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Billed as the last training event before June 9th's Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Race, a fleet of 11 boats turned out on Saturday morning for a light wind training run but after 12 hours of racing over a 50-mile course, only four finishers were recorded on ISORA's YB race track app (see full list below).

In an update, to the tracker results, it appears only the three big boats Aurelia, Rockabill VI and Prima Forte finished the course with Sunfast 3600 Searcher counted as a finisher but was in fact a retiree.

Sunfast 3600s Hot Cookie and Searcher, both retired around 11 pm when the tide turned against them after rounding Kish lighthouse on the edge of Dublin Bay.

The rest of the fleet bar the front runners had all retired prior to that.

The ambitious course set in 5 mph easterly winds out of the bay attracted some strong competition including ISORA Champion Rockabill VI (Paul O'Higgins) of the Royal Irish Yacht Club who will defend his 2019 D2D crown in ten day's time. 

Though a smaller fleet than anticipated mustered at the outfall buoy at 10 am, it did include no less than three Sunfast 3600s with some new arrivals, including black-hulled 'Searcher' making her Dublin Bay debut.

Dufour 45se Blaoga.Dufour 45se Blaoga

Also race training for the first time under the ISORA burgee was Howth Yacht Club Dufour 45se Blaoga.

Chris Power Smith's J/122 Aurelia, O'Higgins' Rockabill VI, Patrick Burke's Prima Forte and newcomer Searcher are all recorded as finishers.

The light air start off the Outfall Buoy at the back of Dun Laoghaire's West Pier(above and below) The light air start off the Outfall Buoy at the back of Dun Laoghaire's West Pier

The light air start off the Outfall Buoy at the back of Dun Laoghaire's West Pier   

Justtina, a Grand Soleil 34, negotiates a strong flood tide at the start of the ISORA training race at the back fo the East Pier at Dun LaoghaireJusttina, a Grand Soleil 34, negotiates a strong flood tide at the start of the ISORA training race at the back fo the East Pier at Dun Laoghaire

John O'Gorman's Sunfast 3600, Hot Cookie from the National Yacht ClubJohn O'Gorman's Sunfast 3600, Hot Cookie from the National Yacht Club

ISORA race training on the Beneteau 40.7 TsunamiISORA Race training on the Beneteau 40.7 Tsunami

Patrick Burke's Prima Forte - the Best new DBSC yacht of 2020 - is racing to Dingle on Jun 9thPatrick Burke's Prima Forte - the Best new DBSC yacht of 2020 - is racing to Dingle on Jun 9th

On deck on the Sunfast 3600 Searcher at 10.30pm, some 12.5 hours after the start....On deck on the Sunfast 3600 Searcher at 10.30pm, some 12.5 hours after the start....

Provisional results from the YB appProvisional results from the YB app

Update: May 30 2021. 10.50 am : This article was updated to reflect the retiral of the Sunfast 3600, Searcher 

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A 17-boat fleet can expect light winds for Saturday's ISORA Training Race as part of the Viking Marine Coastal Series off Dun Laoghaire Harbour.

The race is the last before June 9th's Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Race and thus provides an opportunity for some race practise before the 320-miler in 12 days time.

Joining the ISORA Coastal fleet on Dublin Bay for the first time is Searcher, a new Sunfast 3600 to the bay. 

Another new addition is Blaoga, a Dufour 45se from Howth Yacht Club.

The 17-boat ISORA fleetThe 17-boat ISORA fleet for the Dublin Bay Coastal training race

The 35-mile race is forecast to get underway at a new start time of 10 am in East South East winds of less than 5 mph. 

George Sisk's XP44 Wow is ISORA training tomorrowGeorge Sisk's XP44 Wow is ISORA training tomorrow Photo: Afloat

The course is as follows:

  • STARTING LINE at Dun Laoghaire Outfall Buoy.
  • ISORA Dublin Virtual Mark (P) N53 17.110 W6 00.100
  • Kish Light (S)
  • Virtual Mark 1 (P) N53 19.000 W5 35.500
  • Kish Light (P)
  • ISORA Dublin Virtual Mark (S) N53 17.110 W6 00.100
  • FINISH LINE at Dun Laoghaire Pier Heads.
  • RL Sailing briefing this evening 20.00

The ISORA training race course from Dun Laoghaire to Dun LaoghaireThe ISORA training race course from Dun Laoghaire to Dun Laoghaire

Live Dublin Bay webcams

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ISORA boss Peter Ryan has described next Saturday's training race as 'the last chance for skippers to ensure their crew are offshore battle-hardened and have recent offshore experience' before the Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Race on June 9th. 

Ryan has published the Sailing Instructions (downloadable below) and current entry list for a 50-mile offshore training next Saturday 29th May.

The start and finish lines will be located off Dun Laoghaire Harbour with a start time of 8 am.

George Sisk's WOW, an XP44 from the Royal Irish Yacht Club, is listed for next Saturday's ISORA 50-mile training run to and from Dun Laoghaire Harbour Photo: AfloatGeorge Sisk's WOW, an XP44 from the Royal Irish Yacht Club, is listed for next Saturday's ISORA 50-mile training run to and from Dun Laoghaire Harbour Photo: Afloat

As Afloat reported previously, four new boats are expected to join the 16-boat fleet listed by organisers below. Online entries are still open.

Ryan told Afloat, "I also expect Robert Rendell’s new Grand Soleil 44 and I'd be happy with a 20-boat fleet". 

ISORA entries for race training on May 29thISORA entries to date for race training on May 29th 2021

ISORA Champion Rockabill VI (Paul O'Higgins) Photo: AfloatISORA Champion Rockabill VI (Paul O'Higgins) Photo: Afloat

Leslie Parnell's First 34.7 Black Velvet Photo: AfloatLeslie Parnell's First 34.7 Black Velvet Photo: Afloat

ISORA's first event of its “Viking Marine Coastal Series began on May 15th and it mustered a high powered IRC fleet of 13 for the 35-mile course.

ISORA is running this month's training series in advance of a return to competition on June 7th as sailing is now considered a safe, non-contact sport with no material difference between training and competition under COVID-19 guidelines.

 The Archambault 31 A Plus from the National Yacht ClubThe Archambault 31 A Plus from the National Yacht Club

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"Sailing is a lifestyle activity which evolves as an expression of a vehicle sport afloat". There you go. So now you know. And please note that it's "lifestyle" and not "lifetime", though the latter also applies. Yet you were thinking it was just boats and sailing………….

This definition is a Sailing on Saturday distillation of several attempts at pinning down our sometimes incomprehensible aquatic interests for a wider world, and it results from many nautical minds devoting themselves to some deep thought during the pandemic lock-downs.

The irony is that those who are good at sailing in its competitive aspects will probably seldom think at all – in fact, probably not at all - about what exactly they're doing in the broader sense. For them, focus on specific performance-improving actions is totally dominant, they just get on with it, with their absorption in activity so totally involving every aspect of their being in the moment, and in what they're doing, that it effectively excludes any mental space for self-indulgent semi-philosophical reflection.

Nevertheless, the effects of the pandemic, the way we handled it while it was at its height, the way various organisations in sailing and boating made the best of the situation as it obtained at different stages, plus the way we're coping as we somewhat unevenly emerge (and let's hope we are emerging, for a Civil War in Japan over the Olympics wouldn't surprise us at all) tells us much about ourselves and our sailing and boating interests.

Going down the mine? At such times, the lone sailor is unlikely to be reflecting on whether or not sailing is a lifestyle activity that evolves as an expression of vehicle sport afloat.   Going down the mine? At such times, the lone sailor is unlikely to be reflecting on whether or not sailing is a lifestyle activity that evolves as an expression of vehicle sport afloat 

Overall, the abiding impression in Ireland has been of a notably cohesive and responsible society. Oh for sure, there were those who selfishly transgressed - some quite spectacularly. But in general, and certainly among those in the sailing and boating community, the sense was of a shared responsibility to keep things under control in a self-policing way, without requiring some government agency to mount some sort of patrols.

Yet equally, there was an obligation – and it really was an obligation – to get in as much sailing as possible when it was permitted during periods of easing. But even here, there were those who indicated that they preferred to sit it out until the complete all-clear was confirmed, and sailors were good at understanding and respecting the wishes of their fellow-enthusiasts who saw it that way.

In terms of achieving activity afloat, it became a case of the smaller and more specialist the organization and form of sailing involved, the more nimble it could be in having sailing while complying with the regulations of the moment. Single-handed dinghies made hay, with the Lasers in Dun Laoghaire a particular case in point, while two-handed races found their time has come, with Howth's annual Aqua Restaurant Two-Hander in July having its best turnout ever.

Just add water – Drascombes gathered on one of Ireland remotest waterways, on the uppermost Shannon where it enters Lough Allen. Thanks to a mastery of communications, the compact Drascombe Association are well able for what are in effect pop-up eventsJust add water – Drascombes gathered on one of Ireland remotest waterways, on the uppermost Shannon where it enters Lough Allen. Thanks to a mastery of communications, the compact Drascombe Association are well able for what are in effect pop-up events.

But in a very different area of sailing interest, the Drascombe Association in Ireland had one of their busiest seasons. It's a curious reality that the more quaint the boat involved, the more up-to-speed at within-class communications are those involved with sailing them.

The diverse standing army of Drascombe fans may not be completely happy with their prides-and-joy being described as "quaint", so let us assuage them by commenting that when the time is right, all you need to do is add water for an efficiently organised smoothly-communicated Drascombe gathering to take place, and 2020's expeditions up the River Boyne and into the remotest corners of Lough Corrib were classic cases in point.

The larger class organisations such as the notably effective GP 14 Association of Ireland found themselves more restricted, particularly as their originally-planned seasons had involved bringing international fleets to Ireland. But they maintained good lines of communication to members, which leaves them well-placed to accelerate into action when sailing resumes full time.

Thanks to 136 years of race organisation experience, Dublin Bay SC was able to demonstrate how to get "the mostest boats out there the fastest" whenever restrictions were raised. Photo: Afloat.ie/David O'BrienThanks to 136 years of race organisation experience, Dublin Bay SC was able to demonstrate how to get "the mostest boats out there the fastest" whenever restrictions were raised. Photo: Afloat.ie/David O'Brien

When many restrictions were lifted for two months last summer, Dublin Bay Sailing Club got the mostest afloat the fastest, and for sheer effectiveness in these unprecedented circumstances, it's the groupings which amount to virtual organisations which have proven themselves the most nimble in providing sport, but it sometimes seemed the fewer involved in the actual running of events, then the more effective it became.

Rudyard Kipling once wrote an odd poem called Winners, whose sentiments were dismissed by George Orwell as being vulgar. Be that as it may, its regularly drummed-home theme was in the two lines:

"Down to Gehenna, or up to the Throne,
He travels the fastest who travels alone".

It's natural to think of its sentiments as coarse selfishness. Yet in running the Irish side of ISORA, Peter Ryan has been largely travelling alone, but it has been for the most unselfish of reasons – the speedy provision of events which comply with regulations yet provide the necessary training buildup for the glamour event which we hope will signal that as good a sailing season as we can reasonably expect in 2021 is getting underway, and that's the National YC's Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Race on June 9th.

The smile on the face of the tiger…..Peter Ryan of ISORA says little but does a lot - largely working on his own – such that suddenly the offshore fleet finds itself with viable training races.   The smile on the face of the tiger…..Peter Ryan of ISORA says little but does a lot - largely working on his own – such that suddenly the offshore fleet finds itself with viable training races.  

We're now in a sort of limbo for the next two weeks with "Training Racing" permitted, but full-blown sport afloat not permissible until Monday, June 7th, and even then there will still be restrictions ashore, which means that effectively only half of our "lifestyle activity" can be fully activated.

Quite what a "Training Race" involves could be a matter of debate, and there were those who commented that last weekend's vigorous 35-mile ISORA Training Race from Dun Laoghaire looked very much like proper racing under another name.

The inaugural ISORA Training Race 2021 last weekend reinforced the feeling that the best training for offshore racing is going offshore racing. Photo: Afloat.ie/David O'Brien   The inaugural ISORA Training Race 2021 last weekend reinforced the feeling that the best training for offshore racing is going offshore racing. Photo: Afloat.ie/David O'Brien  

"Not so" say those who took part. Many crews were very surprised by just how rusty they were at various sail changing exercises, which normally ran as smoothly as a frequently-rehearsed ballet movement in the old days. And then as further proof it was "just training", the result was changed after the first post-race announcement when it was discovered that Outrajeous, the J/109 part-owned by Irish Cruiser-Racer Association Commodore Richard Colwell, was racing with an outdated and higher rating than was actually the case. In real racing, you usually expect the results to be based on the rating you enter with, but in Training Racing, it seems you're cut a bit of slack.

(Richard Colwell writes: Reading your article this morning. A point of order required. Outrajeous did enter under our correct rating, it was provided to the organisers 5 days before the training event happened, but was NOT updated by the event organisers in their files till afterwards! )

Ben Colwell and his father Richard (ICRA Commodore) aboard the J/109 OutrajeousBen Colwell and his father Richard (ICRA Commodore) aboard the J/109 Outrajeous.

Nevertheless, when the venerable Dublin Bay Water Wags went out in Dun Laoghaire for their first two "Training Races" on Wednesday of this week – a weekly programme for which 21 boats have signed up – it looked for a while as though officialdom at the highest level was keeping an eye on them to see if their training is for real. For the Naval Service's LE George Bernard Shaw came into port in such a way that the word is the "Training Race Officer" had to cancel the first race because of "an obstruction on the course".

"What's going on here then?" We are assured that the Naval Service's LE George Bernard Shaw was not on a Training-Not-Racing Patrol when she arrived into Dun Laoghaire on Wednesday in the midst of the Water Wags' first Training Race of the season.   "What's going on here then?" We are assured that the Naval Service's LE George Bernard Shaw was not on a Training-Not-Racing Patrol when she arrived into Dun Laoghaire on Wednesday in the midst of the Water Wags' first Training Race of the season.

"Power gives way to sail…." The view from the bridge on the LE George Bernard Shaw as a Dun Laoghaire Water Wag nips across"Power gives way to sail…." The view from the bridge on the LE George Bernard Shaw as a Dun Laoghaire Water Wag nips across.

However, the whisper on the waterfront is that every so often the navy ships are in Dun Laoghaire on a mock gunnery exercise to see how quickly they could level the still-controversial DLR Lexicon in the same way as the Helga did in the GPO in 1916. And the experience gained in such training could of course be re-directed to eliminating the proposed superstition-rejecting 13-storey apartment block supposedly approved for the Dun Laoghaire waterfront.

Be that as it may, sending a gunboat to check out whether or not the Water Wags really were on a Training Race would be an absurd waste of resources at a time when the Russians are clearly softening up the country – through preliminary cyber-attacks – for some sort of invasion. For as one experienced Water Wag sailor observed:

"In a fleet as diverse in sailing style as the Water Wags, it is always easy to discern a significant number of boats which are quite clearly involved in some sort of training exercise, rather than in any serious racing".

Nevertheless, the Water Wags can now cherish an unprecedented entry to their lengthy record of racing, which goes back to 1887:

Wednesday, May 19th 2021:

Training Race 1: Cancelled mid-race due to intervention of gunboat.

Training Race 2: Cancelled mid-race due to lack of wind.

Ominous sunset. Despite the calm which stopped the Water Wags second attempt at a Training Race on Wednesday, the late evening sky gave every sign of Thursday's approaching storm.Ominous sunset. Despite the calm which stopped the Water Wags second attempt at a Training Race on Wednesday, the late evening sky gave every sign of Thursday's approaching storm.

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After last Saturday's high octane start to the ISORA season at Dun Laoghaire Harbour, several new boats are expected to join the Irish offshore fleet as the scene hots up for the National Yacht Club hosted Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Race on June 9th. 

A third Sunfast 3600 will arrive Dublin Bay shortly, according to Afloat sources, and also expected is a new Grand Soleil 44R.

As Afloat reported earlier, Mike and Ritchie Evans's new J/99 is also expected to compete in ISORA.

Another Howth boat, a Dufour 45, is yet another welcome addition to the Dublin race scene. Although she did not participate in the first ISORA training run, the distinctive navy hull of Emmet Sheridan's Dufour 45e was seen sailing on Dublin Bay last Saturday. The Howth Yacht Club yacht is entered for the D2D in the IRC racing division.

Andre Algeo's J99 Juggerknot II will be joined by another J99 design this season Photo: AfloatAndrew Algeo's J99 Juggerknot II will be joined by another J99 design this season in the ISORA Series Photo: Afloat

Overall, this means a fleet of 20 could muster for the next ISORA training event on May 29th, a part of the Viking Marine Coastal Series, the last before the D2D. 

At least three of four boats new boats will be racing the 320-miles to Dingle, which will be an offshore highlight of the Irish sailing calendar. 

New Greystones yacht, the J122 KayaNew Greystones yacht, the J122 Kaya Photo: Afloat

As Afloat reported previously, last Saturday's first outing saw a new Greystones yacht, the J122 Kaya join the ISORA scene, a sistership to Chris Power Smith's top-performing Aurelia, from the Royal St. George Yacht Club. 

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Howth ISORA debutante Outrajeous was the winner of Saturday's 35-mile training event following a recalculation of IRC rating results.

The impressive performance of the north Dublin J109 crew came to light on Sunday evening after it was discovered the boat was 'racing under an incorrect handicap', according to ISORA Chairman Peter Ryan. 

Results have now been updated from the potent outing of the Dublin Bay offshore fleet that saw defending coastal champion, the JPK 10.80, Rockabill VI relegated to fourth place in the season opener.

Provisional IRC results released by organisers on Saturday showed John Gorman's Sunfast 3600 Hot Cookie with the IRC win but that has now been updated to put Richard Colwell and John Murphy's second-placed Howth entry as the top performer with O'Gorman second. Andrew Algeo's J99 Juggerknot II of the Royal Irish Yacht Club remains in third place. See corrected results below.

The Impressive tightly packed start of the first Viking Marine sponsored ISORA coastal event with winner Outrajeous (IRL 191909) to leeward and second placed John O'Gorman's Hot Cookie (GBR 7536R) The start of the first Viking Marine sponsored ISORA coastal event of 2021 with eventual winner Outrajeous (IRL 19109) to leeward and second-placed John O'Gorman's Hot Cookie (GBR 7536R) to weather both clearly in the front row of a tightly packed line

Although a training event, the first coastal event of the season turned out to be an impressive outing for the 13-boat fleet with an opening beat for about two hours – dead to windward – followed by two tight reaches and a dead run with the opening 2021 fixture fortunate that the forecast for the breeze to drop completely in the afternoon not materialising.

With just one more ISORA training event (29th May) before the D2D on June 7th, these offshore excursions are important form indicators, with the top four all entered for the Dingle Race.

ISORA 2021 - Results are provisional as of 18:51 on May 16, 2021ISORA 2021 - Results are provisional as of 18:51 on May 16, 2021

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ISORA's first event of its “Viking Marine Coastal Series at Dun Laoghaire Harbour yesterday mustered a high powered IRC fleet of 13 for a 35-mile course.

Starting in a testing south-easterly breeze of 18 to 20 knots at 0955 am, the coastal crews got the best of the day's Dublin Bay winds.

ISORA is running this month's training series in advance of a return to competition on June 7th as sailing is now considered a safe, non-contact sport with no material difference between training and competition under COVID-19 guidelines.

As Afloat reported previously, the fleet was joined for the first time by Frank Whelan's new Greystones Sailing Club J-boat, Kaya.

It's a sister ship of the top-performing Royal St. George J/122 Aurelia skippered by Chris Power Smith.

Rockabill VI (left) returns to the line after a premature start in the first outing of ISORA's Viking Marine Coastal SeriesRockabill VI (left) returns to the line after a premature start in the first outing of ISORA's Viking Marine Coastal Series

In a fleet representing a who's who of Irish Sea offshore talent, eager defending 2020 coastal champion Paul O'Higgin's Rockabill VI got off to a premature start at the committee boat end of the Dun Laoghaire Outfall buoy line.

Rockabill returned to the line as the rest of the fleet negotiated an upwind leg past Dun Laoghaire Harbour and across the Scotsman's Bay shoreline on their way to the  East Kish turning buoy.

Exiting the south of the Bay at Dalkey Island, it was on to Bennet buoy, an ISORA Dublin Virtual Mark to finish at the Dun Laoghaire pier heads.

Great breeze for the first of the ISORA Viking Marine Coastal Training EventsGreat breeze for the first of the ISORA Viking Marine Coastal Training Events

It turned out to be a great course that delivered a beat, a tight reach, a tight reach and a dead run with ISORA fortunate that the forecast for the breeze to drop completely in the afternoon did not materialise and the fleet came home in an 8 to 10-knot easterly. 

Provisional IRC results released by organisers initially showed John Gorman's Sunfast 3600 Hot Cookie on the pace with a win on IRC in the training event.

Second is John Murphy and Richard Colwell's J109 Outrajeous from Howth and Andrew Algeo's J99 Juggerknot II of the Royal Irish Yacht Club in third place.

UPDATE: Results were updated on Sunday, May 16 as Afloat reports here to show Outrajeous as the winner and Hot Cookie second.

Provisional results from the first ISORA Viking Marine training event

ISORA will be running further training events this month ahead of the first big Irish offshore fixture of the season, the 320-mile NYC Dun Laoghaire-Dingle Race on June 9th.  The training events will allow boats to get boats up to speed for the biennial offshore race, which is run under the auspice of the National Yacht Club.

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ISORA has a potent cruiser-racer fleet of 14 entries and possibly more for Saturday's first training event of the 2021 season from Dublin Bay.

In an exciting development for Irish offshore crews, the ISORA fleet will be joined for the first time by Frank Whelan's new Greystones Sailing Club J-boat, Kaya.

It's a sister ship of the top performing Royal St. George J/122 Aurelia skippered by Chris Power Smith that is also slated for training on Saturday. 

The J/122 design is a 40-foot sloop conceived as a versatile, stable and simple-to-sail modern cruiser and racer.

Training as part of the Viking Marine Coastal Series will see a Dun Laoghaire to Dun Laoghaire Coastal route of 35 miles, representing the first training for next month's 320-mile Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Race from the National Yacht Club on June 9th.

JPK 10.80 Rockabill VIJPK 10.80 Rockabill VI

The new Wicklow J122 will meet defending Royal Irish ISORA champion, the JPK 10.80 of Rockabill VI (Paul O'Higgins) for the first time along with Andrew Algeo's J99, George Sisk's XP44 WOW and two Howth Yacht Club J109s Outrajeous of ICRA Commodore Richard Colwell and Simon Knowles' Indian.

J122 Kaya is prepared for Saturday's ISORA debut at Greystones HarbourJ122 Kaya is prepared for Saturday's ISORA debut at Greystones Harbour

See the entry list to date below.

ISORA Chief Peter Ryan told Afloat that he expects the Dun Laoghaire Harbour start could reach 20 boats but admits 'everything is running very late' as a result of the COVID delayed start to the 2021 sailing season.

 J/99 Juggerknot IIJ/99 Juggerknot II

The final training course will be made at midday on Friday and, as Afloat previously reported, Figaro offshore campaigner Kenny Rumball is providing a tactical Zoom briefing on the course tomorrow evening. More here.

ISORA race training begins on Dublin Bay on Saturday, May 15thProvisional Dublin Bay ISORA fleet  - race training begins on Dublin Bay on Saturday, May 15th

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Dun Laoghaire Harbour sailor Kenneth Rumball a previous successful competitor on the ISORA circuit, along with teammate Pamela Lee has been competing in the toughest offshore sailing circuit, the one-design Figaro circuit in France. This circuit has produced some of the worlds greatest sailors including Jean Le Cam, Armel Le Cleach and Mike Golding to name a few.

In the past 18 months, the pair under the banner of 'RL Sailing' has been racing, training and coached by the most experienced French coaches in the training hubs of Lorient and St Gilles Croix De Vie.

The aim of RL Sailing is to qualify and represent Ireland in the mixed double-handed offshore class at the Paris 2024 Olympics

RL Sailing has similar aims to grow the sport of sailing in all disciplines in Ireland and here the pair explain their latest initiative.

Kenneth Rumball and Pamela Lee onboard their Figaro 3 foiler in FranceKenneth Rumball and Pamela Lee onboard their Figaro 3 foiler in France

A key ethos for the enjoyment of the sport is understanding. If more crews and skippers alike have a better understanding of the sport, they are more likely to enjoy their time on the water and will want to spend more time on the water. 

RL Sailing in conjunction with a sponsor of the team are offering pre and post-race analysis of the two ISORA training races pre the Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Race and also a pre-race briefing for the D2D race. These sessions will be delivered via Zoom unless restrictions ease to allow briefings to be held in an outside well-ventilated area such as a marquee.

Pre-Race briefings will be conducted to look specifically around the wind and tides to be expected during the training races and also to look at some generic boat set up discussions.

Different weather models will be discussed along with local weather trends such as sea breezes, tidal variances and current changes.

However given the wide variety of boats sailed in the ISORA races, specific boat type settings and setups will not be discussed. These briefings are standard practice in the Figaro circuit to help skippers and crews discuss and understand the weather ahead of them to give a better understanding of the race and racecourse.

The post-race analysis will be a led discussion centring around which weather models were most accurate, the course and route taken by the leading boats, sail selection and options for different boats.

A certain amount of this discussion will be prepared from the Yellowbrick trackers to give skippers and crews an understanding of boat speeds and courses taken by each boat.

Once again this information sharing is a key training tool used in the Figaro circuit. While we are all competitors on the water, for all sailors to improve, information is shared and discussed to build knowledge.

We believe that training like this is invaluable to all skippers and crews and will only lead to a better understanding of offshore racing which will improve the standard of sailing and the performance of Irish offshore sailors both in home waters and abroad.

These sessions are currently subsidised by a generous RL Sailing sponsor to all ISORA sailors competing in the training races on the 15th and 29th of May 2021 and the Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Race, however, in due course, there will be a modest fee for later races for this service.

The initial weather briefing for the race commencing on the 15th of May will take place on the 14th of May at 20:00 hours and will last for approximately 1.5 hours.

Zoom link here;

Topic: ISORA Training Race 15-5-21 Pre Race Weather Briefing
Time: May 14, 2021 08:00 PM Dublin

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87838370799?pwd=ZHpQZU44UWtHa2ROT2lTY0Q3Q1RqUT09

Meeting ID: 878 3837 0799
Passcode: 297492

Kenny Rumball and Pamela Lee

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ISORA will be running training events this month ahead of the first big Irish offshore fixture of the season, the 320-mile Volvo Dun Laoghaire-Dingle Race on June 9th. 

The training events, starting on the 15th of May, will allow boats to get boats up to speed for the biennial offshore race, which is run under the auspice of the National Yacht Club.

As ISORA Chief Peter Ryan told Afloat last week when government restrictions were eased; "It's all systems go!"

ISORA race training begins on Dublin Bay on May 15thISORA race training begins on Dublin Bay on May 15th

16 Races

The offshore body has a busy 2021 season planned with a total of 16 races on both sides of the Irish Sea and a new title sponsor signed up; Musto.

Six Offshore (Qualifying Q1-6) races are scheduled, with the best five to count for the Championship title and the prestigious Wolf's Head Trophy, which was not awarded in 2020 due to COVID-19. 

Coastal Series

ISORA also have two Coastal Series running concurrently:

  • Viking Marine Irish Coastal Series - Five races best four to count
  • Plas Heli Welsh/UK Coastal Series - Five races best four to count

The first coastal race was held in North Wales on Saturday in accordance with ISORA's COVID-19 protocol with crew limited to 80% of the IRC crew number. The race was tracked using a new AIS system.

Updated Calendar

An updated ISORA 2021 calendar is being prepared to take account of last Thursday's government announcement and Saturday's disappointing news that Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta has been cancelled.

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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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