Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

A Harbour Seal photographed at Dun Laoghaire Marina on Dublin Bay, Ireland. Also known as the common seal, is a true seal found along temperate and Arctic marine coastlines of the Northern Hemisphere. The most widely distributed species of pinnipeds, they are found in coastal waters of the northern Atlantic and Pacific oceans, Baltic and North seas. Photo: AfloatA photograph of a Harbour Seal taken at Dun Laoghaire Marina on Dublin Bay, Ireland. Also known as the common seal, this species can be found along temperate and Arctic marine coastlines throughout the Northern Hemisphere. They are the most widely distributed species of pinnipeds and can be found in the coastal waters of the northern Atlantic and Pacific oceans, as well as the Baltic and North Seas. Photo: Afloat

Displaying items by tag: Dragon

A blaze of Dragons raced at Cork Week with entries from Kinsale YC, Royal St. George YC, Royal Irish YC, and Glandore Harbour YC.

Races were held on the Windward Leeward Course off Roches Point. Cameron Good’s Little Fella from Kinsale YC scored three race wins in a huge variety of conditions to win the Dragon Class.

Cameron Good was the Dragon class winnerCameron Good was the Cork Week Dragon class winner

Peter Bowring’s Phantom from the Royal St. George led after the second day but finished the six race series as runner up. Daniel Murphy’s Whisper from Kinsale YC is third by just a point from Phantom.

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Two wins on Thursday for Cameron Good's Little Fella have given the team from Kinsale Yacht Club a five-point lead in the seven-boat Dragon Class at Cork Week.

After three days of light and complex racing, a sea breeze kicked in on Day Four to spice up the action on the penultimate day.

Peter Bowring's Phantom from the Royal St. George YC is second, just a point ahead of Daniel Murphy's Whisper from the Kinsale YC.

A number of protests are still to be heard so results are provisional.

Racing at Volvo Cork Week concludes on Friday on five race areas, in and outside Cork Harbour, organised by the Royal Cork Yacht Club.

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Irish champion Dragon Phantom skippered by Royal St. George's Peter Bowring leads after the first day of racing for Dragons at Volvo Cork Week Regatta.

Dun Laoghaire's Bowring counts a 2,1 in the seven-boat fleet to lead from Kinsale YC's Cameron Good in Little Fella one point behind on four.

The three-man class joined the action on the third day (Wednesday) of Volvo Cork Week and was blessed with sunshine and 8-10 knots of breeze from the north.

The Cape 31 Class and Dragons had windward-leeward races off Roches Point.

Racing at Cork Week continues tomorrow with the penultimate day of racing for the regatta. Five race areas, in and outside Cork Harbour, will be organised by the Royal Cork Yacht Club.


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Going into the final two races of the 2022 Edinburgh Cup in Falmouth on Thursday it was close at the top. Just one or two points were in it for four of the Dragon and it quite literally was all to play for!

The Royal St. George Yacht Club Jaguar Sailing Team of Martin Byrne, Adam Winkelmann and John Simms led overall by three points and were hopeful of a repeat of their 2011 victory but unfortunately, things did not turn out that way for the Dublin Bay crew.

Wind, waves, and sun was on the menu for the first race but after a general recall the wind started to dip. Instead of the three sitting on the side, teams were adapting to the conditions sailing towards Pendennis Castle.

The conditions further tested the fleet with many choosing to hit a hard corner before turning to the upwind mark. Gains were made downwind for many of the Dragons, but it was the final beat to the finish that determined the outcome.

Provezza TUR 1212 claimed their second race win with Bluebottle GBR 192 in second and, Jaguar Racing Team IRL 201 taking third. Burnham-based Dragons Flotation GBR 790 and Still Crazy GBR 827 came in fourth and fifth, respectively.

The final race was an exciting culmination of the week. The Dragons were away on a clean start, and it was a 50/50 split choosing the far left or right of the beat. The first windward mark was a melee of Dragons as several converged from port and starboard resulting in penalty turns and rapid avoidance.

The final beat to the finish saw GBR 192 and TUR 1212 exchange covering tacks and a fast GBR 761 edged ahead. As the Dragons neared the finish and the entrance to Carrick Roads, the wind became unpredictable with pockets across the bay.

In a remarkably close finish, it was Jerboa GBR 761 to cross the line with their first race win. TUR 1212 got in front of GBR 192 to take second place forcing Bluebottle to settle for third.

In another brilliant display of racing expertise, Ron James’ Fei-Lin’s Flirtation GBR 633 came from the back, choosing a hard right on the final beat to take fourth place over the line. Followed quickly by Andy Moss’s Hands Off GBR 760.

The 2022 Edinburgh Cup was won by Provezza Dragon TUR 1212, Andy Beadsworth, Simon Fry and Edward Salter. A first win for helm Andy Beadsworth but not his first Edinburgh Cup win.

Edinburgh Cup Results Overall (Sailed: 6, Discards: 1, To count: 5, Entries: 24) 

1st Provezza Dragon TUR 1212 Andy Beadsworth Bodrum Offshore SC 2.0 1.0 (11.0) 5.0 1.0 2.0 11.0
2nd Bluebottle GBR 192 Graham Bailey Royal Yacht Squadron 1.0 7.0 1.0 (12.0) 2.0 3.0 14.0
3rd Jaguar Racing Team IRL 201 Martin Byrne Royal St George YC C 7.0 2.0 4.0 3.0 3.0 (10.0) 19.0
4th Jerboa GBR 761 Gavia Wilkinson-Cox Royal Torbay YC L (19.0) 3.0 2.0 2.0 17.0 1.0 25.0
5th Fei-Lin’s Flirtation GBR 633 Ronald James Royal Forth YC 5.0 (9.0) 9.0 1.0 8.0 4.0 27.0

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The Royal St. George Yacht Club Jaguar Sailing Team of Martin Byrne, Adam Winkelmann and John Simms lead overall by three points going into the final two races of the Dragon class Edinburgh Cup in Falmouth today.

The only Irish contestants at the British Championships scored a three and a four to take the lead from Andy Beadsworth's Provezza Dragon.

Race three started with a cloudy NNW breeze and a keen TUR 1212 and GBR 764 were called over the line. Dragons were noticeably picking either the left or right of the course for their long tack.
The windward mark made for exciting viewing as the main pack of Dragons all converged, in breeze and current, to make the spreader mark.

The dark blue hull of Bluebottle edged forward to take the race three win ahead of Jerboa GBR 761. Third place in the race went to Richard Davies’ Flotation GBR 790 after a superb display of shift selection and downwind sailing. Hot on the heels were Jaguar Racing Team IRL 201 and Pageboy XI GBR 792 in fourth and fifth.

As the Dragons prepared for the start of race four the wind swung more to the North and increased and combined with a disturbed sea saw all sailors on the side heading up the first beat.

Fei-Lin’s Flirtation GBR 633 picked the winning side of the racecourse and after the second downwind leg had opened a considerable lead. It was safe to say everyone was happy to see Ron and his stunning Dragon take the race win.

A consistent race from GBR 761 saw them take another second place and a firm position in the top five. IRL 201 went one better securing third place with GBR 763 and TUR 1212 crossing in fourth and fifth places.

Martin Byrne said after racing “I am optimistic for the next races. We have remained consistent, but it is remarkably close racing. We still have some work to do and will give it all we have till the end.”

Everyone is interested to see how the day pans out and how the scoreboard is shuffled around once the discard is applied. Anyone of four boats has the potential to take the Edinburgh Cup. Could Graham Bailey win his fourth Edinburgh Cup in Bluebottle, or Andy Beadsworth take his first win as a helm, it could go to SW Champions Jaguar Racing Team, or team Jerboa attain their first win and only the second time a lady helm has won the Cup.

Top five Edinburgh Cup overall results after four races sailed and no discard 

1st Jaguar Racing Team IRL 201 Martin Byrne Royal St George YC16.0
2nd Provezza Dragon TUR 1212 Andy Beadsworth Bodrum Offshore SC 19.0
3rd Bluebottle GBR 192 Graham Bailey Royal Yacht Squadron 21.0
4th Fei-Lin’s Flirtation GBR 633 Ronald James Royal Forth YC 24.0
5th Jerboa GBR 761 Gavia Wilkinson-Cox Royal Torbay YC  26.0

Published in Dragon

Royal St. George's Martin Byrne sailing with Adam Winklemann and John Simms are third after the first two races of the Edinburgh Cup, the British Dragon national championship.

It follows victory for the Irish trio at the Dragon Class Southern Area Championships at Royal Cornwall Yacht Club last week as Afloat reported here.

It was a clean start for race one with the fleet split left and right going up the first beat. With the sea breeze fighting the northwest wind, the conditions became patchy and light across the racecourse.

GBR 192 Bluebottle took a commanding lead, securing their first win, followed across the line by Provezza Dragon TUR 1212. Andy Moss’ GBR 760 Hands Off had a great race, chipping away at the fleet on each leg to finish third with GBR 763 Bertie and GBR 633 Fei-Lin’s Flirtation taking fourth and fifth respectively.

Andy Moss commented “We were absolutely delighted with our results today. We had a very frustrating day yesterday, we couldn't read the course, couldn't read the wind at all, but today was completely different. We seemed to get in the right shift patterns, we managed to find the pressure and to overtake boats right away through both races. It was fantastic teamwork; we are really enjoying it in Falmouth.”

As the sequence began for race two the NNW breeze increased with white caps welcoming the Dragons. It was exciting racing from the 24 keelboats up the first beat which resulted in a pile-up at the windward mark.

The increased pressure allowed the Dragons to stretch their legs across Falmouth Bay and it was TUR 1212 who crossed the line first with recently crowned Southwest Dragon Champions IRL 201 Jaguar Racing Team in second. Cowes-based Dragon GBR 761 Jerboa enjoyed a better race taking third place followed by Pageboy XI GBR 791 and Furious GBR 777.

TUR 1212 has a five-point lead over GBR 192 going into the second day and with a similar wind forecast it could make for another set of exciting close racing in Falmouth.

Edinburgh Cup Day One (Top five)

1st Provezza Dragon TUR 1212 Andy Beadsworth Bodrum Offshore SC 2.0 1.0 3.0
2nd Bluebottle GBR 192 Graham Bailey Royal Yacht Squadron 1.0 7.0 8.0
3rd Jaguar Racing Team IRL 201 Martin Byrne Royal St George YC 7.0 2.0 9.0
4th Hands Off GBR 760 Andrew Moss Royal Corinthian YC C 3.0 6.0 9.0
5th Pageboy XI GBR 792 Clive Page Royal Corinthian YC C 6.0 4.0 10.0

24 competing

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Royal St. George's Martin Byrne sailing with Adam Winklemann and John Simms has won the International Dragon Class Southern Area Championships at Royal Cornwall Yacht Club.

A warm-up event for Tuesday's prestigious Edinburgh Cup at the same venue in Falmouth saw Ireland's Jaguar Sailing Team six points clear of the Royal Yacht Squadron's Graham Bailey at the helm of the Duke of Edinburgh's classic Bluebottle on 18 points. 

Six races were sailed with one discard in a 22-boat fleet. Simon Barter of Cowes Corinthian YC was third. 

Although Byrne did not win a race, the Irish trio counted five results in the top three in a consistent display that bodes well for the first races of the British National Championship for the Edinburgh Cup today. 

2022 Edinburgh Cup

They will be the only Irish team competing – and a Corinthian team to boot – and up against some stiff UK competition just arrived in Falmouth Harbour, including the pre-regatta favourite, Andy Beadsworth's Provezza. 

As regular Afloat readers will know, victory at the Edinburgh Cup is nothing new for Byrne and Winkelmann; the Dun Laoghaire crew lifted the Cup back more than a decade ago in 2011.

And their pre-event training reveals the depth of their ambitions to hold the Cup for Ireland again.  

Byrne's last event was pre-Covid at Abersoch in 2019, when they finished runners-up to Mike Budd.

"It is almost a decade since we won the Edinburgh Cup in 2011, and we have had a couple of near misses since then".

Over the winter, the Jaguar team competed in a series of events in Portugal; four events in Vilamoura and one practice week in Cascais. Last month they competed in La Baule, France and at June's National Yacht Club regatta on Dublin Bay.

Ireland has won the Edinburgh Cup 13 times in its 73-year history. 

Dragon UK South coast results here

Published in Dragon

National Dragon Champion Neil Hegarty of the RStGYC took the East Coast title after six races sailed at the Royal Irish Yacht Club hosted event. 

Overnight leader on Saturday, Hegarty sailing with crew Kevin O’Boyle and Charlie Bolger clinched the championship with a final race win on Sunday.

Winds were easterly and shifting between 60 and 90 degrees up to 12 knots with a short chop off Dun Laoghaire Harbour.

(Above and below) Overall winner Neil Hegarty (225) takes the pin end in race five of the Dragon East Coast Championships Photo: Afloat(Above and below) Overall winner Neil Hegarty (225) takes the pin end in race five of the Dragon East Coast Championships Photo: Afloat

Overall winner Neil Hegarty (225) takes the pin end in race five of the Dragon East Coast Championships

Sailing with four up, Kinsale Yacht Club's Brian Goggin and crew Sean Murphy, Daniel Murphy and John O Connor broke the overnight tie with Ruan O'Tiarnaigh, Stephen Boyle and John Burke in the Sutton Dinghy Club entry 'Phantom Capital' to take second overall on 13 points.

Kinsale Yacht Club's Brian Goggin and crew Sean Murphy, Daniel Murphy and John O'Connor on Whisper Photo: AfloatKinsale Yacht Club's Brian Goggin and crew Sean Murphy, Daniel Murphy and John O'Connor on Whisper Photo: Afloat

The SDC crew took third overall in the 13-boat fleet on 18 points. 

Ruan O'Tiarnaigh, Stephen Boyle and John Burke from Sutton Dinghy Club were thirdRuan O'Tiarnaigh, Stephen Boyle and John Burke from Sutton Dinghy Club were third

Kinsale will host the prestigious 2024 Dragon Gold Cup, a high point on the calendar after the disappointing cancellation of the 2020 Cup at that venue due to COVID. 

Results are here

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National Dragon Champion Neil Hegarty of the Royal St. George Yacht Club leads this weekend's class East Coast Championships at the Royal Irish Yacht Club at Dun Laoghaire Harbour

After four races sailed in light westerly winds, Hegarty sailing with Kevin O’Boyle and Charlie Bolger leads by two points from Dragon newcomers Ruan O'Tiarnaigh in Phantom Capital sailing with Stephan Boyle and John Burke of Sutton Dinghy Club.

After one discard applied, Kinsale Yacht Club visitors Brian Goggin, Sean Murphy, Daniel Murphy and John O Connor are tied on seven points with O'Tiarnaigh in the 13-boat fleet. 

Two races are left to sail on Sunday. Results are here

Published in Dragon

There were no final races today at the Dragon European Championships meaning last night's results stand leaving Pedro Rebeo De Andrade, Ireland's Adam Winkelmann and Jorge Pinheiro De Melo in second overall.

The fleet was held ashore for most of the day as the easterly winds were very fickle all morning. They only went afloat at 1.30 as the RO attempted one start before the 3 pm cut off time.

However, as the Dragons arrived at the race course the wind shifted 180 degrees as the strong gale force Mistral winds arrived from the west bringing 3/4 metre waves.

The Race Officer abandoned any attempts to start a race and sent the fleet ashore for the last time.


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Page 6 of 28

For all you need on the Marine Environment - covering the latest news and updates on marine science and wildlife, weather and climate, power from the sea and Ireland's coastal regions and communities - the place to be is

Coastal Notes

The Coastal Notes category covers a broad range of stories, events and developments that have an impact on Ireland's coastal regions and communities, whose lives and livelihoods are directly linked with the sea and Ireland's coastal waters.

Topics covered in Coastal Notes can be as varied as the rare finding of sea-life creatures, an historic shipwreck with secrets to tell, or even a trawler's net caught hauling much more than just fish.

Other angles focusing the attention of Coastal Notes are Ireland's maritime museums, which are of national importance to maintaining access and knowledge of our nautical heritage, and those who harvest the sea using small boats based in harbours where infrastructure and safety pose an issue, plying their trade along the rugged wild western seaboard.

Coastal Notes tells the stories that are arguably as varied as the environment they come from, and which shape people's interaction with the natural world and our relationship with the sea.

Marine Wildlife

One of the greatest memories of any day spent boating around the Irish coast is an encounter with Marine Wildlife. It's a thrill for young and old to witness seabirds, seals, dolphins and whales right there in their own habitat. And as boaters fortunate enough to have experienced it will testify, even spotting a distant dorsal fin can be the highlight of any day afloat. Was that a porpoise? Was it a whale? No matter how brief the glimpse, it's a privilege to share the seas with Irish marine wildlife.

Thanks to our location in the North Atlantic, there appears to be no shortage of marine life to observe. From whales to dolphins, seals, sharks and other ocean animals, the Marine Wildlife category documents the most interesting accounts around our shores. And we're keen to receive your observations, your photos, links and video clips, too!

Also valuable is the unique perspective of all those who go afloat, from coastal sailing to sea angling to inshore kayaking to offshore yacht racing, as what they encounter can be of great importance to organisations such as the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG). Thanks to their work we now know we share the seas with dozens of species who also call Ireland home. But as impressive as the list is, the experts believe there are still gaps in our knowledge. Next time you are out on the ocean waves, keep a sharp look out!


As an island in the North Atlantic, Ireland's fate is decided by Weather more so than many other European countries. When storm-force winds race across the Irish Sea, ferry and shipping services are cut off, disrupting our economy. When swollen waves crash on our shores, communities are flooded and fishermen brace for impact - both to their vessels and to their livelihoods.

Keeping abreast of the weather, therefore, is as important to leisure cruisers and fishing crews alike - for whom a small craft warning can mean the difference between life and death - as it is to the communities lining the coast, where timely weather alerts can help protect homes and lives.

Weather affects us all, and will keep you informed on the hows and the whys.

Marine Science

Perhaps it's the work of the Irish research vessels RV Celtic Explorer and RV Celtic Voyager out in the Atlantic Ocean that best highlights the essential nature of Marine Science for the future growth of Ireland's emerging 'blue economy'.

From marine research to development and sustainable management, Ireland is developing a strong and well-deserved reputation as an emerging centre of excellence. Whether it's Wavebob ocean energy technology to aquaculture to weather buoys and oil exploration, the Marine Science category documents the work of Irish marine scientists and researchers and how they have secured prominent roles in many European and international marine science bodies.

Power From The Sea

The message from the experts is clear: offshore wind and wave energy is the future. And as Ireland looks towards the potential of the renewable energy sector, generating Power From The Sea will become a greater priority in the State's 'blue growth' strategy.

Developments and activities in existing and planned projects in the pipeline from the wind and wave renewables sector, and those of the energy exploration industry, point to the future of energy requirements for the whole world, not just in Ireland. And that's not to mention the supplementary industries that sea power projects can support in coastal communities.

Irish ports are already in a good position to capitalise on investments in offshore renewable energy services. And Power From The Sea can even be good for marine wildlife if done properly.

Aside from the green sector, our coastal waters also hold a wealth of oil and gas resources that numerous prospectors are hoping to exploit, even if people in coastal and island areas are as yet unsure of the potential benefits or pitfalls for their communities.

Changing Ocean Climate

Our ocean and climate are inextricably linked - the ocean plays a crucial role in the global climate system in a number of ways. These include absorbing excess heat from the atmosphere and absorbing 30 per cent of the carbon dioxide added to the atmosphere by human activity. But our marine ecosystems are coming under increasing pressure due to climate change.

The Marine Institute, with its national and international partners, works to observe and understand how our ocean is changing and analyses, models and projects the impacts of our changing oceans. Advice and forecasting projections of our changing oceans and climate are essential to create effective policies and management decisions to safeguard our ocean.

Dr Paul Connolly, CEO of the Marine Institute, said, “Our ocean is fundamental to life on earth and affects so many facets of our everyday activities. One of the greatest challenges we face as a society is that of our changing climate. The strong international collaborations that the Marine Institute has built up over decades facilitates a shared focusing on our changing ocean climate and developing new and enhanced ways of monitoring it and tracking changes over time.

“Our knowledge and services help us to observe these patterns of change and identify the steps to safeguard our marine ecosystems for future generations.”

The Marine Institute’s annual ocean climate research survey, which has been running since 2004, facilitates long term monitoring of the deep water environment to the west of Ireland. This repeat survey, which takes place on board RV Celtic Explorer, enables scientists to establish baseline oceanic conditions in Irish waters that can be used as a benchmark for future changes.

Scientists collect data on temperature, salinity, water currents, oxygen and carbon dioxide in the Atlantic Ocean. This high quality oceanographic data contributes to the Atlantic Ocean Observing System. Physical oceanographic data from the survey is submitted to the International Council for the Exploration of the Seas (ICES) and, in addition, the survey contributes to national research such as the VOCAB ocean acidification and biogeochemistry project, the ‘Clean Atlantic’ project on marine litter and the A4 marine climate change project.

Dr Caroline Cusack, who co-ordinates scientific activities on board the RV Celtic Explorer for the annual survey, said, “The generation of long-term series to monitor ocean climate is vital to allow us understand the likely impact of future changes in ocean climate on ecosystems and other marine resources.”

Other activities during the survey in 2019 included the deployment of oceanographic gliders, two Argo floats (Ireland’s contribution to EuroArgo) and four surface drifters (Interreg Atlantic Area Clean Atlantic project). The new Argo floats have the capacity to measure dissolved ocean and biogeochemical parameters from the ocean surface down to a depth of 2,000 metres continuously for up to four years, providing important information as to the health of our oceans.

During the 2019 survey, the RV Celtic Explorer retrieved a string of oceanographic sensors from the deep ocean at an adjacent subsurface moored station and deployed a replacement M6 weather buoy, as part of the Irish Marine Data Buoy Observation Network (IMDBON).

Funded by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, the IMDBON is managed by the Marine Institute in collaboration with Met Éireann and is designed to improve weather forecasts and safety at sea around Ireland. The data buoys have instruments which collect weather and ocean data including wind speed and direction, pressure, air and sea surface temperature and wave statistics. This data provides vital information for weather forecasts, shipping bulletins, gale and swell warnings as well as data for general public information and research.

“It is only in the last 20 years, meteorologists and climatologists have really began to understood the pivotal role the ocean plays in determining our climate and weather,” said Evelyn Cusack, Head of Forecasting at Met Éireann. “The real-time information provided by the Irish data buoy network is particularly important for our mariners and rescue services. The M6 data buoy in the Atlantic provides vital information on swell waves generated by Atlantic storms. Even though the weather and winds may be calm around our shores, there could be some very high swells coming in from Atlantic storms.”