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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…
The harbour on the other side of the hill……..for many of the visiting boats taking part in the Wave at Howth, this is a mysterious and secret place north of Dublin Bay, hidden on the far side of a hilly peninsula inhabited by a strange tribe.
It may only be the start of June, but Howth Yacht Club already has an extra-special year going in 2018, and all the signs are that it will continue to get better. W M Nixon takes the pulse of a…
The start of the Volvo Round Ireland Race 2016 in an offshore breeze, with the fleet tending to bunch towards the Guardship at the outer end of the line. It has been suggested that in similar conditions, it might be useful to give the line a slight bias in favour of the inner end of the line, bringing the fleet close in off the Wicklow pierhead
For most of the Irish sailors who have committed to this year’s 20th staging of the biennial 704-mile Volvo Round Ireland Race on 30th June, it will be the central focus, the core pillar of their 2018 programme. And even…
IWDG's Celtic Mist with Fin Whale
Humpback whales are one of the most iconic animals on the planet, ambassadors for the world’s oceans. The image of a humpback whale, with its fluke lifted clear of the water became the symbol of the environmental movement when a…
The Kelly family’s J/109 Storm (Howth YC and Rush SC) firmly in control for overall victory at the recent Kip Regatta in Scotland
The vibrant J/109 class in the Greater Dublin area starts its “One Design” season today with the two day Eastern Championship at the Royal Irish Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire. The class as a One-Design then goes through a busy…

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