Displaying items by tag: Skerries
#rtir – It's not the first time that Italian marine technical ace Giovanni Belgrano (he was the nuts-and-bolts man on the Italian America's Cup challenges) has surprised the fleets of modern boats on his adopted home waters of the Solent with an ace performance with his exquisitely-restored 1939 Laurent Giles 39ft centreboard sloop Whooper.
Nevertheless his overall win in Saturday's Round the Island Race was a sweet victory to be savoured with joy. Even more so, writes W M Nixon, when you realise it was all done with a boat from Skerries, County Dublin....
Yes indeed, folks. Through the 1960s and the early 1970s, Whooper was based in Skerries under the ownership of the great Christy Fox and his son Joe.
And here's the Lloyds entry from the register of 1970 to prove it:
Lloyds Register of 1970, with Whooper at home in Skerries
They'd chosen this unusual boat because her centreboard configuration gave them the shallow draft needed to be able to berth her alongside Skerries pier, rather than having to keep her in that dreadful anchorage out in the open bay. Having been built by Woodnutt's, she was a quality job, full of character, and well able to give a reasonable account of her herself in local races when they were able to get enough of a crew together to make the best of her.
In time she was sold away. But then a couple of years ago the Classic Yacht Regattas in the Solent area started featuring a beautifully-restored Whooper scoring serious wins. It speaks volumes for her owner's joy in sailing that he's at the sharp end of technological development around advanced boats in the day job, yet in his spare time he goes sailing in a very interesting old boat on which he has clearly lavished much loving attention.
Whooper's hull profile showing how the centreplate was incorporated into the hull without undue intrusion on the accommodation. In that same accommodation, many a boisterous party was held alongside Skerries pier, and in other ports too.
Whooper's hull lines. She was conceived as a comfortable shoal draft cruise to provide reasonably good performance, but no-one could have imagined that 77 years after she was designed, she'd be overall winner of the Round the Island Race.
Whooper's rig was an early version of the Laurent Giles "slutter". which could be both fractional and masthead, though during her time in Skerries she was always sailed as a masthead sloop. She also had one of the earliest Laurent Giles' versions of the new-fangled doghouse to give added headroom and better light in the aft part of the saloon.
In all, there were something like 14 boat with Irish links in the 1800-strong fleet which raced round the island, and it seems that the best-placed was Ben Daly's Quarter Tonner Cobh Pirate in 202nd place. That is, of course, if we don't just reclaim Whooper as one of our own.....
Volunteer crew member Stephen Crowley was giving one of his fellow volunteers, helm David Knight, a lift ashore from his own boat shortly after 5pm when the pagers were set off.
As they made their way to the slipway at the back of the harbour to get to the lifeboat station, they encountered a man in the water who had become separated from his personal watercraft and was struggling to stay afloat.
They managed to get a rope around the man and help him onto the side of their boat and began bringing the man to shore, where they were joined by two more volunteers, helm Philip Ferguson and crew member Emma Wilson, who were already fully suited up and preparing the boat for launch when they saw the situation unfolding from the lifeboat station.
The man was helped ashore and was assessed for any first aid requirement.
Speaking after the callout, volunteer lifeboat press officer Gerry Canning said: "Fortunately our volunteers were on hand almost instantly. It is important to remember that whatever your activity, wearing a well-fitted and suitable lifejacket or buoyancy aid could save your life."
#CoastalNotes - TheJournal.ie might not take the news entirely seriously, but it's true – Skerries has been named among the 10 most beautiful cities in Europe.
The North Co Dublin coastal town and fishing port might only have a population of 10,000, but Eating Europe Food Tours saw fit to include it alongside perennial continental favourites such as Amsterdam and Barcelona.
And TheJournal.ie has collected a few images that show exactly why Skerries is a jewel to be treasured, even if it isn't really a city!
The volunteer crew launched their Atlantic 85 lifeboat Louis Simson at 11.30am following a call to Dublin Coast Guard from a concerned member of the public about a swimmer in the water off Red Island headland.
The lifeboat, with Joe May at the helm and crewed by David Knight, AJ Hughes and Stephen Crowley, launched and proceeded directly to the area indicated by the coastguard.
Arriving on scene, it was discovered there was a local swimming group ashore after returning from a swim. After speaking to the group, the volunteer crew were assured that everyone was accounted for.
The lifeboat performed a precautionary sweep of the area before being stood down and returning to station.
The Irish Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 116 was also on scene and carried out a search before returning to base.
Speaking after the callout, Gerry Canning, volunteer lifeboat press officer for Skerries RNLI, said: "Thankfully in this case our assistance wasn’t required.
"However, the member of public had good intentions and we would always advise people to dial 999 and ask for the coastguard if they think they see someone in difficulty at sea."
The volunteer lifeboat crew launched their Atlantic 85 Inshore lifeboat Louis Simson at 6.30pm following reports to Dublin Coastguard from members of the public that several people appeared to be stranded on Shenick Island, just off the North Co Dublin town.
With David Knight at the Helm and crew Eoin Grimes, Peter Kennedy and Stephen Crowley, the lifeboat proceeded directly to the island and carefully manoeuvred into the shallow waters nearby.
Two crew members made their way ashore to assess the situation. The three periwinkle pickers were then assisted in wading through the water back to shore by the crew, with Irish Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 116 providing illumination from its powerful search lights.
In addition, the Skerries Coast Guard unit was waiting ashore to offer any further assistance required.
Speaking after the callout, Knight said: "We would remind anyone planning on walking along the shore or around the coast to make sure that they check the local tidal information before setting off."
Shortly after 11am, Dublin Coast Guard requested the Skerries RNLI volunteer crew to launch their Atlantic 85 lifeboat Louis Simson after receiving a report from another vessel of a motorboat in difficulty on the eastern side of Lambay Island.
The lifeboat, with Eoin Duff at the helm and crewed by Conor Walsh, Peter Kennedy and Rob Morgan, proceeded directly to the last known position of the craft to begin a search. At the time of the launch there was a Force 3 northeasterly wind with calm seas.
The motorboat was quickly located at anchor close to the island. A tow was established and the boat, with four people on board was brought safely to Rush Harbour.
Speaking after the callout, volunteer lifeboat press officer Gerry Canning said: "Sometimes, no matter how well prepared you are, things can go wrong at sea.
"Thankfully another boat spotted the danger and called the coastguard."
Skerries RNLI volunteer crew launched their Atlantic 85 lifeboat Louis Simson shortly after 4.30pm yesterday afternoon (Monday 1 September) following reports to Dublin Coast Guard of a motorboat adrift near the Perch marker off Skerries.
The crew could see the casualty vessel almost immediately after exiting the launching trolley and proceeded directly to them.
Once alongside, it was discovered that the outboard engine would not start. A tow was established and the boat was returned safely to shore.
At the time of the launch there was a Force 1 easterly wind with calm seas.
Speaking after the callout, volunteer lifeboat press officer Gerry Canning said: "This was a good result – most importantly, everybody on board was wearing a lifejacket and the alarm was raised quickly."
The raft race is a great day out for all the family, and the fundraising committee is hard at work to ensure the event is an even bigger success this year. The venue will, as before, be the south strand in Skerries.
Registration for the race will take place at the Skerries RNLI station house on the Harbour Road in Skerries on Sunday 7 September from 2pm to 4pm. The entry fee will be €50 per raft and each raft must be crewed by four to six people.
Lifejackets are mandatory for the event. Mechanical propulsion systems are not allowed and the entry must be a raft. Surfboards, boats, carved foam, etc will be disqualified. All competitors must be over 18.
Speaking ahead of the event, Skerries RNLI volunteer lifeboat press officer Gerry Canning said: "The raft race is a great attraction to everyone young and old. Every year the competitors outdo themselves with their creations and we are looking forward to more of the same this year."
Skerries RNLI's volunteer crew also launched their Atlantic 85 lifeboat Louis Simson, but were stood down when it became clear that Howth's Trent-class lifeboat was more apt for the job.
The Howth lifeboat crew located the casualty vessel at 2pm some 12 miles north-east of Howth and established a tow line within 10 minutes of arrival.
The fishing vessel was then safely towed back to Howth Harbour, though progress was slow as a result of deteriorating weather conditions – with a north-west Force 6 wind and a rough sea state – and the return journey took just over two hours.
Howth RNLI coxswain Fred Connolly said after the callout: "We were pleased to locate and assist the fishing trawler so quickly after receiving the call to launch.
"The fishing vessel crew acted very professionally in calling for assistance immediately and they also supplied a accurate position of their location which allowed us to find and assist them so quickly."
Gerry Canning, volunteer lifeboat press officer for Skerries RNLI, added: "The RNLI has a wide range of boats in the fleet to cater for all types of emergencies in all conditions. In this case the Trent all-weather lifeboat from Howth was definitely the right boat for the rescue."
#RNLI - Volunteers with Skerries RNLI launched their Atlantic 85 lifeboat Louis Simson shortly after 8.30pm on Tuesday evening (5 August) after a member of the public called Dublin Coast Guard regarding a man seen launching a small motor boat to go fishing that afternoon who had yet to return.
The lifeboat, with David Knight at the helm and crewed by Joe May, Eoin Grimes and Stephen Crowley, began an immediate search of the most popular local fishing spots, while other volunteer crew in the boathouse began to chart a potential search pattern.
A small motorboat matching the description given, with one man on board, was located just off the western shore of Church Island, off Skerries. The man required no assistance and indicated he was preparing to head for the North Co Dublin coastal town.
As the light was fading the lifeboat offered to stand by while he made his way safely to shore. At the time of the launch there was a Force 2 to 3 southerly wind and a calm sea.
Speaking after the callout, volunteer helm David Knight said: "Thankfully in this case the man was fine. However, the member of the public had genuine concerns and did the right thing in calling the coastguard."