Menu
Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Displaying items by tag: Sailor of the Month

Veteran Royal Irish YC sailor Tim Goodbody is the Afloat.ie “Sailor of the Month” for November for his enormous contribution to Irish and international sailing over many decades, both as an active participants, as a race organiser, and as an administrator of leading sailing organisations.

By locating the award in November 2015, we highlight the fact that at the Dublin Bay SC Annual Prize-Giving on November 15th in the Royal St George YC, three generations of the Goodbody family received major awards. Grandson Max took The Mitchell Trophy in the RS Feva with granddaughter Georgia crewing, while son Richard - in partnership with Rick Johnson racing the International Dragon Diva - won the Oxford & Cambridge Cup, the Old Time Cup, and the RIYC Cup. And Tim himself, in his final season with the Sigma 33 White Mischief (he has now moved on to a J/109), won the J.B.Stephens Trophy, the Bective Lights Crystal Trophy, and the Fireseal Sigma 33 Trophy.

Both Tim and Richard were overall winners in their respective classes in the combined DBSC Thursday and Saturday season-long series. But while this shows the family’s devotion to Dublin Bay sailing, both White Mischief and Diva were also seen in major events at other venues, with White Mishchief taking second overall (by just two points) in Class 3 IRC at the ICRA Nats at Kinsale).

tg2
Although the Sigma 33 is not reckoned a favoured performer under IRC, Tim Goodbody still sailed White Mischief to a close second overall in IRC Class 3 at the ICRA Nats at Kinsale at the end of June. Photo: ICRA

The timing of the ICRA Nats at the end of June could just be fitted into Tim Goodbody’s busy schedule, for as Chairman of the Organising Committee for the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta 2015 from July 9th to 12th, he was out of personal boat-racing for the next two weeks as the structures of the biggest sailing event in Ireland in many years swung successful into place, with the noted Goodbody light-but-effective management style keeping this very complex event moving smoothly forward to a happy conclusion.

tg3
J/109s in full flight at the hugely successful Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta 2015, for which Tim Goodbody was Chairman of the Organising Committee. In 2016, he will himself be joining the J/109 class. Photo: VDLR

But then the depth of Tim Goodbody’s commitment to every aspect of sailing is unrivalled. He has campaigned successfully to international level in the Dragon, the J/24 and the Sigma 33, and as well he was lead helm on Irish Independent, the Dubois 40 which was the backbone of Ireland’s 1987 Admirals Cup team - our most successful AC squad ever, they placed fourth out of thirteen teams, while Irish Independent won the Fastnet Race overall.

Ashore, Tim Goodbody has served as Commodore of the Royal Irish YC, the Royal Alfred YC, and Dublin Bay SC, and for the latter organisation he was the mastermind behind the rationalization of the courses which enables an enormous fleet to race mostly in the southern half of Dublin Bay clear of the shipping lanes. His benefit to our sport is incalculable, but perhaps his greatest single contribution is the example he sets is in his own smoothly organised, quietly enthusiastic, very successful and highly enjoyable sailing.

tg4The Dubois 40ft Irish Independent racing in the Solent in the 1987 Admirals Cup. Somewhere in the middle of the tightly-packed crew is Tim Goodbody, and he is on the helm. During this series, he famously out-sailed the legendary Lawrie Smith on a sister-ship during a long tacking duel.

tg5History is made. Irish Independent rounds the Fastnet Rock on Monday August 11th 1987, on her way to the overall win in the Fastnet Race.

Published in Sailor of the Month

#vor – The clear win by Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing in the Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 was achieved by solid consistency in the classic "good series" style favoured by regular champion sailors. Except that, instead of being a pleasant five day championship regatta staged at some agreeable summer venue, the Volvo Ocean Race was made up of nine legs which took the fleet right round the world, getting them south of both Good Hope and Cape Horn, yet also back north again across the equator.

In such a challenge, a mixture of experience and exceptional sailing talent is at a premium, and Ireland's Justin Slattery (40) has both in abundance. He was a key crew member aboard Abu Dhabi, which was well placed top of the leaderboard with a scoreline of 1,3,2,2,1 after the first five legs. But with four legs still to be raced, experience became the key ingredient, as the leading boat has to defend her position against a chasing fleet in which, with three close contenders, the likelihood of one of them taking an uncoverable but successful tactical gamble becomes ever more acute.

That, and the cruel possibility of damage or even a dismasting, are among the many threats which a crew defending a good first place has to face, and skill and experience become paramount. But the crew of Abu Dhabi kept their cool, they kept their boat intact, and they sailed on to win overall by 24 points to the 29 of Team Brunel and the 33 of Dongfeng Race Team, making Justin Slattery the winner of an Afloat.ie International Award for June 2015.

Published in Sailor of the Month

#som – May 2015 has been a good month for Dunmore East, with the confirmation that the long-awaited dredging of this pretty fishing/sailing port – a €6 million contract – will swing into action in June, and then from far-off Scotland came the news that one of Waterford Harbour Sailing Club's most popular and enthusiastic skippers had emerged as overall winner of the Silvers Scottish Series 2015.

Rob McConnell is well-known at all Ireland's main sailing centres, as he campaigns his A35 Fool's Gold with targeted campaigns of skill - coupled with sheer joy in sailing - in any event which can be fitted into a busy schedule. Crewed by friends who may be from all parts of Ireland but undoubtedly have a Dunmore East emphasis, he can be relied on to be always in the frame on the leaderboard, and in line with this approach, The Scottish Series was regarded as unfinished business after Fool's Gold finished second overall in 2014.

This time round, racing in the biggest class of all, things were looking good from the start. But such was the competition that it wasn't until after the final race on the three-race concluding day that the WHSC boat could be confirmed as overall winner, and a worthy provider of the Afloat.ie "Sailor of the Month" for May 2015.

Published in Sailor of the Month

#sailorofthemonth – Current "Sailor of the Year" Anthony O'Leary of Royal Cork YC has started his 2015 season in winning style by book-ending April with a runaway overall victory in the RORC Easter Challenge in the Solent from April 3rd to 5th as the new month got under way, and then rounding it out with a convincing win in the Brooks Macdonald Warsash Spring Championship, a twelve race series which concluded on Sunday April 26th.

O'Leary's new mount is yet another Antix, but this time she's the unmistakably red state-of-the-art Ker 40 which was formerly Catapult, key member of Ireland's winning 2014 Commodore's Cup Team, in which she was also the top individual points scorer.

In classic O'Leary style, the team debut with the new Antix at Easter was a low-key affair. At the conclusion of the series, some might have expected to witness a close-knit disciplined group in some sort of uniform as the winning crew assembled outside the RORC's new Cowes base at the former Royal Corinthian clubhouse. Instead, they saw what seemed like a bunch of mates of many ages who could have been casually assembled from the RCYC waterfront and taken to the Solent for a bit of light-hearted Easter sport.

 

But the results speak for themselves, and by the end of the month, the remarkable new Antix with her very dished stern was being sailed as though the crew had been with her for at least a year. And their skipper was particularly enthusiastic in his praise for the foredeck duo of Dylan Gannon and Jamie Donegan, "whose performance had been faultless throughout the Brooks Macdonald regatta". But in the end, it is Anthony O'Leary's sure touch in assembling a talented crew and sailing a boat to perfection which makes him a very worthy "Sailor of the Month" for April.

antix_2015.jpg
The new Ker 40 Antix with Anthony OLeary at the helm in the RORC Easter Challenge. The exceptionally dished shape of the stern makes her markedly different from his previous Ker 39, the veteran silver Antix

Published in Sailor of the Month

#sailorofthemonth – Fionn Lyden (19) of Baltimore is the new Afloat.ie "Sailor of the Month" for March. He ushered in the new month by playing a stellar role in bringing University College Cork's First Team to overall victory in the decidedly breezy Intervarsity Team Racing Nationals at Schull from February 27th to March 1st.

Of all forms of sailing, this is of course the most group-oriented. But Lyden's achievement emerged above the efforts of his team mates with his additional acclamation as First Year Sailor of the Year from among the large turnout at the championship. Indeed, everyone – both participants and organisers alike – deserved an award at a series in which the highly-regarded Fastnet Marine Outdoor Education Centre and a large team of volunteers skillfully dealt with deteriorating conditions to get a worthwhile result.

Fionn Lyden is no stranger to sailing at Schull, for although he hails from Baltimore, he is one of a group of childhood friends who journeyed daily to Schull to hone their sailing skills under the tuition of David Harte. From this there emerged the Schull Sharks Team of 2013 and 2014 which won the Irish Schools Nationals, the British Schools Opens, and 90% of their contests during an American tour of the top US School teams.

This resulted in the Schull Sharks being declared the top Schools Team Racing squad worldwide in 2014. Meanwhile, at a personal level, young Lyden had been making history by becoming the first helm to win all races (9) in the Irish Youth Helmsmans Championship, which then entitled him to race in the Seniors, in which he duly won the Silver Medal.

Although clearly one of the most remarkable talents to emerge in Irish sailing in recent years, he has chosen the Corinthian path. Thus most of his efforts and energy are now devoted to study in University College Cork. But when he does find time to go sailing, the world certainly takes notice of Fionn Lyden, Afloat.ie Sailor of the Month for March 2015.

Published in Sailor of the Month

#som – Neil Hegarty of Cork, who was awarded the Irish Cruising Club's historic premier trophy, the Faulkner Cup, as February drew to a close, is our latest Sailor of the Month.

A former dinghy sailor who was at the front of the fleet both as crew and helm in boats as diverse as IDRA 14s, Enterprises and 505s, Hegarty went on to campaign keelboats with the J/24 and Impala 28 fleets. He has since graduated with aplomb into long distance voyaging and detailed cruising in exotic locations with his 2003 Dufour 34 Shelduck.

His award-winning 2014 cruise was Transatlantic from Cascais in Portugal via the Canaries to the the Caribbean, which was then cruised in detail including Cuba, followed by island and port-hopping along the East Coast USA until eventually the boat was laid up in advance of the hurricane season near the Chesapeake.

In the finest traditions of cruising, he not only kept an informative log, but at its conclusion he made a detailed analysis of all the special equipment which he had found particularly useful during this exemplary voyage.

However, Neil Hegarty's cruising for 2014 didn't end with Shelduck's berthing at the Chesapeake. As his cruising partner is Ann Kenny of Tralee Bay whose Chance 37 Tam O'Shanter is currently based in the Baltic, at the height of the superb Baltic summer of 2014 they had three weeks of idyllic cruising with Tam O'Shanter in that magnificent stretch of water, the perfect complement to the award-winning ocean voyaging of Shelduck.

Published in Sailor of the Month
Tagged under

#sailoroftheyear – The voting is over, the judges have decided and today the 2014 ISA/Afloat.ie Sailor of the Year will be revealed at a Dublin city centre ceremony. 

Over 200 invitees are gathering this afternoon to celebrate some remarkable achievements from the 2014 sailing season.

Afloat's ownership of this award – based on Sailor of the Month winners - has a long history, going back to 1996, and it successfully highlights achievement in every area of sailing.

For example, one month there may be an exceptional voyage honoured, while the next month it might be a major international dinghy championship victory. The diversity is total. And just occasionally, to emphasise that we are a community, which functions afloat and ashore, the monthly award might go to someone who has given selflessly of their time for sailing administration.

A full list of the 2014 achievements is HERE.

The overall national award will be presented to the person who, in the judges' opinion, achieved the most notable results in, or made the most significant contribution to Irish sailing during 2014.

The boating public has had a chance to nominate their top three through an online poll, Afloat.ie got a vote too and the Sailor of the Year judges have decided the final winner.

The winner will be announced this afternoon on Afloat.ie and WM Nixon will review today's awards celebration in his 'Sailing on Saturday' blog tomorrow morning.

Published in Sailor of the Year

#sailorofthemonth – Conor Clarke, who cut his sailing teeth on Dublin Bay, is our Sailor of the Month for January after a dream debut at the Key West Regatta with his Melges 24 Embarr. In fact, "dream" is the theme of the story, as they made their debut in the kind of conditions you could only fantasise about in mid-January Dublin, with 18 knots of breeze in an air temperature of 25 degrees and sunshine sparkling on the bluest sea imaginable.

Cheerfully admitting that the Key West event has long been on his bucket list, Clarke had also brought out a dream team of all the talents with 470 Olympic hopefuls Stuart McNay and Dave Hughes as helmsman and tactician, while Maurice Prof O'Connell was there to knock them back into shape, particularly in the one race when things went pear-shaped, when he did it to such good effect that that they went up through the fleet from the crab grass to battling for the lead against the Norwegian crew at the last gybe.

Embarr did that so neatly that they clocked another bullet. By the final day, they were best-placed on the leaderboard to such good effect they didn't need that last day's racing to stay on top overall. But they sailed those final contests anyway, as you don't get fun sailing of that quality every time out, not even in Key West.

Published in Sailor of the Month

#sailorofthemonth – Sutton Dinghy Club on the north shore of Dublin Bay has been a pace-setter in the revival of Irish dinghy racing and club activity generally during 2014. Commodore Andy Johnston led his members through an outstanding season in which they were once again making an impact at national and international level, while the club's training programme and sailing school under the direction of Hugh Gill was highly effective in bringing newcomers to the sport, and building up a strong esprit de corps among its dedicated team of young instructors. In addition to success in open dinghy events at all levels, SDC succeeded in regaining the historic Book Trophy for team racing from Royal Cork Yacht Club.

The trophy dates back to 1944, but for the past sixteen years the sailors of Crosshaven had kept it firmly in their grasp. 2014 also marked the 75th Anniversary of the foundation of the club at its homely base beside Sutton Creek, so the concluding highlight of the year was a 75th Anniversary Gala Dinner in mid-November in the club's home-from-home, the popular Marine Hotel at Sutton Cross. A remarkable total of 204 well-wishers and people who have distinguished sailing connections with Sutton DC from way back attended.

It was Ciara O'Tiarnaigh and her Organising Committee who looked after the nuts and bolts of this star-studded event, but throughout a long and very special season, it was Andy Johnston who led the way and held the ultimate responsibility. Nevertheless, in making him our Sailor of the Month for December 2014, we are saluting the spirit of Sutton Dinghy Club, and the resilience of all Irish dinghy sailing.

Published in Sailor of the Month

#sailorofthemonth – The Afloat "Sailor of the Month" Award has been a central feature of Irish sailing since 1996, and before that we ran various Sailors of the Year awards with several categories. But with the development of the "Sailor of the Month" concept, and its peak of achievement in one single "Sailor of the Year", the intention has been to give expression to the fact that the world of boats and thinking frequently about being afloat is a year-round Irish interest, even if in times past there was a distinctly defined sailing and boating season.

YOU CAN VOTE FOR YOUR SAILOR OF 2014 BY SCROLLING DOWN TO THE END OF THIS PAGE! 

(VOTING HAS NOW CLOSED)

The overall national award will be presented to the person who, in the judges' opinion, achieved the most notable results in, or made the most significant contribution to Irish sailing during 2014.

 

The boating public gets to nominate their top three through the online poll, Afloat.ie gets a vote too and the Sailor of the Year judges decide the final winner.

 

With modern materials and changed attitudes, there is now genuine year-round boat activity within Ireland, albeit at a much more muted level in winter than in high summer. But as well, the increasing size and awareness of the Irish diaspora, and the way that rapidly improving global communications keep us in frequent and intimate communication with Irish sailors in every corner of the world - whether afloat or ashore - means that for the greater Irish sailing community, it is endless summer.

The worldwide responses we get in the comments sections of Afloat.ie confirm that while you may take the Irish sailor out of Ireland, you can never take Ireland out of the Irish sailor. And for us at home, our interest in our sailors abroad stems from a reassuring and inspiring sense of global community.

As for specific boat and sailing interests, for most Irish sailors these are very broad indeed, covering everything from the most challenging offshore racing, voyaging and cruising right through the entire gamut of coastal and club activity and on into the supposedly serene but often surprisingly brisk sailing and boating to be found on our lakes and inland waterways.

And the boat types involved reflect this broad range of interest - they are of all sizes, made in many different materials, and of every type from the utmost state-of-the-art flyer to a heavy yet lovely traditional boat constructed in a way our forefathers would find familiar. This is the complex and complete world afloat that we try to cover in our Sailor of the Month awards. And while the decision as to who is going to be the Afloat.ie Sailor of the Year 2014 will not be taken until February 2015, with Christmas upon us it is timely to start re-visiting the many remarkable individual achievements of 2014.

But you'll have to bear with us regarding the totality of the list. The Afloat.ie Sailor of the Month for November will not be announced until next week, while in time-honoured tradition, the December awardee will be named on December 15th, as we reckon the Irish Sailing Season 2015 will then begin on December 26th with the start of the Sydney-Hobart Race.

The 70ft Derry/Londonderry's victory in the Clipper Fleet in the Syndey-Hobart Race brought Lough Swilly skipper Sean McCarter January's accolade.

JANUARY 2014 – SEAN McCARTER

Sean McCarter of Lough Swilly Yacht Club became Sailor of the Month for January after some very successful skippering of the Irish entry Derry/Londonderry/Doire in the current Clipper Round the World Race. With the latest edition's major breakthrough in having the Tony Castro-designed 70ft Clippers included in the classic annual Rolex Sydney-Hobart Race as part of the fleet, and as a class in their own right, the 31-year-old McCarter's skills as a racing skipper, honed from a very early age on Lough Swilly, became evident as he sailed his boat to a clear four hour class victory in the challenging race to Hobart.

FEBRUARY 2014 – SAM DAVIS

Sam Davis of Conly Island in Strangford Lough was the Afloat.ie "Sailor of the Month" for February in recognition of his exceptional achievement in receiving an unprecedented threesome of top Irish Cruising Club awards for his great single-handed voyage from Tonga in the midst of the Pacific round Cape Horn, and home to Ireland through the length of the Atlantic. Taken chronologically, his first award in this batch of three was the Rockabill Trophy in celebration of his great skill in bringing his Rival 41 Suvretta through Force 12 winds and successfully finding shelter in the Falkland Islands. It was ironic that he should experience such tough going in this area of ocean, as Suvretta had twice rounded Cape Horn in her three years away from Strangford Lough, and had enjoyed relatively easy conditions both times while doing so.

som144.jpg
Sam Davis's Rival 41 Suvretta in Cala Brechnock in the Beagle Channel in the Cape Horn region of South America. Photo: Sam Davis

studentteamracing.jpg
The Intervarsity Fireflies in early Spring action in Wexford to bring Philip Doran the title for March

MARCH 2014 – SIMON DORAN

Simon Doran of Courtown SC sailed his fourth intervarsities for UCD in Wexford early (vey early!) in the Spring of 2014, and he played a key role in bringing the Dublin College in as the new Irish Champions for 2014. The name Doran was not to disappear from the UCDSC listings, however, as his younger brother Philip was also a member of the winning team, and he took over over the baton of carrying the family name in intervarsity sailing in the year ahead, getting fourth overall in a truly international fleet as captain of the UCD team in the Student yachting Worlds in France in October.

APRIL 2014 – RYAN SEATON & MATT McGOVERN

Their meteoric rise from 33rd to 11th in the ISAF Global Rankings for the 49er Olympic Class gave international recognition to the April achievement of Belfast Lough's Ryan Seaton (24) and Matt McGovern (26). They brought home the Silver Medal from the ISAF World Championship in Hyeres on France's Mediterranean coast, and although it was a high-achieving month for Irish sailing generally at home and abroad, it made them clear winners of the Afloat.ie Sailors of the Month title for April.

49ersilvermedalwinners.jpg
Ryan Seaton & Matt McGovern took the silver in the 49er

som146.jpg
Dickie Gomes's 1912-built 36ft Ainmara from Strangford Lough showing the kind of performance which saw her retain the Leinster Trophy in Dublin Bay. Photo: Carol Laird

MAY 2014 – DICKIE GOMES

Dickie Gomes of Strangford Lough, who was Round Ireland Open Record Holder from 1986 to 1993, and was also the Round Ireland Race winner in 1988, was the Afloat.ie "Sailor of the Month" for May 2014, following his successful defence of the Leinster Trophy for veteran and classic boats in Dublin Bay. It was on the final day of May that the Gomes-owned, skippered and self-maintained 102-year-old 36ft yawl Ainmara swept across the sunlit waters of the bay to take line honours, and win the title on corrected time for the second year running, after a close-fought battle with Old Gaffers Association International President Sean Walsh's cutter Tir na nOg.

JUNE 2014 – ANTHONY O'LEARY

Top Cork skipper Anthony O'Leary's success in achieving the overall title in the British Open IRC Championship made him the runaway winner of Afloat.ie's "Sailor of the Month" title for June.
O'Leary's dedication in campaigning his veteran Ker 39 Antix is a by-word for enthusiasm in Irish and international sailing. Allied to his long-proven skill in getting that vital extra ounce of performance from boat and crew, the result was a prodigious record of success throughout 2014, culminating in a comprehensive victory for Ireland in the Commodore's Cup at the end of July. Then for O'Leary personally it got even better, as he went on to win both the Helmsmans Championship and the 1720 Nationals in September, while in November his beloved Antix was declared the RORC "Yacht of the Year"

commodores_cup19.jpg
Quokka, chartered by Michael Boyd and Niall Dowling, was a consistent contributor to the three-boat Irish team's winning points total in the Brewin Dolphin Commodore's Cup 2014. Photo: Rick Tomlinson

JULY 2014 INTERNATIONAL AWARD – THE COMMODORE'S CUP TEAM

It was a busy and successful sailing season for Irish crews at home and abroad, but one team achievement stood above all others in setting the tone for the year. Ireland's runaway victory in the international and multi-faceted Brewin Dolphin Commodore's Cup series from July 20th to 26th raised the mood of the nation in a very encouraging way. And while many were involved, there is no doubt that one man, the Team Captain Anthony O'Leary of Cork, was head and shoulders above all others in making the primary contribution.

JULY 2014 – SEAFRA GUILFOYLE

The Royal Cork Yacht Club's Cup of Success was running over in July, as the Commodore's Cup victory followed on to a Silver Medal at the ISAF Worlds for 18-year-old Seafra Guilfoyle of Crosshaven, who became the Afloat.ie "Sailor of the Month".
Racing in the boys Laser Radials at the Youth Worlds at Tavira on the Algarve in Portugal from July 14th to 20th, by the last day Guilfoyle was certain of a medal, with the final race to decide which one. As it happened, he came tantalisingly close to Gold, but the Silver amounted to a personal best

seafra_guilfoyle_ISAFmedal.jpg
Seafra Guilfoye in Silver Medal style

lulabelle_rorcsrbi.jpg
On their way - Lula Belle streaks eastward up the English Channel in the early stages of the Round Britain and Ireland Race. Photo: Rick Tomlinson

AUGUST 2014 SAILORS OF THE MONTH – LIAM COYNE & BRIAN FLAHIVE

Liam Coyne of Dun Laoghaire and Brian Flahive of Wicklow were the Afloat.ie "Sailors of the Month" for August 2014, following their stunning and comprehensive success in the 1,802 mile RORC SevenStar Round Britain & Ireland Race. In it, with the standard First 36.7 Lula Belle, they topped the Two-Handed Division, won two of the RORC classes against opposition which included fully-crewed boats, and finished sixth overall in a fleet in which the results were otherwise dominated by much bigger boats with a large professional element in their crews. In fact, some of the crews were wholly professional. But the two Irish amateurs not only did the race out of their own time and resources, but they had to be their own shore management and technical support team as well.

SEPTEMBER 2014 – HAL BLEAKLEY

On Saturday 27th September, Hal Bleakley quietly retired from a lifetime of service to yacht racing, standing down after his final day as Race Officer for Dublin Bay Sailing Club in the last race of the summer programme in the Club's 130th year of playing a key role in the bay. Hal Bleakley personifies all that is best in DBSC, and indeed in Irish sailing and the maritime community generally. He got steadily on with the job with hours, days and weeks of often voluntary effort, and it was usually done quietly in the background, for that was Hal's way. In his working life, he was a leading figure in technical management and general administration in Ireland's aviation industry from 1959 to 2000, and he brought the high standards of his profession to his many interests afloat.

Hal_Bleakley.jpg
Hal Bleakley's calm and competent presence contributes greatly to the smooth running of Irish sailing. Photo: David Branigan

OCTOBER 2014 – BARRY HURLEY

Barry Hurley, who learnt his sailing on Cork Harbour out of Cobh, is best known as a star of the short-handed offshore racing scene. But in recent years he has been carving a formidable reputation as a team co-ordinator on board fully-crewed boats, and October 2014's 606-mile Middle Sea Race out of Malta against a record fleet of more than 120 boats was an outstanding achievement for him. In a central role aboard Josef Schultheis's Xp44 XpAct, Hurley and his shipmates took first in class on IRC and ORC, and second overall in both IRC and ORC. It was his tenth Rolex Middle Sea Race, and it was aboard a boat which as always was immaculately presented, while the gathering of crew from far and wide for XpAct resulted in ten very experienced sailors from five different countries, with four of them from Ireland, coming together in Malta a week before the start to finalise an outstanding challenge.

{youtube}uYRM5sFjahg{/youtube}

NOVEMBER – JUSTIN SLATTERY

Successes in the first two races of the current Volvo Ocean global contest placed Justin Slattery in an unassailable position as our Sailor of the Month for November. Completely absorbed in his fifth world race which is itself a record for an Irish sailor (and he won in 2005-06 with ABN Amro), Slattery has had the satisfaction of seeing his Abu Dhabi team justify his feeling that on the previous circuit three years ago, they were hampered by a slow boat. With the current race of 2014-2015 in a fleet of Farr-designed one–design Volvo 65s although Abu Dhabi - skippered by Ian Walker - was not necessarily always in the lead on the first leg from Alicante to Cape Town, she was ahead when it mattered at the finish. And with the entire fleet of one–designs racing within the same closely defined area of water for theCape Town inshore event, she showed the quality and depth of her style with another win. In the thick of it all, Justin Slattery was in his usual key roles in a multi-functional position - he can be bowman, trimmer or helmsman. Born in Cork with a boyhood in Wexford, Justin Slattery (40) is one of many Irish sailors who took his first proper steps afloat with Eddie English on Cork Harbour, and his early experiences still stand well to him.

DECEMBER – ANDY JOHNSTON

Sutton Dinghy Club on the north shore of Dublin Bay has been a pace-setter in the revival of Irish dinghy racing and club activity generally during 2014. Commodore Andy Johnston led his members through an outstanding season in which they were once again making an impact at national and international level, while the club's training programme and sailing school under the direction of Hugh Gill was highly effective in bringing newcomers to the sport, and building up a strong esprit de corps among its dedicated team of young instructors. In addition to success in open dinghy events at all levels, SDC succeeded in regaining the historic Book Trophy for team racing from Royal Cork Yacht Club. The trophy dates back to 1944, but for the past sixteen years the sailors of Crosshaven had kept it firmly in their grasp. 2014 also marked the 75th Anniversary of the foundation of the club at its homely base beside Sutton Creek, so the concluding highlight of the year was a 75th Anniversary Gala Dinner in mid-November in the club's home-from-home, the popular Marine Hotel at Sutton Cross. A remarkable total of 204 well-wishers and people who have distinguished sailing connections with Sutton DC from way back attended. It was Ciara O'Tiarnaigh and her Organising Committee who looked after the nuts and bolts of this star-studded event, but throughout a long and very special season, it was Andy Johnston who led the way and held the ultimate responsibility. Nevertheless, in making him our Sailor of the Month for December 2014, we are saluting the spirit of Sutton Dinghy Club, and the resilience of all Irish dinghy sailing.

Help us decide...

As in previous years, Afloat magazine is asking the public to help decide who should be crowned Ireland's Sailor of the Year for 2014. 

VOTE BY SCROLLING DOWN TO THE BOTTOM OF THIS PAGE! 

The overall national award will be presented to the person who, in the judges' opinion, achieved the most notable results in, or made the most significant contribution to Irish sailing during 2014.

The boating public gets to nominate their top three through the online poll, Afloat.ie gets a vote too and the Sailor of the Year judges decide the final winner.

The awards are administered and judged by Afloat magazine.

The 2014 Sailor of the Year will be named early in March at a joint presentation by Afloat and the Irish Sailing Association (ISA).

The judges' decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.

Thanks for your interest!

Published in W M Nixon
Page 4 of 9

Featured Sailing School

INSS sidebutton

Featured Clubs

dbsc mainbutton
Howth Yacht Club
Kinsale Yacht Club
National Yacht Club
Royal Cork Yacht Club
Royal Irish Yacht club
Royal Saint George Yacht Club

Featured Brokers

leinster sidebutton

Featured Associations

ICRA
isora sidebutton

Featured Webcams

Featured Events 2021

vdlr21 sidebutton

Featured Sailmakers

northsails sidebutton
uksails sidebutton
quantum sidebutton
watson sidebutton

Featured Chandleries

CHMarine Afloat logo
osm sidebutton
https://afloat.ie/resources/marine-industry-news/viking-marine

Featured Marinas

dlmarina sidebutton

Featured Blogs

W M Nixon - Sailing on Saturday
podcast sidebutton
mansfield sidebutton
BSB sidebutton
wavelengths sidebutton
 

Please show your support for Afloat by donating