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Displaying items by tag: Bray Sailing Club

Following the recent easing of restrictions, and having had to cancel two early season regattas, Bray Sailing Club held a “Back to Sailing” dinghy regatta on 25th July. COVID-19 restrictions meant a number of changes to normal arrangements (no race office - online registration only, no changing rooms and showers, no bar, no paper documentation, and a brief outdoor prize-giving following racing.

38 sailors in 31 boats registered for the event in a 23 boat single-handed fleet and an 8 boat double handed fleet. Race Officer Mark Henderson delivered four races before the wind collapsed and the rain took over, with a mix of two-lap windward-leeward and triangular courses. The strong tides which the north Wicklow Club’s coastline is renowned for proved challenging for some of the less experienced sailors, but some recent entrants to the club’s Laser fleet impressed their more seasoned competitors by their skills, and gave them a warning for the future.

42% of the competitors were female, continuing Bray SC’s long tradition of a strong gender balance in all the club’s fleets.

Speaking at the prize-giving, Commodore Boris Fennema said: “Following a very disappointing start to the season, it was really encouraging to see today’s turnout. One of the highlights is the number of “new” Laser sailors in the club which shows that our investment in Junior Training is really paying dividends, but it is also great to see our slightly older Laser sailors giving the new recruits something to aim for. We look forward to building further on today’s success as we plan more events this season.”

The single-handed fleet was won by David Bailey (Laser full rig), with brothers Adam and Ian Walsh (RS200) taking the honours in the double-handed fleet.

Published in Racing
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Bray Sailing Club’s annual “Brains of Bray” table quiz, which was originally scheduled to take place last weekend, faced some hasty re-engineering in the face of the COVID-19 restrictions. Organisers Jack Hannon, Mark Henderson, and Cillian Murphy decided to take the quiz online and asked participants to register in advance to be added to a dedicated WhatsApp group.

The new format meant that many more teams could be facilitated than could have fitted into Bray SC’s clubhouse, and when the quiz started at 7.30 pm an amazing 61 teams had registered, with many teams consisting of family members and friends not just in different households, but in seven different countries, and three different continents. 171 participants collaborated within their teams via a variety of tele-and video-conferencing applications, and the organisers struggled to deal with a flood of 61 emails with answers after each round.

Despite some delays in producing results due to the large volume of entries, club members and friends thoroughly enjoyed the evening which gave many families the first opportunity in some weeks to spend the whole evening in each other’s company online, while sharing a virtual drink and arguing about which colour Smartie tastes different to all the others*.

The organisers have promised to make the quiz a weekly event while restrictions continue, and have recruited additional scorers to deal with the high number of entries.


Published in Sailing Clubs
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Bray Sailing Club’s “Inclusion in Sport” programme for the 2019 summer season concluded last week with their final “Lakers at Sea” session. A large part of the club’s inclusion programme revolves around their partnership with local club Lakers (a sports club for children and adults with intellectual disabilities). This partnership, which was forged two years ago, has grown from strength to strength since formation.

After two successful seasons of growing their Inclusion programme, which saw BSC scoop awards from Irish Sailing and becoming a finalist in the Sports Club Category at the Cara National Inclusion Awards last year, the club was keen to hit the ground running this year. In preparation for the season ahead, a number of BSC’s volunteer instructor team completed pre-season training courses – these included Cara’s Autism in Sport training and also Epilepsy training. In house training courses on helping novice sailors with disabilities were also arranged for this year’s new instructors.

This summer, twelve Lakers members enjoyed regular fortnightly sailing activities as part of the “Lakers at Sea” programme. This allowed the new sailors to build on and progress their sailing skills while also trying out various types of boats as well as building their water confidence and finding their sea legs. In addition to the regular “Lakers at Sea” schedule, a “Try Sailing” course was also run, which saw six brand new Lakers members experiencing the thrill of sailing for the first time.

Ideal weather conditions with sunshine and light breezes made for ideal conditions for the final Lakers At Sea sessions. The season closed with a BBQ in the BSC clubhouse for friends and family where the Lakers members were presented with certificates to mark their progress this year.

While the Lakers Partnership with BSC may be the most obvious aspect of the club’s Inclusion in Sport programme, it is only one part of it. BSC regularly opens its doors to participants of varying ability levels as part of their Junior Training programme, which saw close to 160 juniors on the water this summer. The club also welcomes adult members with disabilities. One member, who was born without arms, recently competed in the national championships for her boat class, finishing as the second highest ranked boat in Leinster. For her efforts in challenging conditions, Mary Duffy was presented with the “Spirit of Sailability” trophy at the event.

The club-wide spirit of Inclusion in BSC was further evidenced by twenty club members volunteering their services at the Irish Sailing Watersports Inclusion Games in Kinsale at the end of August. This massive event saw over 250 people with physical, sensory, intellectual and learning disabilities taking part in a wide range of water activities, including sailing, kayaking, canoeing, paddle-boarding, rowing, surfing, water skiing, and powerboating. The volunteer team from Bray played a major part in running the sailing aspect of the games and are already looking forward to volunteering at the games next year.

BSC’s Senior Sailing Instructor, Jack Hannon, commented at the conclusion of the season, “I am extremely proud of not only the club’s volunteer instructor team, but the membership as a whole. All club members, from our youngest to the oldest, have fully embraced our inclusion programme and have helped to create the fully inclusive environment we now have in the club. With the aid of a generous grant from Wicklow Local Sports Partnership we were able to purchase a new floating platform, which has made getting our sailors on the water not only easier, but also safer. I couldn’t be prouder to be a part of this team who showcase how sailing is not only a sport for all, but also a sport for life! We look forward to further exciting plans next year to get even more new participants out on the water and enjoying sailing”.

Published in Youth Sailing
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The Cara National Inclusion Awards 2018 took place in Castleknock last week and Bray Sailing Club were delighted to be one of three shortlisted finalists in the Sports Club category, along with Clontarf Rugby Club and Raheny GAA Club. The awards were presented by RTE Sports Presenter, Joanne Cantwell.

While Clontarf Rugby Club was adjudged the winners on the evening, the team from Bray SC were honoured to have been nominated as a finalist. Declan Lavelle, Commodore, commented: “It’s a great honour for Bray SC to have received a nomination for the National Inclusion Awards and it further strengthens our resolve to continue with our inclusion programme in the future. I would like to thank all of the instructors and other volunteers in the club who have put so much work into making sailing a sport for all. Our efforts in this area were greatly assisted this year by the installation of the new pontoon in Bray Harbour, which makes access to the water much easier for people with disabilities. We commend the councillors of Bray Municipal District for their foresight in supporting this investment.”

Bray Sailing Club’s inclusion programme started in 2017 when a small group of Lakers members took part in a “Try Sailing” course and has grown to such an extent that 28 Lakers members took part in sailing courses in 2018, culminating in a “Parents on the Water” evening at the end of the season. The club also caters for sailors with physical disabilities and regularly provides training for juniors with learning difficulties.

A team of sailing instructors from Bray also volunteered their services at the Irish Sailing Watersport Inclusion Games which took place in Galway at the end of August. The games were a great success, with over 200 participants taking to the water over the weekend. The Watersport Inclusion Games were awarded the winner of the “Project of the Year” award at the Cara National Inclusion Awards on Wednesday evening.

Bray Sailing Club’s Senior Instructor, Jack Hannon said after the awards ceremony “All of us at Bray SC were delighted to even be in the running for this award. We believe strongly that sailing is a sport for all and we work hard to provide equal opportunities to all in our community to enjoy the thrill of sailing. We congratulate Clontarf Rugby Club on their well-deserved award and also all the other winners and finalists on the work they are doing to promote inclusion in sport across the country.”

Bray Sailing Club are now developing their courses for next season where they plan to continue to promote and develop their “Inclusion in Sport” programme.

Published in Sailing Clubs
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Bray Sailing Club reintroduced one of the club’s longest standing trophies this weekend as its first 'Senior Helmsman’s' Championship in fifteen years was sailed. The trophy was put on ice when dinghy sailing declined in the early 2000’s but the recent increase in adult members gave the club an opportunity to reintroduce this prestigious event.

Five invited helms from both cruiser and dinghy classes competed for the trophy. The event was sailed in Flying Fifteens (kindly lent by the owners) and the helms sailed one race in each boat, rotating after each race to remove any boat advantage. The event was umpired on the water by International Judge Gordon Davies, who is a member of the club.

After Saturday’s deluge, conditions were perfect for this white sails event with a light north-easterly breeze in bright sunshine holding steady for long enough to allow RO Mark Henderson to get all five races completed in good time, using a combination of triangle and windward-leeward courses.

The trophy (which will be formally presented at the club’s annual prize-giving in November) was won by Philip O’Reilly, with Peter Lundy in second place and Ray Comiskey in third. The best-placed boat over the event was Anorvega, crewed by Fiona Cassidy.

Speaking at the prizegiving, Commodore Declan Lavelle commented: “We are delighted to be able to reintroduce this prestigious event to our annual sailing calendar. It provides further evidence of the health of the club and the revitalising of dinghy sailing in Bray.”

The club’s Junior Helmsman’s Championship (to be sailed in Picos) was abandoned on Saturday due to lack of wind and has been rescheduled to Sunday 28th October.

Published in Flying Fifteen
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This week saw the conclusion of Bray Sailing Club’s 2018 “Lakers at Sea” programme which further developed the relationship between the club and Lakers members. (Lakers is a local sports and recreation club for children and adults with an intellectual disability.) This year, Bray SC hosted two “Try Sailing” courses as well as a regular sailing programme for Lakers members called “Lakers at Sea”, which saw Lakers members sailing on a fortnightly basis, instructed by a volunteer team of Bray SC Instructors.

In preparation for the season, Bray SC Instructors undertook an Inclusion Sailing Training Day with Irish Sailing’s Inclusion Officer, Ciarán Murphy back in March. This training day helped to equip BSC’s Instructor team with the skills necessary for the season that lay ahead.

180904 Lakers 008The 2018 Lakers at Bray Sailing Club

This year’s programme benefited from the summer’s great weather, with no days lost to bad weather, and this offered participants the opportunity to try a variety of boats, ranging from the club’s fleet of training dinghies to cruisers kindly provided by club members.

In all, 28 Lakers members participated during the season and the final outing of the season saw trainees being joined on the water by their parents, demonstrating that sailing really is a sport for all. The evening concluded with a BBQ and presentation of certificates in the clubhouse.

The “Lakers at Sea” programme was just one aspect of Bray SC’s efforts to expand inclusion in training – other initiatives included designing a personalised training programme for a novice sailor who was born without arms but has acquired a specially adapted Hansa Liberty with customised foot controls; and the involvement of the Club’s entire instructor team in the Watersport Inclusion Games at the end of August.

Commenting on the year’s activities, Declan Lavelle, Commodore of Bray SC said: “We in Bray are very proud indeed of our team of young instructors. The enormous voluntary commitment which they have put in this year has set a great example to the membership as a whole and showed how we can really welcome all newcomers to the sport we love.”

Jack Hannon, the Club’s Senior Instructor, said: “The whole instructor team at BSC deserves great praise for all of the hard work they have put into developing our inclusion programme this summer. After a long day’s work on our Junior Training programme to come down and give their time freely in the evenings with such enthusiasm and professionalism is something to be credited. I speak on behalf of the whole team when I say that we loved every minute of our sessions with our new trainees and our time spent working at the Watersport Inclusion Games in Galway. Sailing really is a sport for all and a sport for life, and we demonstrated this by having the parents of Lakers members on the water sailing with their sons and daughters for the final evening. While it may be the end of this particular season, I am sure this is only the start of things to come as we aim to further promote inclusion in sport in Bray SC and beyond!”

Published in How To Sail
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#YouthSailing - Bray Sailing Club has announced details of its 2018 Junior Regatta, taking place this coming Friday 27 July.

Last year’s regatta was Bray’s largest open event, and this year the club hopes to welcome even more visitors from neighbouring clubs and make the event even bigger.

The Notice of Race, sailing instructions and entry form are now available to download from the Bray Sailing Club website.

If you are planning to bring a boat to the regatta by road, or have any other queries as a prospective competitor, contact [email protected]

Published in Youth Sailing
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Bray Sailing Club welcomed members of Lakers (a sport and recreation club for children and adults with an intellectual disability) back to the club this week to kick off the “Lakers at Sea” sailing programme. “Lakers at Sea” is a fortnightly sailing course provided by the instructors of Bray Sailing Club to build further on last year’s partnership with Lakers which started with two Try Sailing courses. The objective of the new programme is to provide Lakers members with regular sailing opportunities, where they can continue to build and develop on what they have learned.

The evening began with a shore-based briefing before heading to the beach to play a few games. Lakers members were then put through their paces as they were tasked with rigging their boats before setting sail outside the harbour. Weather conditions were extremely favourable for the evening, with light breezes allowing the novice sailors the perfect opportunity to refresh what they had learned last year and get used to being on the water again. Some of our braver sailors finished up the session with a capsize recovery drill, to prepare them for any possibilities that could lie ahead this season.

Bray SC’s Senior Instructor, Jack Hannon, commented: “We are really excited about building on the relationship we have with Lakers members by having them back down on a more permanent basis this year as part of “Lakers at Sea”. Our team of Instructors absolutely love volunteering for this and are well prepared for the season, having taken an Inclusion Sailing Training Day with Irish Sailing’s Ciaran Murphy in the off season. Hopefully this is just the start of many great evenings to come over the 2018 season with Lakers!”

Lakers at Sea will take place fortnightly in Bray Sailing Club up until early September. There are many sailing activities planned over the course of these weeks, including a cruiser sail and a “Parents on the Water” day where Lakers members will teach their parents the skills that they have learned. In addition to this, Bray SC instructors will also run two introductory “Try Sailing” courses over the summer months for new Lakers members who want to get out on the water for the first time.

Published in Sailing Clubs
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Bray Sailing Club’s instructor team for the 2018 sailing season recently spent a day learning about inclusion in sailing with Irish Sailing’s Inclusion Officer, Ciarán Murphy. This training course for the club’s instructors followed last year’s “Try Sailing” courses run by Bray Sailing Club for Lakers members, during which fourteen Lakers members took to the water for the first time.

The inclusion training was an overwhelming success, with the team of instructors learning the theoretical background to Inclusion Sailing in the morning before putting it all into practice on the water in the afternoon. The instructor team experienced what it is like to sail blind, deaf, and by using hand signals, with the use of a blindfold, ear muffs and duct tape respectively. Instructors were also instructed on the correct way to transfer people from shore to boat.

At the conclusion of the course, Bray Sailing Club’s Senior Instructor, Jack Hannon, commented “It has been a great day of fun filled learning, and we really appreciate Ciarán coming out to run the course with us. We have learned a lot which will stand to us going forward this season as we introduce a regular sailing schedule with Lakers members. This just highlights that sailing really is a sport for all and a sport for life!”

Lakers is a local social and recreation club for children and adults with an intellectual disability. As previously reported, following the introductory sessions of 2017, which included the issue of the first Irish Sailing certificate in Braille, Bray Sailing Club is planning a regular sailing programme for Lakers members in 2018.

Published in How To Sail
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Bray Sailing Club members in County Wicklow were delighted to welcome members of Lakers (a sport and recreation club for children and adults with an intellectual disability) to the club again this week to build further on the partnership which started earlier this summer. This was the second group of Lakers members to attend a “Try Sailing” course put together by Bray Sailing Club’s instructor team in 2017.

Weather conditions were extremely favourable for the course, which took place over three afternoons, and followed the same structure as before - a land-based familiarisation session on the first day, with a chance to take to the water on the following two afternoons (both inside and outside the harbour). The course concluded with a BBQ in Bray SC’s clubhouse and the presentation of Irish Sailing “Taste of Sailing” certificates to all participants by Bray SC’s Senior Instructor, Jack Hannon.

Speaking after the event, Lakers’ Services Manager, Anthony Finnegan said “We were delighted to be able to give a second group of Lakers members the opportunity to try out a new sport this week and our members are very grateful to the enthusiastic instructors and assistants, in Bray SC for giving up their time. They are just amazing and caring young people with plenty of experience to share. We hope that some of our members might have the opportunity to participate in sailing on a regular basis in the future and we look forward to a continuing relationship between Lakers and Bray SC.”

Bray SC’s Senior Instructor, Jack Hannon, commented: “I’m grateful to our team of thirteen instructors and assistants who gave up their time so willingly yet again to make this partnership a success. We now look forward to building on the success of these introductory courses and developing a more permanent connection with Lakers, and we’d like to develop a mentoring partnership between Lakers members and Bray SC members.”

Published in Sailing Clubs
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Coastal Notes Coastal Notes covers a broad spectrum of stories, events and developments in which some can be quirky and local in nature, while other stories are of national importance and are on-going, but whatever they are about, they need to be told.

Stories can be diverse and they can be influential, albeit some are more subtle than others in nature, while other events can be immediately felt. No more so felt, is firstly to those living along the coastal rim and rural isolated communities. Here the impact poses is increased to those directly linked with the sea, where daily lives are made from earning an income ashore and within coastal waters.

The topics in Coastal Notes can also be about the rare finding of sea-life creatures, a historic shipwreck lost to the passage of time and which has yet many a secret to tell. A trawler's net caught hauling more than fish but cannon balls dating to the Napoleonic era.

Also focusing the attention of Coastal Notes, are the maritime museums which are of national importance to maintaining access and knowledge of historical exhibits for future generations.

Equally to keep an eye on the present day, with activities of existing and planned projects in the pipeline from the wind and wave renewables sector and those of the energy exploration industry.

In addition Coastal Notes has many more angles to cover, be it the weekend boat leisure user taking a sedate cruise off a long straight beach on the coast beach and making a friend with a feathered companion along the way.

In complete contrast is to those who harvest the sea, using small boats based in harbours where infrastructure and safety poses an issue, before they set off to ply their trade at the foot of our highest sea cliffs along the rugged wild western seaboard.

It's all there, as Coastal Notes tells the stories that are arguably as varied to the environment from which they came from and indeed which shape people's interaction with the surrounding environment that is the natural world and our relationship with the sea.

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