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The public face of Fintan Cairns – at the helm (left) of the ICRA Support RIB with Barry Rose and Mike Broughton during the Anthony O’Leary-led 2014 re-taking of the Commodore’s Cup
W M Nixon
He was in the key role of Commodore when Dublin Bay Sailing Club was successful in implementing the changeover from pier to Committee Boat starts which involved the complete re-structuring of its course programme in the Bay, and many other…
At Ballyholme on Belfast Lough in April, the biggest-ever Irish Sailing Youth Pathway Nationals saw Ewan McMahon of Howth emerging supreme in the elite fleet in the Laser Radial, making him April’s Junior Sailor of the Month
W M Nixon
The Afloat.ie “Sailor of the Month” awards were established twenty-one years ago in 1996. But as the adjudicators have always been allowed an element of flexibility, sometimes there have been more than one award in a particular month, so any…
The sailing dream realised for Westport’s Joan Mulloy. But now she reckons she has to give her sailing talent a real racing edge, and in January she’ll be doing an intensive offshore racing and training course with the legendary Tanguy Leglatin at Lorient in South Brittany.
W M Nixon
In an exceptional week for Irish international offshore sailors, the Michael Boyd-skippered Lisa has been confirmed as both the RORC Points Champion and the Boat of the Year, while the Damian Foxall-crewed Vestas 11th Hour Racing has emerged as the…
Antarctic Search and Rescue base
Tom MacSweeney
There’s increasing concern about cruise ships in the Antarctic and whether people could be rescued should one get into trouble amidst the ice. 300 ships traverse that Polar region, with nearly a quarter-of-a-million tourist visitors aboard from November to March…
(Top) The essence of summer sailing for the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta, which also celebrated the Bicentenary of the Harbour. The classic restored Dublin Bay 24 Periwinkle (Chris Craig and David Espey) and the likewise restored 1897-vintage 37ft Myfanwy (Rob Mason) racing neck and neck towards the in-harbour finish. Photo: David O’Brien/Afloat.ie (Above) Another side of 2017’s sailing. 2016 All-Ireland Champion Helm Alex Barry of Monkstown Bay SC revelling in brisk conditions at the Royal Cork’s successful Dinghyfest 2017. Event organizer Nin O’Leary had put in such good work beforehand that he was able to take a day out to go to England and win the huge-fleet Round the Island Race. Photo: Robert Bateman
W M Nixon
While sailing is now a year-round interest, and for many a year-round activity too, the notion of a traditional season is natural for anyone who lives in Ireland. Admittedly, there are times when we seem to be experiencing the four…
The logistics of handling the large amounts of fibreglass hulls from abandoned or derelict vessels poses a significant challenge
Tom MacSweeney
The International Maritime Organisation, that’s the United Nations agency for safety at sea, has acknowledged, the first time this has been publicised, that a large number of abandoned or no-longer usable fibreglass vessels - including fishing vessels and leisure craft…
Grind on…..Annalise Murphy putting in the work on Turn the Tide on Plastic
W M Nixon
There is a time and a season to all things, and in some years, that time comes earlier than others. Ireland has been getting away with it in remarkable style in recent weeks, putting through 2017’s Autumn sailing fixtures in…
Mark Mansfield – his expression may seem impassive, but he is at his most alive and alert when racing a sailing boat
W M Nixon
Mark Mansfied of Cork has been a major presence in Irish and international sailing for decades. With his considerable height and presence, and air of being intensely focused on the task in hand, he is at the core of any…
Top - the new Irish Ferries William Butler Yeats and above the Navy's new patrol vessel William Butler Yeats
Tom MacSweeney
Hello and you’re welcome to the weekly MacSweeney Podcast… The procedures and practices involved in the naming of ships once appeared to be the product of evolution and tradition, then became the choice of politicians – at least as far…
Mullingar SC Fleet Captain Michael Collender and Hon. Treasurer Brian Walker are into GP 14 racing on Lough Owel
W M Nixon
It has had at least two different event descriptions since it was first sailed all of seventy years ago. Back then, Irish sailing was finding its feet in the late 1940s, becoming re-energised in the exciting developmental world of modern…
Edward Bransfield commemoration committee at Ballinacurra – Liam O'Riordan ,Ann Wilson, Eugene Furlong & Jim Wilson
Tom MacSweeney
Ireland is a nation which has been slow to recognise its maritime resources and its international maritime achievements made by Irish sailors. This I was reminded about again this week. But there are indications of changes for the better, driven…
A sense of anticipation. Tom Dolan in fine form in 2016 when he started campaigning his new Pogo 30 IRL 910, on which he’d done the finishing and fitting-out work himself. He wryly remembers now that he immediately won his first solo distance race: “Big mistake. I’ve been a marked man ever since”.
W M Nixon
In its forty years, the 4,000 mile Mini-Transat has become a very French event, despite always having a significant international presence which this time round will see Ireland’s Tom Dolan (30) in a leading role for 2017’s staging, starting tomorrow…
Kitack Lim, Secretary General of the IMO
Ports & Shipping
“Connecting Ships, Ports and People” is the theme of World Maritime Day which is today, September 28, as marked by the International Maritime Organisation, the United Nations maritime agency. Does anybody notice anything being done officially by the Government here,…
This boat hasn't move in a long time
Tom MacSweeney
I don’t mean abandon in emergency at sea, I mean leave them to rot away in boatyards or on rivers or harbour moorings or in boatyards .. to ignore them …. deliberately forget about them …perhaps hoping never to be…
That winning feeling….the crew of the Irish National Sailing School’s J/109 Jedi in Plymouth after winning Class 3B in the Rolex Fastnet Race 2017 are (left to right, back row): Deirdre Foley, Lorcan Tighe, Fearghus McCormack, George Tottenham, Kylie McMillan and Kenneth Rumball. Front row: Conor Kinsella and Keith Kiernan
W M Nixon
With 312 entries in the IRC divisions alone, and numbers pushing towards the 400 mark when all classes are included, the record-breaking Fastnet Race 2017 was surely on the edge of becoming an unwieldy beast as it got under way…
A Humpback Whale breaching in Irish waters
Tom MacSweeney
To mariners the sound of the sea is the sound of life and this week I heard some of the most amazing sounds ever recorded underwater. ‘The song of the Humpback Whale,’amazed me. It is the sound the males use,…

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