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Displaying items by tag: SB20

At midnight on Friday, the lockdown shutters came down on the million-plus inhabitants of a place that no longer exists. And no, we don't mean that Dublin has obviously become a ghost town. But what we do mean is that when the powers-that-be start firing off diktats as to what the people of County Dublin can or cannot do as regards socialising and travel, they're talking of a place that is at one with Nineveh and Tyre.

For County Dublin as an administrative area has long since been replaced by the fiercely independent Dukedoms of Dun Laoghaire-Rathedown and South Dublin, the Commune of Dublin City, and to the north by the Viking Fortress of Fingal, the Land of the Fair Strangers. Denmark West, in other words, where we're bygge on hygge.

Lough Ree's racing was livelyLough Ree's racing was lively. Photo Mary Paul Mulligan

Doubtless m'learned friends will have a field day if legal actions are taken on the basis of prohibitions relating to this Dublin County place. But the rest of us know that, just as you should be wary of a car coming off the production line on a Friday afternoon, so you should be wary of the ultimate validity of official pronouncements made at that same time.

Thus the sailing community, being responsible citizens, cancelled the weekend's events left right and centre in the greater Dublin area. But way down the road on the lakes and wherever – the Land Beyond The Pale – they were indeed well beyond the Pale, as they continued to work in their suntans at Lough Ree Yacht Club, which gallantly manages to put a meaningful if very reduced programme together to comply with limitations while celebrating their Quarter Millennium with racing on Friday and Saturday, and then on Sunday the SB20s moved to Lough Derg YC for the first race of their Sunday Series.

While Dublin went into paralysis, Race Officer Alan Algeo and Regatta Organiser Jonny Swann were working hard on their elbow bumps and suntans down Lough Ree wayWhile Dublin went into paralysis, Race Officer Alan Algeo and Regatta Organiser Jonny Swann were working hard on their elbow bumps and suntans down Lough Ree way. Photo: John Malone

At Lough Ree, it was the Homecoming Regatta organised by Jonny Swan (that's the Swan of Classic Half Tonner Harmony when he's on salt water) with racing for SB20s, Shannon One Designs, and cruisers, with the pace being set by the SB20s.

They hope that this will lead on to a big-fleet SB20 Midlands at Lough Derg on 10th/11th, as our Midlands Messiah points out that the imprisonment of Dubliners – if the powers-that-be mean three weeks when they say three weeks – should actually end at 23.59 on 9th October.

Meanwhile on Sunday at Lough Ree, the SB20 racing was concluded with Eoin Leahy and Donie Heraghty on Strictly Business winning overall with 9 points to the 11 of Bango (Commodore John McGonigle & Kevin Fenton), which had been helmed by Cillian Dickson on the Saturday and young Ben Graf on the Sunday, with third slot on 14pts going to Ken Hudson of Arklow’s Serius Black helmed by Aidan Breen with third hand Niall Smythe.

Conditions were so light on Sunday that racing an SB20 with just two was a possibilityConditions were so light on Sunday that racing an SB20 with just two was a possibility. Photo: Brian McElligott

Published in SB20
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The Royal Southern Yacht Club in Southampton welcomes the SB20 Class for four days of action. On Thursday 16th September, the SB20 UK Sprint Championship is a stand-alone event with the SB20 fleet blasting along through six back-to-back short, sharp races.

The SB20 National Championships 2020 will be held 17th-20th September with ten races scheduled on their own windward-leeward course.

Hot favourite for the championship will be John Pollard’s Xcellent. However, strong competition is expected from McAdam & Whelan’s Breaking Bod and Gillet & Hines’ PBII. Expect fireworks from Ollie Hill’s young guns on Ethel and James Howells’ Gelert, featuring the Bedford Pack. Simon Russell’s Sportsboatworld has a stellar team of Ben McGrane and Jamie Lee.

Published in SB20
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SB20 sailors Luke Johnson and Eoin Leahy were winners of the North Shannon Yacht Club Regatta's Portlick Cup sailed at the weekend.

The North Shannon Regatta normally hosted further north on the river being sailed in the waters to the North of Lough Ree Yacht Club over 2 days due to the Kildare lockdown affecting the logistics of the usual organisers.

Upwind from Startline - Race 4, Day 2 SB20 North Shannon, Portlick CupUpwind from Startline - Race 4, Day 2 SB20 North Shannon, Portlick Cup

This was the first time (according to the RO, Ian Croxon) the North Shannon Yacht Club had hosted two fleets simultaneously at an event (in its 100 year history). A bottle of Moet Champagne was presented to the Helm of SB20 Strictly Business for winning the first SB20 race hosted by the North Shannon Yacht Club.

Published in SB20
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The SB20 class were overwhelmed by an enthusiastic response from Techworks Marine to sponsor this first event of the season, for which the class are very appreciative, and the marine data company were represented on the water by CEO, Charlotte O’Kelly helming the only all-girl team this weekend.

Team George with Sailing Manager Ronan Adams, Darius in the boathouse and Jamie in the dining room, smoothly facilitated the first COVID event in the club this year.

We are living in a different world now with online registration, Covid declarations, updated SOPs and a virtual briefing. SB20 veteran RO Barry O’Neill did the honours with his ‘pod’ team and RSGYC mark layers. The George managed a thoroughly enjoyable event, while ensuring safety protocols were observed both afloat and ashore.

Saturday’s forecast had us all armed with factor 50 and water as we headed out to the race area, near the anchorage as we competed for space with DBSC racing and the Fireball Nationals. A breeze of 5-7 knots, occasionally gusting 10, and a strong flooding tide proved challenging, and although the day was warm, with wind direction fairly consistent from a NE direction, sadly no sea breeze developed.

The first two races of the WW/LW course became drag races out to the right, but the fleet split in the slack tide for the final race of the day. There was just one general recall, with the fleet consistently on the line, battling for spots all weekend. After racing, we withdrew to the balcony for post mortem and drinks before a delicious dinner in the dining room.

As Afloat reported previously, overnight there were just two points separating the top three boats Ted, SoBlue and Bád, so umpires Ailbe and Eunice stepped up to ensure the lead boats behaved. Racing was closer to the harbour, and a stronger breeze split the fleet across the race area both up and downwind.

SoBlue NYC won the first race on Sunday, and Bád the second. With one more race to go, the top three boats were on just 7 points apiece.

The final two lap race had CM Provident with John Malone, Emmet Sheridan and Luke Johnson from LRYC led the fleet around the weather mark, followed by TED, Bád in fourth and SoBlue lying 6th. Ted took the lead down the run with an 8 boat lead over Bád in second up the second beat.

A 25-degree shift up the second beat brought Doran’s LoFly back into contention and Bád sneaking ahead of Ted at the WW mark. A nip and tuck down the last run of the weekend, resulted in SoBlue now chasing hard and lying fourth behind LoFly. Bád held onto their lead of about 3 boat lengths with a split at the final gate. SoBlue headed for the left gate and Ted and Soblue went for the right.

With just a 300m beat to the finish, Bád tacked to cover, while Ted and SoBlue benefited from more breeze on the left side of the short leg to the finish. A tacking duel ensued between Bád and Ted but Bád had enough in the bag to cross one boat length ahead of Ted, taking the title by a point, SoBlue took fourth place in the race, just 2 or 3 boat lengths behind, securing third place overall.

Provident CRM took the Silver fleet trophy home to Lough Ree.

In a competitive fleet where one error can cost so dearly, the two additions to the fleet (Bango from a burgeoning fleet in LRYC and Tiger Light from the RIYC) were doing well to keep in sight of the pack at all, and showed promise in the mix at times.

A socially distanced prize giving took place on the balcony with RSGYC Commodore Peter Bowring doing the honours and a short speech regarding the 2023 Worlds coming to the NYC by SB20 Council World President, Jerry Dowling.

The next SB20 event is in NYC on the 5/6th September and the SB20 Nationals will take place in Lough Ree on 18-20th September.

Published in RStGYC
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Heading into day two of the SB20 ‘Western’ Championships hosted by the Royal St George YC, and after confounding conditions out in the bay, three Dun Laoghaire waterfront Clubs will battle it out, with just two points separating first and third overall.

As Afloat reported previously, the 13-boat event is the first of the year on the SB20 circuit.

TED sailed by RStGYC's (Michael O’Connor, Davy Taylor and Philip O’Connor) lie in first place overnight on five points. SoBlue NYC & RSGYC (Chris Helme, Justin Burke and Alan Coffey) are on six points and late entry, Bád RIYC (Stephan Hyde, Jimmy and Jerry Dowling) on seven.

RO Barry O’Neill and his team have three races scheduled today for the Techworks Marine Sponsored event with on the water umpires joining the fleet.

Published in SB20

The overall winner of the Lough Ree 250 SB20 event was John Malone and Emmet Sheridan's 'Slippery Nipple' 3040, with Patrick Whyte as bowman.

There were race wins for five SB20s in the eight-race 250 Regatta to celebrate 250 years of the River Shannon club.

Eoin Leahy, Donie Hearaghty and Luke Johnson won the Andrew Mannion Trophy for race one.

Lough Ree 250 Regatta Plate PrizeHusband & Wife Team Liz & Martin MacNamara on-board Jude Kilmartin's Sharkbait took line Honours in race six to win the Lifeboat plate.

Racing continues this week with a lay day Tuesday.

Lough Ree Yacht Club Race Officer Alex HobbsLough Ree Yacht Club Race Officer Alex Hobbs

The regatta is warm-up for the first SB20 Regional event of 2020 will be hosted by RStGYC this coming weekend 8/9 August on Dublin Bay.

SB20 Lough Ree 250 results

 

Published in SB20
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Given the busy schedule of events set between now and the end of the season in October, it looks like the Irish SB20 class is not letting COVID-19 push it too far off course. According to its revised fixtures calendar (below), crews could manage to get in as much sailing as they would have in any other season.

The class is based on Lough Ree, Lough Derg and Dublin Bay, where there are active local scenes. There is a serious push on to promote the three-person class across Ireland with a view to a robust national turnout for the 2023 SB20 Worlds that will be staged at the National Yacht Club on Dublin Bay.

The first regional event this season is now on the 8th August, hosted by the Royal St George Yacht Club, with a fleet of 15 boats expected. Barry O'Neill is the Race Officer in charge of the two-day event.

2020 Irish SB20 calendar

August
1st Regional - Royal St George YC, Dublin Bay 8/9 Aug

September
Easterns - Royal Irish YC, Dublin Bay, 6/7 Sept (Previously Scheduled scheduled for May as part of DL Cup)
Nationals - Lough Ree YC, Athlone, 18-20 Sept

October
Midlands - Lough Derg YC, Dromineer, 10/11 Oct

New dealer

The Dublin based Rope Dock firm has been appointed as the new SB20 dealer for Ireland.

Published in SB20
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Not every sailing class in Ireland gets a monthly update from its President which opens with a quote from Vladimir Ilyich Lenin. But then, it’s not every Class President who can so readily re-organise his busy working week that he’s able to disappear off into the wide blue yonder at less than 24 hours notice as co-skipper on a MiniTransat 650, campaigning the 320-mile Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Race.

Yet it’s all in a week’s work, as you might say, for Irish SB20 Class President John Malone of Lough Ree Yacht Club, who was in the front of the queue when the fates were distributing treble doses of lifetime energy. He had sailed just once on Galway Bay with Yannick Lemonnier on the MiniTransat 650 Port of Galway. But last June, with PoG already in Dun Laoghaire and all set to go in the Dingle race, it had looked like no-go for the little boat, as Yannick’s regular co-skipper Dan Mill had sustained a knee injury which wasn’t going to come right within a week, let alone overnight.

Racing a MiniTrasat is highly athletic, and you have to be 200% fit to do it. But regularly racing in an SB20 isn’t exactly a case of lolling about on the lee deck enjoying the sunshine either. So in a stroke of genius, Yannick thought to ring John as a long shot, and he hit the bullseye, getting an instant able shipmate, and at the same time providing the rest of us with the off-the-wall Malone view of what it’s like to race flat-out offshore in a 21ft boat that at times was out-performing boats well over twice her size.

sb20 malone ocoineen2“John Malone shakes hands on big deal with Enda O Coineen” Any business page editor would give his eye teeth to publish a photo with that caption. Yet it just happens to be a different John Malone, but there’s no doubting the legendary strength of the President of the Irish SB20 Class’s pre-Covid-19 handshake grip on Enda at the class’s annual dinner at the beginning of March in the Royal Irish YC in Dun Laoghaire. Also in photo are SB20 World Council President Jerry Dowling and prize-winner Jimmy Dowling

So when the latest SB20 missive pinged in this weekend, we wondered what John Malone would think of next. And in his opening Presidential musings on the current crazy situation, he thought that Russia’s revolutionary Lenin was appropriate, and gave it both barrels: “There are decades when nothing happens” said Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, “and there are weeks when decades happen”.

Quite. Make of that what you will, and how it relates to our peculiar times. Some of us aren’t even sure what times those are. A very keen and extremely frustrated sailing man we know asked his wife of many years in their shared lock-down what day it was, and she replied: “ It’s May……I think”.

Anyway, John Malone tell us that recent days have been a period where a decade of progress has been made in the Irish SB20 class in a week, due in no small part to the prodigious negotiating and presentation skills of Justin Burke and his team from the National Yacht Club in securing the SB20 Worlds for the 8th to 15th September 2023.

sb20 prizes3The youngest prize-winning helm in Irish SB20 racing is 16-year-old Ben Graff of Lough Ree YC. He couldn’t be at the dinner, but clubmate Emmet Sheridan (centre) collected the Mephisto Cup on his behalf from Irish Class President John Malone (left) and SB20 World Council President Jerry Dowling.

This reflects the fact that the class’s international programme has been shifted back a clear year, with 2020 - in terms of global events – becoming the Year That Never Was. Thus in the re-invigorated and rapidly-growing Irish SB20 group of travellers, they’re looking forward to the big one in Cascais in Portugal in 2021 (29th August to 3rd September). Then while the worlds of 2022 may be too distant in Singapore, the Europeans at St Petersburg in Russia may tempt, and then suddenly it’s 2023 and everyone’s in Ireland,

But while the international programme may be hyper-reduced or non-existent this year, the Irish class is active right now in developing Online Coaching and Virtual Regatta during May, supported by a grant from Irish Sailing. It starts on the evening of this Tuesday – 8.0pm May 12th – and continues for three weeks in all under the direction of Shane Hughes from North Sails, the agenda for the first night giving us a flavour of it all:

  • 1 Preparation – planning your programme/campaign efficiently
  • 2 Upwind focus – trim & setup, kinetics & weight movement to improve performance, onboard communication
  • 3 Focus on tacks – what elements feed into the perfect tack
  • 4 Windward mark-roundings and sets - straight set or gybe set? Which to go for and why – will include rules discussion.
  • 5 Virtual Regatta – 3 races 

More details and registration from this link - please note that the Training Session is only open to SB20 Class Association members, but up to 4 registrations are allowed per member boat.

As for Actual Sailing In Real Time (I suppose somebody has long since noticed that the acronym for In Real Time is IRL….?) the SB20s will, of course, be afloat and racing as soon as there’s the slightest hint of permission from Sports Ireland and Sailing Ireland while bearing in mind the proven military dictum that you should always be planning, but any rigidly fixed plan never survives the first contact with the enemy.

President Malone rounds out his lively bulletin with fond memories of the class’s annual dinner, which was staged at the Royal Irish Yacht Club in early March just days before the Lockdown, and those present naturally included the SB20 World Council President, for he happens to be Ireland’s own Jerry Dowling, and also celebrity Irish S B20 sailor Enda O'Coineen. This provided a photograph which business page editors might mistakenly leap at, of John Malone giving Enda O'Coineen a very firm handshake. Not the John Malone they would be thinking of, maybe. But there’s no doubting the strength of that handshake.

sb20 prizes4Getting ready to party as if there’s no tomorrow, which in a very real way was true. Former Irish Class President Colin Galvin (right) receives the Sin Bin Trophy for Services to the SB20 Class from Irish President John Malone and World Council President Jerry Dowling at the Irish class’s annual dinner, the last major sailing social event before the Lockdown camped into place.

Published in SB20
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Olympic helmsman, professional sailor and coach Mark Mansfield takes a look at how it may be possible to return to keelboat racing while maintaining social distance onboard.

The latest Government five-phase programme appears to allow the reinstatement of boating and sailing from May the 18th, under certain restrictions.

The RNLI and Coastguard will likewise need to lift their advisory notice as well for this to happen.

Irish Sailing is liaising with the yacht clubs in Ireland and the Government to get clarity on specific aspects of this five-phase plan. In the interim, commencing racing appears to be positioned in Phase 3, which would begin on June the 29th but many sailors are asking; how can this happen under the requirement to also socially distance ourselves from others?

3 mark mansfield3Article author Mark Mansfield sailed the Star keelboat for Ireland at four Olympic Regattas between 1996 and 2004. He is a multi-class Irish keelboat champion

Other sports are also in the same situation with resumption to training planning on commencing in Phase 2 in early June and some matches in Phase 3. Team sports like soccer, Gaelic, hockey, basketball and others have further complications in that they compete directly against opposition at close quarters.

Luckily in sailing, though we are a team sport, our opposition usually is quite a bit away from us. It is therefore in our own hands how, on boats, we can keep our distance when racing. The following are my thoughts on how this can happen successfully, keeping our sport going in these difficult times.

Dinghies that rely on rescue boats when capsized, and two-person dinghies and smaller keelboats will have additional challenges. However, for the purposes of this article, I will concentrate on larger keelboats that have engines to allow them to look after themselves in the event of an emergency.

Raptor 0293Class One boats approach a leeward mark on Dublin Bay in 2019 Photo: Afloat

Fully crewed or shorthanded?

Though there are other options around bubbles, family crew and the like, clearly it will be challenging to sail fully crewed for the first couple of months and still keep the required space between each other. The sight of 8 bodies huddled together on the rail while going upwind on a 35-foot cruiser-racer would not only be regarded as unsafe but irresponsible and would send all the wrong messages.

So, at what crewing levels could racing happen and still keep close to the permitted social distancing levels?

It is possible to specify a max crew level for different sized boats.

Different sized boats have different crewing needs. An SB20 sportsboat, for example, does not need the same crew numbers as a 42-footer. So what crew numbers would be required on different sized boats. Here is my estimate:

  • Up to 26 footers 3 max per boat – Only 2 allowed to sit over the side
  • Over 26 foot and up to 31 foot – Max of 4 crew – only 2 allowed to sit over the side
  • Over 31 foot and up to 36 foot – Max 5 crew – only 2 allowed to sit over the side
  • Over 36 foot and up to 41 foot – Max 6 crew – only 3 allowed to sit over the side
  • Over 41 foot and up to 46 foot – Max 7 crew and only 4 allowed to sit over the side

And so on in 5-foot sized increases.

An amendment to The Notice of Race (NOR) could be inserted for events to make these reduced numbers a requirement, while we still have these restrictions due to COVID 19.

Is this enough crew to race boats with spinnakers?

In the Fastnet Race in 2019, There were 65 entries in the Two-handed class, ranging from 45 footers, down to 30 footers. Most boats were in the 35-foot size range and used spinnakers. Yes they all would have autopilots, and that effectively gives you an extra pair of hands doing sail changes, but that still would mean that they would have had two less crew than my crew size thoughts above.

SB20 1285An SB20 racing under spinnaker in strong breeze with a crew of four on Dublin Bay Photo: Afloat

SB20

Certain classes, such as the SB20, would still find it challenging to keep a distance with 3 on board, and having spoken to the class, they could see a possibility, if required, to sail with just 2 crew, particularly in light winds. In stronger winds, they may wish to just sail without spinnakers.

1720 2065A 1720 keelboat with a crew of five in Dun Laoghaire Harbour Photo: Afloat

1720

The 1720 class has also looked at this, and Class Captain Clive O'Shea told Afloat: "If required, the 1720 class is ideally situated to reduce numbers to allow social distancing while racing. Three crew can keep apart, and we still have the option to go with small spinnakers and small jibs, if needed."

So how would this happen on a typical small cruiser, like a J24 or a medium-sized cruiser-racer like a J109?

J24 racingA J24 in racing mode Photo: Afloat

J24

Three crew could handle a J24; One is helming and trimming the main, one in the cockpit, and one on the bow. The Bowman stays forward of the shrouds; the cockpit person stays away from the helm, up by the hatch. It won't be all that easy, but 30-foot boats like Etchells have similar-sized sails and normally sail with 3.

unnamed 4A fully crewed J109 on Dublin Bay (above) and a two-handed crew on the same model (below)

J109 short handed 

J109

Five on a J109; One on the wheel, staying back a bit. One in the cockpit is trimming the mainsheet but sitting well forward. Helm adjusts the traveller or leaves it in the centre. One sits in the hatch, or on top of the coachroof. The Jib Trimmer sits out, and during tacks, they pull in the new sheet while the Mainsheet Trimmer has let off the old jib sheet. The Bow person sits out forward of the shrouds; jib trimmer sits out to windward, 2 metres back from the Bowman. Downwind more room becomes available as both sides of the boat can accommodate the crew. Andrew Craig, Class Captain of the J109 class in Ireland, says, 'the J109 is well suited to shorthanded racing with the small jib and plenty of space for a reduced number to spread out. The Asymmetrical Spinnaker requires no pole which also makes shorthanded use possible in the right conditions'

White Sails & other options

For those with boats that are harder to sail, or if a crew is not that experienced, there is also the white sails (non-spinnaker) fleet to compete in, until fully crewed racing resumes.

Dublin Bay Sailing Club is the largest yacht racing club in the country with over 250 boats in 20 or so classes. Its Commodore, Johnathon Nicholson has this to add; "Along with the other clubs, DBSC is working with Irish Sailing to create a clear and safe path to get back on the water. We are currently investigating the practicalities of racing short haded with the appropriate physical distancing and when it could be introduced following the guidance provided by the government, Sport Ireland and Irish Sailing".

I appreciate there may be occasions during racing that crew get closer than planned for short periods. This is to be expected, but that will be the situation in virtually all sports that will likely be competing over the next few months. It is incumbent in our sport to come up with a plan to compete as safely as possible. This is just one option, and there will likely be others. Of course, this COVID-19 restriction could be tightened or eased during the next few months, and this proposed plan would then need to be looked at again. Reducing racing crew numbers also decreases the numbers that come back into the clubs allowing easier social distancing ashore.

Ultimately, however, as all sailors know, it is up to each individual skipper and crew to make their own decision about whether to go to sea or not.

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The 2023 SB20 World Championships will be hosted in Ireland by the National Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire Harbour, County Dublin.

The successful Irish bid for the event will see the World Championships return to Dublin Bay in September 2023, 15 years after the inaugural world championships were sailed at the NYC in 2008.

That event attracted 136 SB3s drawn from 13 countries and was won by Britain's Geoff Carveth, Roger Gilbert, Roz Allen & Sarah Allan.

More recently, Dun Laoghaire's Royal Irish Yacht Club hosted the successful SB20 European Championships in 2018 when a final race win for Royal St. George's Michael O'Connor, the 2017 SB20 Corinthian World Champion, allowed him to produce the goods again for Ireland by taking third overall.

The plan for 2023 is to achieve the largest ever number of nations attending an SB20 World Championships, according to SB20 Irish President John Malone.

Due to Covid-19 the SB20 Worlds in 2020 (Cascais), 2021 (Singapore) and the Europeans in 2021 (St Petersburg) have all been moved forward by one year, the updated Calendar is as follows:

SB20 World Championships Calendar

  • 2021 Cascais, Portugal (29th of August to 3rd of September)
  • 2022 Singapore
  • 2022 St Petersburg, Russia (European Championships)
  • 2023 Dun Laoghaire, Ireland (National Yacht Club, September)
  • 2024 The Hague, Netherlands (June)
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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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