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#TrySailing - Summer 2017 may be all but over, but the Irish National Sailing & Powerboat School still has a number of courses running for all ages and skill levels going into the autumn.

For junior sailors, the weekly Saturday sailing course returns for the school term from 16 September with groups for those aged 7-10, 11-14 and over 15.

Meanwhile for adults, the Start Sailing yacht course for absolute beginners is booking for its remaining dates on 23-24 September and 7-8 October. There is also limited availability for the course this weekend on 2-3 September — call 01 284 4195 to book.

Dinghy beginners also have their own course, with dates on 9-10 and 23-24 September, but places are going fast.

For more advanced students, the Level 2 yacht course and Level 2 dinghy course are booking for their final weekend on 30 September to 1 October.

National Powerboat Certificate courses for beginners have bookings available from Dun Laoghaire on 2-3 and 23-24 September, and from Malahide on 16-17 September. Both have further dates available going into the autumn.

The next intermediate powerboat course runs on 16-17 September with two more weekends available in October and November.

Competent crew and day skipper courses using the RYA syllabus are running till the end of the year and beyond, with dates for the former still available from 26-30 October and in the latter from 3 November.

Details of further courses, including the shore-based VHF radio course, sea survival and first aid, are available on the INSS website HERE.

Published in How To Sail

#TrySailing - Bray Sailing Club partnered last week with Lakers, a sport and recreation club for children and adults with an intellectual disability, to offer an introductory ‘Try Sailing’ course to seven Lakers members.

The sailability programme took place over three evenings, starting with a land-based familiarisation session on the first day, during which the newcomers to sailing learned how to rig and sit in a dinghy. 

On the second evening, the group took to the water and experienced their first taste of the thrill of sailing inside the confines of Bray Harbour while the cruiser fleet raced with 25+ knots of wind outside. This session was followed by capsize drills near the beach in the harbour. 

On the third evening, the dinghy fleet left the harbour and the trainees had a chance to helm their own boat, before heading into the clubhouse for a barbecue and the presentation of Irish Sailing’s Taste of Sailing certificates, including Irish Sailing’s first ever braille sailing certificate.

Speaking after the event, Lakers services manager Anthony Finnegan said: “We really appreciate the contribution of the amazing instructors and assistants in Bray SC in giving our members the opportunity to try sailing for the first time. 

“The enthusiasm and excitement evident around the harbour was great to see, and we hope that some of our members will have the opportunity to participate in sailing on a regular basis in the future.”

Bray SC senior instructor Jack Hannon added: “I’m grateful to our team of instructors and assistants who gave of their time so willingly to make this partnership such a success.

“Sailing really is a sport for all, and our members were delighted to have the opportunity to share their passion for sailing with seven newcomers to the sport this week.”

Published in How To Sail

#HYC - A new sailing school for North Dublin Bay is part of plans to secure the future of Howth Yacht Club.

Commodore Joe McPeake laid out the club’s intentions in a statement on the HYC website in mid July, in which he announced a workshop would be held at the end of September for members to help shape its future.

Envisaged to be up and running as soon as March next year, the school plan aims to attract the “huge number of people now living in Dublin from outside Ireland, and working in the IFSC and other multinational areas” to get involved in sailing.

“It is vital that we attract these people, for if we don’t, we can quite sure that other clubs and sports will,” wrote McPeake.

Increasing members is a “paramount” goal for the club, with the commodore admitting that methods to drive the current turnaround in finances, by cost-cutting and raising subscriptions, are “not sustainable in the long term”.

Youth sailing is particularly underrepresented at Howth, he added. Despite a near full capacity in its summer sailing courses, McPeake said there as been a “marked reduction” in juniors involved in club racing, though this is part of a pattern across many other clubs.

“New forms of sailing must be developed to enthuse those who want to have fun in their own way, and sailing for juniors must be reinvented as it is competing against many other summer sports,” he wrote.

It’s hoped that solutions can be found to match the performance of the marina, where visitor numbers are up 20% on last year; the success of Howth crews in the ICRA Nationals, Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta and elsewhere; and the rude health of Howth’s dinghies and keelboats like the Puppeteer 22s and the homegrown Howth 17 class.

Published in Howth YC

#TrySailing - Galway skippers, scouts, clubs and centres volunteered their time during SeaFest 2017 to give 555 children and adults a Try Sailing experience on Galway Bay.

Over 100 volunteers represented the likes of Galway Bay Tours, Galway Bay Sailing Club, Galway City Sailing Club, Galway Sea Scouts, Clifden Boat Club, Spiddal Sailing Club and na Badoiri na Claddagh.

Together they combined boats and manpower to give some of the 100,000-plus SeaFest visitors a chance to sail or motorboat, experience the power and history of the Galway Hooker, and in general share their love of sailing and the sea.

Try Sailing at SeaFest, in association with the Marine Institute, was part of Irish Sailing’s nationwide initiative to get more people involved in the sport without big money, a club membership or even needing to own a boat. 

Try Sailing opportunities like crewing, training, open days, starter sessions and more are held throughout the year across the country. Visit to find what’s closest to you.

Published in How To Sail

#TrySailing - Summer sailing courses for children aged 4 to 17 are available to book now at the Irish National Sailing & Powerboat School in Dun Laoghaire.

The 2017 summer courses, which begin next Tuesday 6 June, will see students assigned to groups according to their age (4-6 years, 7-10 years, 11-14 years and 15-18 years) and experience.

All essential gear is provided, from boats to buoyancy aids, while wetsuits can be hired by the week.

This year sees two new programmes running alongside the summer sailing courses: sailing through the Irish language for 11-14-year-olds and a keelboat programme providing a different challenge for teens 15 and over.

Click HERE for full details of the INSS summer sailing course programme and how to book.

Published in How To Sail

#TrySailing - No boat is required nor previous sailing experience necessary for teenagers who want to try sailing with the National Yacht Club this summer.

Two introductory courses will run from 6-16 June and 10-21 July in Dun Laoghaire specifically for teenagers who would like to try sailing but don’t want to learn among a group of much younger children.

Interested teens will be sailing with other beginner sailors of a similar age in groups of three to four using club boats, making for a great introduction to the sport in a fun and social environment.

More details are available on the NYC website HERE.

Published in National YC

#TrySailing - Sunday 14 May is the date for the Irish National Sailing & Powerboat School’s 2017 Open Day — where anyone can try sailing, kayaking or paddleboarding at Dun Laoghaire Harbour for only €10.

All ages are welcome on the day, whether families, friends or individuals, for what promises to be an exciting day on the water — coinciding with the annual Sail-a-thon charity event organised by sailors attending the INSS junior club sailing programme.

Whether you’re entirely new to the sport or rekindling an old flame, you’ll be learning how to sail on board one of the school’s fleet of 1720 sportsyachts — waterproof overalls and lifejackets provided!

Those interested in kayaking and paddleboarding, meanwhile, will be guided around the sheltered waters inside Dun Laoghaire Harbour to give a taste of what makes these activities so appealing.

Details on booking a session for the day can be found on the INSS website HERE.

Published in How To Sail

Looking back over the past season, two things stand out for me – the success of our Olympic sailors and the ISA’s Try Sailing initiative. Our Olympic sailors gave us marvellous inspiration this summer and showed our young sailors what can be achieved if you follow your dream and no doubt encouraged many newcomers to discover the thrill of sailing for the first time. My next blog will focus on our Olympians but, for the moment, I want to reflect on the success of the ISA Try Sailing initiative over the past season. 66 ISA clubs and centres throughout the country created new opportunities for local communities to come along and Try Sailing and, as a result, over 3,600 people tried sailing. A great achievement.
If you are not from a sailing background it can be hard to know where and how to start, and buying a boat before you have given it a try is a tall order. The simple message of “Try Sailing” is to help promote the idea that people can do just that – give Sailing a Try.
At those 66 venues there were open days, competitions, crewing initiatives, tasters, corporate programmes, Women on the Water events, Surf ‘n’ Turf days, cruises, Sailability events, kids’ clubs, bring a friend and more. It was wonderful to see each organisation running events and programmes to suit their own facilities and local community. Below I have set out just a few examples of the dedicated effort and creative activities of a handful of the clubs in 2016.
Try Sailing 2016 kicked off with an open day at Kinsale Yacht Club for local school children and an introduction to the Sailability opportunities for all physical abilities at the club. It was a blustery day and the strong team of volunteers adapted the activities for everyone with cruiser sailing, Sailability Squib sailing and rigging games. The club followed up with a series of coaching days for the young sailors throughout the season and successfully saw an increase in club training and membership.
Just around the corner, Royal Cork Yacht Club had a particularly busy year under the Try Sailing banner. Colin Morehead, Try Sailing ambassador at Royal Cork and ISA policy group member, says they have had their busiest year yet. Their Try Sailing all started in May with the annual 6-week introduction to youth sailing programme with 80+ children participating.
The club then organised an 8-week training programme with 45 sailors from a large Cork based company, Voxpro, and developed a winning team to race in the Non-Spinnaker Class of Volvo Cork Week. It was particularly satisfying to see complete novices grow into sailors capable of successfully racing a 1720 sports boat in such a short time.
Combined with a highly successful Open Day in June, a very popular Women on the Water programme and Try Sailing sessions for adults, Royal Cork Yacht Club opened the doors to over 250 new Try Sailors.
Meanwhile over on the West coast, Foynes Yacht Club went for a gentle approach to attract new crews for cruiser racing. Club members brought newcomers out on the water to simply observe the racing and gain a basic understanding of what all the activity was about. This soft approach worked well in giving newcomers confidence to get on board and participate in cruiser racing. The ICRA ‘Crew Point’ initiative launched this year will continue to help to create many more new crewing opportunities throughout the country.
Foynes Yacht Club Junior Organiser Elaine O’Mahoney was delighted with the turn out when they linked up with the local youth clubs and transition year students for Try Sailing. Elaine tells me that a dedicated time slot for visitors to come and try, helped locals to make sailing part of their weekly routine. Overall, Foynes Yacht Club registered over 200 Try Sailors and are pleased to see the number of new members, sailing academy trainees and racing crews increasing.
Dingle Sailing Club introduced a clever “Bring a Friend” programme and doubled their participation numbers. Training Manager Feidhlim OBriain says he saw immediate results from their initial Try Sailing open day and then continued to use the Try Sailing branding to promote a series of Try opportunities, bringing a total of over 170 Try Sailors onto the water.
Galway Bay Sailing Club launched Try Sailing with an early season open day and saw an immediate impact on courses and membership for dinghy and cruiser sailors. They followed their open day with a 5 week Try Sailing coaching programme for adults, which then grew into a series of start sailing adult courses. 152 Try Sailors brought an increase in membership, training and crewing. The club are now making plans for a new ‘Women on the Water’ programme for 2017.
Clontarf Yacht and Boat Club’s ‘Sail Against Suicide’ provided a chance to Try Sailing with a typical Clontarf welcome in the clubhouse afterwards. Combined with earlier corporate and public events Clontarf registered 98 Try Sailors in dinghies and cruisers and have big plans for 2017.
Overall, the message of Try Sailing is helping to open the doors, hatches and pontoons to more newcomers to our wonderful sport. So, next time you are getting on board, remember “Bring a Friend” and give them the chance to “Try Sailing”.
Our Regional Development Officers look forward to helping your club implement its Try Sailing plans and together we can grow the number of people enjoying the delights of sailing.
Happy Christmas and safe sailing in 2017.

Published in ISA

#TrySailing - Baltimore Sailing Club is now taking bookings for places on its 2017 ISA summer sailing courses.

The first course runs over three weeks from Monday 3 to Friday 21 July, while a second three-week course runs the following month from Tuesday 8 to Friday 25 August.

In addition, a Junior Try Sailing Taster Course runs from Monday 24 to Friday 28 July comprising two half-day courses each day.

Application forms are available on the Baltimore SC website HERE.

Published in How To Sail

Last Sunday, Dun Laoghaire's Irish National Sailing and Powerboat School held its 2016 Open Day in association with Irish Sailing Association's 'Try Sailing' programme.

50 new people to the sport experienced the thrill of sailing onboard a 1720 sportsboat while 64 people enjoyed kayaking and Paddle-Boarding. Check out the video below:


Published in How To Sail
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