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Displaying items by tag: windsurfing

Kilkeel RNLI launched to the rescue a windsurfer who got into difficulty off Cranfield Point on Saturday (14 November).

The volunteer crew set out on their inshore lifeboat at 3.25pm on Saturday as part of a multi-agency tasking that also involved Kilkeel Coastguard, Greenore Coast Guard and the Irish Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 116 from Dublin.

Onshore, Kilkeel Coastguard had spotted the sail of the windsurfer just north of Carlingford Lough’s shipping channel and directed lifeboat helm Gerry Smyth towards the casualty, who had been one of a group of eight.

The other seven members of the group had made it safely to shore. In Force 5-6 winds and in a moderate sea, the casualty and his gear were taken onboard.

The exhausted casualty was checked by the lifeboat crew for injury, water inhalation and the effects of the cold conditions. He was then made comfortable and brought safely ashore. The lifeboat returned at 4.15pm where the grateful surfer was met by Kilkeel Coastguard.

Speaking following the callout, Kilkeel’s lifeboat operations manager John Fisher said: “The crew did everything in a thoroughly professional manner and we would like to wish the casualty well.

“Because of Covid-19, the crew have been restricted in their training exercises but this afternoon they demonstrated their skills with this rescue also highlighting how well multiple agencies work together.”

The crew readied to launch for a second time over the weekend at 2.15pm yesterday (Sunday 15 November) following a call that an EPIRB had been activated.

However, after an extensive local onshore search it was found that the EPIRB was faulty and was located in a boat owner’s garage.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Courtmacsherry RNLI’s lifeboat volunteers were called out at 3.50pm yesterday afternoon (Saturday 20 June) to go to the aid of a lone windsurfer who had got into difficulty just offshore of Harbour View in Courtmacsherry Bay.

The alarm was raised by concerned persons on shore that the surfer was unable to return to his base as the winds were escalating.

While the winds were beginning to blow a gale off the South West Coast, both the Trent class lifeboat and the station’s inshore lifeboat were launched under coxswain Mark Gannon and a combined crew of nine volunteers.

After conducting a thorough search of the coastline from Burren Pier to Coolmain Strand, the windsurfer was finally located as he got ashore by himself downstream of Harbour View. The crew of the inshore lifeboat approached to confrm his status and found he was tired but uninjured.

Lifeboat operations manager Brian O’Dwyer thanked all the lifeboat crew members for the quick response and carrying out the search operation in a very professional fashion.

He reiterated that it is always best to raise the alarm quickly in the event of a difficulty being spotted from shore by dialling 999 or 112 and asking specifically for the coastguard.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Baltimore RNLI launched yesterday afternoon (Wednesday 17 July) to rescue a windsurfer who got into difficulty in Baltimore Harbour in West Cork.

The inshore lifeboat launched at 2.01pm after a member of the public alerted the Irish Coast Guard that a windsurfer was being blown against the shoreline at Reengarogy.

With four volunteer crew aboard — helm Kieran Collins and crew members Micheal Cottrell, David Ryan and Ian Lynch — the lifeboat arrived on scene two minutes later to find the casualty in the water, swimming hard to keep clear of the rocks.

The casualty was brought aboard the lifeboat, along with his board, and once satisfied that he was unharmed, the crew took him back to the beach in Baltimore he had originally set out from.

While the inshore lifeboat crew were dealing with their casualty on the shoreline, instructors from Baltimore Sailing Club went to the assistance of another windsurfer who was in difficulty in the middle of the harbour and brought them safely to shore.

Weather conditions at the time of the call were blustery with a south-westerly Force 5 wind and sloppy sea.

Speaking following the callout, Baltimore lifeboat press officer Kate Callanan said: “This was a particularly fast response as the inshore lifeboat was on scene with the casualty within seven minutes of the lifeboat pagers going off.

“Thankfully a member of the public had spotted the danger that the windsurfer was in and did the correct thing in alerting the coastguard.

“If you see anyone that you think is in difficulty on the water or along the coast, call 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

The dinghy classes are not the only subjects of open letters to World Sailing chiefs as they meet in London this weekend, with Dutch windsurfer Dorian van Rijsselberghe issuing his own missive criticising the retention of the RS:X class without holding sea trials.

Sail World reports on the letter from the current world and Olympic champion in the class, who argues that World Sailing has on its hands “a great opportunity to re-invigorate the sport of sailing and windsurfing and to inspire the next generation” were it to trial alternative classes such as windfoils alongside the RS:X, which itself replaced the Mistral in Beijing 2008.

“Despite the dominant position [my country the Netherlands holds] in the RS:X, I believe it is our duty not only to foster talent and bring it to the top – but in fact that the overriding duty is to act in the best interests of the sport and to ensure its future, prosperity and continued success,” he writes.

Van Rijsselberghe also hit out at the perceived monopoly in manufacturing for the class and is effect on costs for windsurfers, while also highlighting the dearth of youth competitors in the Netherland and New Zealand, historically among the biggest windsurfing nations.

Sail World has much more on the story HERE.

Force 10 winds forecast for this weekend will attract eight of the world’s more fearless windsurfers to Ireland’s Atlantic coast for a competition three years in the making.

As BreakingNews.ie reports, the precise date and venue for the Red Bull Storm Chase along the Wild Atlantic Way have not yet been decided, being influenced by where the squalls currently tracking towards Ireland ahead of two major storm systems will make landfall.

But if conditions prove optimal, the brave boarders will take to the big waves — judged on the size of their high-flying jumps, their artistry in the air and their overall style amid winds in excess of 100kmh.

BreakingNews.ie has more on the story HERE.

Published in Surfing

Vintage windsurfers from all over Ireland are coming together for the first time in more than 30 years in Dun Laoghaire this weekend.

Tomorrow (Saturday 20 October) the National Yacht Club plays host to The Gathering, organised by Two Score & Still Standing! and running from noon till late.

Veteran boarders will be joined by Dufour, Mistral, Sandal and Tiga sailors for a fun afternoon of relay racing, following by an evening social with memorabilia highlighting Irish windsurfing over the years — including a number of Afloat yearbooks — and dinner in the NYC clubhouse.

To register your interest in tomorrow’s event, contact Daphne at 087 256 0269 or [email protected], or Helga at 087 286 3116 or [email protected]

Two Score and Still Standing Gathering 2018

Tagged under

#SpeedRecord - Oisín van Gelderen has released an extended video of his Irish speed sailing record-setting run in the south of France last spring.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the windsurfer took to the lagoon at La Palme in the Occitanie region on 6 April 2017, after many days of waiting for the right conditions.

His new outright Irish speed sailing record of 42.16 knots over 500 metres was later ratified by the World Speed Sailing Record Council (WSSR), smashing the late John Kenny’s then longstanding record.

“All along it was my goal to try and break the 50 knot barrier (even as a VMax peak), and push my 500m speed (and the Irish record) up as close to 50 as I could,” he told Afloat.ie.

“Unfortunately the conditions didn't allow (wind not strong enough or at the wrong angle), and although the speed I set in La Palme broke my late friend John Kenny’s previous WSSRC 500m Irish Record by a couple of knots, ironically my own GPS Speeds are much faster.

Van Gelderen added: “I have national GPS Records too by GPS - which is much cheaper to do as I can concentrate on chasing the wind and finding the perfect location such as BunBeg in Donegal, or the Dungarvan Speed Strip at Abbeyside.

“But WSSRC 500m ratified speeds are still considered the ‘official’ national/world records.”

Afloat’s sailor of the month for September 2010 said that the current season has so far not been conducive to GPS speed sailing in Ireland.

“We have had plenty of wind, but never at the right angle - when the tide is also correct to give the right conditions.

“So for me the chase continues. and I will enter the two other WSSRC events this year – one again in the south of France at Le Rouet beach, and the second in Luderitz, Namibia."

Van Gelderen said he has tried to get to Namibia’s Skeleton Coast, where Paul Larsen set the outright record on Vestas Sailrocket 2 in 2012, for a number of years.

“It’s the ultimate course,” he says of the Luderitz Speed Challenge, “where all the world records and top 40 fastest speeds in the world come from.”

Afloat.ie wishes Oisín the best of luck in his efforts to make a mark for Ireland on the world speed sailing stage.

Published in Surfing

#Ophelia - Windsurfers on the Louth coast have been roundly criticised on social media as they prompted a major rescue operation before the arrival of Storm Ophelia, as TheJournal.ie reports.

The four windsurfers, originally thought to be kitesurfers, made their own way to shore after getting 'into difficulty' this morning — but not before Clogherhead RNLI, Greenore Coast Guard and the Dublin-based Irish Coast Guard rescue helicopter had launched to their location, off Blackrock in Dundalk Bay.

The Irish Coast Guard has repeated widespread calls to stay away from the coast during the current storm conditions throughout Ireland.

This article was changed to correct an error in the number of windsurfers involved in this morning's incident.

Published in Rescue

#Windsurfing - Ireland’s windsurfing community will take over Downings in Co Donegal this coming weekend (22-23 July) for the 2017 Irish National Youth Championships.

The Blue Flag beach in the Donegal Gaeltacht has hosted a windsurfing competition each July since 1982, but this year is going national with its inaugural titles for girls and boys from under-sixes to under-18s.

Six main fleets – novice, gold, silver, longboards, konas and kiddies — will be hitting the surf after registration starts on the beach at 9am this Saturday 22 July.

The prizegiving ceremony will also take place on Downings beach from 4.30pm on Sunday 23 July.

For more see the event’s Facebook page HERE.

Published in Surfing
Tagged under

#RNLI - Wicklow RNLI’s inshore lifeboat was launched at 1.48pm on Saturday afternoon (24 June) after a member of the public reported a windsurfer in difficulty off Silver Strand, three miles south of Wicklow Harbour.

The lifeboat with three crew — helm Graham Fitzgerald, Vinne Mulvilhill and Connie O’Gara — was alongside the casualty seven minutes after launching. A local angling boat had also stood by the windsurfer until the lifeboat arrived.

The casualty was taken onto the lifeboat and assessed. He did not require any medical assistance and was landed safely back on Silver Strand a short time later.

Speaking after the callout, Wicklow RNLI lifeboat helm Graham Fitzgerald said: “We located the windsurfer about half a mile offshore. He had left the beach earlier but the wind dropped and he was unable to get back ashore.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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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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