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May 7th, 1915. The sailing fishing boat Wanderer from the Isle of Man is first on the scene after the Transatlantic liner Lusitania is torpedoed ten miles off the Old Head of Kinsale by a German submarine as an act of war. The first survivors have already been hauled on board Wanderer, while others struggle towards their rescuer in the water or on lifeboats
In the midst of high summer, with life slowed by the all-pervading heat, it is almost impossible to contemplate the sheer horror of total conflict as experienced in the industrialised attacks of the Great War of 1914-18 writes W M…
Rockabill Island off the Dublin Coast
“One good Tern deserves another,” I was told in a discussion during the past week about the increasing importance of Dublin Bay in marine conservation terms – around the same time as Dublin Port announced that it was not going…
2020 is the Royal Cork YC Tricentenary and1720 was when it first happened. The 1720 Sportsboats racing in towards Cork Harbour with the growing sea breeze are a timely reminder of this globally significant date in just two years’ time
If you set out to explain to a stranger to sailing everything that has been going on afloat and ashore at Volvo Cork Week 2018 (and we refer only to the official events), then you’d find yourself warbling away until…
The W1da off Roches Point during this week's Cork Week
My main interest at Cork Week was the red yacht moored at the marina, making its first appearance in Ireland and described as ‘a sailor’s yacht.’ Several years ago I met the man who is proud of that description, though…
Commandant Barry Byrne helms the J/109 Joker II around a sunlit Fastnet Rock on Sunday July 1st during the recent Volvo Round Ireland Race, with the sky beyond giving hints of the strong headwinds to be met off Ireland’s west coast. He will be racing round the Fastnet again next week in the same boat, defending the Beaufort Cup in Volvo Cork Week
Time was when “A Soldier’s Wind” was a slightly patronising term used to describe exceptionally favourable conditions for smooth voyaging in the great days of sail, with a beam reach in a good Force 4 being held up as the…
Royal Cork's Under 25 Keelboat Academy, members of which will race two boats in Cork Week regatta
I remember being part of a fleet of some 700 yachts, the sight of which, winding its way in a long parade out of Crosshaven every morning to the racing grounds, drew crowds to watch Cork Week. Those days have…
Going for it. Baraka GP may have looked every inch a winner as she settled down after the start going past Wicklow Head, but she experienced many reversals of fortune before moving into the overall lead for the final 180 miles
The Volvo Round Ireland Race from Wicklow back in 2016 was something of a unicorn event writes W M Nixon. George David’s majestic Rambler 88 took mono-hull line honours, the new mono-hull course record, and the overall IRC win -…
Lough Ree RNLI Station was set up six years ago, in 2012 and operates an inshore rigid inflatable lifeboat
After four call-outs in three days to help fifteen people, reported earlier by Afloat.ie here, Lough Ree RNLI station has issued a warning to boat users that water levels may be lower than usual and to take more care writes…
Chris Power Smith’s optimized J/122 Aurelia (RStGYC) is one of many contenders in with a good chance in the 20th staging of the biennial Volvo Round Ireland Race, which starts today off Wicklow at 2.0pm
It was the dogged determination of Wicklow Sailing Club 38 years ago that brought about the beginnings of an event which has since become an internationally-recognised cornerstone in the complex structure of the Irish sailing programme writes W M Nixon.…
New Naval officers pledge loyalty to the state at the 56th Cadet class commissioning at Haulbowline Naval base.  What loyalty has it to them?
I am not a convinced believer in Government marine policy. Though I accept there have been improvements in the State attitude towards the maritime sphere in recent years, there is still a big defect – marine policy is not a…
The spirit of Dublin Bay – the J/109 Powder Monkey sailed by current DBSC Commodore (and former NYC Commodore) Chris Moore. The J/109s will have some of the closest racing in today’s National Yacht Club Regatta
The Annual Regatta of any yacht or sailing club is the ultimate expression of the club’s identity. The ideal is a very special mixture of the best of sailing sport afloat followed by hospitality and conviviality ashore, with it all…
Ron Holland addresses a crowded bar at Kinsale Yacht Club
Ron Holland has been back in Ireland this week, at two yacht clubs he knows well - Kinsale Yacht Club and the Royal Cork Yacht Club at Crosshaven, across the Owenabue River from Currabinny where he designed race-winning yachts. “If…
International designer Ron Holland in his studio in Vancouver
Like many New Zealanders, the young Ron Holland was mad keen about boats and sailing. And like several eventually distinguished fellow-countrymen, he has found his life path through a successful career in the international yacht design industry, right up to…
The viaduct over the River Boyne at Drogheda
One of the most dramatic marine visual sights in the country is along Drogheda Port’s town quays, where you can see the backdrop of the Boyne Viaduct which carries the main rail line from Dublin northwards. It spans the historic…
The man and his boat. Gregor McGuckin with his Biscay 36 Hanley Energy Endurance this week in a sun-soaked Dun Laoghaire, where the harsh realities of the Great Southern Ocean seemed very remote
There is a monumental singularity of achievement in Robin Knox-Johnston’s non-stop solo voyage around the world in the 32ft Suhaili fifty years ago. While there may have been others taking on the Golden Globe Challenge set by The Sunday Times…
The sharp contrast between 24 yachts turning out for the first inter-club evening league racing in the harbour, providing a beautiful spectacle of white sails in the evening sunshine and community shock that a hazardous, toxic waste incinerator is to be inserted into this panorama could not be more dramatic.
In a 24-hour period last week there was an encouraging sailing advance uniting the three Cork Harbour clubs, but also a warning from the highest political level in Government that the planned maritime developments in the harbour, welcomed by the…

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