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#Rower of the Month: Philip Doyle of Queen’s University is the Afloat Rower of the Month for February. The big medical student was the fastest single sculler at the Lagan Scullers’ Head of the River. He covered the course in under 12 minutes and had just over 17 seconds to spare over Portadown’s Sam McKeown.

Rower of the Month awards: The judging panel is made up of Liam Gorman, rowing correspondent of The Irish Times, and David O'Brien, editor of Afloat magazine. Monthly awards for achievements during the year will appear on afloat.ie and the overall national award will be presented to the person or crew who, in the judges' opinion, achieved the most notable results in, or made the most significant contribution to rowing during 2016. Keep a monthly eye on progress and watch our 2016 champions list grow.

Published in Rower of Month

Liam Shanahan was named the 2015 Afloat Irish Sailor of the Year at the Irish Sailing Awards in Dublin. Drawn from a star-studded shortlist, which included Volvo Ocean race winner Justin Slattery; round-Ireland record-setting Sidney Gavignet; and 11-time Paralympian John Twomey amongst others, Shanahan had a remarkable year, including victory in the Dun Laoghaire to Dingle race in June on his boat Ruth.

Kilkenny’s Doug Elmes and Malahide’s Colin O’Sullivan jointly took home the Irish Sailing Association (ISA) Youth Sailor of the Year award. The Howth Yacht Club sailors were hotly tipped following their recent Bronze medal success at the 2015 Youth World Championships in Malaysia, where they took Ireland’s first doublehanded youth worlds medal in 19 years. The shortlist for this tightly contested award included Tipperary’s Aisling Keller; Howth’s Aoife Hopkins and Ewan McMahon; and Waterford’s Geoff Power.

The Mitsubishi Motors Sailing Club of the Year award was presented to the Royal Irish Yacht Club in honour of their success at local, national and international level. The award also takes into account satisfaction of club members; the club's impact in sailing development and training; the relationship with the local community, and relevant governmental and sporting bodies, both at local and national level.

Mullingar Sailing Club took home the ISA Training Centre of the Year award, having been nominated as winners of the western-region Training Centre of the Year. Dun Laoghaire’s Royal Irish Yacht Club (eastern region winners), and Limerick’s Foynes Yacht Club (southern region winners) were also shortlisted.

Published in Sailor of the Year

The Irish Sailing Association Annual Awards ceremony undoubtedly conveyed three clearcut messages. The first is that, in global sailing terms, we’re a wet and breezy little island which nevertheless punches way above our weight. The second is that we live comfortably with a long and very distinguished history of recreational sailing which puts most other nations in the shade. And the third is that Ireland is definitely not the greatest place in the world to be a professional sailor. W M Nixon takes a look back at Thursday’s annual prizefest.

Those unfamiliar with the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland might think it odd that, in just two short years, its splendid College Hall, at the very epicentre of Dublin on Stephens Green, has come to be seen as the most natural focal point for the annual honouring of our top sailors and clubs.

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The College Hall in the RCSI provides an ideal setting for the annual gathering for Irish sailing’s national awards.

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Sailors talking about sailing. The Awards Ceremony provides a cherished opportunity for sailors from every discipline to shoot the breeze together.

Declan magee ciara dowling4RCSI President Declan Magee – a sailing man – with Events Organiser Ciara Dowling, who kept the show on the road

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Dragons Den star Bobby Kerr – a sailing man himself – was the lively Master of Ceremonies

But in terms of being a setting which lends itself very positively to such a gathering, College Hall is right on target. It’s a splendid room which is confident with itself without being over the top. It comfortably accommodates the crowd of between 180 and 200 who have come from all over Ireland to celebrate what’s best in our sailing. And as if that weren’t enough, the RCSI has remarkable links with sailing going back more than a hundred years.

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John Treacy, CEO of the Sports Council, with Liam Shanahan and ISA President David Lovegrove

So after last year’s first use of the venue, which stemmed from a typically far-sighted suggestion by ISA Board Member Brian Craig, people were keen to go back. And it wasn’t because no-one could think of anywhere better. On the contrary, it was because we’d found that the College of Surgeons is one of those wonderful buildings which make you feel better just from being in it. So in the early days of Spring when we wonder if summer is really going to come at all, a bit of a party in the College of Surgeons is just what the doctor ordered. And as for those doctors and surgeons from the RCSI going sailing, we’ll return to that at the end of this piece. But what of the event itself?

Well, with the Afloat.ie Sailor of the Year award going to a determinedly Corinthian skipper who cheerfully admitted that there’s any amount of professional sailors out there who could probably beat the pants off him, but nevertheless his core interest is offshore racing with family and friends, and if they win within those self-imposed limitations, then so much the better…..There it was, the real voice of Irish sailing, and no mistake.

is7The youngest award winner was Topper champion Geoff Power of Waterford Harbour SC at Dunmore East

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Pierce Purcell of Galway Bay SC with the RIYC’s Michael Boyd, Commodore of the Royal Ocean Racing Club

But what about the clubs through which we go sailing? How can they carry such a wealth of history, and yet be of any contemporary relevance? Here again, the evidence speaks for itself. The new Mitsubishi Motors Sailing Club of the Year has a wonderful history going back to 1831, yet in terms of sailing achievement and voluntary input into the local, regional and national organisation of sailing, it is making a fantastic contribution. And as for its relevance to sailing in the future, independently of the Club of the Year adjudication taking place, this same club was comfortably on its way to being the top ISA Training Establishment in its region, and on the shortlist for the national title too.

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Olympian and rising stars – James Espey, Aoife Hopkins and Saskia Tidey

If that’s not an illustration of the way that Irish sailing honours its past while living in the present and looking to the future, then I don’t know what it is. But what’s this third point about Ireland being a cold place for professional sailing? Here again, the assembly in the RCSI was very representative of our Irish sailing population. For sure, there are some very distinguished Irish professional sailors, and there are certainly Irish owners who are prepared to pay the top talents to sail with them. But there’s something about the Irish sailing scene which is inimical to such a setup at home. By all means do it where the weather’s usually benign, and there’s lots of money floating around. But in the Irish climate you sometimes have to be so keen to go sailing despite hostile weather that you just have to rely on nutty amateur crew - the professionals know there’s much better and more reliable pickings elsewhere.

Thus we’ve come to the ironic situation that our top home-based professional sailors are actually our Olympic hopefuls. It’s extraordinary when you think that the modern Olympics were “re-founded” in 1896 in order to celebrate amateur sport, yet now in Ireland just about the only home-based sailors who can be said to be professional are the Olympic aspirants. And if they haven’t accepted that they need a professional approach, then they’re not really at the races at all.

Thus although the friendly Olympian presence of Annalise Murphy, James Espey and Saskia Tidey was much to be welcomed in the very representative throng, generally anyone who was there with any sort of a professional interest in sailing had it as part of a larger business in which actually going sailing is only a small part of the total setup.

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Paralympic sailors Ian Costello and John Twomey

Admittedly we did have one Olympian who received an award, John Twomey who took the title in December for his qualification for the Paralympics in September 2016. And he came with added laurels, as on the very day of the ceremony, it had been announced that he and his crew of Ian Costello and Austin O’Carroll had moved up to fifth in the World Rankings. But if you suggested to John Twomey – headed for his 11th Olympiad – that he’s a professional sailor, he’d be convulsed in mirth. Real life is related to an accountancy practice in Kinsale.

So the only other monthly awardee who could remotely be said to be a professional sailor was August winner Ronan O Siochru. who skippered the winning Irish Offshore Sailing boat Desert Star to victory in the 33-strong Sailing Schools Division in the Rolex Fastnet Race 2015. But he’s very definitely running a business - and a very demanding one at that – in which going sailing is only part of it.

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Ronan O Siochru with the President

Thus what Thursday’s ceremony was all about was voluntarism and amateur sport, and in case anybody missed the point, it was supposed to be a bit of fun. In this spirit, the greatest trophy in Irish sailing, the might salver for the Helmsman’s Championship, was given an outing. The All Ireland Helmsman’s Championship being an amateurs-only affair, as it is held over an October weekend, inevitably by the time its award ceremony for the salver is shaping up it’s well into Sunday evening. It’s getting dark, and everyone’s tired and wants to go home. So inevitably the handing-over of the historic trophy is a downbeat and somewhat rushed affair.

But as the ISA Annual Awards ceremony is all about handing over prizes with as much ceremony as possible, it was arranged for the salver – which had been hurriedly handed over to successful defender Anthony O’Leary in Dun Laoghaire back in October – to be smuggled out of the O’Leary household down in Crosshaven, secretly taken to Dublin, hidden away in the College of Surgeons, and then formally presented as a surprise extra to the great man after he’d received his Sailor of the Month award for April. He blushed.

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Got him! Sailor of the Year 2014 Anthony O’Leary unavoidably missed last year’s awards ceremony, and then in 2015, although though he was Sailor of the Month for April, there were very few people around in October when he successfully defended the Helmsmans Championship Salver. So it was taken secretly to this week’s ceremony, where more than 180 people cheered him to the rafters.

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ISA Youth Champions 2015 are Colin O’Sullivan and Doug Elmes, Bronze Medallists in the 420 Worlds.

Before all this, we’d been setting the scene with the ISA Youth Sailors of the Year, who were 420 Worlds Bronze Medallists Douglas Elmes and Colin O’Sullivan, and the ISA Training Centre of the Year, which was Mullingar Sailing Club from Westmeath which headed the Western Region, and overall came in ahead of Foynes YC from the Southern Region and the Royal Irish YC from the Eastern Region.

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Katie Johnston of Mullingar Sailing Club with David Lovegrove when MSC was announced as ISA Training Centre 2015.

James Horan Billy  Riordan
The new Mitsubishi Motors Sailing Club of the Year is the Royal Irish YC – Commodore James Horan with Billy Riordan of Mitsubishi Motors and David Lovegrove.

But for the RIYC Commodore James Horan, the good news was only beginning, as his club was then announced as the new Mitsubishi Motors Sailing Club of the Year for a host of excellent reasons. We’ll list them in more detail here on Afloat.ie in due course when the traditional handing-over ceremony for the old ship’s wheel trophy is held in the RIYC clubhouse later in the Spring. But meanwhile on Thursday we saw ample reason for it, as two of the Sailor of the Month awards went to very active RIYC members, George Sisk and Tim Goodbody.

George Sisk
July Sailor of the Month George Sisk with the ISA President

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Dun Laoghaire Regatta Week 2015 Chairman, Fastnet Race 1987 overall winner, and multiple champion Tim Goodbody was Sailor of the Month in November

Fergus Ogden
Youngest cruising award winner was Fergus Ogden, who in June and July sailed round Ireland with his brother in an open Drascombe Lugger.

Then came the Sailor of the Year announcement. Anyone who was following the voting in the Afloat.ie poll will know it was running very close. But as the poll results are only a quarter of the adjudication process, it was just a couple of days ahead of the awards ceremony when the judges finally made their decision. They came down in favour of Liam Shanahan both for his wonderful and very sporting victory in the Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Race with his family’s J/109 Ruth, and his subsequent success in retaining the Irish Sea Annual Championship title.

His modest acceptance speech was, in effect, a manifesto on behalf of all Irish amateur sailors, and particularly family sailors. The Shanahans are one remarkable sailing tribe right through three generations. And as for that win in the Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Race – well, it was beautiful sailing. Some sailing races are won by brutal slugging. Some are won by sheer cunning. Some inshore races are even won by dirty sailing, and it’s within the rules even if it does the image of our sport no good at all. But some race wins are simply beautiful sailing. And Ruth’s success in Dingle was definitely in that category.

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After receiving his award, Liam Shanahan briefly but eloquently outlines his philosophy of sailing

So the ceremony on Thursday concluded with this celebration of the best in Irish sailing, and it chimed well with the mood of the moment and the location, as the current President of the RCSI is Declan Magee who sails from Dun Laoghaire, and he was most welcome at the party and naturally thanked for the use of the hall……

Then as we exited the College Hall, the first doorway we passed was the Sir Thomas Myles Room. He was RCSI President 1900-1902, a wonderful surgeon and a man of prodigious energy who boxed to championship level, and adored sailing. A Home Ruler of Limerick origins. he made his auxiliary ketch Chotah available to take the guns off Conor O’Brien’s Kelpie during the Asgard gun-running of 1914, and landed them in Kilcoole in County Wicklow. And though he was immediately made a Colonel and head of British army surgical services in Ireland on the outbreak of the Great War of 1914-18, he also saw to it that hidden rooms in the major Dublin hospitals under his control were available to treat wounded rebels, indeed anyone who was wounded, during the Rising of 1916.

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Builders of the future – the team from Mullingar Sailing Club, ISA Training centre 2015

More recently, a leading sailing figure with links to sailing is Michael O’Rahilly who, when he became a student at RCSI at the end of the 2950s, found that the RCSI Sailing Club consisted of just one neglected Firefly dinghy. By the time he graduated in 1963, he was Club Captain, RCSISC had three Fireflies in top racing condition, and they were the Irish university champions.

Subsequently he went in to play a leading role in Dublin Bay SC, and was the Commodore for the DBSC Centenary in 1984. He follows in a notable RCSI tradition of sailing and working voluntarily for our sport, as an earlier top sailor in the college had been Jimmy Mooney who played a key role in the development of Irish dinghy sailing, and then went on to be our top Dragon sailor for many years, winning the Edinburgh Cup and representing Ireland in the Olympics.

Before Jimmy Mooney another noted character in the RCSI sailing scene was Rory O’Hanlon, who became a noted figure in offshore racing – he won a cup in the 1971 Fastnet Race – and was further renowned for his long distance cruising exploits.

He was noted as a kindly mentor to young cruising hopefuls, gently giving encouragement which could make all the difference to a nervous skipper. One such beginner, who later went on to great achievements, nervously went to Rory O’Hanlon to ask how best he should approach his first major voyage, north towards the Arctic in a little 26-footer.

“Sure, you just keep on sailing, and you’ll get there” said Rory. “Just keep on sailing, that’s all there is to it”. Just keep on sailing. It’s sensible advice. It resonated round College Hall in the RCSI on Thursday afternoon. We should all heed it.

Rory OHanlon20
“Just keep on sailing, and you’ll get there”. The late Rory O’Hanlon at the helm of his S & S 43 Clarion with which he won the Philip Whitehead Cup in the 1971 Fastnet Race, and also cruised on long voyages. While a student at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, he was active in the sailing club.

See also: Sailing Awards slideshow

Published in W M Nixon

This afternoon marks two decades since Afloat Magazine inaugurated the Sailor of the Month awards, with their peak achievement of the Sailor of the Year accolade – the latest of which will be presented at the Irish Sailing Association (ISA) Awards Ceremony in Dublin's Royal College of Surgeons at 2pm.

Created in 1996 – with the first prize going to dinghy sailor Mark Lyttle, a race winner at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics – the Sailor of the Year award represents all that is praiseworthy, innovative and groundbreaking in the Irish sailing scene.

The national award is especially designed to salute the achievements of Ireland's sailing elite, whether amateur or professional. After two decades, the awards has developed into a premier awards ceremony for water sports.

In the last 20 years the scheme has honoured over 320 sports sailors of every kind, of many ages, and from all parts of Ireland – occasionally adding special monthly awards for cruising, or international achievement, to name a few.

In 2016, as in previous years, the overall national award will be presented to one of the monthly winners from 2015 who, in the judges' opinion, achieved the most notable results in – or made the most significant contribution to – Irish sailing during the year.

And while the judges retain their right to make the ultimate decision, once again the boating public and maritime community can have their say to help guide the panel in making their choice for who should be crowned Ireland's Sailor of the Year for 2015 via an online poll that closed on Monday 1 February.

The Irish Sailing Association hosted ceremony starts at 1pm and also includes awards for: club, youth sailor and sailing school of the year.

The Sailor of the Year nominees:

January - Conor Clarke

Conor Clarke made a dream debut at the Key West Regatta with his Melges 24 Embarr, employing some dab Olympic-calibre hands – including Maurice 'Prof' O'Donnell – to claim overall victory with a race in hand.

February - Neil Hegarty

Cork's Neil Hegarty was awarded the Irish Cruising Club’s historic Faulkner Cup for his epic transatlantic cruise from Portugal to the Caribbean and the Eastern US – one he meticulously logged along the way.

March - Fionn Lyden

Fionn Lyden played a stellar role in bringing University College Cork’s First Team to overall victory in the Intervarsity Team Nationals at Schull – and was recognised as First Year Sailor of the Year for his efforts.

April - Anthony O'Leary

Our Sailor of the Year for 2014, Anthony O’Leary book-ended April with a runaway overall victory in the RORC Easter Challenge in the Solent and a convincing win in the Brooks Macdonald Warsash Spring Championship.

May - Rob McConnell

One of Waterford Harbour's most popular and enthusiastic skippers, Rob McConnell emerged as overall winner of the Silvers Scottish Series – setting some unfinished business after his second-place finish in 2014.

May (International) - Sidney Gavignet

It was forth time a charm for Sidney Gavignet when he helmed the Musandam-Oman MOD 70 trimaran like a rocked around Ireland to smash Steve Fossett's 1993 record by almost four hours.

June - Liam Shanahan

The comprehensive overall victory in the 280-mile Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Race by Liam Shanahan in his family’s J/109 Ruth was the highlight of a busy June in Irish sailing.

June International - Justin Slattery

In the Volvo Ocean Race, experience and exceptional sailing talent is at a premium – and Ireland’s Justin Slattery, a key crew member on the race winning Abu Dhabi boat, has both in abundance.

July Racing - George Sisk

'Gallant old codgers' they may be, but George Sisk and crew on WOW, his Farr 42, can still cut the mustard, as shown by their winning three demanding offshore races at the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta to claim the Top Boat title.

July Cruising - Nathaniel & Fergus Ogden

Adverse conditions weren't enough to prevent the Ogden brothers competing their exceptional eight-week circumnavigation of Ireland in their 18ft Drascombe Lugger, Lughnasa, to raise funds for the RNLI.

August Offshore - Ronan O'Siochru

Not only skippering Desert Star to the Roger Justice Trophy in the Rolex Fastnet Race, but also finishing as the second best Irish boat in the whole fleet, Ronan O Siochru of the Irish Offshore Sailing school made dreams come true in August.

August Inshore - Shane McCarthy & Andy Thompson

Shane McCarthy and Andy Thompson flew the flag for both the GP14 dinghy in Ireland and their home club of Greystones SC at the British Nationals, following a skill-sharpening Irish season with a big title win before the final race.

August International - Dave Cullen

Howth's Dave Cullen did Irish sailing proud when he took his Checkmate XV to the Half Ton Classics Cup in Nieuwpoort, Belgium last August, winning both the admiration of his international peers – and the championship with a race to spare.

September - David Gorman & Chris Doorly

Dave Gorman and Chris Doorly's sporting performance in the Mitsubishi Motors Flying Fifteen Nationals – after taking the title in the penultimate race – was all it took to garner them September's award.

October - Dermot & Paddy Cronin

Sailing their keenly campaigned First 40.7 Encore, Malahide father-and-son crew Dermot and Paddy Cronin celebrated a clearcut win by almost two hours in the IRC Double-Handed Division of the Rolex Middle Sea Race.

November - Tim Goodbody

Tim Goodbody's enormous contributions to Irish and international sailing span many decades as an active participant (particularly as of late in the Sigma 33), race organiser and administrator of leading sailing bodies.

December - John Twomey

Sonar sailor – and former Kindle Yacht Club commodore – John Twomey qualified for an incredible 11th Paralympic Games after his and his crew's extraordinary performance at the Melbourne trials in December.

Read each sailor of the month's full citation here and WM Nixon's Who will win sailor of the year 2015 blog here

Published in Sailor of the Month

#sailoroftheyear – The Afloat.ie Irish Sailor of the Year 2015 award will be announced at the Sailing Awards celebration in Dublin on the afternoon of Thursday, February 4th at a ceremony which will also see each Sailor of the Month individually honoured, the ISA Youth Sailor of the Year awarded, the ISA Training Centre of the Year honoured, and the ISA/Mitsubishi Motors Sailing Club of the Year announced.

As in previous years, the boating public and maritime community can have their say to help guide judges in deciding who should be crowned Ireland's Sailor of the Year for 2015 by using our online poll. The judges welcome the traditional huge level of public interest in helping them make their decision, but firmly retain their right to make the ultimate decision for the final choice while taking voting trends into account. 

SOM 2015 1

Please note: One vote per person. Your vote DOES NOT necessarily determine the overall winner.

The national award is especially designed to salute the achievements of Ireland's sailing's elite. After two decades the awards has developed in to a premier awards ceremony for water sports.

As in previous years, the overall national award will be presented to the person who, in the judges' opinion, achieved the most notable results in, or made the most significant contribution to, Irish sailing during 2015.

By supporting your favourite nominee you are creating additional awareness of their nomination and highlighting their success.

Voting online is open to public view from today until Monday, February 1.

CLICK HERE TO READ EACH ACHIEVEMENT FROM 2015 AND VOTE FOR YOUR SAILOR ON THE AFLOAT.ie HOME PAGE in the right hand column.

Created in 1996, the Afloat Sailor of the Year Awards represent all that is praiseworthy, innovative and groundbreaking in the Irish sailing scene.

Since it began 20 years ago the awards have recognised over 320 monthly award winners in the pages of Ireland's sailing magazine Afloat and these have been made to both amateur and professional sailors. The first ever sailor of the year was Dinghy sailor Mark Lyttle, a race winner at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.

The judges decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.

Published in Sailor of the Year

The 2016 Irish Sailing Annual published this week at €6.50 includes a sailing season review, a preview of an action packed 2016 including an ISA calendar of events plus a line up of Afloat's Sailors of the Year. Check out the annual contents below. 

The annual is on sale now in all good newsagents nationwide or by ten issue subscription posted through your letterbox. Don't miss it!

Irish Sailing Annual 2016

Irish Sailing Association Foreword 2016 will be a pivotal year for sailing's national governing body

News Mixed sportsboats for DBSC; Cork to host IRC Euros 2016 and ICRA Nationals 2017; Ireland's Paralympians are in; Gale wrecks NYC launch; Toxic Rio water; Mermaid revival planned; CH Marine's Laser guided; Award for Ilen doc; Sutton Dinghy Club settles with former Instructor over finger incident; Sligo Heli rescue record plus lots more maritime news from around the coast

Marine Industry news O'Sullivan's Marine turns the tide

2016 Sailing Preview Three, Two, One... 2016 Here We Come!

2015 Sailing Review Bad weather was good for Irish sailing by WM Nixon

Afloat's class of 2015 Reviewing Ireland's sailors of the month for 2015

Racing round up Howth Yacht Club's Autumn league, Royal Cork's October series plus a look at winter racing around the country

DBSC 2015 Season An array of ancient yachting silverware was awarded across DBSC's 22 classes at its 131st prizegiving in Dun Laoghaire in November

Brokerage The latest boats and equipment in Ireland’s marine marketplace

Classifieds A selection of Afloat.ie's online classified adverts

Dubarry Nautical Crossword A nautical crossword with a great boating prize of Dubarry deck shoes

Soundings Huff's return perfectly timed

Published in Boat Sales

#Rowers of the Month: The Afloat Rowers of the Month for September are the Ireland men’s and women’s lightweight double sculls (Paul and Gary O’Donovan; Sinéad Jennings and Claire Lambe) which qualified their boats for the Olympic Games. Both crews faced challenges in their quest to be in the top 11 at the World Championships in Aiguebelette; both overcame them.

 Jennings, a mother of three young children and a doctor, returned to the sport last year targeting a place in Rio. She broke a rib early this year. For another athlete this might have meant abandoning her punishing schedule. Jennings (then 38) redoubled her efforts. She excelled on the Wattbike at the Irish Indoor Championships and competed at the European Championships in a lightweight single. She came through a two-race trial to qualify for the lightweight double. Lambe and Jennings teamed up at the World Cup in Lucerne and finished seventh. It was a promising result, but this was their first time competing together. In the semi-final at the World Championships, they were outsprinted to the line by Canada, and missed out on an A Final spot. For the B Final, the tactics were to be in the leading group until the end. They did it. Their third place secured the precious slot in Rio for the Ireland women’s lightweight double.

 Paul and Gary O’Donovan produced one of the greatest performances in Irish rowing by taking third place in their quarter final in Aiguebelette. With just a season of competition as a crew behind them, Gary (22) and Paul (21) were able to find a sprint finish which ousted New Zealand from a chance of qualifying their boat. In the B Final, the O’Donovan brothers stayed with the leaders until the finishing sprint, where they showed tremendous grit to take fifth (11th overall), .28 of a second ahead of Greece.

 Well done to all the Ireland team and to the two crews which are the Afloat Rowers of the Month.

Rower of the Month awards: The judging panel is made up of Liam Gorman, rowing correspondent of The Irish Times and David O'Brien, Editor of Afloat magazine. Monthly awards for achievements during the year will appear on afloat.ie and the overall national award will be presented to the person or crew who, in the judges' opinion, achieved the most notable results in, or made the most significant contribution to rowing during 2015. Keep a monthly eye on progress and watch our 2015 champions list grow.

Published in Rower of Month

Afloat.ie, the Irish sailing, boating and maritime website, has reached a high water mark this summer, informing and entertaining a larger boating audience than ever before.

Based on analytics, Afloat.ie readership was up ten per cent on the same period last year with more than 225,000 unique visitors and 629,216 page views to the dedicated Irish boating magazine website.

The Summer figures are for the period May 10 to August 10 2015.

Afloat's popular online format has a strong returning readership with around 48% of daily visits being return visitors. In fact, over the peak sailing months in 2015 so far Afloat surpassed its own records for unique (direct) visitors with an average of 52,024 unique visitors a month.

Afloat.ie has been working hard to achieve top Google Search rankings and together with a tightly bound community of readers, Afloat.ie's combination of opinion, hard news and features puts it at the very heart of the national conversation on sailing, boating and maritime affairs.

It's a satisfying result to date because the aim has always been to provide Irish sailing and boating clubs, classes and the wider maritime community with comprehensive and reliable information in a dynamic independent site to promote our great sport to the wide audience only the internet provides.

To this end, Afloat.ie has launched a new mobile responsive website over the weekend with a new boats for sale section and a community marketplace section along with a host of new site features.

Success this far would not have been possible without our full–time marine journalist, our advertisers, supporters and web developers who are dedicated to promoting Irish sailing and boating. We salute our sponsor Allianz, the Irish Sailing Association and the Irish Marine Federation for their commitment.

With many thanks to all our readers and advertisers for your continued interest in Afloat.ie

The Afloat team

Published in News Update
Tagged under

#afloatboatsforsale – As the Euro continues its dip, UK boat buyers can eye the Irish boat market as if it's staging a giant 15 percent off sale!

There's bargains for our neighbours and Afloat's bustling boats for sale with 400 boats for sale shows the very latest in this value, right at the start of the 2015 boating season!

With the European economy slogging along at a near standstill, the euro has slid to a nine year low offering boat bargains to UK consumers and anyone else paying in sterling.

The outlook for the euro against the pound sterling has improved slightly but at GBP/EUR 1.3888 it's hard to see when this might change. 

In the meantime, potential UK buyers might want be tempted by these latest boat bargains. For example a Cork harbour based motor–sailer with a ketch rig at €56,000 has just come on the popular sailing cruisers section of Afloat boats for sale. The Rogger 36 is one of the last boats out of Stargate Marine and has been in present ownership since 1988.  A 1991 Cornish Shrimper, a lifting keel gaff rigged sail boat, based in Waterford has also just been added at €14,000. A Dundalk based 1989 Dufour 39, a modern classic from the drawing board of German Frers, is on the market for €47,500. Click for 400 more boats for sale in Ireland.

 

Published in Boat Sales

#springafloat – Spring Afloat hits the newsstands with all the latest news and views on the Irish sailing and boating scene. To celebrate the arrival of the Tall Ships to Belfast in July, the German sailing ship Alexander von Humboldt graces Afloat's front cover as plans for a new Irish Tall Ship gather pace. There's pages of news with updates on; the ISA's new Olympic fund; Lifejacket safety issues; Old Gaffers' cruise; Belfast launches Tall Ships; National sailing league, anyone?; Anthony O'Leary & Commodore's Cup Team take 'Sailor of the Year' accolade; Ilen uniting community; Council wants DL control; New Baltimore pontoon; Greystones club houses; Stena leaves Dun Laoghaire and lots lots more

Scroll down for more details of the content inside this issue. Buy your copy now!

Maritime web awards

Who's making waves online?

Visit Derry

Sail Ireland's North West and discover Donegal's rugged coastline

A Tall Ship for Ireland

The Tall Ships return to Ireland in style this summer with a major fleet assembly in Belfast.

Racing Round–up Autumn league

A brand new dinghy week, a decision to modernise the Squib, UCC success in Schull plus moves to re–ignite dinghy sailing on the capital's waters

Astrid - The Mayday Call

Sailor John Leahy tells how he alerted the rescue services

Inland Waters 

Ulster canal restoration underway

Brokerage

The latest boats and equipment in Ireland's marine marketplace

Classifieds

A selection of Afloat.ie's online classified adverts

Dubarry Nautical Crossword

A nautical crossword with a great boating prize of Dubarry deck shoes

Soundings

An assembly worthy of Rembrandt at the Royal College of Surgeons

Published in News Update
Page 2 of 6

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