Irish Eyes Cup

Each year, the MC Cruiser Class races the Irish Eyes Cup in order to remember longtime MC sailor and friend and mentor to many: Rich Corbett.

Some thoughts from those who knew and loved him:

“On behalf of the “Crazy Carbit” clan, I want to thank everyone for honoring Rich in the Irish Eyes Cup.  With these crazy COVID times, I know it’s difficult to get together before and after races, but I wanted to give everyone an Irish Blessing for the race!

There are good ships,
And there are wood ships,
The ships that sail the sea.
But the Best ships,
Are Friendships,
And may they always be.

May your Anchor be tight,
your cork be loose,
your Rum be spiced,
And your compass be true.”

-Julie Corbett

Rich Corbett was a ‘larger than life’ sailor who was a good friend and mentor to many of us in Michigan City, he bought a J24 which he called Irish Eyes and he donated it to the Junior sail program… when I came up with the crazy idea of the Cruiser Class he was the first one to sign up for it…after he won the first couple of races I said to him, Richie it might be better if I moved your boat into C1 so that the other smaller boats get a chance to win he said “F!!! you Vik…just do it!”

Cindy from Velocity created a lovely piece of art for Richie, showing his love of racing on Lake Michigan, the Caribbean and his love of life, Bob C mounted it as a trophy, and we have a race to remember him..when you race on Saturday have a toast to Richie should include a good slug of rum!

-Vik Warren

Rich C. , in 1987 , formed part of the team which was responsible for bringing the sailing component of the Pan American Games to Michigan City .He was instrumental in making this a huge success . He participated in over 25 Chi to Mac races , in over 25 Bayview to Mac races , and in a multitude of International sailing events. Crewing with Dale Brown in different Michigan City boats , they won at least 5 Chi to Mac events , at least 5 Bay to Mac , at least 2 Super Macs , and on 2 occasions , again in boats representing Michigan City Yacht Club , won Chicago Boat of  the Year . He was the main trimmer  and one of the helmsman of Heartbeat and in 1991 MCYC’s Heartbeat was Chicago Boat of the Year . In Madrugada ,about 4 years ago ,he won the Cabo San Lucas race . His dream was always to sail and win the Trans Pac Race and unfortunately ,time ran out and his journey ended . In the last year of his life , in one of the worse winters , sick as he was , he drove by himself , to the east coast to finalized the purchase of a J-24 .He named this boat Irish Eyes in memory of his mother . He then donated Irish Eyes to the Junior Program of MC. Rich was not only a good sailor , but was also a good mentor to all of us , was the best storm weather helmsman that I have ever seen , he was funny and always had a good joke in the middle of a moonless night when we had ran out of wind and  when we still had 300 miles to sail . Once in a safe harbor , with the sailing completed , Rich took over … indeed , ” greater than life ! “

-Hector Marchand