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Royal Irish JPK 10.80 Rockabill VI skippered by Paul O'Higgins reigned in Saturday's first ISORA cross channel IRC race for over two years but with a winning margin of less than a minute after nine hours on the water.

The Dun Laoghaire yacht – which has won all its ISORA fixtures this season – had just 52 seconds over Welsh rival J109 Mojito, skippered by Peter Dunlop and Vicky Cox.

The yachts finished under spinnaker in light airs at tea time at Dun Laoghaire Harbour with respective corrected elapsed times of 9 hours 34 minutes and 28 seconds and 9 hours, 35 minutes and 20 seconds.

14 ISORA boats raced across the Irish Sea on a 59 mile course from Holyhead to Dun Laoghaire Screenshot: YB Tracker17 ISORA boats raced across the Irish Sea on a 59-mile course from Holyhead to Dun Laoghaire Screenshot: YB Tracker

From a pre-race billing of over 20, a fleet of 17 came to the line at Holyhead in North Wales on Saturday morning with 13 finishers of the Musto sponsored race on Dublin Bay.

The fleet sailed into fog off the Irish coast that reduced visibility so severely that it led to the cancellation of the bulk of DBSC racing on Dublin Bay but cleared briefly around 6 pm to let the leaders at least finish in relatively clear conditions.

The line honours winner was the Grand Soleil 44 Samatom (Robert Rendell) of Howth, who finished on a corrected time of 9.46.35 to take third overall on IRC.

The line honours winner was the Grand Soleil 44 Samatom (Robert Rendell) The line honours winner was the Grand Soleil 44 Samatom (Robert Rendell) Photo: Afloat

With IRC Zero victory going to Rockabill VI, second in the big boat division was Rendell's Samatom, with Andrew Hall's Pwhelli based J125 Jackknife second.

The J109 Mojito (Peter Dunlop and vicky Cox) was second in the line honours race at Dun Laoghaire Harbour Photo: AfloatThe J109 Mojito (Peter Dunlop and Vicky Cox) was second in the line honours race at Dun Laoghaire Harbour Photo: Afloat

Second to Mojito in IRC One division was Paul Sutton's sistership and Pwhelli clubmate, Jaydreamer. In a J109 clean-up in that division, Simon Knowles was third in the Howth Yacht Club J, Indian.

IRC Class 2, Pwllheli Sailing Club's Pete Ashworth's Sunfast 3200 beat Mark and Jo Thompson's Sunfast 3200i. 

Irish Sea Offshore Racing Association Results Race 05 - Class 0/1/2 IRC/ECHO

Live Dublin Bay webcams here

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Saturday's ISORA race from Holyhead to Dun Laoghaire now has over 21 entries for the first cross-channel race since the COVID epidemic.

A buoyant fleet of eight Class Zeros, seven Class One and six Class Two yachts are now entered with one of the biggest and smallest boats being the latest entries into the 60-miler. 

The First 44.7 Black Magic (Barry O'Donovan) will add extra spice to special Class Zero that includes champion JPK10.80 Rockabill VI (Paul O'Higgins)

At the other end of the size scale, the First 310 More Mischief is joining Saturday's Class Two race. 

Saturday's ISORA race from Holyhead to Dun Laoghaire entry listSaturday's ISORA race from Holyhead to Dun Laoghaire entry list

As Afloat reported earlier, the race counts towards points for the overall ISORA Wolf’s Head trophy, the race is significant because it marks a resumption of normal ISORA activities between Ireland and Wales in the association's golden jubilee year.

The race will start in North Wales for Class One and Two yachts at 09.15 and finish that evening in Dun Laoghaire Harbour. Class Zero starts at 10.00

The boats will race between the two ports leaving ISORA's Dublin Virtual Mark to starboard.

An Apres sail party and “Jack Ryan Whiskey” prizegiving in the National Yacht Club soon after the last boat finishes.

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A strong entry of 19 boats spread over three classes includes the current form boat Rockabill VI for the first ISORA Dun Laoghaire-Holyhead race this Saturday (14th May).

Eight of the 11 boats are UK entries setting up the first Musto offshore race of the 2022 season (and the first 'traditional' cross-channel race since Covid) as a hotly contested 60-miler.

Early forecasts, however, indicate a light variable forecast for the Irish Sea race track.

As the season's Round Ireland Race offshore highlight is just five weeks away, further entries are also expected for this weekend as the ISORA serves as a warm-up race for the biennial Wicklow classic, according to ISORA Chief Peter Ryan.

Paul O'Higgins' RIYC based JPK 10.80 Rockabill VI has had an impressive start to the season, winning both of ISORA's Viking Marine Sponsored coastal races so far and an inshore DBSC Thursday night race.

Saturday's fleet includes former ISORA champion, the J109 Mojito from Pwllheli and two Sunfast 3200s from North Wales. 

Three Irish Sunfast 3600s are also entered. 

Current entries for the first Dun Laoghaire-Holyhead race this Saturday

Racing for points for the overall ISORA Wolf’s Head trophy, the race is significant because it marks a resumption of normal ISORA activities between Ireland and Wales in the association's golden jubilee year.

The race will start in North Wales at 9 am (approx) and finish that evening in Dun Laoghaire Harbour

An Apres sail party and “Jack Ryan Whiskey” prizegiving in the National Yacht Club soon after the last boat finishes.

Online entries are still being accepted on www.isora.org

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Thirteen of a 15-boat ISORA fleet had a tricky 26 nautical mile coastal race off the County Dublin and Wicklow coasts today but offshore supremo Paul O'Higgins in the JPK 10.80 Rockabill VI navigated a stylish race to win overall a second weekend running in the 2022 ISORA Series.

April 30th's race was, however, in contrast to the stiff conditions that prevailed for the first race as today's race saw winds below five knots for most of its almost five-hour duration that even saw line honours winner Samatom of Howth resorting to the anchor shortly before the Dun Laoghaire Harbour finish line.

This race was the third race in the Musto ISORA 2022 Series and the second race of the ISORA “Viking Marine Coastal Series” at Dun Laoghaire.

The six smaller class two boats started first at 09.55, broad-reaching across Scotsman’s Bay. Conditions were northwesterly winds of less than five knots with flat seas. 

On the water, the two-handed First 34.7 Black Velvet of Leslie Parnell led by five boat lengths in the early stages from the fully crewed sister ship Magic Touch (Steve Hayes of Greystones) with the two Sigma 33s Razzmatazz and Elandra, skippered by David Townsend and Joe Conway respectively, in pursuit. Alan Turner’s First 260 Krypton brought up the rear with a late spinnaker hoist. 

Robert Rendell's Samatom, the big Grand Soleil 44, leads the ISORA Zero and One fleets past Dun Laoghaire Harbour at the start of the 30 mile coastal race Robert Rendell's Samatom (black and white kite) leads the ISORA Zero and One fleets past Dun Laoghaire Harbour at the start of the 30 mile ISORA coastal race. The race winner Rockabill VI is furthest offshore with the blue and yellow spinnaker Photo: Afloat

At 10.25, The red spinnaker of the J/109 Indian (Simon Knowles) appearing early indicated an excellent start off the West Pier for the Howth Yacht Club boat. Still, there was no surprise to see clubmate Robert Rendell of Samatom, the big Grand Soleil 44, sail through the bunch by the time the Zero and One fleets reached the harbour mouth.

By the time they were halfway across Scotsman’s bay, the bulk had followed Samatom onto port gybe and headed out to sea in search of a stronger breeze before gybing back onto starboard off the forty-foot at Sandycove.  

But as the fleet headed towards Bullock Harbour at Dalkey, a new southerly breeze arrived with rain turning the run into a beat. Hence, it was spinnakers down as the fleet approached the southernmost tip of Dublin bay and the first mark of the course, leaving the Muglins to starboard. 

The Yellowbrick track of the 26 nautical mile ISORA race along the County Dublin and Wicklow coasts The Yellowbrick track of the 26 nautical mile ISORA race along the County Dublin and Wicklow coasts

From there, the fleet sailed to Moulditch Buoy (S), Bray Outfall (S), Killiney Outfall (S), Muglins (P), and a usual Dun Laoghaire Finish between the pier heads.

ISORA Race 3 Results (provisional via YB tracker) 

Line Honours

  1. Samatom Grand Soleil 44 Robert Rendell
  2. Rockabill VI JPK10.80 Paul O'Higgins
  3. Black Magic First 44.7 Barry O'Donovan 

IRC Overall (15 boats entered)

  1. Rockabill VI JPK10.80 Paul O'Higgins
  2. Indian  J109 Simon Knowles
  3. YoYo Sunfast 3600 Brendan Coghlan 

IRC Zero (3 boats)

  1. Rockabill VI JPK10.80 Paul O'Higgins
  2. Black Magic First 44.7 Barry O'Donovan 

IRC One (5 boats)

  1. Indian  J109 Simon Knowles
  2. YoYo Sunfast 3600 Brendan Coghlan 
  3. Hot Cookie Sunfast 3600 John O'Gorman

IRC Two (7 boats)

  1. Black Velvet First 34.7 Leslie Parnell 
  2. Magic Touch First 34.7 Steve Hayes 
  3. Razzmatazz Sigma 33 David Townsend
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We hear so much about the “New Normal” in everyday life ashore that it’s becoming difficult to remember what the Old Normal was like, as employers resort to bribery (“Special Bonuses” if you insist) to entice WFH employees back into the office. Equally in sailing, while there were always hyper-keen types who made sure that all compliance was in place to enable racing to be possible within the pandemic limits - with Dublin Bay SC setting the pace with weekly turnouts of 142 boats in times of lockdown lifting - there were those who felt that a restrained involvement was the only way to go.

So after two to three years of control at varying levels, it’s welcome to notice a growing and familiar buzz in the new season’s sailing scene as we finally approach May. And equally, it was reassuring to note that God is clearly in his heaven and results were as they should be in last weekend’s two major cruiser-racer happenings on the east and south coasts, with Paul O’Higgins’ JPK 10.80 Rockabill VI (RIYC) winning the brisk opening race from Dublin Bay of the Golden Jubilee season of the Irish Sea Offshore Racing Association, while in Kinsale Denis & Annamarie Murphy’s Grand Soleil 40 Nieulargo likewise did the business in robust breezes and offshore conditions in Classes Zero and 1 in the Axiom Private Spring Series, which concludes today.

Both Nieulargo and Rockabill VI are quite hefty boats which enjoy a breeze, which means that in somewhere like Long Island Sound they’d be regarded as distinctly under-canvassed. But in Ireland, they’re just about spot-on for most of the time, even if the idea that Ireland always provides good sailing breezes is a rose-tinted fantasy.

The Vice Admiral Royal Cork YC shows the way off Kinsale. The Grand Soleil 40 Nieulargo (RCYC Vice Admiral Annamarie Fegan & Denis Murphy) on the way to success at Kinsale in the Axiom Private Spring Series. Photo: Robert BatemanThe Vice Admiral Royal Cork YC shows the way off Kinsale. The Grand Soleil 40 Nieulargo (RCYC Vice Admiral Annamarie Fegan & Denis Murphy) on the way to success at Kinsale in the Axiom Private Spring Series. Photo: Robert Bateman

Be that as it may, another example of a return to normality of sorts was in evidence with the 1898-vintage Howth 17s starting their 122nd season on Tuesday with current champion, the 1907-vintage Deilginis (Massey, Toomey & Kenny) still on the pace with 2022’s first win.

EVERY CLASS NEEDS A DILIGENT RECORD-KEEPER

Those with the ability for instant calculations might wonder how we come up with the figure of 122 seasons, but some racing seasons were lost during the Great War of 1914-1918, and for years the Howth 17s’ Keeper of the Records was TCD engineer-mathematician Gerald FitzGibbon, who typically insisted that the class’s 75th Anniversary be celebrated in 1972. This was even though they weren’t 75 years old until 1973, for in Gerald’s precise class recording terms, the season of 1898 was Year 1, and thus last night’s Howth 17 Annual Dinner, hosted in HYC by Class Captain David O’Shea and the first to be held for a couple of years, was also the Golden Jubilee of the 75th Anniversary.

It may seem pernickety, but every venerable local one design class needs its Gerald FtzGibbon. For among other things, such folk keep the history in proper order, and as things settle down and it becomes clear that to maintain cross-class enthusiasm, a parallel set of results based on performance handicaps is required, when the FitzGibbons of this world become indispensable for its successful implementation.

For those who would argue that handicaps are against the spirit of OD racing, I’d reiterate that it’s a parallel system, not a scratch-racing replacement, which is used. And as for it being un-Irish, I’d suggest you reflect on where local golf would be without it, and remind you that the very idea of golf handicaps was first floated globally in 1897 by George Combe, Honorary Secretary of the Golfing Union of Ireland.

Thus by Gerald’s fastidious standards, the Shannon One Designs should actually be celebrating their 101st Anniversary this year, but as it happens Centenaries and Anniversaries are two different things, and when the Howth 17s’ Centenary came up in April 1998, a flotilla of the class was in Carrickfergus to celebrate. The first five boats to the design (there are now 20) were built by Hilditch of Carrickfergus, who four years earlier had built what is now Hal Sisk’s award-winning 36ft G L Watson cutter Peggy Bawn

AN EXCESS OF HISTORY UP NORTH

There was an excess of history going on up north at the time of the Seventeens’ return to Carrickfergus, as the Good Friday Agreement was being signed on the same day in Belfast. So while everyone was watching that, the Seventeens - having visited various places around Belfast Lough – cheekily took advantage of a strong and very cold nor’easter to sail overnight along the 90 miles to Howth, as one does.

Ian Malcolm’s 1898-built Howth 17 Aura off Carrickfergus Castle, celebrating her Centenary at her birthplace in April 1998. Photo: Damian CroninIan Malcolm’s 1898-built Howth 17 Aura off Carrickfergus Castle, celebrating her Centenary at her birthplace in April 1998. Photo: Damian Cronin

Some of the 22 Dublin Bay Water Wags which mustered for their first race of the 2022 season on Wednesday. Photo Wag AssociationSome of the 22 Dublin Bay Water Wags which mustered for their first race of the 2022 season on Wednesday. Photo Wag Association

Ian & Judith Malcolm’s 1915-vintage Water Wag Barbara winning the first race of the 2022 seasonIan & Judith Malcolm’s 1915-vintage Water Wag Barbara winning the first race of the 2022 season

A fondness for classic boats and yachts can become multiply-addictive, for one of those boats making the scene back in Carrickfergus in 1998 was Ian Malcolm’s Aura. While he may have been bested in Tuesday’s race at Howth by Deilginis, on Wednesday evening this week he and Judith were across Dublin Bay racing their 1915-vintage Water Wag Barbara in Dun Laoghaire in the 22-strong turnout (a record for the Wags’ first race of the season), and they duly won, with second place going to Guy Kilroy with Swift. He’s another classics multiple-enthusiast, as he also owns the 26ft 1896 Herbert Boyd jackyard topsail gaff cutter Marguerite, restored by Larry Archer.

WATER WAGS ATTRACT THE STELLAR SAILORS

In fact, it rather looks as though cutting the mustard with an immaculate Water Wag of whatever vintage (the current design goes back to 1900) is increasingly expected for stars from other classes, for the word is that tomorrow (Sunday), former Helmsmans Champion, Laser ace and RSAero winner Sean Craig is going to be arriving in Dun Laoghaire with his recently-acquired Water Wag.

Laser Masters Champion and former Helmsman’s Champion Sean Craig is the latest star helm to join the Water Wag classLaser Masters Champion and former Helmsman’s Champion Sean Craig is the latest star helm to join the Water Wag class

What with folk like the Craigs involved with the Wags, and the Hal Sisk/Fionan de Barra restoration of the Dublin Bay 21s moving steadily along, the classics scene in Dun Laoghaire is looking much rosier. So who knows, it may yet be the case that in the fullness of time the historic Dublin Bay 24s may find their way back from their various projects on both sides of the Atlantic involving Boat Building Schools, but at present the only one in full sailing trim in Dun Laoghaire is Periwinkle (David Espey & Chris Craig).

At moments of optimism all things seem possible, but even in sunny places they’re finding a challenge in restoring normal rhythm. Thus in the Caribbean, there has been no Antigua Week for three years, but this morning they’re having a re-launch, starting today with the Round Antigua race. In the big winds of this time of year, it can be quite a challenge, so to make it more user-friendly there’s an alternative race partially round Antigua.

HOW CAN YOU HAVE A SHORTER VERSION OF RACE ROUND AN ISLAND?

But quite how they’ll organize that remains to be seen, for a race or voyage round anywhere inevitably reaches a Point of No Return – for instance, if you’ve sailed from Dublin and you pass the decidedly obtuse Slyne Head in Connemara, you’re almost inevitably going to sail round Ireland whether you meant to or not.

Chris Power Smith’s J/122 Aurelia (RStGYC) has been entered for Kinsale YV’s new Inishtearaght race on May 20th. Photo: Afloat.ie/David O’BrienChris Power Smith’s J/122 Aurelia (RStGYC) has been entered for Kinsale YV’s new Inishtearaght race

Whatever, the feeling is that if you can somehow temporarily compartmentalise the current events in Eastern Europe, then the prospects for the 2022 Irish sailing season are looking good. The news that Chris Power Smith’s J/122 Aurelia (RStGYC) has signed up for Kinsale YC’s new Inishtearaght Race on May 20th is adding spice to an already intriguing challenge, as for the dedicated offshore types, the SSE Renewables Round Ireland Race from Wicklow a month later has now broken comfortably through the 40 entry mark with the latest batch led by RORC Commodore James Neville with his HH42 INO XXX. For regatta racing both inshore and offshore there’s the Wave at Howth at the beginning of June and Bangor Town Regatta at the end of the Month, and then in July Volvo Cork Week is spreading its wings with the addition of a Classics Division.

GP14s at Sligo in times past – Curly Morris chasing Ger Owens. The GP 14s are in Sligo this weekend as the countdown to their 2022 Worlds in Skerries in Augst gets under wayGP14s at Sligo in times past – Curly Morris chasing Ger Owens. The GP 14s are in Sligo this weekend as the countdown to their 2022 Worlds in Skerries in Augst gets under way

There are at least three World Championships, with the countdown towards the GP 14 Worlds in Skerries (from 14th to 19th August) getting under way today with the season’s first Open Meeting at Sligo, and then in a week’s time at Dromineer on Lough Derg, the Fireball 2022 Worlds there on 20th to 26th August are being anticipated on May 6-7th with an intensive training weekend by Thomas Chaix for the growing Irish class.

ILEN FOLLOWS THE MONEY IN LONDON

Meanwhile in London, the Ilen from Limerick berthed at St Katharine Dock yesterday, having overnighted on Thursday at a handy pier in Gravesend in a place which, despite the modern installations across the river, had something of the flavour of the scene-setting in a Conrad novel.

It could be the setting for the start of a Conrad novel – Ilen finds a handy overnight berth in the River Thames on Thursday nightIt could be the setting for the start of a Conrad novel – Ilen finds a handy overnight berth in the River Thames on Thursday night

Then yesterday (Friday) it was a case of follow the money, as inevitably her long bowsprit - with sails set – found itself pointing at the finance machine which is Canary Wharf as the flood tide swept her up the Thames. And for those who have been wondering on Afloat.ie’s Facebook page about how Ien could be described as “a Limerick ketch” despite being built and then restored in West Cork, having spent her working life in the Falklands, the explanation is that by “Limerick” we incorporate the entire Shannon Estuary, Ilen was designed by Conor O’Brien of County Limerick in a cottage on Foynes Island (as had her small predecessor-sister Saoirse), and she is of course owned and run by the Gary Mac Mahon-directed Ilen Marine School of Limerick, all partially in celebration of the comparable sailing traders of the Shannon Estuary, which used to depart from Limerick city with each ebb tide, laden with goods for all the small ports on both sides of the estuary as far west as Ballylongford and Kilbaha.

A long way from Ballylongford and Kilbaha……Ilen’s long bowsprit headed for the money-towers of Canary Wharf yesterday (Friday).A long way from Ballylongford and Kilbaha……Ilen’s long bowsprit headed for the money-towers of Canary Wharf yesterday (Friday).

Outward voyage completed - Ilen at Tower bridge yesterday (Friday evening)Outward voyage completed - Ilen at Tower bridge yesterday (Friday evening)

 Job done - Ilen below Tower Bridge in St Katharine Dock Waiting Berth Job done - Ilen below Tower Bridge in St Katharine Dock Waiting Berth

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Irish Sea offshore supremos Rockabill VI (Paul O'Higgins) of the Royal Irish took the honours when eight boats from an expected fleet of 13 turned out for the first race of ISORA Golden Jubilee season this morning. 

Easterly winds of 16-18 knots kicked up some big waves for the first Dun Laoghaire Viking Marine Coastal Race of the 2022 season which meant it was always going to be a big boat day and an important shakedown for the season's Round Ireland Race highlight in just under eight weeks time.

With a crisp start close to the West Pier, the O'Higgins JPK10.80 took an early lead on the water as the fleet passed Dun Laoghaire Harbour and headed towards the Muglins Rock in a race that saw the fleet venture as far south as the Bray Outfall buoy.

A screen shot from the Yellowbrick ISORA trackerA screen shot from the Yellowbrick ISORA tracker

The full course was:

  • Usual Dun Laoghaire start at Dun Laoghaire Outfall Buoy 53 18.404N 6 8.348W
  • Muglins (P) 53 16.515N 6 4.550W
  • Bray Outfall (P) 53 13.254N 6 4.485W
  • North Kish (S) 53 18.560N 5 56.423W
  • East Kish (S) 53 14.343N 5 53.595W
  • Bray Outfall (S) 53 13.254N 6 4.485W
  • Muglins (P) 53 16.515N 6 4.550W
  • Usual Dun Laoghaire Finish between the pier heads. 53 18.145N 6 7.619W

Race winner - the JPK10.80 Rockabill VI (Paul O'Higgins)Race winner - the JPK10.80 Rockabill VI (Paul O'Higgins) Photo: Afloat

The three boat competition in Class Zero was between Rockabill, Robert Rendell's Grand Soleil 44 Samatom from Howth and Barry O'Donovan's new First 44 Black Magic. 

Rendell took line hours in an elapsed time of 3hours 46 minutes and 39 seconds but Rockabill's finish approximately eight minutes later sealed the IRC Zero and overall victory.

Robert Rendell's Grand Soleil 44 Samatom(Above and below) Robert Rendell's Grand Soleil 44 Samatom Photo: Afloat

Robert Rendell's Grand Soleil 44 Samatom

Robert Rendell's Grand Soleil 44 Samatom

Third on the water and in IRC Zero was O'Donovan's Black Magic. 

Barry O'Donovan's new First 44 Black MagicBarry O'Donovan's new First 44 Black Magic Photo: Afloat

In IRC One, Brendan Coghlan's well sailed Sunfast 3600 Yoyo from the Royal St. George Yacht Club took the division honours and third overall.

Brendan Coghlan's Sunfast 3600 Yoyo from the Royal St. George Yacht ClubBrendan Coghlan's Sunfast 3600 Yoyo from the Royal St. George Yacht Club Photo: Afloat

Howth J99 Snapshot skippered by Mike Evans (and a recent entrant to June's Round Ireland race) was second in IRC one and fourth overall 

Howth J99 Snapshot skippered by Mike EvansHowth J99 Snapshot skippered by Mike Evans Photo: Afloat

Sailing two-handed, John O'Gorman of the National Yacht Club sailing Hot Cookie was third in IRC one and fifth overall. 

John O'Gorman's Hot Cookie of the National Yacht ClubJohn O'Gorman's Hot Cookie of the National Yacht Club Photo: Afloat

The winner of IRC Two was Joe Conway's Sigma 33 Elandra.

Joe Conway's Sigma 33 Elandra Photo: AfloatJoe Conway's Sigma 33 Elandra Photo: Afloat

ISORA Dun Laoghaire Viking Marine Coastal Race Photo Gallery

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Saturday's weather forecast of 16-18 knots with gusts of 28, has led ISORA to choose a shortened course for its first Dun Laoghaire Coastal Race of the 2022 season, the golden anniversary year of the Irish Sea offshore body.

An expected fleet of 13 made up of some of the country's top offshore campaigners will have a staggered start: 10.00 BST start for Class 2. 10.30 BST start for Class 0 & 1. with an aim to bunch the boats at the finish.

In class zero, ISORA Champion Rockabill VI is in the lineup along with Howth's Samatom, the winner of the coastal division of last year's Sovereign's Cup at Kinsale.

Three Sunfast 3600s, Searcher, Yoyo and Hot Cookie will compete in a four-boat class one battle. Five will compete in class two including two Sigma 33s and two First 34.7s

ISORA's entry list for the first Dun Laoghaire Coastal Race on SaturdayISORA's entry list for the first Dun Laoghaire Coastal Race on Saturday

The 30-mile course is expected to take the fleet out to the Kish Bank at the entrance to Dublin Bay and then into Wicklow waters to leave the Bray Outfall buoy to port.

The ISORA courseThe ISORA course

The full course is:

  • Usual Dun Laoghaire start at Dun Laoghaire Outfall Buoy 53 18.404N 6 8.348W
  • Muglins (P) 53 16.515N 6 4.550W
  • Bray Outfall (P) 53 13.254N 6 4.485W
  • North Kish (S) 53 18.560N 5 56.423W
  • East Kish (S) 53 14.343N 5 53.595W
  • Bray Outfall (S) 53 13.254N 6 4.485W
  • Muglins (P) 53 16.515N 6 4.550W
  • Usual Dun Laoghaire Finish between the pier heads. 53 18.145N 6 7.619W

The race is part of the ISORA Viking Marine Coastal Series 2022. Jack Ryan Whiskey is the race sponsor. There will be a Jack Ryan Whiskey prizegiving at the apres sail in the National Yacht Club after the race.

Pwllheli Coastal Race

On Saturday, there is also a coastal race from Pwllheli. Eight boats will be taking part from the Welsh Port.

ISORA Welsh coastal race – possible course: ODM – Madog Fairway – Eurwyn - St.Tudwal's – Plas HeliISORA Welsh coastal race – possible course: ODM – Madog Fairway – Eurwyn - St.Tudwal's – Plas Heli

The course is:

  • Start (PSC line - ODM to Starboard)
  • Pwllheli Fairway 52 53.000N 004 23.000W (S)
  • Madog Fairway 52 52.70N 004 11.200W (S)
  • Eurwyn 52 47.00N 004 22.000W (S)
  • St Tudwals Island (both E and W including Carreg Y Trai buoy) (S)
  • Finish (Plas Heli line - Pwllheli Fairway to Starboard)

The Sailing Instructions for both races are downloadable below

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Getting involved in Offshore Racing can be tricky if you don't know where to start. There's a fantastic offshore racing programme offered by ISORA, the skippers are very welcoming and everyone aboard had to start at the beginning sometime, so why don’t more sailors join in?

To help, the Irish National Sailing & Powerboat School is teaming up with the Irish Sea Offshore Racing Association on Wednesday 6th of April to introduce their yacht course graduates, and other sailors, to ISORA racing, with an opportunity to meet a couple of skippers and ask the burning questions about starting off in offshore racing.

In addition to meeting skippers, there’ll be an introduction to what’s involved in ISORA racing and Kieran Tarbett will speak about his NCB Round the World Racing experiences.

Chief Instructor Kenneth Rumball says “it’s exciting to see the continued interest in offshore racing and this partnership with ISORA creates a route for more people to get involved”. Commenting on the reasoning behind the initiative, Kenneth describes how perceived barriers to getting involved can be broken down “We find that many newer sailors are simply not sure of what steps to take, this initiative lays out a pathway to follow for our graduates, and indeed any sailor interested in offshore racing”.

INSS course graduates and sailors with an interest in joining ISORA crews this year are invited to this event, taking place on Wednesday 6th of April at 8 pm.

Attendance is free, but you’re asked to contact the school on [email protected] to let them know you’re coming along.

Published in ISORA

The first of a number of pre-season offshore racing talks are scheduled for this coming Tuesday the 22nd of March 2022. The discussion, aimed at all levels of offshore sailing, is there to answer many of your questions and myths and provide solutions to questions you might have at whatever level you compete in offshore sailing.

The talk provided free of charge is given by Kenneth Rumball of the Offshore Racing Academy.

J109 Jedi competing in the Fastnet RaceJ109 Jedi competing in the Fastnet Race Photo: Carlo Borlenghi

Rumball has a wealth of knowledge in all aspects of offshore racing. Career highlights include a winning division in the Fastnet Race with Jedi J109, Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC) wins as skipper of Keronimo Ker 40, three years and counting experience in the hardest racing of them all in the solo Figaro class in France, plus Round Ireland, Middle Sea and Sydney Hobart Races. Rumball was also awarded the RORC seamanship trophy for the successful recovery of a man overboard on Jedi in a 2018 Round Ireland race.

Below decks on an offshore racerBelow decks on an offshore racer

Topics for the first talk include;

  • Basic boat preparation
  • Crew preparation
  • Safety considerations
  • Managing sleep and watch systems
  • Navigation and routing considerations
  • New keel inspection requirements for 2022

The talk will be given via zoom as Kenneth is in France after a busy training event at the weekend. This talk is free of charge. Participants are encouraged to sign up on the Offshore Academy’s website to obtain access to the zoom link.

The link to sign up is here

Once signed up, participants will be emailed the zoom link two hours before the talk is due to start on Tuesday evening.

Published in INSS

The Irish National Sailing & Powerboat School reports buoyant interest in training ahead of offshore ventures, including the Round Ireland Yacht Race. To help these crews get afloat, the school has launched two additional courses with the assistance of the chief instructor, and the Offshore Racing Academy’s Kenneth Rumball. There’s now an extra Sea Survival date in Dun Laoghaire, as well as a programme scheduled for Galway.

Speaking about the level of interest, Rumball says “before the pandemic we would have run one, maybe two courses per year, however, by the time we get to Galway it will have been the third full course of a busy pre-Summer season. It’s really encouraging on a personal level that offshore racing is becoming so popular and bodes extremely well for the future of the sport”.

The extra course in Galway will take place on Friday 1st April and Saturday 2nd April, spearheaded by a local crew, with the extra places opened to allow even more to train in time for offshore events this year.

Back in Dublin, national ambitions continue, albeit closer to home. The school is delighted to return to Malahide with a number of powerboat and sailing programmes later this year. Shore-based and advanced programmes will follow. The school say they’ll be able to announce more details very soon, but there’s excitement from the whole team about expanding services and the opportunity to get afloat.

Back in Dun Laoghaire, the school is delighted to announce that the initiative to help offshore racing experience get started is progressing well. “Dun Laoghaire is very fortunate to have an invigorated offshore racing scene thanks to ISORA, and we’re looking forward to announcing a new partnership with ISORA in the coming days,” says Kenneth Rumball.

Summing up the mode Kenneth Rumball describes it succinctly, “We’re Back!”

If you’re interested in the school’s Sea Survival Programmes there’s more information here

Published in INSS
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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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