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The second annual Watersports Inclusion Games, organised by Irish Sailing, won Project of the Year at the National Inclusion Awards last night hosted by CARA and Sport Ireland.

The National Inclusion Awards highlight the excellent work of people and organisations who enhance participation opportunities for people with disabilities in Sport and Physical Activity.

A delighted Johanne Murphy, Irish Sailing Watersports Inclusion Games Officer commented: “this is a tremendous achievement and is down to the amazing committee and awesome volunteer team that we had at the event, and of course our wonderful participants”. 

Three watersports national governing bodies (Canoeing Ireland, Rowing Ireland and Irish Sailing) and partner organisations came together to put on the Games, which are now an annual event attracting people from all abilities on the physical, sensory, intellectual and learning difficulty spectrums. The two-day event aims to show both participants and their families, as well as people who organise watersport events, that everyone can get out onto the water. 

Next year’s Watersports Inclusion Games will be held in Cork, so watch out for more details on the Irish Sailing website. Watch the Watersports Inclusion Games on the Irish Sailing YouTube channel here

Irish Sailing was also awarded the Irish Water Safety Award for Community and Social Responsibility yesterday in recognition of the support given to Irish Water Safety Community Work.

Published in ISA
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Earlier this summer Irish Sailing asked boat owners for their experiences of sailing their boats abroad, registering on the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport’s Part 1 Register, registering with other flag states and more.

Now the governing body for sailing in Ireland is requesting a meeting with the department and would like to ensure that its members’ collective voice is heard.

Irish Sailing says it has been representing the interests of its membership in representations to the department on a number of occasions in the past, campaigning for a statutory small craft register to be established for recreational craft travelling abroad.

“A registration system that is voluntary, appropriate, accessible, affordable and easy to obtain, as exists in many other European states” is what Irish Sailing is advocating for.

The department committed in the Maritime Safety Strategy 2015-2019 to start work on developing such a registration system in 2017 and encourage recreational craft under 24m to register in 2018. However, there is still no sign of it.

Irish Sailing says it has been told firmly that in the interim the current Part 1 register used for commercial shipping is available and fit for purpose for recreational craft, which is contrary to anecdotal feedback it has received to date from boat owners.

To be part of this representation, please share your experience directly by email to [email protected] before next Tuesday 20 November.

Published in ISA

There are three sailing finalists in the 2018 Cara National Inclusion Awards and confirms that sailing really is a “Sport for All”.

Irish Sailing’s incredibly successful Watersports Inclusion Games, hosted in Galway this year, is a finalist for the 2018 Project of the Year.

East coast club, Bray Sailing Club have been shortlisted for 2018 Best Inclusive Club of the Year and Sail Training Ireland for Youth Development in the Adventure category.

In 2015 Irish Sailing was awarded Best Inclusive National Governing Body and in 2017 Donal Hickey of Kinsale Yacht Club and Sailability won Volunteer of the year for his region.

Full 2018 nomination details are here.

Irish Sailing currently awaits formal approval for Watersports Inclusion Games for 2019. The Association plans to build on the success of the past events and their focus for 2019 is making sailing available for all and clubs including supporting volunteers to facilitate sharing the joys of sailing.

If you would like to find out more about inclusion in sailing then you can contact Irish Sailing National Inclusion Officer, Ciarán Murphy, on [email protected]

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#YouthSailing - The Royal Cork Yacht Club will host next year’s Irish Sailing Youth Pathway Championships, it has been announced.

The dates to save are 25-28 April 2019 when Ireland’s largest youth regatta comes to the world’s oldest yacht club.

It is also Irish Sailing’s primary talent-spotting event of the year — so is a must for budding high performance sailors looking to match the performance of Tralee Bay’s Justin Lucas at this year’s championships.

Published in Youth Sailing

Irish Sailing is seeking expression of interest from Irish sailing clubs to host the inaugural Women at the Helm Regatta next summer, as well as subsequent events in 2020 and 2021.

The debut regatta is set for two days in August for women with their own dinghies for PY sailing, as well as a keelboat competition.

More than 100 participants from age 14 up are expected to take part in the inaugural event.

“There has been tremendous interest in attending this event nationally and is set to be a fantastic celebration of women’s sailing and a great opportunity to encourage more women to take the helm,” Irish Sailing says.

Clubs with an interest in hosting the event are invited to contact Gail MacAllister at [email protected]

Published in ISA

Mark the first weekend in November on your calendar for Irish Sailing’s upcoming seminar for prospective race umpires.

The two-day course on Saturday 3 and Sunday 4 November at the Royal St George in Dun Laoghaire provides the first step towards gaining an Irish Sailing race umpire qualification.

Guided by instructors Chris Lindsay and Cxema Pico, you will be introduced to the basics of team race umpiring, as well as how to make decisions in real time on the water, and will cover the relevant theory to apply.

Those who feel ready will also have an opportunity to sit the National Umpire exam — while all will be invited to the Irish Team Racing Nationals on 17-18 November to put what they’ve gleaned from the seminar into practice.

No previous experience as an umpire is required or this course, but a powerboat certificate (for piloting RIBs) and VHF licence are required, and experience or knowledge of team racing would be helpful.

More details are available from the Facebook event page HERE.

Published in How To Sail
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Irish Sailing’s Cork-based course for senior instructors has been rescheduled for two weekends in Oysterhaven this November.

The course will now run on Friday 2 to Sunday 4 and Friday 9 to Sunday 11 November, with the Friday session each weekend running in the evenings from 5pm to 9pm.

Booking for the Cork senior instructor course is open till Friday 19 October and the fee is €330.

Full details on the course are available from the Irish Sailing website.

Published in How To Sail
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#HowToSail - Looking to escape to the sea and learn the ropes of how to crew or be a day skipper offshore?

This October Bank Holiday weekend, the West Cork Sailing and Powerboating Centre will host five days of clinics from Saturday 27 to Wednesday 31 October, organised by Wild Atlantic Wildlife in tandem with Bantry Bay Sailing Club and sailed on the 37ft Jessy of Adrigole.

The competent crew introductory course is for those looking to experience being at the elm, helping with the sails, dealing with ropes, learning about being safe on the water and generally being a useful hand on deck.

For more advanced sailors with at least five days on a yacht (100 nautical miles and four-plus night hours), the Irish Sailing Day Skipper practical certification course will be more useful — designed to teach you to take charge safely and confidently.

Spaces are limited for these courses, priced at €500 saying or €800 solo in your own private cabin. The cost includes foul weather gear and lifejacket (you’ll have to bring our own footwear, sleeping bag and pillow), mooring and marina fees, fuel, breakfast and lunch, and one evening meal aboard.

For more details see the Wild Atlantic Wildlife website HERE.

Published in How To Sail
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The Royal St George Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire will host the 2018 All Ireland Junior Sailing Championship over the weekend of 29-30 September.

Irish Sailing has announced that this year’s youth event will be raced in the Firefly dinghy, which celebrated its 70th anniversary in 2016.

Class nominations close at noon today (Tuesday 4 September) ahead of the nominations meeting at 5pm this evening.

Entry forms will go out to successful nominees this Thursday 6 September and are due within a week, with successful entries announced on the evening of Friday 14 September.

The junior event takes place a week before the senior All Irelands on Lough Ree.

Published in Youth Sailing

#Sailability - Galway hosted the second Watersports Inclusion Games last weekend (25-26 August) for 198 participants with all abilities on the physical, sensory, intellectual and learning difficulty spectrums.

First held in Dun Laoghaire in June 2017, the two-day event aims to show both participants and their families, as well as people who organise watersport events, that everyone can get out onto the water.

This year’s games had two elements. The Commercial Boat Club hosted introductory activities for those new to watersports, with an expanded choice including sailing, rowing, canoeing, stand-up paddle boarding and fast-boat rides.

Watersports Games 2018 Canoe Polo

The second element was a competitive sailing event on Galway Bay with more experienced sailors including Kinsale Yacht Club’s Gina Griffin competing in the Hansa Nationals, alongside the President’s Cup which was won by Munster.

Speaking over the weekend, Irish Sailing chief executive Harry Hermon said: “This is the second year of the games, and we were delighted to welcome all of the participants from the four corners of Ireland.

“We are already starting to plan for next year’s games in Cork, when we hope to reach even more people from all abilities and encourage them to take up watersports.”

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