Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Displaying items by tag: IRC

104 boats are lining up for the opening race of the RORC domestic offshore racing season, the Cervantes Trophy. Organised by RORC in association with the Société des Régates du Havre and the Royal Yacht Squadron, the Cervantes Trophy race kicks off on Saturday 4th May from the RYS line taking the fleet across the channel to finish in Le Havre.

The weather conditions leading up to the race look uncertain with a complex pressure system over northern Europe which will make it a good test for the international fleet from Belgium, Britain, France, The Netherlands and Russia.

In IRC One Piet Vroon's Dutch Ker 46, Tonnerre de Breskens, is back racing and will relish the opportunity of taking on Laurent Gouy's French Ker 39, Inis Mor, the reigning Season's Points Champion. Inis Mor beat Tonnerre de Breskens in a photo–finish last season and the Tonnerre crew will want to reverse the order this year. Two Ker 40s will also be racing in IRC One: Andrew Pearce's Magnum III and Edward Broadway's Hooligan VII, both experienced offshore racers with an eye on the overall prize.

The Army Sailing Association's brand new J/111, British Soldier, is the scratch boat in IRC Two. Reigning IRC Two champion, Puma Logic sailed by race charter company Sailing Logic, returns to defend their title and last year's runner up, La Réponse skippered by RORC Admiral Andrew McIrvine, will renew the battle they enjoyed last season.

IRC Three has a fleet of 31 yachts ranging from Ben Morris' vintage Swan 55 Yawl, Lulotte, to Noel Racine's proven French pocket-rocket, JPK10.10, Foggy Dew. Last year's IRC Three winner and RORC Yacht of the Year, Diablo-J skippered by Nick Martin, drops a division to race in IRC Four.

IRC Four is the biggest class with 37 entries including the IRC Four 2012 champion, Harry Heijst's S&S 41, Winsome. Harry Heijst has done a big re-fit to his classic yacht and is looking to repeat his class win and determined to win the overall season's points championship.

Four Class40s will be racing under class rules; Al Bucq, Concise 2, Fortissimo and Swish will be using the race as a warm up for their Rolex Fastnet Race campaigns.

Two handed sailing continues to grow with 18 yachts racing, confirming the attractiveness of this discipline. Diablo-J will be defending the IRC Two-Handed title won last year, as Nick Martin explains:

"Here we go again!" smiled Nick. "It's seven months since the last race of the 2012 season, which saw Diablo-J clinch the Two-Handed and IRC Three titles, 3rd in IRC overall and the coveted RORC 'Yacht of the Year'. It's all to play for again, with a clean slate and no advantage! Every race has to be fought hard and won. We've done a lot of pre-season preparation; replacing, fixing, upgrading and ensuring everything works as it should for performance and safety. And for me, a particular feature for the season - ensuring I have a dependable co-skipper for the full season (unlike last year with 5 different guys!). Andy Boyle from Dublin, Ireland, with whom I won the Two-Handed and Team Trophy in the 2012 Round Ireland Race, is fully signed up and we're excited about the season ahead."

A warm welcome is ensured for all competitors when they arrive at Le Havre and for those interested in racing back to Cowes there is the Trophée Guillaume Le Conquérant race organised by the Société des Régates du Havre in association with RORC and the Island Sailing Club, Cowes, starting on Sunday 5th May from Le Havre.

For more information visit the RORC website:

Published in RORC
Tagged under

#Caribbean - The Christmas Caribbean Rally is offering £100 (€116) off the entry fee for the first Irish yacht to sign up for this year's event.

According to organisers Sailing Rallies, entries from England, the Netherlands, Spain and as far afield as Australia have already signed up for the next Caribbean cruising event, which departs from Lanzarote headed for Antigua on 16 December.

Taking place over the Christmas holiday period at a time when the trade winds should be fully established and the risk of hurricanes is at its lowest, the rally is intended to be a flexible, relaxing and enjoyable affair for skippers and crews alike.

Entry sizes are equally flexible, with the smallest entrant so far at 21 feet (6.5m) ranging up to 63ft (19.5m).

For those who prefer a more competitive event, organisers are working in conjunction with the Royal Southampton Yacht Club to run a full IRC racing division for the rally.

More information on the Christmas Caribbean Rally is available from the Sailing Rallies website HERE.

Published in Cruising

#rorc – The RORC Rating Office acting as the GBR IRC Rule Authority will be introducing a new initiative in GBR in 2013. Owners who only enter one or two IRC races a year will be able to apply for an IRC Limited Validity (LV) TCC at a reduced price.

At the end of 2011 the Rating Office undertook an online survey primarily aimed at owners and clubs that do not currently use IRC. One finding of the survey was that a potentially considerable number of boats do only a single event each year and are deterred by applying for an IRC certificate because of the cost. Mike Urwin, RORC Technical Director, explains the idea behind the initiative:

"The Limited Validity TCC is aimed at encouraging these boats to try IRC with the hope that they will then upgrade to a full certificate in the future. It will be offered on a trial basis in GBR only for 2013, with a view to extending it to other IRC countries if the trial is successful. It will be a loss leader for the Rating Office since producing an LV TCC will involve the same amount as work as a standard certificate, but this is all about encouraging people into IRC racing".

The LV TCC is not available to boats that hold a current valid certificate, and is defined as "an IRC TCC issued by the IRC Rating Authority for use by a boat for a race or regatta (or part of) comprising races run over not more than 9 consecutive days including any lay days". Boats will be limited to holding two separate LV TCCs per year. The TCC will be compatible with standard IRC ratings so that Clubs can incorporate boats into their IRC classes with no changes other than some extra words in the Notice of Race. However, no certificate will be issued and the boat will not appear on the online IRC listings; clubs and events that have been approved to accept LV TCCs will receive a list of the ratings specific to their event. Clubs are encouraged to consider LVs for their main events and contact the Rating Office in good time if they want to participate.

The cost of an LV TCC in 2013 will be £1.50 per metre LH plus £5.00 per day of validity. An example cost comparison for a 10 metre boat entering a single 4-day event would be: Standard IRC certificate £101.50 (online fee), LV TCC £35.00. In addition, if an owner subsequently wishes to upgrade to a full IRC certificate a discount will be applied to the application fee.

Published in RORC
Tagged under

#regattas – After a week of rain and gales there was a full programme of yachting round the coast at the weekend with one of the biggest fleets racing for RAYC Bloomsday regatta honours at the National Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire. From the same club the clinker Waterwags celebrated 125 years of racing on Dublin Bay with a 20–boat fleet and a Victorian high tea yesterday afternoon. There were celebrations too further up the east coast for K. Halliwell's 'She of the North' who won the fiftieth round Ailsa Craig race from the Royal Ulster Yacht Club.

Antrim sailor Chris Penney won the Laser Leinsters at Howth and in a possible sign of good things to come ISAF Youth Rep Finn Lynch of the National YC won the radial division. The Ruffian 23s raced for national honours on Dublin Bay and 20 Fireballs turned up to race for Ulster honours at East Down Yacht Club.

In Cowes, Royal Cork's Anthony O'Leary, who finished second last weekend in the 1720 Nationals on home waters, was second overall again yesterday in IRC one class at a windy British National Cruiser Championships. Great onboard action video from Cowes here.

And finally, if you are on the south coast this week and see a small half decked Mermaid dinghy take the time to say hello. She is currently in Crookhaven, West Cork heading east so expect to see her in Cork harbour this week or next! The clinker built Thumbalina is cruising round the coast from Foynes on the Shannon Estuary to Skerries in North Dublin as part of the eightieth celebrations of the traditional Dublin Bay class.

Published in Racing

#rorc – Strong winds gusting up to 25 knots in the Eastern Solent made for an exhilarating second day of the RORC IRC National Championship. With 25 knots of wind gusting up to a full gale, pulses were racing, the conditions were such that many yachts chose not to hoist spinnakers downwind and storm sails and lifejackets were deployed in the lively conditions.

Mike Bartholomew's King 40, Tokoloshe, corrected out to win today's race in IRC One. Tokoloshe handled the conditions better than most, making a big gain on the first beat by using the lift off the island shore. After a textbook kite hoist, the South African boat handled the feisty conditions with some ease until a vicious gust knocked them into a spin, tearing their spinnaker in half. "Great racing, just fantastic!" exclaimed Mike Bartholomew. "We knew we had done pretty well at the finish but it could have been a really expensive day, as we lost most of the spinnaker over the side. However, to my delight, Eddie Warden Owen and Nick Elliott from the RORC were out following the racing in a RIB, to my surprise they picked it up and returned it to the boat after the finish, which really capped off a fine win."

Piet Vroon's Ker 46, Tonnerre de Breskens, was second today, retaining the lead in the big boat class for the series. As Tonnerre came round the top mark, the Dutch flier hoisted their spinnaker, pulling the trigger downwind at over 20 knots. The sleigh ride did not last too long, after burying the bow Tonnerre went 'down the mine' for a spectacular wipe-out.

François Goubau's First 47.7, Moana, was one of the few yachts to reef their mainsail today and showed impressive upwind performance to take third place in IRC One from Anthony O'Leary's Antix by just 13 seconds.

In IRC Two Sailing Logic's Reflex 38, Visit Malta Puma, corrected out to win today's race and move up to first in class after four races. The sailing school yacht chose not to use a spinnaker and the decision seemed to pay off. "I actually wanted to put the kite up," admitted Visit Malta Puma's Skipper Tim Thubron. "The crew made me change my mind, which was probably a good thing having witnessed some of the big broaches out there today. On the short course we would have not gained significant time on the run with a kite up, I was absolutely delighted with the win today and especially the performance of the crew."

Marc de Saint Denis's MC34, Courrier Vintage, with the highly experienced Géry Trentesaux at the wheel was a rocket ship downwind, scoring a second in the race to move the French team within a point of the class leader. Jim Macgregor's Elan 410, Premier Flair, put in a great performance today, only to be called OCS but at the time of this report is seeking redress. Even so, Premier Flair remains third in class on their strong performances.

In IRC Three David Franks' JPK 1010, Strait Dealer, scored their fourth win in a row but only just. Defending class champion, Mike Bridges' Elan 37, Elaine, was only 10 seconds behind on corrected time, with Peter Morton's Corby 33, Salvo, claiming third today and in class after four races.

"We certainly learnt a lot about the boat today," commented Strait Dealer's skipper, David Franks. "This weekend is the first time we have taken the boat out in big breeze and it has been a real eye-opener. I like to race offshore as well as inshore and out in the ocean you have to be able to race in any conditions, so today was a very valuable lesson."

In IRC Four Grant Gordon's J/97, Fever, won the day and now leads the class from Mike and Jamie Holmes' J/97, Jika Jika. "We had a bad start but the crew did a great job upwind. We led at the top mark and from there we could cover Jika Jika," commented Grant Gordon. "I have to say, it is a shame to be back on the dock, that was some of the best sailing I have done in the boat but on balance it was a good call to get us out there for a race but also to pull as back in early. On the way back to Cowes we saw a couple of gusts close to 40 knots. I thought the race management today was first class."

Tomorrow is the last day of racing at the RORC IRC National Championship and all classes are still wide open. The weather forecast is for a more moderate breeze of between 10-15 knots, which should provide more of a tactical test after a two day masterclass in the black art of heavy weather sailing.

Published in RORC
Tagged under

#rorc – Royal Cork's Anthony O'Leary's Ker 39, Antix is second in class after three races at the IRC British National Championships in a breezy Cowes. Under grey skies with big breeze and frequent rain squalls, the fleet had a harsh introduction to the RORC IRC National Championship yesterday.

"We kept the sails above the boat today and to be honest I was too pre-occupied with that to notice those who didn't manage it. In those conditions, you keep your eyes on the road!" O'Leary said on coming ashore.

Shortly after the first start, the international fleet got a taste of the wicked conditions, as an angry 35-knot gust ripped through the racecourse. Thankfully, it was the biggest blast of the day but the wind rarely dropped below 20 knots and rain peppered the competitors throughout the three races. Spotting the huge gusts and nailing manoeuvres were vital to success. Some passed the test with flying colours, others returned to shore with shredded sails and dented pride.

In IRC One, Round Ireland race defender Piet Vroon's Ker 46, Tonnerre de Breskens started the series with a disappointing tenth, but came back firing on all cylinders to win the next two races and lead class one overnight. After racing, Piet Vroon commented: "It is a simple rule but he who makes the fewest mistakes usually gets the best results. We didn't break anything today, not even a sail batten and that is all down to the crew being careful and handling the boat well. I was especially happy with our results today, as on short courses we do not have a lot of time to make up our time handicap on other boats, it was great effort by the crew today, it really is all down to them."
Jan Persoons sailing Grand Soleil 43, Il Corvo had a consistent day to claim third overall in the big boat class. Mark Devereux's Swan 42, Brevity, started well but the crew will probably remember the day best for their über-Chinese gybe, caught on camera by Paul Wyeth.
It's tight at the top of IRC Two with just one point separating the top four yachts after three races. Jim Macgregor's Elan 410, Premier Flair, was in fine form today and they needed to be - a badly shredded kite threatened to put them out of contention in Race 2 but the team showed great tenacity to claw their way back to claim a second place finish in the race. Jim's daughter, Lucy Macgregor, was calling tactics, grinning from ear to ear and obviously enjoying a break from her build up to representing Great Britain at the upcoming Olympic Games. Past RORC Commodore Andrew McIrvine's First 40, La Réponse, finished the day in fine style taking the gun in Race 3 by a substantial margin to claim second in class. However, La Réponse is tied on points with Marc de Saint Denis & Géry Trentesaux's MC34, Courrier Vintage and Sailing Logic's Reflex 38, Visit Malta Puma.
Today's outstanding performance came from IRC Three. David Franks' JPK1010, Strait Dealer scored three bullets by some margin, exhibiting terrific boat handling, one of the smallest yachts at the regatta was fully under control in the feisty conditions. "I have to say that it was easier in our class to read the shifts because we had two starts in front of us to observe" admitted Strait Dealer's tactician, Graham Sunderland. "We concentrated on tactics upwind today and more on the boat handling downwind, which I think paid off. I was absolutely delighted for David (Franks), his Etchells racing has massively improved his driving skills, and he was top of his game today. Also I would like to add that the RORC race management team did a great job snapping off three races today in quick succession."
IRC Four had a different winner in each race today, Grant Gordon's J/97, Fever won the first rubber but rival J/97, Jika Jika, sailed by Mike and Jamie Holmes, fought back to take Race Two. Michael Kershaw's Chimp, was the last boat to finish in Race 3 but on corrected time the vintage Half Tonner enjoyed their first bullet of the regatta. Racing at the RORC IRC National Championship continues tomorrow with three races scheduled. However, it may be too early to put away the wet weather gear - the weather forecast is suggesting fresh to frightening conditions for the second day of the regatta.

Published in RORC
Tagged under

#rorc –Fresh from success at last month's ICRA Nationals at Howth YC both the Irish Class zero and class two champions head for Cowes this weekend for the Royal Ocean Racing Club's (RORC) British IRC Championships writes Louay Habib.

Anthony O'Leary's Zero champion, the Ker 39 Antix and the Class two champion Nigel Bigg's Checkmate IV will be looking for a British title too when well over 400 sailors from all over Europe gather in Cowes this weekend for the annual three day event on tight Solent courses. Close encounters are expected for four classes under tight rating bands.

Since the first edition in 2000, the annual RORC inshore championship has always attracted a highly competitive fleet and this year is no exception.

Also competing in Cowes is Round Ireland champion Piet Vroon from Holland who is heading back to defend his offshore crown in Wicklow in two weeks time.

The sizeable fleet boasts close to 20 yachts that are past or present competitors for the Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup. Winning class at the RORC IRC National Championship is extremely tough and class victors will savour that moment for years to come.

IRC One has produced one of the most impressive fleets for many years. Piet Vroon's Ker 46, Tonnerre de Breskens, should be the fastest boat around the track but there will be four Ker 40s nipping at the Dutch flyer's heels. Nigel Passmore's Apollo will be highly motivated to take a national title back to Plymouth. Whilst Andrew Pearce's Magnum III and Harmen de Graaf's Baraka GP will be racing each other for the first time, prior to representing Benelux and Great Britain in the Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup. However, the depth of talent in this class is quite remarkable, including some notable proven winners: O'Leary's Ker 39, Antix, Michael Bartholomew's King 40, Tokoloshe, Andrew Williams' Mills 39, Dignity, and RORC Commodore, Mike Greville's Ker 39, Erivale III.

"We expect some very challenging racing, which is exactly what is required if we are to continue to improve our performance," commentedMagnum III skipper, Andrew Pearce. "The championship will have some of the best competition from the South Coast and beyond, it will be a thorough test for all of us."

In IRC Two the UNCL President, Marc de Saint Denis, will be racing MC34 Courrier Vintage in good company. No doubt, former RORC Commodore, Andrew McIrvine, will give the Frenchman a warm welcome to Cowes but no quarter once they are out on the racecourse. McIrvine has been in fine form offshore this season but the class has many well-honed adversaries. Kirsty and David Apthorp's J/111 J-Dream came within a whisker of winning Spi Ouest this Easter and Nicolas Gaumont-Prat's First 40.7, Philosophie IV, and Jim Macgregor's Elan 410, Premier Flair, will both be representing Great Britain in next month's Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup. Philosophie IV was runner up in IRC Two last year and will be looking to go one better in 2012.

In IRC Three, Mike Bridges' Elan 37, Elaine, is back to defend their title but the class also boasts two teams representing Britain in the Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup: Peter Morton's Corby 33, Salvo, and the British Keelboat Academy's J/109, Yeoman of Wight, will both be looking to impress. From overseas, Philippe Bourgeois' A35, Dunkerque Plaisance is in fine form, having won their class earlier this month at Normandy Sailing Week and Dutch J/109, Captain Jack, skippered by Round the World racer Bert Visser, is relishing the event. "We cannot get this standard of competition in Holland," admits Visser. "It is well worth the effort to come over for the championship. It is an important event for us and we expect some very good racing."

In IRC Four, Nigel Biggs is a veteran of the championship and will be looking to come out on top with the beautifully prepared vintage Half Tonner, Checkmate XV. The small boat class also has a number of well-sailed modern bowsprit boats. Father and son team, Mike and Jamie Holmes racing J/97 Jika Jika, entered months ago, having identified the championship as a key event of their season.

'It will be a testing event for us," predicted Jamie Holmes. "We are expecting some extremely close racing, I think that key reasons for the popularity of the event are that there is usually a good range of conditions and the races are always well run, which attracts impressive opposition. The IRC National Championship is an excellent event to hone our skills for the J/97 UK Nationals in Guernsey this summer."

Published in RORC

#WIORA– As a flagship event to mark their 50th year of sailing on the Shannon EstuaryFoynes Yacht Club are setting an aggressive target to attract 50 boats to next year’s West of Ireland Offshore Racing Association (WIORA) sailing championships to be held from the 11th to 14th of July. The WIORA poster is below.

Ed Conway and Raymond McGibney are flying the flag for Foynes having being recently re-elected to the WIORA committee for another year.

IRC, ECHO and White Sails classes will be raced and the club says a festival atmosphere ashore will be 'guaranteed with well-priced, quality catering and top class live entertainment' provided at the recently renovated clubhouse. 

All boats entered will be given free and secure berthing.  Free lift-in/lift-out of trailer sailors will also be arranged.  Liam Dineen has been appointed OOD and already over forty boats have registered.

In addition to all Western clubs, Foynes will be canvassing sailors from the active racing fleet on Lough Derg to come by road or river to join in this celebration sailing event, last held in Foynes in 1998. 

While standard “around the cans” windward-leeward courses will be laid for the IRC and Echo fleets, more varied courses for white sails will be set, taking yachts to all parts of the scenic estuary. A special section is currently being added to the club website to cover all aspects of the event.

More on The Estuary here


Published in WIORA

Peadar O'Loughlin's Sigma 33 Reconnaissance was the overall winner of Tralee Bay Sailing Club's race from Fenit to Dingle this October but only after a great comeback in the last two miles of this County Kerry race.

The first boat in was Galileo, with Reconnaissance hot in his tail and Jaguar not far behind either, with Rooster coming in shortly afterwards. Abandon Office, Powder Monkey and Ridire Ban (previous class winner in Dun Laoghaire - Dingle race) retired. On corrected time, first place in IRC went to the Sigma 33
-Reconnaissance, having made a great comeback to steal it from Jaguar in the last two miles.


Lifting the O'Connell Cup, the last feature race of the Tralee Bay Sailing Club season. The Cup was Sponsored by Finbar O'Connell Jewellers, Tralee and was won by Reconnaissance, a Sigma 33, owned by Peadar O'Loughlin and crewed by Brian O'Sullivan, Frances Clifford, Fergus Kelliher, Kieran Kelliher, John O'Mahony and Eoin Nolan.

This was the last feature race in the 2011 Tralee Bay Sailing Club calendar. The October series continues 'til the end of the month, and an End of Season Party will be held on the last weekend of the month, after racing that day.

Published in Racing
The last race in the Royal Cork Timberland League was another excellent night's racing writes our Cork Harbour Correspondent. The weather gods were with us three Thursdays in a row! The breeze was coming from the North 8 to 12 knots. The start was about two hours after high water. The Race Officer Paul O'Shea set an excellent course (No. 65). We had a long beat to No.13 which had us short tacking on a falling tide under Spike Island. We were even debating how we would share the last Mars Bar if the unthinkable happened (low water 22.00). Fortunately no one succumbed to the mud, others would call it good seamanship! After No.13 the rest of the course gave us a chance to brush up on our gybing techniques, we were all much better this week, the lighter breeze may of helped.

To top the evening off, it was nice to see the National 18 crews enjoying themselves outside the Club Bar (after a busy day of racing) while we were motoring up the river!

On the results front:

White Sail IRC Tom McNiece's Sigma 33 "Minx 111" got the number 1 slot last night and also got first in the League.
White Sail Echo Micheal Lynch's Sun Odyssey 32i "Lady T" got the number 1 slot last night and also first in the League.
Class 3 IRC Jimmy Nyhan & Maritta Buwalda's 1/4 tonner "Outrigger" got the four bullets in the League including last night, what a performance! They were also first overall in Echo.
Class 3 Echo Paul Murray's Impala "Prometheus" got the number 1 slot last night.
Class 2 IRC Ted Crosbie's X302 "No Excuse" had an excellent race last night coming first and first overall.
Class 2 Echo Derry Nash's First 31.7 "Catalpa" came first overall.
Class 2 Echo Mark Mendell's Sun fast 32 "Wicked" got the number 1 slot last night
Class 1 IRC Kieran Twomey's Corby "Gloves Off" came first overall.
Class 1 IRC Donal O'Leary's X35 "D-Tox" got the number 1 slot last night.
Class 1 Echo Frank Doyle's A35 "End Game" came first overall.
Class 1 Echo Aidan Heffernan's Dehler 36 "Indulgence" got the number one slot last night.

Published in Royal Cork YC
Page 9 of 13

Featured Sailing School

INSS sidebutton

Featured Clubs

dbsc mainbutton
Howth Yacht Club
Kinsale Yacht Club
National Yacht Club
Royal Cork Yacht Club
Royal Irish Yacht club
Royal Saint George Yacht Club

Featured Brokers

leinster sidebutton

Featured Associations

isora sidebutton

Featured Webcams

Featured Events 2021

vdlr21 sidebutton

Featured Sailmakers

northsails sidebutton
uksails sidebutton
quantum sidebutton
watson sidebutton

Featured Chandleries

CHMarine Afloat logo
osm sidebutton

Featured Marinas

dlmarina sidebutton

Featured Blogs

W M Nixon - Sailing on Saturday
podcast sidebutton
mansfield sidebutton
BSB sidebutton
wavelengths sidebutton

Please show your support for Afloat by donating