truth on that event.

Bob sailed in whatever was available at the time with his childhood friend Reg White - to start with it was an oyster skiff with spars the found and a sail made from two bedsheets!  They soon discovered leeway and rectified it with leeboards made from discarded fish boxes.  Progress was made to the new fangled racing dinghies after several years in heavier craft by the simple process of building his own Hornet.  There followed a series of these and Fireballs - in both classes he won world championships.

Parallel to this he was engaged in catamaran development from the mid-Fifties and was a pioneer in the C-class from its inception, with Reg White, Rod Macalpine-Downie and John Fisk; winning the Little America's Cup in 1967.  That year he also helped to develop the rig for the Tornado and sailed the prototype in the IYRU trials that saw it selected as an International class.

His sailing progressed through Solings and then offshore with the level-rating classes (one of which was a Ron Holland Golden Shamrock from the South Coast Boatyard in Carrigaline) to Admiral's Cuppers.  He commissioned, from the BBC, the 45-foot Barracuda of Tarrant, the star of Howard's Way and campaigned her for several years.  Subsequently, he has owned other 35 and 40 footers which he has raced in Cork Week and is currently the owner of an 1896 Solent One-Design-the first ever one-design class - beating the Cork Harbour One-Designs to the water by a month! She is the last of 25 built still afloat (and still winning races). Bob has recently purchased a younger and smaller boat - an 1898 Fife 27-foot day-boat, which he is restoring.

For the past fifty years, Bob has written for newspapers and magazines around the world about sailing as well as 35 books, culminating in his two-volume history of the America's Cup entitled "An Absorbing Interest."  He recently published a book on an event he has followed since its inception in 1973 - the Whitbread/Volvo race entitled "Sailing Legends."  Still in the pipeline is the third volume of the history of the America's Cup and one on the seamier side of that event - "The Poisoned Chalice."  
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