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#Cruising - Vendée Globe challenger Enda O’Coineen will be part of the Royal Galway Yacht Club’s inaugural cruise in company from Galway Docks to the new marina in Rossaveal this Sunday 8 July.

BIM seafood ambassador and Figaro contender Joan Mulloy will lead the cruise on board her on board the 30ft racing boat Taste the Atlantic, departing from Galway Docks on the tide at 12pm and aiming to arrive in Rossaveal about four-and-a-half hours later

Other boats taking part are Evolution, a 60ft motorboat skippered by John Killeen, one of the club’s three commodores, and Kilcullen Team Ireland, the IMOCA 60 on which O’Coineen completed his solo global circumnavigation.

All boat owners in the area are invited to join the first of what’s hoped to be an annual event. O’Coineen promises some esteemed company — including Riverdance composer Bill Whelan, who hopes to sail down from Roundstone to meet the fleet.

The cruise is also a great opportunity to meet Joan Mulloy and show support for her Figaro campaign, as well as her own future Vendée Globe ambitions in 2020.

Published in Cruising

Solo sailor Enda O'Coineen was honoured by HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco at the weekend in recognition of the Galway man's successful circumnavigation

Ireland had a strong presence in the principality on Saturday as the first Monaco Globe Series for the IMOCA 60 class got underway there.

O'Coineen is in Monaco to support his compatriot Joan Mulloy paired with Thomas Ruyant at the helm of Kilcullen Team Ireland.

Earlier that day, the Yacht Club de Monaco President greeted skippers at a brunch in honour of O’Coineen, who competed in the last Vendée Globe.

Kilcullen monaco IMOCAJoan Mulloy on board Team Kilcullen gets a great start in the new Monaco IMOCA series Photo: YCM

Nine 60-footers including County Mayo's Joan Mulloy are off on a double-hander, unassisted non-stop race, the first stage of the new IMOCA 2018-2020 world championship.

Organised by the Yacht Club de Monaco, the new race is a chance for participants to gain the maximum number of points towards qualifying for the Vendée Globe 2020.

The start gun was fired for the first Monaco Globe Series by Yacht Club de Monaco President, HSH Prince Albert II, from the elegant motor-yacht M/Y Pacha III (1936), on which were members of the royal family there to support Pierre Casiraghi competing with Boris Herrmann on Malizia II.

Prince Albert II of Monaco has strong connections to Ireland with Royal Cork Yacht Club. The Prince and RCYC's Gavin Deane signed a twinning agreement at YCM three years ago

List of competing boats:

Malizia-Yacht Club de Monaco – Pierre Casiraghi / Boris Herrmann
SMA – Paul Meilhat / Gwénolé Gahinet
Newrest Art & Fenêtres – Fabrice Amedeo / Eric Peron
Bureau Vallée 2 – Louis Burton / Arthur Hubert
Monin – Isabelle Joschke / Alain Gautier
4myplanet2 – Alexia Barrier / Pierre Quirogea
Groupe Setin – Manuel Cousin / Alan Roura
Kilcullen Team Ireland – Joan Mulloy / Thomas Ruyant
Boulogne Billancourt – Stéphane Le Diraison / Stan Maslard

Click All Afloat.ie's Vendee Globe News

Published in Vendee Globe
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At 13:57 today off the west coast of France Irishman Enda O’Coineen passed through the finishing line of the Vendee Globe course to mark the end of his solo sailing lap of the planet, with just one stop.

On 6 November 2016 O’Coineen crossed the starting line of the solo non-stop race around the world From France to France. His world came crashing down around him on New Years Day 2017 when he broke his mast 180 miles south of New Zealand in one of the most remote parts of the planet.

Undeterred, the Irish team joined forces with a French entrant that was also forced to head to New Zealand for essential repairs. The new Team, Le Souffle du Nord Kilcullen Team Ireland emerged from a boat shed in Christchurch with a newly repaired and jointly branded yacht to complete the voyage.

Enda VendeeEnda O'Coineen in part mood after completing his solo circumnavigation

The second half of this epic adventure began on 26th January 2018 when O’Coineen sailed away alone from New Zealand with a destination some 13,000 miles away, through the Pacific Ocean, around Cape Horn, and back up the Atlantic and into Les Sables d’Olonne. This leg took 66 days alone at sea of nonstop sailing. The voyage saw him tackle ginormous seas off Cape Horn, becalmed waters along the coast of South America, and the last of the wild winter storms in the north Atlantic.

Enda IMOCA60 VendeeEnda O'Coineen sitting on the boom of his IMOCA 60 on arrival into the French port this afternoon

Speaking on arrival O’Coineen said:

"After 66 days alone at sea since New Zealand I am elated. It's incredible. I'm overwhelmed... and now I'm surrounded by thousands of people who gave me an amazing welcome into Les Sables d'Olonne. It's an honour to be here and to be representing Le Souffle du Nord Kilcullen Team Ireland. The support, interest and encouragement has been great.”

“This adventure really started in January 1st 2015 when we decided to 'Go for It' and to take on this challenge. Preparations have gobbled- up all the ranges of personal emotion, physical challenge, personal resource, fear and jubilation in between. There is no logic to the logic. And right to the finish line for the final week, rounding the Azores and the North West corner of Spain, the storm crossing the Bay of Biscay, kept me on edge."

By completing the solo lap of the planet Enda enters the history books of Irish sailing. Still to this day, 50 years since Sir Robin Knox-Johnston first sailed alone non-stop around the planet no Irish person has achieved this and only a handful have lapped the planet alone with just one stop.

O’Coineen finished by saying: “This really is an honour and I thank all who have followed the journey and supported us and our charity, the Atlantic Youth Trust.”

Read Afloat.ie's WMN Nixon: Enda O Coineen’s Latest Sailing Challenge Has Been an Inspiration For Us All

Published in Vendee Globe
Tagged under

In his latest update from the Atlantic Ocean, Solo sailor Enda O'Coineen tells how he took a call from President Higgins as he crossed the Equator on his long voyage back home from New Zealand

The President of Ireland's Office called on the Sat. phone. As per SOB I answered " South Atlantic Residents Association. How may I direct your call"

Confused, the man almost hung up until I got him back and clarified my mistake. I should, of course, have said the " North Atlantic Residents Association… " - since we have just crossed the Equator.

The crossing was a truly magical moment, early Friday 16th March after 48 days at sea. King Neptune and his Court who gave us a personal audience and a warm welcome, having remembered us from the outward journey.

Then President Higgins came on the line and congratulated us on the voyage. This was indeed a great honour - not just for your humble skipper but all our partners, friends and those who have supported the project.

tqlking with president
Enda talks with President Higgins

For those who have followed our ship's log through our Journey thanks for your interest. The Sunday Independent will be publishing the next Log so rather than my regular ' guff ' for those following the adventuure, I write about something special. Without shame ask to support. something incredible.

It can be small or large to help the Atlantic Youth Trust Charity We've had everything from £1 - £40,000 donated by individuals and companies so no amount is too small and it makes a difference.

To be clear, 100% of all funds will go to the Atlantic Youth Trust. And for the record the ATLANTIC Trust has not paid 1 cent towards the branding and promotion contributed through the Vendee. The Kilcullen Team Ireland Ocean project has in fact helped raise funds and profile both on the island of Ireland and internationally.

For me it is an honour to play a role in this initiative and thankfully, as business has gone well I have been able to support it financially myself. My late father, Lord rest him, always said " You should put something back in" here

I have been honoured to promote this charity. Will you actually do something? Now?

Atlantic's mission is clear to connect young people with the ocean and adventure.

As a child I was always in trouble at school and ' difficult" . I was fortunate to be selected to go on Asgard 1, a sail training vessel and it changed my life. Mind you many might say I am still difficult and in trouble - perhaps - one of another kind but this in not for me to judge.

Anyway Asgard II was lost, as was NI's vessel and the island of Ireland at the same time found itself rudderless in a tough recession. There was no appetite to rebuild.

It has been a tragedy for maritime youth development. We had no certified vessel or professional structure integrated to the education system to take youth to sea, introduce them to careers in the maritime and personal development.

As is often is the case with tragedy comes opportunity. Here the Atlantic Youth Trust saw is a once in a lifetime to look around the world with a 'clean-sheet" to see who did it best. Generous seed-funders came in and ATLANTIC in an independent project surveyed 16 countries and held Town Hall style meetings around Ireland to harvest views and build concensus for the best solution and value in a 30 year plus project,

This is a World Class, Youth Development Tallship. It will be professionally run but supported by a large Irish and Global volunteer based structure. Essentially the Maritime dimension to the Irish diaspora story - appropriate to think of on this St Patricks Weekend,

No matter who a child is, from any part of Ireland, they would have the opportunity to taste the ocean and adventure on this ship.

In our global research the New Zealand model stood out. With climate similarities in the South Island and similar populations. ATLANTIC their template, they are incredibly helpful and we have had several exchanges.

The economic model shows a massive return on investment for youth at risk, those following careers at sea, marine industry development, even tourism promotion and much more,

Incredible progress has been made. Teams in NI and ROI are working on details to move forward but the project urgently needs smart seed funding and public support to keep going. See www.Atlanticyouthtrust org.

Also some great member trustees have got in behind the organization and mission. Thee are led by the Chairman Peter Cook, David Beattie, Sean Lemass, John Killeen, John Coyle, Jerry Dowling, Sean Lemass, Gerard O'Hare to mention just a few It is a professionally run charity. Neil O'Hagan is the CEO and ite offices are kindly sponsored by Irish Lights, the North-South navigation authority.

You'll find ways to donate online here

ATLANTIC have gifts small and large for all donations over £30 and I am happy to consider any corporate speaking type activities in return for a donation to the Trust.

Now, in theory the circumnavigation is complete. The Equator marks the beginning of the End in what has been an extraordinary adventure and very tough challenge. Also TEAM Ireland Ocean want to keep going and would like people to get in behind Gregor McGuickan's entry in the Golden Globe Around the World Challenge and Joan Mulloy in the FIGARO this year and Nin O'Leary's Vendee plans with IOR.

However its not over. Now its north through the Doldrums, the North Easterly Trade Winds past the Caribbean and up the North Atlantic leaving the Azores High to starboard to finish in early April. Now that's an excuse for a great party.

But please pleaae make a contribution to the ATLANTIC Youth Trust. Every bit counts. 

Published in Vendee Globe

Ireland’s solo star Enda O Coineen has successfully rounded Cape Horn through the weekend in his combined-resources Open 60 Team Ireland/Soufle du Nord writes W M Nixon. In doing so he has transformed his sailing conditions from a severe 49-knots plus nor’wester west of the Horn in his final miles in the Pacific Ocean, into more gentle conditions as he shapes his course into the Atantic.

In traditional maritime parlance, the Galway veteran has “doubled the Horn”. And the extremes of weather relatively late in the season have tested his skill and resolve even further after an often very rugged passage from New Zealand.

Ireland’s Cape Horn pioneer Conor O’Brien – sailing with a crew in the 42ft Saoirse in 1924 – rounded Cape Horn in relatively benign conditions early in December. But in his much later approaches to Cape Horn, it was like winter for O Coineen.

The latter half of February is already getting late in the preferred time window, and as he neared “The Big One”, the Irish skipper and boat were tested again and again. Now this ultimate of headlands is safely astern, and though there are still thousands of miles to sail to his finish port of Les Sables d’Olonne, the most demanding hurdle of all has been safely negotiated.

Published in Solo Sailing
Tagged under

In the coming 24 hours, Enda O’Coineen is on course to sail solo around the notorious Cape Horn as he endeavours to complete his solo sailing lap of the planet.

Enda restarted his voyage in late January a little over a year since his Vendée Globe challenge came to an abrupt end, when his mast came crashing down some 180 miles south of New Zealand.

Having sailed more than half-way around the world from Les Sables in France, Enda was determined to finish what he started.

Initial plans to repair his boat changed when the opportunity arose to combine his efforts with another retired Vendée Globe team and merge as Le Souffle du Nord Kilcullen Team Ireland, with the mission to sail back to France and unofficially finish the race.

This weekend will be only one of a few recorded times that an Irish sailor has rounded the southern tip of the South American continent.

Enda OCoineen Cape Horn

Speaking about historic event, Enda O’Coineen said: “Cape Horn is one of, if not, the most feared pieces of land to round on the planet. And it is certainly living up to its reputation as I approach with 60kph winds and roaring seas hurtling me towards the great cape.

“This will hopefully be the coldest and wildest weather I will encounter as I then turn north and start the final leg up the Atlantic Ocean and into Les Sables d’Olonne to finish what I started.

“It’s hard to explain why I put myself in this position, alone, cold, and exhausted as the bottom of the earth but as any sailor or adventurer knows as soon as you reach your destination and accomplish your goal you quickly forget about the hardship.”

Enda added: “Right now I am living on the edge, moment by moment. Having the joint backing of two teams and flying both the Irish and French flags is an honour. The work of Le Souffle du Nord and the Atlantic Youth Trust keeps me motivated during the lows.”

The timing of the rounding coincides with summer in the Southern Hemisphere, but the latitude and converging seas make Cape Horn a daunting prospect year-round.

For live tracking of Enda’s voyage visit www.teamireland.ie.

Published in Solo Sailing

As Afloat.ie reported yesterday, in Dunedin, New Zealand, Enda O’Coineen set sail alone with the objective of sailing non-stop for 13,000 miles through the Pacific Ocean, around Cape Horn, and back up the Atlantic to Les Sables d’Olonne in France.

This epic voyage will see Enda complete the Vendee Globe race course after he was forced to retire from the race when he lost his mast on New Years Day in 2017 some 180 miles south of New Zealand. In a historic first, two Vendee Globe teams and pooled resources and joined teams to complete the voyage. French entrant Le Souffle du Nord limped into New Zealand a few days before Ireland’s only entry with serious structural damage to their hull. The French boat has now been rebuilt and Enda will sail it alone, back to France and then onto Ireland. The voyage is expected to take approximately 55 days and Enda is likely to face some extreme conditions as he sails through the Southern Ocean.

Speaking before his departure Enda said:  “It is an honour to now sail under a joint French - Irish flag. Le Souffle du Nord – Kilcullen Team Ireland represents an amazing coming together of two teams. While I never wanted to have to drop out the Vendee Globe, it has added to the adventure. Just a few weeks ago a group of delegates from France and Ireland met in Auckland to wish us well and to also take a closer look at the Spirit of Adventure Trust model. It is an incredible youth development model and has played a central role in the development of New Zealand’s maritime industry, it is for those reasons that the Atlantic Youth Trust is working to replicate it.”

Published in Vendee Globe

Galway Bay's Vendee Globe sailor Enda O'Coineen left the port of Dunedin in New Zealand this morning local time under a cloudy sky and a wind from 10 to 15 knots in his new boat and is bound for France.

As Afloat.ie previously reported this week, the Irish sailor was accompanied by six young people from the Spirit of Adventure programme for his long voyage to the starting line in Les Sables D'Olonne.

Published in Vendee Globe

New Zealand’s Otago Daily Times profiles  Enda O’Coineen as he prepares to complete his interrupted circumnavigation of the world.

Enda’s dream looked as if it had come to an end last year when Kilcullen Voyager-Team Ireland dismasted on New Year’s Day 2017 off Dunedin, halfway through the Vendée Globe.

But after regrouping back home, plans were set in motion to resume the round-the-world route with a new IMOCA 60, and another Vendée dropout, Souffe du Norde Kilcullen Team Ireland.

First came a circumnavigation of New Zealand begun before the end of last year and completed last month — a shakedown of sorts before Enda embarks on a two-month solo voyage from Dunedin to Les Sables.

“I’m officially out of the race so we’re going to unofficially re-enter and finish it,” he says, adding about his planned departure this Friday 26 January: “You’re never really ready to go but on Friday I'll wake up and just set off. I’ve known since last year I needed to do this and so here I go.”

The Otago Daily Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in Solo Sailing
Tagged under

Westport’s rising sailing star Joan Mulloy visited her home town of on Wednesday December 20th with legendary sailing veteran Enda O’Coineen, and delivered a fascinating talk at the invitation of Mayo Sailing Club reports Afloat.ie’s Clew Bay Correspondent. Seeking sponsorship, she told a packed room of well over a hundred interested guests and friends about her sailing adventures and plans, and the national and international publicity this would bring.

Melding her engineering background with her love of sailing, she has already achieved a string of successes in the highly competitive racing scene, and is one of Ireland’s most promising offshore sailors. As part of Team Ireland, she is now planning to be the first Irish woman to participate in the Solitaire du Figaro, the gruellingly competitive 1600 nautical mile four-stage race, in which she will be competing against some of the world’s best solo offshore sailors.

"Having worked at the top level of ocean racing for over 5 years, the time is right for me to take the helm” she said. “Being part of Team Ireland brings a level of professionalism, structure, and experience that will greatly enhance my campaign."

Her enthusiasm quickly spread to the listeners, and it wasn’t long before the first sponsor stepped in. Then Vendee Globe and Mini-Transat veteran Enda O’Coineen, who is now mentor to Joan, gave insights into the race he was forced to abandon in New Zealand and now plans to finish as a personal goal.

westport crowd3Enda O Coineen racing the Vendee Globe

As he explained, disaster sometimes leads to more fame than success, and he is using his experience and insights to help young sailors launch their careers and achieve success on the international stage. He urged the local community to support Joan at the grassroots level, which is the platform that helps secure the confidence of major sponsors. To learn more about Joan, or to become a sponsor, visit: www.JoanMulloyRacing.com

Enda also talked about his work with the Atlantic Youth Trust. The plans to replace the sail training ship Asgard II are progressing, if slowly, and support for this is needed.

Not surprisingly, the event drew attendees from all around the west coast. Some of the best-known adventurers in Connacht came to hear what’s new in the world of competitive offshore racing, and the mulled wine reception in advance of the talks gave everyone a chance to get up to speed with the latest developments.

Jaimie & Mary Young, of Killary Adventure Centre were in from Connemara. Jaimie is preparing his Frers 49 Killary Flyer for his next venture to the Arctic, and fundraising is always of interest. In the meantime, he is managing an expansion of the Adventure Centre, with the addition of The Killary Lodge due for completion in June 2018.

Alex Blackwell, Irish Cruising Club and Rear Commodore of the Ocean Cruising Club for Ireland, said he liked the gentle pace of a nice cruiser, but could appreciate the subtleties of wanting to go faster than the next boat, even when cruising in conversation with Matt Molloy. Matt, an avid sailor and musician, listened attentively but made it clear he had never ever had any ambitions to take up blue water racing. He too preferred to stop along the way, and smell the roses.

westport crowd3It might have been the countdown to Christmas, but in Westport people wanted to hear about top level Solo Racing

On the subject of roses, Jarlath Cunnane wanted to know if Enda shouldn’t be planning to prune roses instead of sailing across oceans now that he’s a grandfather. Enda said there was plenty of time for that, but right now he’s on a mission to finish what he started; after that, he wants to apply his knowledge to helping the up and coming young sailors, like Joan, who need to break into this competitive field. Then Jarlath asked detailed questions about the construction of Enda’s boat, which caused Enda to suggest that Jarlath may be thinking about building one himself.

Daria Blackwell, Rear Commodore of the Ocean Cruising Club, said she liked stopping along the way rather than passing anchorages by in a blur, but that following the passionate racers like Enda and Joan online was great fun.

Students from GMIT and NUI Galway came to fuel their imaginations and hopes, sensing that if Joan was able to muster the courage and the support, maybe they could too. The Galway crew that competed with success in the Fastnet Race were soaking up the details of the process of building experience and fundraising.

Joan’s childhood friends from Mayo Sailing Club’s excellent sail training programme came out in force to support her. Joan recognized those who had given her the first taste of offshore sailing, including John Lamb on whose boat she made her first exit from the protective safety of Clew Bay – and loved it. Ex-Commodores of MSC Rory Casey, Paul Murphy, and Damien Cashin arrived to lend their support, as did many other members.

westport crowd3Duncan Sclare, Commodore Mayo SC, is himself a solo sailor

Current Commodore Duncan Sclare, himself a single-hander, joined in the praise. He also invited everyone to attend the next talk by Mini-Transat sailor Tom Dolan on the 25th of January.

Mayo Sailing Club is a happening place, that’s for certain – and not just on the water. MSC welcomes new members at its clubhouse in Rosmoney. Members literally “get out there”, and so can you. No prior experience is required. No boat is needed. Visit here

Published in Solo Sailing
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William M Nixon has been writing about sailing in Ireland and internationally for many years, with his work appearing in leading sailing publications on both sides of the Atlantic. He has been a regular sailing columnist for four decades with national newspapers in Dublin, and has had several sailing books published in Ireland, the UK, and the US. An active sailor, he has owned a number of boats ranging from a Mirror dinghy to a Contessa 35 cruiser-racer, and has been directly involved in building and campaigning two offshore racers. His cruising experience ranges from Iceland to Spain as well as the Caribbean and the Mediterranean, and he has raced three times in both the Fastnet and Round Ireland Races, in addition to sailing on two round Ireland records. A member for ten years of the Council of the Irish Yachting Association (now the Irish Sailing Association), he has been writing for, and at times editing, Ireland's national sailing magazine since its earliest version more than forty years ago

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