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Both Irish skippers who retired from the Rolex Middle Sea Race that finishes today at the Royal Malta Yacht Club have described the 'vicious' conditions encountered in the Mediterranean this week. The fleet suffered several knowdowns and at least one man overboard but the bulk of the fleet were safely secured in either Marsamxett Harbour this morning with just two racing. 15 had retired.

Last night Dun Laoghaire's Cathal Drohan, sailing his third Middle Sea Race on the X41 Legally Brunette, spoke of 40 knots squalls and visibility near shipping lanes being reduced to five or six boat lengths.

"The boat was well founded and we had a great crew but after five days racing we were looking at a further long stretch of sailing and a severe forecast". Drohan told Afloat.ie from Malta.

All skippers in the race were mindful of the safety of crews given one sailor had been seriously hurt in a knockdown in a heavy squall.

The Royal Malta Yacht Club has calculated the winners and these are set out below.

Barry Hurley sailing on the Maltese yacht Aziza sent the following back to Afloat.ie after the yacht retired: 

"We were sailing in sustained low 30knts all day Tuesday and encountered several vicious squalls, often adding up to 20 knots to the average windspeed. Such squalls are common in the area and always play a significant part in the Middle Sea Race. By Wednesday morning the seas had grown substantially and rounding Pantelleria we received an updated weather forecast for sustained mid 40's on Wednesday afternoon. We believe we were lying 4th overall at that stage so were keen to press on, but faced with the prospect of potential 60's in the squalls we made the decision to retire into Pantelleria in the interest of safety. A few hours later an Italian X Yacht came in alongside needing medivac for a crew member seriously hurt in a knockdown in just such a squall, so our decision was vindicated. A somewhat disappointing end to another fantastic Middle Sea Race, but for now it's back home to Dublin until the Sydney Hobart race in December".

Press Release from organisers:

ROLEX MIDDLE SEA RACE CLASS WINNERS CONFIRMED
October 28, 2010

If the early miles of the Rolex Middle Sea Race were a test of patience, the latter miles were a true test of endurance. A strong mistral of up to 40+ knots helped push the fleet homeward to the finish in Malta. The last two yachts, Zizanie and Amethyst Abroad, were around the island of Lampedusa and racing towards the finish line off the Royal Malta Yacht Club. The two boats showed heaps of perseverance for hanging in, even if the northwesterly breeze had subsided to a 'mere' 25+ knots.

Meanwhile the bulk of the fleet were safely secured in either Marsamxett Harbour or around the corner in Grand Harbour Marina, and the overall class standings were sorted as the last boats trickled in.

IRC Overall – Lucky (USA)

IRC 1 – Esimit Europa 2 (SLO)

IRC 2 – Lucky (USA)

IRC 3 – Jaru (MLT)

IRC 4 – Artie (MLT)

ORC Overall – Jaru (MLT)

ORC 1 – E1 (RUS)

ORC 2 – Varuna (GER)

ORC 3 – Jaru (MLT)

ORC 4 – Three Sisters (CZK)

Double Handed – BOV Plain Sailing (MLT)

Racing offshore double handed is not for the faint-hearted. It requires all-round seamanship, determination, stamina and above all courage. At the 606-nautical mile Rolex Middle Sea Race, the Double Handed Class is somewhat under the radar with only three entrants, but this year's competitors were a diverse and experienced group.

Taking line honours in the Double Handed Class was White Star, a custom 54-footer, which finished yesterday afternoon with an elapsed time of 4 days, 6 hours, 44 minutes, and 18 seconds. But the Italian boat would have to wait until today when BOV Plain Sailing finished, to see who would win on corrected time.

White Star's crew were experienced double handed sailors Diego Tisci and Daniele Chiamenti; Tisci is a veteran of eight Rolex Middle Sea Races, Chiamenti several as well, but this is the first double handed Middle Sea for either of them. An Italian owner built the yacht and is entering it in double handed races as a way to showcase its' potential.  As Tisci said, "This was the first race of a new program for the boat. It was like a test; so we see how the yacht goes, how we have to optimize that and the crew.

"We had a problem at the start and we broke the jib, this is why we stayed far to the east on the way to Messina. We could only use the staysail and code zero, which doesn't allow you to sail very close to the wind – that's why we had a very strange track! At the end that was the best we could do. Around Stromboli, we didn't have much wind and again it was difficult to go to weather without the proper headsail.

Chiamenti explained, "After that the race was very strategic. But our strategy was based on the sails that we had, not on the wind!" When the forecast coincided with this strategy, White Star was in good shape. From Trapani on, the northwest breeze allowed them a favourable point of sail. To add to their woes, White Star lost instruments as well. The two sailors estimated maximum wind speed at approximately 35 knots; but off the wind, and with a staysail set, they were good to go.

Asked about the best part of sailing double handed, Tisci said with a smile "I think the team.

But really, I like sailing short-handed. It's nice to be at sea. You don't have to argue about what you think is right or wrong; it's your race, just yours. You aren't a wheel in a big mechanism; you are only the mechanism. And we take all decisions together."

The two concurred about the course, and Chiamenti said, "For sure it's the best race in the Mediterranean. It's very tactical, and the panorama is great. You've got a volcano, you've got the Messina Strait, and the time of year is great, it's not too cold, not too warm.

The 34-footer, BOV Plain Sailing, crossed the line midday on Thursday after five days, zero hours and 52 minutes at sea. Their corrected time was good enough to give the Maltese boat the Double Handed Class overall win.

Maltese sailing veteran, skipper/owner Anthony Camilleri is no stranger to the Rolex Middle Sea Race, sailing in his tenth race. But his crew, Gilbert Azzopardi has never raced two-handed before and neither has the boat. The Tango 34 is the smallest and lightest boat of the 76 yachts that started the race.

Camilleri spoke dockside after completing the race, "I am delighted that we have won, but first and foremost, I must give a mention to Bepe Bisotto, skipper of Atame. We had a great battle, often side-by-side, but when we developed a problem with the reefing lines of our mainsail, he offered to stop and help. That offer of assistance shows the spirit of our discipline, we look after each other.

"Probably the lowest moment in the race was the last night. We were tired and the weather was really bad, up to forty knots of wind on the beam, with six metre waves crashing into the cockpit. We took down the mainsail and continued under storm jib alone, it was the hardest part of the race. This race is one of contrasts and the previous day the sailing was spectacular. Downwind with the spinnaker up, we were surfing at a constant 12 knots, at times accelerating to 18 knots. It is an amazing feeling with just the two of us, a very special moment."

Last night, the Fast 42 Atame pulled into Trapani to get a respite from the relentless wind and sea.  Beppe Bisotto emailed, " 'Ad impossibilia' (it's impossible), as the Latins say. Ian (Knight) and I shared the same thinking. Outside, a Force 8 gale is blowing hard from the north. No way to pass Favignana island, as we had been stopped for ten hours with no wind. We missed the wind shift, blowing at SW Force 7 straight into the face, with forecast predicting force 8 on the back.  More than this, to Pantelleria Force 7 SW on the nose was forecast. So, surrounded by gales, we decided to stop and avoid any possible damage.  Do not forget that we were only two- handed instead of a full crew of eight to ten. By the way, we are happy to have raced faster than many bigger boats with full crew! Atame is definitely solid, fast, and reliable."

Only the x40 Pita Maha (ITA), retired today, bringing the total number of retired boats to 15, with 58 boats finished, and two still racing.

 

Published in Offshore

Barry O'Neill made a clean sweep of the prizes for the third year running in the SB3 class on Dublin Bay. James Gorman showed form to win series 3.YC. The class announced its annual Dublin Bay Sailing Club prizewinners ahead of the prize giving ceremony, on of the biggest nights of the sailing year in Dun Laoghaire, on Friday 12th November at the Royal St.George YC. The winners are:

SB3 DBSC Prize Winners 2010

Sunday Overall
1st. Sin Bin                            Barry O'Neill           1st. Silver Fleet  Bob Hobby
2nd. Alert Packaging           Justin Burke
3rd. Seriously Bonkers      Martin Cuppage

Sunday Series 1
1st. Mephisto                        Stephanie and Tim Bourke
2nd. Seriously Bonkers      Martin Cuppage
3rd.Alert Packaging            Justin Burke

Sunday Series 2
1st. Alert Packaging            Justin Burke
2nd.Sin Bin                            Barry O'Neill
3rd. Design Security           Colin Galavan

Sunday Series 3
1st. Odin                                 James Gorman
2nd. Sin Bin                           Barry O'Neill
3rd.  Seriously Bonkers     Martin Cuppage

Thursday Overall
1st. Sin Bin                            Barry O'Neill
2nd. Design Security           Colin Galavan
3rd. Alert Packaging           Justin Burke

Thursday Series 1
1st. Sin Bin                            Barry O'Neill
2nd. Design Security           Colin Galavan
3rd. Bom Chickawahwah  John O'Driscoll

Thursday Series 2
1st. Sin Bin                            Barry O'Neill
2nd. Design Security           Colin Galavan
3rd. Alert Packaging           Justin Burke

Published in SB20

Afloat magazine profiles Noonan Boats, one of the country’s leading repair facilities

From collision damage, keel fairing right up to osmosis treatments and re-sprays, Noonan boatyard in Newcastle, Greystones Co. Wicklow offers such a comprehensive service on the East Coast there is little need for any boat to go abroad for repairs these days, regardless of the extent of damage.

And news of the quality work has been spreading with boats from the four coasts Ireland coming to Wicklow for a range of work.

noonan_clip2

Graeme Noonan (left) has extensive big boat repair experience from his time in the marine industry in Sydney, Australia and is an active RS sailor. Founder Tony Noonan (centre) has spent a lifetime in the Irish Marine industry with Neil Watson Yachts, Wicklow Marine Services before setting up Noonan Boats in 1995. Brian Flahive is an active dinghy and keelboat sailor this year finished second in the Round Ireland double-handed class and won the Fireball National Championships.

Father and son team Tony and Graeme Noonan have over 30 years in the business and have recently expanded the premises to over 3,000 sq feet to cater for a growing range of repair work for boats up to 50 feet under cover.

They have a well-established reputation for the treatment of osmosis, to resolve hull blistering. This is a preventative and remedial process that requires specialist treatment.

The bulk of repair work comes from along the East Coast based boats and the nearby port of Dun Laoghaire but the company offers a national service to include transport to and from the Noonan boatyard if required.

“We have an established track record dealing with Insurance companies. No job is too difficult, too small or too big for us” says Tony Noonan.

Most work is carried out in in a purpose-built marine workshop containing two lifting bay facilities that includes keel and rudder repair pits but the firm also carries out on site repairs to suit too.

Repairs are carried out to original specifications and they carry out re-moulding repairs to up to date construction methods e.g. GRP foam core, Balsa core and carbon under vacuum bagging conditions.

A particular speciality is the repair of carbon repairs to dinghy masts, spinnaker poles and hulls. This has become more popular recently with the advent of carbon bowsprits on boats such as the J109s and SB3s.

Keel fairing, the process of improving the accuracy of the shape of a keel to improve boat speed is also high on the jobs list.

The company also has the specialist hot weld equipment to carry out the repair of polyethylene materials as used in the RS Feva and Laser Pico dinghies.

noonan_work

Colour Matching

Making a fibreglass repair to bring a boat back to original specification is one thing but matching gel coat to weathered or faded paintwork is quite another. Noonan Boatyard cosmetically match gels to present colour so the repair can appear practically invisible.

Polyethelene Repair

Plastic boats are durable but they can split and crack. Repairing them requires specialist heat gun welding equipment

Repair and re-spray

Weathered topsides, especially darker colours, always benefit from a re-spray, tired areas including decks and non-skid areas can also be re-sprayed

Floor matrix repair

After a keel grounding with rocks, for example, damage to a floor matrix may not be immediately visible but it is vital that inner frames are checked and repaired

Osmosis treatment, hot vac and copper coat

The yard uses the latest technology in the treatment of osmosis. Hulls are gel-planed to expose lay up prior to a HOT- VAC process and drying. This can be the stage where copper coat is an economical choice. It ends the need for the expensive and unpleasant annual chore of cleaning and repainting a boat’s hull. Simply hose down the hull at regular intervals, commonly once a year, to remove any build-up of sea-slime. We currently have two examples in our yard at present which show after one year and after ten years of immersion – and still working. Come and see for yourself!

Fully Repaired, Tried and Tested

Noonan Boats completed extensive repairs to Oystercatcher, a Gibsea 37, and when this work was completed the firm entered the boat in the gruelling 704-mile race round Ireland.

Local sailors Brian Flahive (Fireball National Champion) who works at the yard and Bryan Byrne manned what was Wicklow Sailing Club’s first ever yacht to entry into the doubled handed class of the Race. Dubbed the ‘Pride of Newcastle’ the entry finished an impressive winner of IRC III and Cruiser Class IV. The pair also finished second in the two handed class.

It was no easy journey but certainly the repairs stood up to the job, a case of repair work being tried, tested and proven!

The Boatyard, Sea Road, Newcastle, Greystones, Co. Wicklow
Tel/Fax: 01 281 9175  •  Mobile: 086 170 8875
Email: [email protected]

Published in Boat Maintenance

One of Dun Laoghaire's major international events next season, the visit of the French single-handed fleet, La Solitaire du Figaro, in August, will have a public festival running alongside say the National YC organisers. Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company and Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council are behind the festival.

Preparing for La Solitaire du Figaro here

Latest news for La Solitaire du Figaro here
Published in Figaro
SB3 Class captain Justin Burke admits he's not sure how to measure the success or otherwise of last weekend's Open Day but he is sure everyone enjoyed themselves. "We had 31 people that sailed, got fed and watered and got boat info. One fell over board and one lost their breakfast overboard and all said they enjoyed the day. The most encouraging bit was that they all asked to be put on the mailing list".

Of the 31 people who came along six from Howth and Burke anticipates further Howth moves into the class. The Galway connection was also renewed and two top Northern Irish helmsmen travelled to the National YC. 

Published in SB20
One of Ireland's longest running dinghy events, the Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club 'Frostbite Series', celebrates it's 40th anniversary on November 7th.The event has given generations of Dublin sailors a winter opportunity for racing on Sunday afternoons often inside the safety of the harbour walls, fleet sizes often outstripping its summer counterparts. Racing is mainly held under PY handicap but there are separate starts for large classes such as the  popular Fireballs. All dinghy classes will be catered for and it will run, as usual, from November until March. Notice of Race and Entry Forms are available HERE or download below.
Published in Boating Fixtures

A swimmer in difficulty was brought to safety at lunchtime today by the RNLI inshore lifeboat from Dun Laoghaire when a large swell caused problems at the popular 40-foot bathing-place at Sandycove, Co. Dublin.

The incident occurred when the female swimmer was unable to get ashore because of a breaking swell along the rocky shoreline. A male swimmer entered the water with a life-ring and supported the casualty while a member of the public telephoned 999 and asked for Marine Rescue.

The Irish Coastguard Marine Rescue Co-ordination Centre (MRCC) at Dublin received the alert and tasked the RNLI inshore lifeboat (ILB) at Dun Laoghaire shortly after 12.30pm. The volunteer crew of three launched seven
minutes later and recovered both swimmers from the water and landed them at Sandycove Harbour. A third swimmer was able to make his own way ashore and did not require assistance.

Weather conditions were fine with almost no wind but a sea-swell left-over from the near gale force winds last night combined with a flooding spring tide made swimming conditions more difficulty than usual. All three swimmers were reported to daily-regulars. None needed medical attention.

The ILB at Dun Laoghaire is an IB1-type that was recently placed on station and will be officially dedicated next year. The fully-inflatable boat is faster than its predecessor delivering a top speed of 25 knots and is ideal for reaching casualties close to rocks or shallow areas.

The crew of the ILB was Gary Hayes (Helmsman) Dan O'Sullivan and Sean Shanahan.

Related Safety posts

RNLI Lifeboats in Ireland


Safety News


Rescue News from RNLI Lifeboats in Ireland


Coast Guard News from Ireland


Water Safety News from Ireland

Marine Casualty Investigation Board News

Marine Warnings

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
At the weekend's end of season Optimist dinghy class Championships (aka the Gorman Trophy) held at the National Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire local helmsman Sean Donnelly was a popular win in a fleet of 66 boats. Second was Sean Waddilove from across the bay in Howth and third was Dun Laoghaire's Adam Hyland from the Royal St. George YC. Results HERE.
Published in Optimist

What started out as local recruitment drive on Dublin Bay has widened with interest now reported nationwide for next weekend's Dun Laoghaire SB3 Open Day. Sailors are coming from Howth, Galway and Northern Ireland for test sails at the National YC. "We never imagined there would be so much interest from so many locations out side the Dun Laoghaire area" says class captain Justin Burke.

"Our original intention was to encourage local sailors to try out an SB3 but we will look after everyone. The bookings are coming in at a steady rate and everything thing is in place for a great day. We have racing , boat show , demos and video of the Worlds at Lake Garda", he added.
The Sports Boat concept is focused around close competitive racing on 40 minute courses in easily manoeuvrable one design boats. "You do not need a football team to race just 3 people. And above all they are fast. This is not cheque book racing. Everyone has the same boat same sails so it's all about the racing, Justin says.

Although this concept of racing is not new it is very much in tune with the modern life style where free time is at a premium and the prospect of getting 2 competitive races in 2 hours appeals to helm and crew .

Contact Justin Burke 087 2417542 or drop him a line at [email protected] with your name and number to book a test sail

Published in SB20
25th September 2010

Big FF Turnout in Carlingford

Strong tides, light winds and a fleet of 34 boats produced an end of season finale for the Flying fifteen class on Carlingford Lough this afternoon.

The fleet drawn from Strangford Lough, Carrickfergus, Dunmore East, Dun Laoghaire as well as the host port almost was double the size of July's National championship fleet at Carrickfergus.

But for all the new faces there were familiar names at the top. National Champions Darren Martin and Simon Murray have built a commanding lead after scoring 2,1,1 in northetly winds shifting up to 30 degrees. There is a fight for second overall but Dun Laoghaire's John Lavery and David O'Brien are detainly in with a chance counting 1,10 and 2. Brian McKee and Steven Martin are also in the frame.

Published in Flying Fifteen
Page 42 of 46

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