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Weekly Maritime News and Affairs with Tom MacSweeney
Island Nation

Model Yacht Racing in Cork

25th November 2015
I spent last Sunday morning, under a blue sky, with a steady breeze, watching high-tech yachts racing. Impressively beating to the weather mark, reaching and running downwind on a triangle/sausage/triangle course, with a couple of incidents to test the equanimity…
Island Nation
Athy is not really a maritime town in the coastal sense of that description. Its marine connection is, essentially, the Grand Canal on Ireland's inland waterways linking Dublin to Limerick and which was extended to Athy in 1791 when it took…
Island Nation
The first time I sailed the Round Ireland Yacht Race was in 1986 aboard Philips Innovator. That was a time when maxi yachts were not a feature of Irish waters. Innovator had sailed the Whitbread Round the World Race and…
Island Nation
There is always something unusual in the sea, a phrase I have heard very often from marine scientists and which I have been known to utter myself. It comes to my mind time and again when I am preparing this…
Island Nation
I have known Justin Slattery and followed his career for many years as he rose to become one of the top international sailing stars, the winner now of two Volvo Ocean Races in the toughest position on a racing boat,…
Island Nation
Youghal, on the East Cork coastline, was once the biggest Irish port trading with Britain. It has a long and proud maritime history, with many men serving at sea in the naval and merchant marine. The current edition of THIS…
Island Nation
I was doing the RTE television commentary at the start of the 2005 Tall Ships Races from Waterford. Three Irish tall ships led the international fleet ASGARD II, JEANIE JOHNSTON and DUNBRODY, with the State’s vessel, ASGARD, accorded the honour…
Island Nation
It is a point which I feel compelled to make, time and again, because it is people who make up a community of interest, by their determination, their commitment, their focus and that is what I believe the marine community…
Island Nation
I feel an empathy with Jimmy Buffett, the American singer and songwriter, whose words about his boat resonates with me: “Yes, I own a boat… It slides across the sea… Some folks say I’m a part of it…I know it’s…
Island Nation
It seems to me that, without dedicated volunteers, there would be a lot of work not done in the marine sphere, so I like when possible, to highlight what dedicated people are doing. Publicity can help them to raise funding…
Island Nation
Every sailor knows the importance of the weather forecast ….We watch forecasts on television, listen to them on radio, check the Met Eireann forecasts, look at the weather maps in the newspapers… At sea we check the Coast Guard’s coastal…
Island Nation
“We were invited into schools in the North Wall and while all the children had grandparents who were dockers, not one of them knew what a docker was, because all of that tradition is gone….” Amidst the current controversy over…
A Question Asked in a Kerry Boatyard
Island Nation
#islandnation – "Now, why would you say that Tom?" And when Fionán Murphy rightly challenged me about my question, I did ask myself why I had just said: "It's unusual, isn't it, for a boat for Norway to be built…
Jimmy Tyrrell – An Arklow Maritime Legend
Island Nation
#arklow legend – We are fortunate in this country to have people who are dedicated to the marine sphere and who give freely and willingly of their time and efforts in pursuit of their belief that maritime matters really should…
Valentia Coastal Radio Station Centenary Highlights How Far Morse Code Travels
Island Nation
#islandnation – DAH DIT, DAH DIT...The distance which Morse Code could travel was highlighted to me at Valentia Coastal Radio Station when the centenary of its operation was marked writes Tom MacSweeney. John Draper now in charge of the station recorded…
Marine Minister Forecasts Wooden Boat Building Revival
Island Nation
#woodenboat – Marine Minister Simon Coveney is confident that wooden boat building in Ireland is going to be revived writes Tom MacSweeney. Traditional skills have been lost and there are fears that they will disappear forever, but the Minister sounds…

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