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Displaying items by tag: scottish series

The Discover Ireland sailing team that featured in WM Nixon's Saturday Sailing blog debuted on Galway bay in the Clarenbridge trophy offshore race yesterday.

The race is sailed over a course from the GBSC start line at Renville to Finis Rock off Inis Oir then onto Canon Rock in the entrance to Rossaveal Harbour before a finish in Renville total distance approx 60 miles.

Yesterday's race saw winds between 25-40 knots which made for a tough beat all the way to Inis oir, but Discover Ireland stretched its lead all the way out of the bay on its nearest competitor "Ibaraki".

Drivers Ben Scallan and Neil Spain made light work of the beat with a full main and a no 4 jib, things eased a little for the fetch up to Rosaveal, but the team still managed to break a kicker and lost instruments temporarily in the lumpy seas encountered.

Then it was kite up in winds which were now sitting between 30-35 knots for a fantastic reach/run home to renville.

Boat speed was sitting above 12 knots the entire time with speeds of up to 18 knots in the heavier gusts.

The boat loved the conditions which is a great reflection on this 15–year–old Stimpson design.

They completed the course in 7 hours 7 minutes in first place and with line honours and the race was an excellent shakedown for a busy season ahead.

The boat's next trip is the delivery to the Scottish series leaving Galway this Friday so skipper Aodhan Fitzgerald is hoping that the present strong westerly flow will abate.

Published in Offshore

#scottishseries – Big sponsor of Scottish sailing Brewin Dolphin has announced that it will not be renewing its sponsorship of the Scottish Series sailing event that that has borne its name for 13 years.

Jamie Matheson, Executive Chairman at Brewin Dolphin said "While relinquishing sponsorship of the Scottish Series is tinged with sadness, we're hugely proud of what we, Clyde Cruising Club and participants have achieved over the past 13 years. Our partnership with Clyde Cruising Club has significantly raised the awareness of Scottish sailing across the UK and further afield.

"We would like to wish Clyde Cruising Club the very best for next year's event."

John Watson, Commodore of the Clyde Cruising Club, said, "We would like to thank Brewin Dolphin for their continued support over the past 13 years. It has been one of the longest sports sponsorships in Scotland but as we know all good things must come to an end.

"The Scottish Series is a great event which has something for everyone, from face painting and pipe and dance bands shoreside to stunning scenery and challenging sailing on two event courses on Loch Fyne. Each year, the local community benefits from a substantial boost to its economy as a result of the long-standing event and the input from organisers and sponsors."

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#Scottishseries – Over the 38 years of the Scottish Series there have been few prizegivings where the winners of the overall Scottish Series Trophy have composed a more deserving score-line.

With seven wins from as many starts on Loch Fyne, Grant Gordon and his team on the J/97 Fever Glenfiddich not only won each race in IRC Class 3, but they sailed flawlessly to keep two past winners of the premier regatta's top award behind them. Fever, steered by owner Grant Gordon with Tarbert's Ruairidh Scott as tactician, won their class by 12 points ahead of the identical J/97 of Jim Dick which won the Scottish Series Trophy one year ago.

"As an advertisement for this event and for Scottish sailing I don't think you could ask for more than we have had these past few days. It is has been brilliant," said Gordon who was sailing at his third Brewin Dolphin Scottish Series.

An expatriate Scot who has raced internationally with his Fever team, including winning the Swan 45 European Championships with Scott as tactician, Gordon sailed from the Royal Gourock YC as a youngster, and flew the flag of the Clyde Cruising Club on extended family cruises with their Van de Stadt 49 footer Cinderella. He keeps his boat on the south coast of England but raced at Tarbert with a crew which was 75% Scottish, including several who won the Scottish Series Trophy in 2003 with Scott in his 1720 King Quick.

"This is a team of friends that I can rely on, some from university sailing days, some who we wanted to be here because we know they enjoy it, but we came to have fun and so winning here is great," said Ruairidh Scott. "I am so fortunate to go sailing and racing in nice places around the world but it is really special to come back here and race, and winning here is even better. This regatta has been as good as I can remember. And, yes, we all joke about Loch Fyne from time to time, with spinnakers pointing at each other on the same tack, but the winds this time have been really good and the sunshine fantastic."

The winning crew included Grant Gordon, the owner-driver, Ruairidh Scott, Mike Forster, Charlie Cumbley, Ben Fields, Scott Aikman, Angus Stevenson and Stewart Miller. "I am very proud of this team. It has been really magnificent. They have all worked hard and I am grateful for their contribution," said Gordon.

Scott becomes one of the few sailors to have won the overall trophy three times in the skipper, helm or tactician roles, as skipper helm in 2003 on King Quick, and as tactician on Jump Juice in 2007.

Three times winner Jonathan Anderson and his crew sailed a fitting swansong with Playing FTSE which they won IRC Class 1 with on the Beneteau First 47.7's final race outing in their hands.

"The boat goes well when it is windy and so this really was our kind of regatta," said Anderson who finished two points clear of the Forth crew on Absolutely 2.

John Corson won IRC Class 2 on Salamander 2, the First 35 which he bought from France. Stephen Corson commented, "To be honest we were a little surprised to win the class, we did not know how we would do with a new boat. We came here thinking that if we finished in the top half of the fleet we would be happy. But then we were the fastest around the course under IRC yesterday and so that must mean something."

"Overall we are pleased with the performance of the boat, it has good speed all round, though we were a bit more concerned given that the forecast was for very light winds."

The CYCA cruiser-racer classes enjoyed their passage race based diet of races. Winners of CYCA Class 5, Scott Chalmers on Sunrise summarised, "It is hard to remember better racing than we have had here. Yesterday's was just the best race for a long, long time with a good, long hard beat. And it was so nice to see my young son driving all the way."

The Tarbert Shield for the best CYCA boat in the regatta went to Norman Howison and family on Tartan Pimpernel, while the SB20 one design sportsboat class was won by the Irish visitors on Sharkbait.

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#SCOTTISHSERIES – It was a distinctly 'old school' day on Loch Fyne for competing crews at the Brewin Dolphin Scottish Series where there was a departure from the usual diet of windward-leeward races and even Olympic triangles. Instead days of old were recalled favourably with a 25 miles passage race up to the south of Loch Fyne around the Inchmarnock Island to a spectator-friendly finish line in front of the entrance to Tarbert's natural harboUr.

If it was a step back in time for some, it was a popular one, even if the odd gripe or two were a blast from the past..... 'a long true beat would have been nice'... 'too much reaching'. But the positive opinions were certainly enhanced by another great day of good breezes, an E'ly which gusted up to 29kts but averaged 16-20kts, ensured Loch Fyne was at its sparkling best and the long reach and run home was a Jubilee procession to salute the Queen.

The brisk conditions proved ideal for Jonathan Anderson's Playing FTSE which was at her best on the stiff upwind, reaching and the powerful downwind. The Beneteau 47.7 was pressed hard on handicap by the Mumm 36 of Kelly and Bramall which finished just 1 minute and 32 seconds behind on corrected time after 3 hrs and 7 mns of racing. Anderson's team are regular class winners and head IRC Class by two points ahead of the Forth crew on Absolutely 2, but light winds for tomorrow's two final races could still upset the class standings here.

Salamander XXI consolidated their lead in IRC Class 2 with a win over Sloop John T to lead their fleet now by three points ahead of Arran's Thomson brothers and their crew on Sloop John T.

For Tarbert's Ruairidh Scott, tactician on Fever Glenfiddich, the J/97, the last time he – like others in the fleet – recalls racing inside Inchmarnock was on the days when the Scottish Series still had an offshore feeder race. Head to head at the island turn with Jackaroo, the current Scottish Series Trophy champions, Fever cut the corner by around ten boat lengths according to Scott, and managed to escape to a comfortable win. They remain unbeaten over all six races so far and might have already put themselves in pole position to win the overall Scottish Series Trophy.

In CYCA Class 5 it was Ian Cameron's Lady Rhona which triumphed, winning by a similar margin on handicap as her sistership Playing FTSE did in the corresponding IRC handicap fleet. Douglas Clow scored a good win in Guilty in CYCA 6, leaving Norman Howison's family crew on Tartan Pimpernel in second.

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#ScottishSeries – Day two of the Scottish seires at Tarbert has offered up a vintage blend of racing. With a full measure more breeze today and constant sunshine, even the SE'ly breeze stayed settled enough to ensure courses on the Bowmore fleet were especially good.

He may have a vested interest, as a representative of Bowmore who loves his Scottish Series, but Playing FTSE's Gordon Dundas came ashore with the unequivocal opinion after posting a sixth and two first places aboard Jonathon Anderson's big Beneteau First 47.7. Their results today takes them three points clear of the Carrickfergus based J/133 Spirit of Jacana.

"It has been the best racing we have had at Tarbert for at least five years." Said Playing FTSE's renowned crew Dundas.

Skippered by three times Scottish Series winner Jonathan Anderson this will be the swansong regatta for Playing FTSE which is being replaced in July after nine years of successful racing.

A lost jib sheet pre-start in the first race was the catalyst of a string of small problems which meant FTSE was one of two boats over the start line early. The second was twice Scottish Series winner Bateleur and then in Class 2 the only skipper in that fleet to have won the top trophy, John Corson, also broke the start ahead of the gun, proved that every second counts on the race course.

Corson and his crew on Salamander XXI rallied after their misdemeanor and came back to win the first race of their three races today, which they backed up with a fourth and a second to lead IRC Class 2 by a single point.

The only boat in the whole regatta to have retained an unblemished scoreline so far is Fever Glenfiddich. Grant Gordon's J/97 posted another three wins today in the brisk 15-20kts breezes to lead by at least 13 points.

"It is good racing. The breezes have been pretty settled but there is certainly enough shifts and changes to keep it interesting and so you have to stay on your toes. The scoreline does not show how close it is and we are definitely being made to work hard." Said Scott.

Indeed in the third race they won by only 48 seconds.

The SB20 fleet of one design Sportsboats which mustered a good sized class, had three great races in the middle of the loch, with the Irish boat Sharkbait of Brian Moran and Ben Durham leading overall by three points.

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#SCOTTISH SERIES –With less than three weeks until the start of the Brewin Dolphin Scottish Series which will take place over the Queen's Diamond Jubilee weekend 1 to 4 June on Loch Fyne, event organisers Clyde Cruising Club (CCC) is receiving a steady stream of entries across the classes while the local organisers in Tarbert, Loch Fyne are already well ahead with the infrastructure provision required to host the north of Britain's premier sailing regatta.

Entries are building in strength in the core IRC Classes but also there is increased interest in the CYCA Classes where one of the main attractions over this celebratory holiday weekend is proving to be Sunday 3 June Round Inch race which is open to all-comers as a standalone event. The overall winner of this race is calculated under CYCA handicapping. CCC has noted a growing interest for the simple, picturesque out and back course.

"Really I feel as happy as I can be with the entries so far. This year we decided to offer one level of entry fee with no 'early bird' discount and so we are seeing a steady influx of entries and I feel we will continue to receive entries until the very last minute. Recognising the pressures on owners and crew we have tried to be as adaptable to peoples' needs as possible." Comments John Readman who chairs the Clyde Cruising Club's Brewin Dolphin Scottish Series organising committee.

"And the good news is that we are looking forward to welcoming many boats which we have not seen before."

In Tarbert the preparations are already well under way. A new focal point is guaranteed through the establishment of a new mini regatta village area on the hard standing area which has been created on the north side of the harbour area. With new pontoons presently being put in place, all of the Brewin Dolphin Scottish Series armada will now be hosted on the north side of the harbour rather than on the Fish Quay.

"In fact we will have three marquees which will form a horseshoe shape on the former boatyard site and so we are really starting to benefit from all the infrastructure investment Tarbert has had and the Brewin Dolphin Scottish Series is a great showcase to show it off and to put it to best use." Says John Hardie of Tarbert Enterprise Council.

"Now with this set up we are pretty sure that we will have a place where all the sailors will meet up after racing and enjoy a drink and some chat. Tarbert is really looking forwards to the Diamond Jubilee celebrations with a big Tea Party on the Sunday as well."

"There is a really positive exciting buzz to Tarbert at the moment, better than I remember it for a long time. The waterfront development has been a massive success and the pubs and hotels are now offering a really good range of options. For example, the Anchor Hotel has had a big refurbishment and the Starfish café is popular and doing well, there is so much good choice to be enjoyed. I feel like Tarbert is really stepping up to the plate."

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Two of the UK's most vibrant, exciting one design keelboat classes are spearheading a spike in early entry numbers for the Brewin Dolphin Scottish Series, the north of the UK's most prestigious annual sailing event.

The SB3 class and the RS Elite keelboats which appeal to different markets – the SB3 a fast, exciting planing sportsboat, and the RS Elite a refined, but simple to sail modern classic, are leading and encouraging an increase in activity for some of the more accessible, sporty classes for this year's Brewin Dolphin Scottish Series.

The SB3 class is building steadily again in Scotland and the North of Britain is promising the biggest turnout ever for the class on the waters of Loch Fyne with 12 owners already promising to compete, reflecting the renewed interest in the SB3 as an affordable, exciting three to four person strict one design, which has a global following.

And the RS Elite class is promising to draw around 10 boats, most making the enjoyable pilgrimage to Tarbert from Ireland.

"We are very excited to see these classes forming at reasonable strength already, thanks in some ways to the hard work being put in by some of the leading lights of both fleets, but we are hopeful that this regatta will be the catalyst for further growth for the Brewin Dolphin Scottish Series at Tarbert, Loch Fyne," reflects Johnny Readman, event organiser.

For the SB3 class, racing at the Brewin Dolphin Scottish Series will be for the Scottish Championship title.

Doug Paton, defending champion and class captain in Scotland, will be looking to defend the title he and his crew won on the Clyde last year, racing F.C -N.K. in a bigger stronger fleet. Dublin Bay's Brian Moran and his crew expected to be casting their challenge with Shark Bait, looking to add the Scottish title to the Irish Championship which they won last year against a fleet of more than 30 boats on their home waters. Among the top contenders from the North of England will be Sunderland's John Outhwaite and his crew on Baloo.

A new initiative which facilitates easy, economic dry sailing: the SB3's has gained considerable traction for the class at the new James Watt Dock Marina at Greenock on the Clyde. The class has worked tirelessly to create an attractive package for SB3 at the Brewin Dolphin Scottish Series, including a £43 package price on the Bute ferry which reduces the driving time from Gourock to Portavadie to 50 minutes. They have secured a package price for accommodation at Portavadie Marina at £45/per three person room per night.

The RS Elite class has become a regular feature of the Brewin Dolphin Scottish Series which features on the class Grand Slam Series for the first time since 2010. Edinburgh's Shaun Maclean on Elixir has been the most consistent winner in the class at Tarbert and is looking to defend his Tarbert record in June. Among those Scottish crews which are likely to challenge are the Forth's Carl Allen in More T Vicar. A strong contingent is expected from the Royal North of Ireland YC.

"The main thing about the RS Elite is it is so easy to use. I sailed in the Dragon Class for 20 years and with the Elite you turn up, put the boat in the water and it is easy to go sailing with a minimum of fuss and controls to worry about. I enjoy proper Championship races, a maximum number of windward-leeward races in a day, and so look forward to that at Tarbert this year. It is a very good showcase for the class, nice simple, quick boats and we hope that others will be persuaded to join the class," says Maclean who finished runner-up at the RS Elite UK National Championships on the Forth last year.

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#SCOTTISH SERIES – No sooner had Brewin Dolphin Scottish Sailing Series winner Jim Dick received the Scottish Series Trophy, the prestigious top award, than the Humberside owner-skipper pledged to return to Tarbert, Loch Fyne in 2012 to try and defend the title again.

Dick, a retired business executive, is set to honour that promise and is presently putting together his campaign which he hopes will see Jackaroo retain the major trophy.

"We have such good memories from last year aside from the enjoyment of winning outright. For us it was as much about enjoying the surroundings, the camaraderie of the team and at the event, and Tarbert itself," recalls Dick.

The J/97 owner is hoping that this year his son Steve, who is a paramedic, will be able to join the Jackaroo team and enjoy the Brewin Dolphin Scottish Series for the first time, during the Queen's Jubilee Bank Holiday weekend.

The 2012 Brewin Dolphin Scottish Series will be the first of a series of events in the UK for Jackaroo which is likely to include the J/Cup on the Solent in July, the J/97 National Championships and the JP Morgan Round the Island Race.

His passion for sailing took Jim Dick to compete as a crew member on 'Hull and Humber' in the 2007-8 Clipper Round the World Race.

Completely inspired by the transformation that participation in the race made to the lives of some of the Hull and Humber's young crew, who were part of a social inclusion programme, helping them develop skills and self confidence which subsequently helped them find employment or advance into education or further training, Dick became co-founder of CatZero, an organisation which has subsequently helped hundreds of young people find a purpose in their lives.

"When I saw the transformation in the ten young people on board, much higher self esteem, very enthusiastic about what they were doing and how they became valued members of the crew, that progressed to setting up CatZero."

Funding from the NHS enabled the purchase for CatZero of a 72 foot Challenge yacht which is used to take youngsters on 10-day passages from Hull to the Orkney Islands.

"Of course this is a big challenge to some of these young people, standing four hour watches, dealing with sea sickness, the conditions can be extreme, but the results are incredible. Over three years we have had 418 young people, some who have been very difficult or in very difficult life situations, on board and 285 have gone on to jobs, education or training. A lot have had underlying problems, being bullied, homelessness or the like, but the results are remarkable."

In order to help raise funds towards the annual budget of £250,000 which it costs to keep the programme rolling, CatZero sells berths aboard the 72 footer for major races such as the ARC Race in which they won their class and the Fastnet Race.

The Brewin Dolphin Scottish Series 2012 will take place over the Queen's Jubilee weekend from Friday 1 June to Monday 4 June in Tarbert, Loch Fyne, on Scotland's stunning West Coast, a week later than usual.

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#scottishseries – The organisers of  Scotland's bigest sailnig event, the Brewin Dolphin Scottish Series at Tarbert have announced changes on and off the water at this year's event, creating a festival of sailing for competitors and spectators alike. The Clyde Cruising Club has also renewed its appeal for Irish sailors to come to Tarbert, an event Cork sailors have previously won overall.

This year's Brewin Dolphin Scottish Series will take place over the Queen's Jubilee weekend from Friday 1 June to Monday 4 June in Tarbert, Loch Fyne, on Scotland's stunning West Coast, a week later than usual.

The focus is on quality racing with three race areas on the broad waters of the Loch providing racing for IRC classes, One Design classes and CYCA (Scottish) Handicap classes (with and without spinnakers). Those taking part can also expect to see:

New courses for all classes providing variety and alternatives to standard windward/ leeward courses

The introduction of a single daytime Inshore Coastal Race on Sunday 3 June for IRC classes

The Round the Island Race on Sunday 3 June is open to all yachts with CYCA handicaps to join the Scottish Series yachts in CYCA classes to race for the day

In addition, the RS Elite Class Association is hosting the Scottish leg and first of their four Grand Slam Events at the Brewin Dolphin Scottish Series, while the Laser SB3 Class Association will hold their Scottish National Championship during the event.

Organisers also anticipate a hive of activity shoreside by concentrating activities on the north shore of Tarbert, where yachts will be berthed. Amongst various entertainment line-ups, visitors will see the marquee back in full swing. The new shoreside marquee complex will include a bar where competitors can meet, relax and socialise post racing. The daily prize-giving will also be held in the new marquee complex. Competitors and visitors can expect to continue experiencing the hustle and bustle of Tarbert throughout the Jubilee holiday weekend.

John Watson, Commodore of Clyde Cruising Club, commenting on the changes said, "We anticipate this year's Brewin Dolphin Scottish Series to be even more exciting than in previous years. It will be great to see the likes of last year's winner, Jackaroo from IRC 3, returning to defend his trophy and previous winners returning hoping to wrest it back.

"We hope for more than 100 entries and 1000 crew and supporters again this year and think the changes being made to the event structure will promote a festival of sailing on and off the water.

"We would encourage more sailors from across the UK and further afield to consider entering the event and past competitors to continue to return to the stunning waters of Loch Fyne to soak up the wonderful atmosphere Tarbert has to offer."

Published in Racing
Scottish skipper-helm Hamish Mackay and a core crew, which between them have won the premier trophy nine times lifted the Scottish Series Trophy this evening after two further race wins today. They sealed a conclusive overall victory in IRC Class 4 on Loch Fyne at the Brewin Dolphin Scottish Series.

After triumphing twice, back to back in 2001 and 2002, Mackay becomes only the second skipper or helm to win the overall top trophy three times in the 36 year history of the regatta.

Steering Humberside father and son duo Jim and Steve Dick's J97 Jackaroo, Mackay and crew scored no worse than second and won four times over their six races which were sailed in predominantly strong winds over the four day series. They finished nine points clear of an identical J97, Jaywalker, owned and steered by Clyde helm Iain Laidlaw.

"I have never been up here before but I will certainly be back. It has been such a fun, friendly regatta and winning overall just adds to it. Hamish and the crew have done us a great job. We only got the boat last year and have been learning about it all the time," commented Jackaroo's owner Jim Dick.

"I loved the sailing and the social side of it, it has been just wonderful. Seeing the boat go well and having fun at the same time has been a really good combination. The sailing is hosted in such a fantastic, beautiful location. I am half Scot myself with a father from Anstruther where my uncle had a shoe repair shop."

Dick, who retired four years ago, started and runs a charity in Hull, Cat Zero, which provides sail training and experience for young people who are unemployed.

"It is always a surprise to win. All you can do is win your class and get yourself on to the short list and see what happens. The Class 1 boat Tokoloshe put together a good series but all we could do was win our own fleet. The boat is excellent and we had some excellent people on the boat and that really made the difference. I don't think I can really remember when it was last it was as windy here as it was over the weekend, certainly not racing in a consistent 35 knots, but I was surprised that the race officers started us but I was pleased they did, did a good job getting us going," said Mackay, past chairman of the Royal Yachting Association in Scotland and former Olympic trialist.

"Every year is challenging. Today faired typically difficult Tarbert conditions, with the breezes coming down off the land. So we were keen to be on top of it today and to get two firsts to get ourselves on the short list, which we did. So we are all very pleased. It is a premier regatta, I'm happy we did it."

After a weekend of very testing strong winds today, Monday, Loch Fyne delivered crews a final reminder of how good conditions can be for the north of Britain's premier annual regatta.

Though there was still a chill in the air and the very early morning was punctuated by a heavy hail storm, the sun shone through both races which were completed and the moderate westerly breezes averaged 12 knots but varied from 7-18 knots up and down the three course areas set.

The Jackaroo crew, Mackay, Peter Cameron, George Purves, Billy Russell Jr, Jon Fitzgerald and Roddy Anderson, all native Scots, along with owner Dick, were pushed hard in the overall decision for the 107 boat regatta's top trophy. South African Mike Bartholomew and his team on the King 40 Tokoloshe overcame the challenge from double Scottish Series winner Anthony O'Leary to win IRC Class 1. In CYCA Class 7 Valhalla of Ashton, a Gourock based Swan 36 of Alan Dunnet, won overall with three first places and two second place finishes.

The Class 1 title was down to a duel between rivals Antix and Tokoloshe. The South African flagged boat, on owner Mike Bartholomew's first visit to Loch Fyne had a one point lead to protect ahead of Anthony O'Leary's Irish crew across today's two races. The first contest started with an immediate dilemma for the Series leaders. Antix crossed the start line early and had to restart.

But Tokoloshe's tactician Mike Richards may be from the very south of England but has enough experience of Loch Fyne to know to stick close to your rival rather than try to go off and win the race. That proved crucial as they were able to stay close enough to Antix to ensure they had the better of them in the first race and then secured the class title by winning the final race by 16 seconds ahead of the Cork crew on Antix.

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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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