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Met should 'big up' small craft warnings
SEASCAPES – SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2008 As another sailing season moves to its conclusion with a generally poor summer where weather was concerned, one of the topics regularly debated has been the accuracy of weather forecasts. Neither Met Eireann nor any other…
Schull looks to the sea
SEASCAPES – SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2008 I find the world of cities and big towns increasingly artificial. I prefer coastal towns and villages, where the sense of life and what is important is influenced by the sea which laps the shores.  Coastal…
Blind to the sea
SEASCAPES – JUNE/JULY 2008 “This Island Nation...” are words which I have used to introduce Seascapes on RTÉ Radio 1 for nearly 20 years. They have come to be used regularly in everyday conversation to describe how this country is…
Islanders who can't see the sea
SEASCAPES – APRIL/MAY 2008 Life on Valentia Island and around Malin Head in Donegal is much different to that in Dublin. It is arguable that there is a better quality of life in the coastal regions, free from the everyday…
Old lady nursed back to life
SEASCAPES – FEBRUARY/MARCH 2008 “Ships and boats are the nearest things to dreams that human hands have ever made.” I remember those words being spoken to me by an experienced old boat-builder many years ago and they came to mind…
Rays of sunshine in Irish summer
SOUNDINGS – September/October 2008 Total beauty is as rare in boats as anything else. And so too, in 2008, were classic summer evenings. Yet this past season, Soundings managed the combination of beautiful boats with sublime summer evenings on two…
Magic of Malahide
SOUNDINGS – JUNE/JULY 2008 Malahide Yacht Club is its own little bit of heaven on a gently sunny spring evening.  From within the friendly bar, it provides a vista of quiet enchantment across its sandy estuary. The last of the…
The man from Derrynane
SOUNDINGS – APRIL/MAY 2008 It is a place of enchantment, and best visited in a cruising boat. Derrynane in southwest Kerry sets its own style – and its own agenda. It has been the favourite place of some remarkable people…
Waiting for wind
SOUNDINGS – FEBRUARY/MARCH 2008 When the decent sea breezes which were expected in a sunny Cork Week didn’t materialise some years ago, we were given an explanation. The official word was that it was because there’d been so much rain…
Green Team surfing downwind
Fast sailors are the first to catch the waves downwind. Surfing gives them the edge and it is a useful metaphor to describe the performances of two Irish offshore teams, one in gestation and one with a 1,000-mile lead in…
Damien Foxall - professionalism and endurance
It was, by all accounts, Damian Foxall’s most daunting voyage so far. But pictured wearing shorts and shades and tucking into chocolate, the modest Kerryman would be uncomfortable with the suggestion that his achievements in the past three months merit…
Aiming high for Ireland at Qingdao
No surprises who ruled the waves in Qingdao, and we'll be hearing about it for some time to come. But as Team GB’s final medal tally rose to four gold, a silver and a bronze, Ireland – without any results…
Feast or famine for Star class
You wait all day for a bus and then two come along at once. Just like the Number 7, there's a queue formed for the chance to represent Ireland in the men's keelboat class at the Olympics. Slow, lumbering and…
The call of the sea ignored by government
It was a source of pride to the country's sailing community when Damian Foxall went to Aras an Uachtarain last month, because the visit brought state acknowledgement of the biggest sailing achievement in years. Sailors believed it was through this…
Ger O'Rourke Sailor of the Year
Springtime may be the start of the season but Irish sailors were back on the waterfront in force this week to applaud Ger O’Rourke when he lifted the Cork Dry Gin Sailor of the Year award, while abroad Dubliner Ciara…
Foxall aims for Extreme 40 circuit
Having completed eight Round the World races in the last eight years, this summer Barcelona World race hero Damian Foxall is staying inshore. Foxall is back in Ireland next week attending the Maritime Ball at Dun Laoghaire, hosted by the…

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