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That winning feeling….the crew of the Irish National Sailing School’s J/109 Jedi in Plymouth after winning Class 3B in the Rolex Fastnet Race 2017 are (left to right, back row): Deirdre Foley, Lorcan Tighe, Fearghus McCormack, George Tottenham, Kylie McMillan and Kenneth Rumball. Front row: Conor Kinsella and Keith Kiernan
With 312 entries in the IRC divisions alone, and numbers pushing towards the 400 mark when all classes are included, the record-breaking Fastnet Race 2017 was surely on the edge of becoming an unwieldy beast as it got under way…
A Humpback Whale breaching in Irish waters
To mariners the sound of the sea is the sound of life and this week I heard some of the most amazing sounds ever recorded underwater. ‘The song of the Humpback Whale,’amazed me. It is the sound the males use,…
Tom MacSweeney's Scribbler white sail racing in Cork Harbour
Hearing about the open morning on Sunday, the 24th of September at the Royal St.George YC in Dun Laoghaire where Sigma 33 Class Captain Paddy Maguire wants to raise more interest in Sigmas, brought back how I became interested in…
Cliffhanger….the Volvo 65s Turn the Tide on Plastic and Team Vestas in a tacking duel at The Needles lighthouse during the first race of the new fleet, a sprint round the Isle of Wight in the middle of Cowes Week 2017. Annalise Murphy will contest the Volvo Ocean Race on Turn the Tide, and Damian Foxall and James O’Mahoney are with Team Vestas
In the days when sailing was a seasonal sport, a few main pillar events dominated the international programme. The Sailing Olympics. The America’s Cup. The Fastnet Race. The Dragon Gold Cup. The Sydney-Hobart Race. The Whitbread Round the World Race.…
Marine Biologist Lucy Hunt from County Kerry
Kerry will have a dominant presence in this year’s Volvo Round the World Race. Three of the Kingdom’s notable maritime figures are involved and, with Olympian Annalise Murphy also sailing, there will be strong Irish interest, writes Tom MacSweeney. Biologist…
Irish Lights’ 2,600 ton ship Granuaile is one of the most truly functional vessels in Ireland
The functioning of the Commissioners of Irish Lights is within a matrix in partnership with the Northern Lighthouse Board in Scotland and the Isle of Man, and Trinity House in England and Wales. They co-operate actively through a grouping known…
The annual sailing race from Cobh to Blackrock once marked the end of the sailing season in Cork Harbour
69 yachts have entered for the Cobh-to-Blackrock Race tomorrow writes Tom MacSweeney. This is the annual sailing race from Cobh to Blackrock which once marked the end of the sailing season in Cork Harbour. It no longer is that end-of-season…
Seabird activity can tell sailors a lot
Seabirds and sailors have a long history together. They are reputed to have guided lost sailors to land, led fishermen to catch fish and the sight of them has encouraged many a despairing sailor to realise that land is nearby.…
Making history. David & Sally MacFarlane sailing the 107-year-old Moosmie on their way to winning the first Water Wag race with a fleet of more than thirty boats, with Dun Laoghaire Harbour’s wonderful stonework looking its classic best
The rapidly-developing partnership between solo offshore veteran Alex Thomson and proven star of fully-crewed boats Nin O’Leary of Cork has been the focus of much attention this week as they visit Cork and Dun Laoghaire. Thomson’s eye-catching IMOCA 60 Hugo…
Hugo Boss Trialling in Cork Harbour this week
I got to helm Hugo Boss for a while on Tuesday off Cork Harbour. The tiller surprised me. I thought, with the size and length of this IMOCA 60 round-the-world ocean racer, I would be holding a heavy tiller, requiring…
While there were hundreds of boats in the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta 2017, the Welsh-based Myfanwy, built 1897, and restored by owner Rob Mason (at helm), deservedly attract special attention
In his poem Sailing to Byzantium (1928), William Butler Yeats immortalised the vision of Ireland as “no country for old men”. Expressed so well, the idea took hold and has been re-used internationally in novels and films, even if in Ireland…
Hal Sisk with his Water Wag dinghy 'Good Hope'
“For many people yacht ownership is enough. They buy a boat and they keep it in a marina and they don’t go sailing very often and they go there for picnics and so on, but for some people you can…
RNLI lifeboat crews on the pitch at Croke Park
RNLI Lifeboat crews on the hallowed turf of Croke Park, unfurling huge flags with a message about water safety in front of 67,000 passionate football supporters seems an unlikely activity, but it was achieved just before the teams they were…
Hugo Boss doing what she does best – zooming offwind on the foils
There have been several Irish offshore racing sailors who have been making national and world headlines for some years now, but in recent weeks and months the wave of new enthusiasm for the big ticket events has surged to fresh…
Ballycotton Island Lighthouse
A few weeks ago I rounded Ballycotton Island on the East Cork coastline, sailing beneath the iconic, dramatic black lighthouse which towers 195 feet above sea level. It was erected in 1851, the construction led by the renowned engineer George…
The start of something big. The Irish National Sailing School’s J/109 Jedi (IRL 8088, skipper Kenneth Rumball) gets away with a close start on Sunday in the Rolex Fastnet Race 2017. She finished first in Class 3B
The final results of the Rolex Fastnet Race 2017 show that Kenneth Rumball with the Irish National Sailing School’s J/109 Jedi has won in IRC 3B, where third place has been taken by ISORA’s J/109 Mojito. And RORC Commodore Michael…

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