Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

"No Shouting" - Joan Mulloy and Ann Kirwan On the Women At The Helm Regatta

16th May 2024
Ann Kirwan at the helm of a Ruffian 23 in West Cork
Ann Kirwan at the helm of a Ruffian 23 in West Cork

Irish international offshore sailor Joan Mulloy has recently completed a ten-day trip from Antigua to Portugal in a Mod 70 trimaran as part of the Famous project led by Dee Cafarri and Alexia Barrier, which aims to break the record for the fastest circumnavigation of the planet by sail and set a world first record for an all female crew.

Irish international offshore sailor Joan MulloyIrish international offshore sailor Joan Mulloy

On Friday, May 24th, Mulloy is one of the keynote speakers, along with Olympic silver medallist Annalise Murphy and ex RTÉ news anchor Bryan Dobson, at a supper marking the opening of the fourth Women at the Helm regatta.

Olympic silver medallist Annalise MurphyOlympic silver medallist Annalise Murphy

Hosted by the National Yacht Club on May 25th and 26th, and supported by SIA Partners, the event encourages female sailors who may not normally lead, to step up and make the move from crew to helm.

Men are also welcome to participate and support the crew of registered boats. The Saturday race counts for both WATH regatta points and Dublin Bay Sailing Club points.

The event will include female race officers Suzanne McGarry and Mairead Ni Cheallachain, and there will be many women "manning" the two committee boats for the event.

Mulloy spoke to Wavelengths about the event, as did Women at the Helm organiser Ann Kirwan, who has been a commodore of the Dublin Bay Sailing Club and is a highly respected Ruffian 23 sailor and was on the Irish team in Hong Kong last year.

Ann Kirwan at the helm of her Ruffian 23 Bandit on Dublin Bay

Kirwan described her own challenges in relation to the path towards helming, and recalled how when she bought into a share of a Ruffian, one of the first rules was “no shouting – except to be heard”.

More details on Women at the Helm are here

Listen to Wavelengths below

Lorna Siggins

About The Author

Lorna Siggins

Email The Author

Lorna Siggins is a print and radio reporter, and a former Irish Times western correspondent. She is the author of Search and Rescue: True stories of Irish Air-Sea Rescues and the Loss of R116 (2022); Everest Callling (1994) on the first Irish Everest expedition; Mayday! Mayday! (2004); and Once Upon a Time in the West: the Corrib gas controversy (2010). She is also co-producer with Sarah Blake of the Doc on One "Miracle in Galway Bay" which recently won a Celtic Media Award

We've got a favour to ask

More people are reading than ever thanks to the power of the internet but we're in stormy seas because advertising revenues across the media are falling fast. Unlike many news sites, we haven't put up a paywall because we want to keep our marine journalism open. is Ireland's only full-time marine journalism team and it takes time, money and hard work to produce our content.

So you can see why we need to ask for your help.

If everyone chipped in, we can enhance our coverage and our future would be more secure. You can help us through a small donation. Thank you.

Direct Donation to Afloat button

Afloat's Wavelengths Podcast with Lorna Siggins

Weekly dispatches from the Irish coast with journalist Lorna Siggins, talking to people in the maritime sphere. Topics range from marine science and research to renewable energy, fishing, aquaculture, archaeology, history, music and more...