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Displaying items by tag: GP14

The 2023 Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta attracted 25 GP14s. On Day 1, with big winds forecast, a 24-boat fleet made their way out to the Salthill racecourse with some trepidation. The fact they got three races completed says much for their patience and boat handling, as a 90-minute wait between Race 1 and Race 2 with gusts hitting 25 knots couldn't have been comfortable. But three races were sailed in up to 20+ knots making for a very lively first day of the GP14 Leinster Championships, which was being held as part of VDLR. There were three different race winners, indicative of the conditions and how open this Leinster Championship would turn out.

Sam Wray, with Luke Henderson, took his first race win in a GP14 Ireland Championship event. Race 2 went to Alan Blay & Hugh McNally, with Ger Owens & Mel Morris taking race 3. Greystones Rob Lee was unlucky; after posting a 3rd and a 6th, he crossed first in race three only to find himself OCS.

Sutton Dinghy Club Alan Blay & Hugh McNally led the fleet by a point after the first day of the GP14 Leinster Championships at Volvo Dun Laoghaire RegattaSutton Dinghy Club Alan Blay & Hugh McNally led the fleet by a point after the first day of the GP14 Leinster Championships at Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta Photo: Michael Chester

At the end of Day 1, Sutton Dinghy Club Alan Blay & Hugh McNally led the fleet by a point from Ger Owens & Mel Morris, with another Sutton boat Conor Twohig & Matthew Cotter in 3rd only one point further back. Alan and Hugh counted a win in Race 2, along with a 2nd and a 4th, while Conor & Matthew had a 5th and a pair of 2nds.

Sam Street and Josh Lloyd Race earned a race win at the GP14 Leinsters at Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta Photo: Michael ChesterSam Street and Josh Lloyd Race earned a race win at the GP14 Leinsters at Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta Photo: Michael Chester

Day 2 dawned; conditions were far more comfortable for the fleet but still saw plenty of breeze. Race 4 saw the fleet contending with 16 knots gusting 23+ at times but this didn't stop the emerging Youth coming through with Sam Street & Josh Llyod from Blessington, who only had their first Championship race win at the Ulsters in Larne a few weeks ago taken the bullet. Alan Blay & Hugh McNally taking a 4th, Ger Owens & Mel Morris in 5th and Conor Twohig & Matthew Cotter taking 3rd, that will move them up to 5th behind Sam Wray. Rob Lee showed his form finishing 2nd and would move into contention after discards kick in.

Sutton's Conor Twohig and Matthew CotterSutton's Conor Twohig and Matthew Cotter go downwind at the GP14 Leinsters at Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta Photo: Michael Chester

Race 5 saw Ger Owens & Mel Morris take the bullet to leap into 1st on countback from Sutton Dinghy Club Conor Twohig & Matthew Cotter who posted a 2nd and wre having a blinder. 3rd went to Paddy O' Connor who looks like he is finding his feet after rejoing the fleet with a new boat this year. Overnight leader Alan Blay & Hugh McNally lay 3rd overall after another consistent 4th place. Keith & Matteo Louden took 5th with Hugh Gill & Richard Street 6th.

The offshore breeze on the VDLR Salthill racecourse meant conditions could be very manageable for the GP14s (above) or...The gusty offshore breeze on the VDLR Salthill racecourse meant conditions could be very manageable for the GP14s (as above) or...Photo: Michael ChesterThe offshore breeze on the VDLR Salthill racecourse meant conditions could be very manageable for the GP14s....flat out fast downwind...or....Photo: Michael Chester...or just a little too much to handle at times....Photo: Michael Chester... just a little too much at times....Photo: Michael Chester

Race 6 and the final race of Day 2 ended with a 3 way tie at the top with Ger Owens & Mel Morris, Alan Blay & Hugh McNally and Conor Twohig & Matthew Cotter all on 14 points. On a sad day for Sligo Yacht Club, with the passing of GP14 legend Gus Henry, Sligos Sam Wray & Luke Henderson took their 2nd victory of the event ahead of Movilles John & Donal McGuinness with Sutton Dinghy Club boats, Alan Blay & Hugh McNally in 3rd and Hugh Gill & Richard Street 4th. Lough Foyle Yacht Club James Peter Hockley & Alan Thompson racing for the first time this season were 5th. Condition were brisk with big gusts but also saw the fleet fall foul to big shifts in the wind and some big holes. With 2 more race to finish on Sunday this Leinster Championship was still up for grabs with discards likely to be key.

The GP14 Leinsters was sailed on the VDLR Salthill racecourse in the west of Dublin Bay Photo: Michael Chester(Above and below) The GP14 Leinsters was sailed on the VDLR Salthill racecourse in the west of Dublin Bay Photo: Michael ChesterThe GP14 Leinsters was sailed on the VDLR Salthill racecourse in the west of Dublin Bay Photo: Michael Chester

Race 7 on the Sunday started in pouring rain down but with a nice SSE 14 knots wind gusting low 20s. The race saw the 3 way tie protagonists take the top 3 spots with Ger Owens & Mel Morris taking the gun. Alan Blay & Hugh McNally were 2nd and Conor Twohig & Matthew Cotter were 3rd. Movilles John & Donal McGuinness were 4th with Hugh Gill & Richard Street 4th. It was now all down to the last race with 1 point separting the leaders. 

Race 8 and the final race of the Regatta Champions was won by Rob Lee with John & Donal McGuinness 2nd. A 3rd place for Ger Owens & Mel Morris ahead of Alan Blay & Hugh McNally in third was enough to secure the Volvo DL Regatta and Leinster Championship for Ger & Mel their 3rd Leinsters in a row. This was one that went to the very last with Ger & Mel only overhauling Alan & Hugh on the last leg to give them victory.

Sutton Dinghy Clubs Alan Blay & Hugh McNally were 2nd overall with fellow Club crew Conor Twohig & Matthew Cotter securing 3rd after a superb event.

Another great Volvo DL Regatta for the GP14 Ireland fleet saw the Classes emerging Youth continue to take race wins in Championship events. The event saw GP14 boats travel from across the country with crews from Tralee and Cullaun in Munster, Larne, Lough Foyle, Moville and Newtownards in Ulster, Sligo in the West in addition to 'local' boats from Greystones, Dun Laoghaire, Sutton and Skerries. Some new boats and returning GP14 stalwarts in attendance all made for a great weekend. The big winds also made for a change as its a long time since we had a full days with strong breeze.

Ger Owens and Mel Morris, Race 4 and overall winners of the GP14 Leinsters at Volvo Dun Laoghaire RegattaGer Owens and Mel Morris, Race 4 and overall winners of the GP14 Leinsters at Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta

Alan Blay and Hugh McNally Race 2 winners of the GP14 Leinsters at Volvo Dun Laoghaire RegattaAlan Blay and Hugh McNally Race 2 winners of the GP14 Leinsters at Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta

Sam Street and Josh Lloyd Race winners in the GP14 Leinsters at Volvo Dun Laoghaire RegattaSam Street and Josh Lloyd Race winners in the GP14 Leinsters at Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta

Sam Wray and Luke Henderson Race 1 winners in the GP14 Leinsters at Volvo Dun Laoghaire RegattaSam Wray and Luke Henderson Race 1 winners in the GP14 Leinsters at Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta

A big shout out to Blessington's Richard Street, who, having endured a very hard day's racing on Friday, jetted back to Blessington for some fibreglass and tools and then worked well into the night to make sure that Jennifer & Laras Newtownaeds boat Boatzart Blues could take to the water after being majorly holed during Friday's racing.

Congratulations to other GP14 sailors competing in other fleets, with Shane MacCarthy to the fore in Flying Fifteen and Josh Porter, Adrian Lee and Ossian Geraghty taking 1st and 2nd in the Fireballs.

Next up, there will be a number of the GP14 fleet heading to Looe for the British GP14 Nationals 5-11 August, including Curly Morris, Alan Blay & Hugh McNally, Conor Twohig & Mathew Cotter, Hugh Gill & Richard Street and Ross & Jame Kearney.

The next GP14 Ireland Class event is the Summer Open & Youth Championship in Rush on 19/20 August.

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The Irish GP14 fleet made the trip to the southwest corner of Ireland to Tralee Bay Sailing Club in Fenit for the 2023 GP14 Munster Championships on the 17th/18th of June.

It was the first time the fleet had been to Fenit in over 40 years.

Twenty-six teams took part in the championship and, on arrival, were greeted with the impressive backdrop of the Kerry Mountains & the Golden Sandy Beaches of Tralee Bay, a spectacular location to host a championship.

 Twenty-six teams raced in the GP14 Munster Championship on Tralee Bay Twenty-six teams raced in the GP14 Munster Championship on Tralee Bay

Day 1 of the event arrived with plenty of sunshine & blue skies, with the wind funnelling through the valleys of the far shore, although a forecast which could only be described as variable. PRO John Leech got race 1 away in 7-8 knots of breeze & a flooding tide. A pin-end biased start line saw many of the front runners battle it out for an early advantage. Ger Owens & Mel Morris rounded the weather mark first, followed closely by Sean Craig & Stephen Boyle, along with JP & Carolyn McCaldin in hot pursuit. Ger & Mel held their lead throughout the race and took out race 1, Sean & Stephen in 2nd, and Colman Grimes & Ross Gingles in 3rd.

 Sean Craig and Colman Grimes cross tacks on Tralee Bay Sean Craig and Colman Grimes cross tacks on Tralee Bay

PRO John Leech intended to run the races off in quick succession, although this plan was quickly halted by the arrival of the thunder & lightning rolling over the hills above. The fleet was sent in the direction of shore immediately & with a yellow weather warning issued for Co.Kerry; racing was then cancelled for the day.

GP14 Munster Championships PRO John Leech at work on Tralee BayGP14 Munster Championships PRO John Leech at work on Tralee Bay

With the fleet now safely onshore, it was time for everyone to enjoy some music & food laid on by Tralee Bay Sailing Club.

There were some calms during racing at the GP14 Munster Championship on Tralee BayThere were some calms during racing at the GP14 Munster Championship on Tralee Bay like this at the start of race four on day two

Day 2 arrived with ominous-looking skies & further yellow weather warnings for the area. Nevertheless, racing proceeded with caution & a race course was positioned on the South Side of the Great Samphire Island. Racing began shortly after 10 am with a revised race course which included a (sausage, triangle, and sausage) which helped add to the complexity of the day.

After several attempts due to a shifting breeze, race 2 got underway in an outgoing tide with differences in wind pressure scattered across the race course. Norman Lee & Stephen Lynch took the win, Sean Craig & Stephen Boyle 2nd with Ross Kearney & Daniel Nelson in 3rd.

Sean & Stephen took the bullet in race 3, followed by Ross & Daniel, with Ger & Mel in 3rd.

Race 4 began with a softening breeze, quickly becoming a drifter shortly after the start. The race was shortened to one lap in the end & went to the ever-consistent Sean & Stephen, with JP & Carolyn McCaldin sliding into 2nd with Ross & Daniel taking 3rd Place.

The silver fleet was won by Sam Wray & Luke Henderson of Sligo Yacht Club. The bronze fleet was won by Charlie Keating & Ollie Lloyd of Blessington Sailing Club. The youth fleet was won by the fast-improving Sam Street & Josh Lloyd.

Congratulations to the 2023 GP14 Munster Champions Sean Craig & Stephen Boyle, who navigated the tricky race course superbly & posted a consistent scorecard of 2,2,1,1.

Tralee Bay Sailing Club's Anthony Clifford presents the winners Sean Craig (centre) and Stephen Boyle (right) the GP14 Munster Championship trophyTralee Bay Sailing Club's Anthony Clifford presents the winners Sean Craig (centre) and Stephen Boyle (right) the GP14 Munster Championship trophy
 Ger Owens & Mel Morris were second at the GP14 Munster Championship on Tralee BayGer Owens & Mel Morris presented with the Race 1 Trophy at the GP14 Munster Championship on Tralee Bay

Race two winner Norman LeeRace two winner Norman Lee

The O'Tiarnaigh Family at Tralee BayThe O'Tiarnaigh Family at Tralee Bay

The next event on the GP14 Calendar is the Leinster Championships which is incorporated into the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta, which takes place on 7th / 9th July 2017.

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While most of the country seemed to have little or no wind, with many races and events cancelled, East Antrim Boat Club managed to get all six races of this year's GP14 Ulster Championship completed.

The event attracted 30 GP14s with seemingly no hangover from the 2022 Skerries Worlds. There were a number of new boats in the fleet and some old friends returning to enjoy the competitive racing.

PRO Richard Doig managed four races on Saturday in light conditions made more tricky with the tides in Larne Lough with four different race winners.

Sam Street and Josh Lloyd were First Time Race Winners at the GP14 Ulster Championships at East Antrim Boat ClubSam Street and Josh Lloyd were First Time Race Winners at the GP14 Ulster Championships at East Antrim Boat Club

Amongst them were the Blessington Youth crew, Sam Street & Josh Lloyd, taking their first-ever race win. An amazing result considering the calibre of some of their opponents, including Shane MacCarthy, Ross Kearney, Olympian Curly Morris, last year's leading Irish Worlds helm Colman Grimes and top Flying Fifteen helm Hammy Baker. Ross Kearney, Shane MacCarthy and Alan Blay were the other Day one race winners.

Andy Thompson (left) and Shane MacCarthy were runners-up in the GP14 Ulster Championships at East Antrim Boat ClubAndy Thompson (left) and Shane MacCarthy were runners-up in the GP14 Ulster Championships at East Antrim Boat Club

Sunday saw two races, with Shane & Andy Thompson and Ross & Daniel Nelson taking the wins in better wind conditions. Overall Ross Kearney & Daniel Nelson tied with Shane MacCarthy & Andy Thompson but took the Ulster Championship title on count-back while Alan Blay & Hugh McNally maintained a consistent day to hold on to third place.

Alan Blay & Hugh McNally were third overall in the GP14 Ulster Championships at East Antrim Boat ClubAlan Blay & Hugh McNally were third overall in the GP14 Ulster Championships at East Antrim Boat Club

Silver Fleet
1st Michael Cox & Josh Porter (Newtownards SC)
2nd Sam Street & John Lloyd (Blessington SC)
3rd Simon Cully & Libby Tierney (BLESSINGTON sc)

Bronze Fleet
1st Robbie Richardson & Colin Watson (East Down YC)
2nd Adam& Emilyy Torrens (Lough Erne YC)
3rd Mac Cully & Tighe Wardell (Blessington YC)

Published in GP14

The O’Tiarnaigh GP14 Challenge event was conceived almost 25 years ago with two goals. An open meeting with many short races rather than the normal 2 per day, and secondly to have many smaller flights containing a mix of Gold, Silver and Bronze sailors so that the less experienced sailors have many opportunities to be in the front row of the start line so as to have more opportunity to learn and improve their skills in a testing and highly competitive framework. 

This year's running was particularly challenging, with an almost complete lack of wind and a continual downpour on Saturday forcing the RO to cancel racing which meant that the whole event was to be run a single day. The forecast for Sunday was for light breezes, but thankfully the rain had abated. Despite the poor forecast, 28 teams were in attendance, a credit to the enthusiasm of the fleet and the marketing by the organising committee.

Curly Morris & Meg Tyrell in action at the GP14 O’Tiarnaigh Challenge at Blessington Sailing ClubCurly Morris & Meg Tyrell in action at the GP14 O’Tiarnaigh Challenge at Blessington Sailing Club

Choosing to run the event with a single flight due to time constraints and aiming to have as many races as possible, the RO sent the fleet out on the waters of the Poulaphouca reservoir nestling on the western side of the Wicklow Mountains. With the requirement from the NOR that the first discard only coming to rescue a poor finishing position after six races were completed still in force and with the conditions that prevailed it very much looked like this would be a ‘no discard’ event.

Shifty and patchy were the dominating features of the wind, making line and course setting tricky, but after a short postponement, the fleet got underway on a triangle/sausage course.

The first start looked quite pin-biased, but slightly more pressure on the committee boat saw those boats establish a lead off the line. There was an element of ‘Russian Roulette’, albeit without the blood, about picking a side of the course and whereas the left looked more favourable at the early part of the leg, a building breeze on the right was most influential on the fleet resulting in Rob Lee & Stephen Lynch from Greystones SC first to the weather mark closely followed by Alan Blay & Hugh McNally from Sutton Dinghy Club and Sutton ex-pat, Ruan O’Tiarnaigh with daughter Natasha who was sailing her first event with dad following her sisters move to crew for the very talented Jane Kearney formerly from the midlands area of UK, now based at Royal North. Close behind them were the veteran teams of Niall Henry & Oissin Geraghty from Sligo SC and brothers John & Donal McGuinness from Moville. In the light conditions, Ruan & Tasha established an inside overlap approaching the gybe mark to gain the lead, and although the rest of the race was shifty, there was not much change in the leading group and the first race finished; Ruan & Tasha first, Alan & Hugh second, Rob & Stephen third, Nial & Oisin fourth and John & Donal fifth.

The silver fleet was led by Sam Street & Josh Lloyd, Blessington SC, Simon Cully & Libby Tierney also Blessington, and Cathal Sheridan & David Cooke, Skerries third.

Bronze fleet, Michael Collender & Brian Walker, Mullingar S.C, Denis Cully & Ollie Lloyd, Blessington and Max Cully & Tighe Wardell, Blessington third.

The second race saw Olympian Curly Morris & Meg Tyrell (EABC/NSC) establish a commanding lead, coming from the left-hand side of the course up the first beat, followed closely by Jane Kearney & Bekka O’Tiarnaigh from Royal North of Ireland YC. Ruan & Tasha, Keith & son Matteo Louden, Lough Foyle YC slightly ahead of Niall & Oisin. In the very light airs, mistakes were aplenty, and a poor gybe on the O’Tiarnaigh boat saw both Keith & Matteo and Nial & Oisin gain an advantage sailing higher and past. The second beat was dynamic, with places gained and lost. Jane & Bekka were unfortunate to fall foul of a port and starboard and did turns. The run provided an opportunity for another Olympian and current Irish Champion of Champions team of Ger Owens & Mel Morris (daughter of the aforementioned Curly) to get back into the running making the most use of the light airs. After a spirited battle on the final beat which saw a minor skirmish and tacking frenzy between Ger & Mel, Niall & Oisin and Ruan & Tasha, which although frenetic, was ultimately inconsequential as no places changed, the outcome was Curly and Meg chalking up a first, Keith and Matteo second, Ger and Mel third, Niall & Oisin, fourth Ruan & Tasha fifth.

Silver, and once again Sam & Josh first, Cathal & David second and Simon & Libby third.

Bronze, Max and Tighe, Frankie Brown & David Lappin Skerries Sailing Club, Michael & Brian third.

Race three was once again tricky with variable breeze on the beat, but dying towards the gybe mark. The lead boats included Ger and Mel, Ross Kearney & Daniel Nelson, RNIYC, Daniel having joined Ross after Andrew Vaughan’s departure after the worlds last year, Paddy O’Connor & Adrian Lee (Sligo/Youghal). However, the weather gods were playing dice and some ‘ultra light’ expertise from JP & Carolyn McCaldin, Lough Erne YC. & Sutton’s Katie Dwyer & Michelle Rowley saw them sneak over the top of a group of boats to get in to the front of the fleet for the finish at the leeward mark. With Ger & Mel first, JP & Carolyn second, Ross and Daniel third, Katie and Michelle fourth and Paddy & Adrian fifth. Silver, Simon & Libby, Sam & Josh, Cathal & David. Bronze, Denis & Ollie, Max & Tighe and Jennifer Bryce & Cormac Murphy, Newtownards Sailing Club third.

At this stage, and with no discard in sight the scores were: Ger & Mel, 7, 3, 1 Tot: 11, Ruan & Tasha, 1, 5, 6 Tot: 12, Ross and Daniel, 6, 8, 3 Tot 17 Niall and Oisin 4, 4, 12 Tot: 20. One mistake could prove very costly indeed.

In what turned out to be the last race of the day the weather once again proved to play its own role. Once again, the leaders came from the left-hand side with age and experience showing its class seeing Curly & Meg first to round followed by Coleman Grimes & Ross Gingles, Skerries SC and Ross & Daniel in close quarters, the following group included event contenders Niall & Oisin, Ger & Mel and Ruan & Tash. The second offwind leg was to prove key to the race and the event with the RO shortening the course at the leward mark. Ross & Daniel went high, Curly & Meg low, but it was the middle lane which proved successful for Coleman & Ross, who pipped Curly for the race win. The event overall was still in contention and halfway down the reach, it looked like Ruan & Tasha might pull the event out of the bag when they rolled Ger & Mel to leave them equal on points. Another place was needed between them as Ger & Mel had better count back, but it was not to be. The fickle zephyrs of Blessington quashed their hopes when light airs filled in from both above and below. Ger & Mel, though forced to go low, came out smelling of roses with a dart across the line in third, Keith & Matteo 4th, Ross & Daniel 5th, Ruan & Tasha dropping to 8th and Niall & Oisin hopes dashed entirely with a 15th.

Silver, Sam & Josh, Simon & Libby and Cathal & David third.

Bronze, Michael & Brian, Jennifer & Cormac and Denis & Ollie third

The fleet repaired to the shore where well-earned and much-appreciated hot pizza awaited. When the scores were counted, Ger & Mel were clear winners on 14pts, Ruan & Tasha second on 20pts, Ross & Daniel third on 22 pts and Curly & Meg 4th on 29pts.

Ger Owens & Mel Morris at the O’Tiarnaigh GP14 Challenge at Blessington Sailing ClubGer Owens & Mel Morris at the O’Tiarnaigh GP14 Challenge at Blessington Sailing Club

Ruan O’Tiarnaigh with daughter Natasha at the O’Tiarnaigh GP14 Challenge at Blessington Sailing ClubRuan O’Tiarnaigh with daughter Natasha at the O’Tiarnaigh GP14 Challenge at Blessington Sailing Club

Ross Kearney and Daniel Nelson at the O’Tiarnaigh GP14 Challenge at Blessington Sailing ClubRoss Kearney and Daniel Nelson at the O’Tiarnaigh GP14 Challenge at Blessington Sailing Club

Thanks were given to Blessington Sailing Club and its members for such a warm welcome and to Commodore Richard Street RO, Joe Crilly DRO, Tom Duggan ARO and Alannah Maguire, keeping them all in check on the committee vessel, which it was noted with some poignancy was named in memory of a former and much loved Blessington GP14 sailor Peter Hannon.

Looking ahead, the GP14 season is chock full of events across the country. Next is the Ulsters in Larne, followed by trips to Tralee Bay, The Volvo at Dun Laoghaire, Rush Sailing Club, Sutton for the Championship of Ireland and finally, the Hot Toddy at Royal North.

If this event was anything to go by, the GP14 fleet in Ireland is in rude health. Boats travelled from all parts of the country, including Dathi & Arann Murphy from Tralee Bay and teams from Moville, EABC, Donaghadee, Youghal, Lough Erne, Lough Foyle, Sligo, Greystones, Sutton, Royal North, Newtownards and Ballyholme. Also noted are the number of youth teams, particularly from Blessington as well as the many new young crews ensuring the future of the class. With the age range of 14 to 79 and a great mix of male and female teams, the GP14 fleet in Ireland is certainly thriving. The craic is pretty good too. Long may it continue. The last word should go to Anthony Johns and James Lloyd of Blessington, who notched up an impressive 100pts but, despite that were battling hard to the end.

Joe Devitt

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Race Officer Gerry Reid and the race team at RNIYC must be on good terms with the weather Gods as the snow melted away to leave a dry, almost balmy ten degrees and a steady(ish) force three building to a nice f4 at the RNIYC GP14 Spring Series After Round Three on Belfast Lough.

Despite the absence of front runners O’Tairnaigh and Nelson, the fleet remained in double figures thanks to Conor Twohig and Matthew Connor who made the journey from Dublin to emphasise the growing popularity of this excellent series.

With the rugby in mind, Race 1 was rescheduled to get underway ten minutes early over a windward leeward course. Ross Kearney and Daniel Nelson stayed left and were first to the weather mark, Michael Cox and Josh Porter, together with Jane Kearney and Rebekah O’Tairnaigh enjoyed a good second beat to secure second and third places ahead of father and son team, Keith and Matteo Louden.

Lining up for a start in the third round of the RNIYC GP14 Spring Series on Belfast Lough Photo: Calum DalzelLining up for a start in the third round of the RNIYC GP14 Spring Series on Belfast Lough Photo: Calum Dalzel

Race 2 produced the most exciting first beat of the day and a hectic battle for the first mark. Patrick Hamilton and Hana Stolkova, rounded narrowly ahead of Curly Morris and Rachael Stewart, separated by a coat of varnish from Ross and Daniel, who squeezed in ahead of Michael and Josh. The runs provided opportunities for tactical racing, while the left side of the beats became progressively more favourable, this allowed Ross and Dan to take the win from Michael and Josh, just ahead of Patrick and Hana in third.

Keith and Matteo Louden go downwind in race three of the RNIYC GP14 Spring Series on Belfast Lough Photo: Calum DalzelA downwind leg in race three of the RNIYC GP14 Spring Series on Belfast Lough Photo: Calum Dalzel

Race 3 started in a building breeze, Michael and Josh going up the middle to round ahead of Conor and Matthew, closely followed by Ross and Daniel. A late gybe by Michael and Josh dropped them to third and set the scene for what was to be the most exciting finish of the day, with the final run being a tense affair. Coming to the gate Conor and Matthew were fighting to hold a slim lead over Ross and Daniel on the approach to the left-hand mark, with Michael and Josh a couple boat lengths behind and just ahead of Jane and Rebekah who were closing swiftly. Sensing a crush at the mark, Michael went right to preserve his third place. Conor and Matthew kept their nerves to hold onto the win. Jane and Rebekah had a cracking rounding to reverse the Kearney household placings and secure a well-earned second place. A special mention should go to Charlie Valentine, making his series debut as crew for Jennifer Bryce and keeping everything the right way up in testing conditions.

Keith and Matteo Louden go downwind in race three of the RNIYC GP14 Spring Series on Belfast Lough Photo: Calum DalzelKeith and Matteo Louden go downwind in race three of the RNIYC GP14 Spring Series on Belfast Lough Photo: Calum Dalzel

A combination of absences together with a second discard has delivered changes to series standings as the fleet breaks for half term. Ross Kearney retains a commanding lead ten points ahead of Cox. O’Tairnaigh, one point adrift in third place, will be keen to revise the standings upon his return, as will Nelson with Hamilton still in the running. The series resumes at 13.00 on 26th March.

GP14 Spring Series 2023 Royal North of Ireland Yacht Club (Results as at 16:43 on March 12, 2023)GP14 Spring Series 2023 Royal North of Ireland Yacht Club (Results as at 16:43 on March 12, 2023)

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The second weekend of the annual GP14 Spring Series at Royal North of Ireland Yacht Club on Belfast Lough kicked off with a pleasant 10-12 knots. The 11-boat fleet relished the longer beats set by PRO Gerry Reid and his team, allowing for good tactical racing and plenty of place-changing.

Race 1 saw the right-hand pay, with Ruan and Natasha O’Tiarniagh round first, closely followed by Patrick Hamilton with crew Hana Stolcova. Unfortunately, the experienced Ruan O’Tiarnaigh didn’t keep his eye out for the O flag signalling an Olympic course, and he led Patrick on a dead run towards the leeward mark. This gave the lead to Jane Kearney and Becca O’Tiarnaigh, with Ross Kearney and Daniel Nelson in close pursuit. Ross and Dan took the win, Steven Nelson and Martin Weatherstone in second and Patrick and Hana in third.

Race two got underway with the fleet working the left of the course; the right side seemed to get slightly more pressure and allowed Ross and Dan to round with a comfortable lead; they managed to hold onto the lead with Steven and Martin with another second and Keith and Matteo Louden in third.

Race three saw the breeze become more variable in strength and direction; with rain clouds building on the far shore, it was difficult to predict. Ruan and Natasha did so superbly and held a healthy lead right to the finish, Michael Cox and Claire Cromie had an excellent second beat and managed to predict the favoured side of the incoming pressure. They held onto second place with Steven and Martin a very consistent third.

This gave Steven and Martin the daily win, with Ruan and Natasha holding a healthy lead in the overall series.

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The 12-strong GP14 fleet managed four races last Sunday (26th) in the Royal North of Ireland Spring Series, sailed on Belfast Lough, after missing the previous weekend due to adverse weather. After a fourth in the first race, Ruan and Natasha O’Tiarnaigh from Ballyholme YC, six miles to the east, romped home ahead of the fleet in the remaining three races to create a substantial gap of eight points ahead of Steven Nelson and Martin Weatherstone from Newtownards SC on Strangford Lough and Donaghadee SC on the north Down coast.

In his report on the racing, Joe Devitt wrote, “This outing saw a number of new pairings in the teams. Ross Kearney has been joined by Daniel Nelson who has made way for Martin Weatherstone to crew for Steven Nelson. Jane Kearney has been joined by Rebekah O’Tiarnaigh, who has freed up the pointy end in her father’s boat to be filled by her twin Natasha, hot off the heels of her baptism of fire in the UK Nationals and Worlds last season”.

Peter and Andrew Todd, David Mellor and Mike Shaw are new additions to the Royal North fleet.

Racing was brisk, with very shifty and patchy winds coming off the County Down shore. An unforecast gradual and persistent veer made course laying tricky, but Gerry Reid and his team made the best of the conditions.

GP14s prepare for a are start at the Royal North of Ireland Spring Series sailed on Belfast LoughGP14s prepare for a are start at the Royal North of Ireland Spring Series sailed on Belfast Lough

Race 1 saw the Royal North and Newtownards pairing of Ross Kearney and Daniel Nelson get a flying start and they capitalised to lead through two windward/leeward laps to the finish. Keith and Matteo Louden, the farthest travellers coming from Lough Foyle YC in the Northwest were rewarded for their efforts with a second. Race 2 saw former Olympian Curly Morris and Rachael Stewart straight into the lead, closely followed by Ruan O’Tiarnaigh and Ross Kearney. The O’Tiarnaighs held the lead from the second lap.

Race 3 brought shifty conditions at their most fickle but again it the father and daughter team O’Tiarnaigh take line honours and having found their groove from the start line in Race four, they showed the fleet clean transom flaps to the finish line.

The new teams, as well as the regulars look forward to the rest of the series in the coming weeks.

GP14s at Royal North of Ireland Spring Series sailed on Belfast Lough resultsGP14s at Royal North of Ireland Spring Series sailed on Belfast Lough results

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A single-item agenda could see a new constitution for one of Ireland's strongest dinghy classes when the GP14 class votes at an Extraordinary General Meeting later this month. 

Since September 13th, 1955, the GP14 Ireland Class Association has existed in various incarnations, although it has never had a constitution of its own. Instead, it has used the International GP14 Class Association's Constitution.

A constitution expressly for the fleet in Ireland was attempted on various occasions throughout the years, but, according to the class, it never materialised.

Now, for various reasons, including banking, the International one is no longer appropriate for GP14 Ireland.

The GP Committee, which has been looking at the matter since 2021, is now in a position to introduce a Constitution for the GP14 Ireland Class Association. 

Members will vote at an Extraordinary General Meeting on February 28th. 

Meanwhile, the two-handed class has confirmed its 2023 fixtures with three events in County Dublin.

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The 2023 Irish GP14  season gets underway with its first of seven events in April when Blessington Sailing Club hosts the O'Tiarnaigh Challenge.

Coming off the back of an epic 2022 season, that saw 100 boats gather in Ireland for the Skerries hosted World Championships last August, the hope is the domestic fleet can continue with buoyant turnouts this season. 

The 30-boat fleet will visit Wicklow, three Dublin venues, Antrim and Kerry between April and October.

The GPs expect a grand welcome in April at the West Wicklow lake venue as GP14 sailor Richard Street is the Club Commodore for the coming season.

Following Blessington, the fleet head north to Larne and East Antrim Boat Club for the Ulster championships from May 20-21.

June's Munster Championships are at the other end of the country in County Kerry, where Tralee Bay Sailing Club hosts in Fenit Bay from Jun 17-18.

As solid Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta supporters, the GP14s sail their first of three Dublin events for Leinster Championship honours from July 7-9 on Dublin Bay.  

Then the fleet moves to North Dublin in August to Rush on Aug 19 before the National Championships is held a fortnight later at Sutton Dinghy Club on Dublin Bay from September 1-3. 

The GP14s round out 2023 with the annual Hot Toddy event that sails this year from Sept 30 to Oct 1 at Royal North of Ireland Yacht Club. 

GP14 Ireland Event Dates 2023

  • O'Tiarnaigh (Apr 22-23) Blessington Sailing Club
  • Ulsters (May 20-21) East Antrim Boat Club
  • Munsters (Jun 17-18) Tralee Bay Sailing Club
  • Leinsters (Jul 7-9) Dun Laoghaire Regatta
  • SOYC (Aug 19-20) Rush Sailing Club
  • Nationals (Sep 1-3) Sutton Dinghy Club
  • Hot Toddy (Sep 30-Oct 1) Royal North of Ireland Yacht Club
Published in GP14
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With November just ended, today’s assessment at the beginning of December for the latest “Sailors of the Month” listings would normally include at least one of our young sailors who starred to such good effect in the European Sailing Championship in the south of France from 14th to 20th November, most notably Rocco Wright (16) of Howth who scored Gold – and with it the top U21 – in the ILCA6 Class.

But as it is, Rocco has already been up in lights with his Gold in the Youth Worlds in The Netherlands in July, scored in an extraordinary demonstration of improving performance with a cool mindset overcoming of any end-of-series nerves. Thus this further Gold - quarried from a demanding series on a Cote d’Azur which at times wasn’t at all Riviera-like – has only added to the lustre of his already-registered achievement.

Rocco Wright – November saw him adding extra lustre to his Gold of JulyRocco Wright – November saw him adding extra lustre to his Gold of July

This may sound frustrating for the adjudicators, as sailing achievements in November can be rare enough. But in fact, the assessment team are delighted, as it leaves them with a clean slate to honour some specialist sailing people whose recognition might normally be crammed into late December’s final roundup.

CROWDED POST-PANDEMIC PROGRAMME

For in the very crowded catch-up post-pandemic season which was crammed almost entirely into June, July, August, and early September, somehow our race-administering brotherhood and sisterhood found enough volunteers from among their ranks to stage no less than four World Championships: the GP 14s at Skerries, the 505s with the Royal Cork YC at Crosshaven, the Fireballs on Lough Derg, and the SB20s at the Royal Irish YC in Dun Laoghaire.

LOSS OF JACK ROY

The demand which such high-profile “in the searchlight” events place on the relatively small group of appropriately-qualified individuals drawn from the within the Irish sailing community’s many volunteers for duty afloat and ashore was exacerbated by the untimely death of one of their key top-level race officers, Jack Roy of Dun Laoghaire, in December 2021.

With his supportive wife Rosemary, Jack provided the very experienced and competent core for race management teams to the highest event levels. His sad demise was not only a real loss in that he was a much-loved truly life-enhancing individual, but it was also a blow to the established Irish ability to comfortably cater for world class events. And it was also felt at every level of our sport, for Jack and Rosemary were the vey embodiment of the spirit of sailing in Ireland. 

 Much missed. The late Jack Roy with his wife Rosemary in their Hallberg Rassy 48 Tangaroa at the Fastnet Rock. Rosemary has since taken on the voluntary task of Honorary Secretary to Dublin Bay Sailing Club. Much missed. The late Jack Roy with his wife Rosemary in their Hallberg Rassy 48 Tangaroa at the Fastnet Rock. Rosemary has since taken on the voluntary task of Honorary Secretary to Dublin Bay Sailing Club

They had been anticipating gradual retirement from some of their multiple commitments in sailing in the near future, yet in the extra pressures of 2022, their reassuring background presences would have been a comfort for harassed Event Committee Chairmen. But in any case we can’t help but wonder just how smoothly their planned extraction from the top level of racing administration would really have been. For in July 2022. Rosemary took on the role of Honorary Secretary of Dublin Bay Sailing Club, one of the most demanding positions in our sport.

RISING LEVELS OF EXPECTATION

These days even the most modest club event needs its race teams, and the personnel and expertise demands rise as we move up the scale through regional, national and international championships. But then we move into an entirely different state of affairs when we take on the rarefied conditions which prevail in a recognised World Championship for a global-status class.

 Howth Yacht Club’s senior Committee Boat Star Point is both a race organisation platform and a full backroom support office. Photo: Annraoi Blaney Howth Yacht Club’s senior Committee Boat Star Point is both a race organisation platform and a full backroom support office. Photo: Annraoi Blaney

Thus while we really would like to make “Sailors of the Month” our of every Race Officer who made major championships possible in 2022, we have to acknowledge that they’ll have been doing it among their own folk who may well be prepared to make allowances for the occasional error.

But with a Worlds, local friendships are irrelevant. An International Jury which occasionally will feel that it has to justify its existence with some conspicuously severe judgment on race management has to be taken into account. Increasingly, too, Race Umpires are making an input. And it’s all under a level of widespread yet intensely focused international media attention which you don’t get – however big the numbers taking part might be - with events which are further down the feeding chain.

RACE OFFICER TEAMS

In such exposed circumstances, the senior Race Officers need to be a bit like the owner-skippers of a substantial cruiser-racer, who will know that they have to build up a reliable and accessible crew panel which is roughly twice the number of people actually needed to race the boat on the day. And within that “crew panel”, he or she has to have a core of experts – an inner cabinet, if you like – of specialists who can be totally relied on to maintain and operate the necessary data and key support services.

A classic case in point is Peter Crowley of Cork, whose services to sailing over many years have included being President of the Irish Sailing Association and Admiral of the Royal Cork Yacht Club, in addition to being a stalwart of the National 18 Class and the cruiser-racer scene.

Peter Crowley’s Beneteau Trawler Yacht Sparetime has served as Committee Boat at countless sailing events at all levels from club racing to World Championships. Photo: Robert Bateman Peter Crowley’s Beneteau Trawler Yacht Sparetime has served as Committee Boat at countless sailing events at all levels from club racing to World Championships. Photo: Robert Bateman 

For many years now his personal flagship has been the versatile Beneteau Trawler Yacht Sparetime, and in providing the full services for Race Management to World Level, such as August’s particularly demanding 505 Worlds off Cork Harbour from 3rd to 13th of August, he was able to draw on the support of his key team members like Siobhain Keane-Hopcraft, John Stallard and Joanne O’Brien in order to provide a sound foundation for the larger group – including those in support RIBS – which is necessary to create a fully-furnished worlds.

Sparetime in use as the Committee Boat at the 2022 505 Worlds – keep the message simple, keep it clear. Photo: Christophe FavreauSparetime in use as the Committee Boat at the 2022 505 Worlds – keep the message simple, keep it clear. Photo: Christophe Favreau

 Royal Cork YC Admiral Kieran O’Connell with Jennifer Barry and Peter Crowley when the latter received a memento for his services as Race Officer at the 505 Worlds 2022 at Royal Cork YC. Royal Cork YC Admiral Kieran O’Connell with Jennifer Barry and Peter Crowley when the latter received a memento for his services as Race Officer at the 505 Worlds 2022 at Royal Cork YC

TWO SAILING MAJORS BACK-TO-BACK

The particular demands of the pressure-cooker 2022 season were also felt on the East Coast, where qualified personnel availability restrictions were such that Race Management veteran David Lovegrove of Howth found himself heading the race organisation for the very international J/24 Europeans at Howth from 30th August to 3rd September, and then doing the same for the SB20 Worlds at the Royal Irish YC in Dun Laoghaire from 4th to 9th September – in other words, two especially-demanding majors back-to-back.

Giving her the welly…..SB20 Worlds 2022 in Dublin Bay in September. Photo: Annraoi BlaneyGiving her the welly…..SB20 Worlds 2022 in Dublin Bay in September. Photo: Annraoi Blaney

While the SB20 Worlds found itself experiencing the first hints of strong Autumnal winds, the J/24 Europeans had a last blast of sunny onshore summer breezes from the northeast. But earlier in August at Skerries for the GP14 Worlds from the 14th to the 19th, Race Officer Bill O’Hara of Ballyholme found himself handling the needs of an international 104-strong fleet – the biggest turnout of any of Ireland’s 2022 Worlds – for Skerries Sailing Club.

RUGGED ONSHORE WINDS

Sailing in North Fingal may be expanding by leaps and bounds these days, but the 1934-established Skerries SC sometimes finds itself at the pin of its collar in catering for extra-large fleets in the inevitably-restricted spaces available within the confines of the Red Island Peninsula.

 Spinnaker work with an onshore breeze in the GP14 Worlds 2022 at Skerries. Photo: GP14 Worlds Spinnaker work with an onshore breeze in the GP14 Worlds 2022 at Skerries. Photo: GP14 Worlds

Yet despite a series of sometimes rugged onshore nor’easters making conditions almost coastal oceanic in the race area, particularly in wind-over-tide situations, the determination of the Organising Committee led by Colman Grimes and the huge experience and good humour of Bill O’Hara, saw this mega-event through to a successful conclusion.

MYSTERIOUS MAGIC OF LOUGH DERG

In looking back at the four Worlds staged in 2022, it is difficult to escape the conclusion that the Fireball Worlds at Lough Derg from 21st to 26th August best expressed the spirit of sailing as it is experienced in our island nation. Admittedly a certain level of secrecy seems to come over events which are staged on our somehow well-hidden great lakes, but it is a fact that once people have started taking part in even a major sailing event on Lough Derg or Lough Ree, they seem to have entered a completely self-contained environment which feels no need to communicate with the outside world.

Away from it all yet right on the pace – Fireball Worlds 2022 on Lough Derg. Photo:LDYCAway from it all yet right on the pace – Fireball Worlds 2022 on Lough Derg. Photo:LDYC

Thus when we talk of sailing as an ideal activity “to get away from it all”, we find this best-expressed among those who have disappeared off to sail on on the Shannon’s many waters. In due course we did get official information about what was clearly a hugely enjoyable and superbly scenic event for the fleet of 79 boats, but at first it was thanks to Race Officer Con Murphy being a dab hand in getting evocative photos - while at the same time running a great event – that we became aware there was some magic sailing going on at a deservedly popular Irish venue.

So when it comes down to it, our four Sailor of the Month for November are all retrospective awards for Services to Sailing, and as every one of them made a huge contribution, we simply list them in the chronological order of the events they organised.

PETER CROWLEY OF ROYAL CORK IS NOVEMBER “SAILOR OF THE MONTH (SERVICES TO SAILING)

 The affable Peter Crowley brings comprehensive experience of participation and organisation to any major championship with which he becomes involved The affable Peter Crowley brings comprehensive experience of participation and organisation to any major championship with which he becomes involved

The 505 Worlds 2022 from 3rd to 13th August at the Royal Cork YC came laden with historic associations. For though this attractive class may still look as modern as tomorrow, it goes way back, and around 70 years ago Cork Harbour was the hotbed of a busy fleet which was part of a worldwide movement. But now – like former Olympic classes such as the Finn, the Star and the Dragon – the 505 class is an elite international travelling circus, making the highest demands on any venue that it selects for its words.

Unfortunately for Cork in the first part of the 2022 Worlds, the event was frustrated by calms. But even here, the fact of having Peter Crowley as Race Officer was all to the good, for on the Lay Day he gave everyone a convivial harbour tour on his Beneteau Trawler Yacht Spare Times which much improved the mood, and then when the breezes came good towards the end of the week, he clicked through enough races in champagne sailing to get a real result, with the USA’s Stuart McNay & Caleb Paine winning from GBR’s Nathan Batchelor & Seam Pascoe, while best of the Irish in a 78-strong and totally international fleet were Ewan Barry & Charles Dwyer at 12th.

BILL O’HARA OF BALLYHOLME IS NOVEMBER “SAILOR OF THE MONTH (SERVICES TO SAILING)

Bill O’Hara when he was Race Officer for the Ocean RaceBill O’Hara when he was Race Officer for the Ocean Race

Bill O’Hara first leapt to national fame when he skippered the Bangor Grammar School team to overall victory in the annual Britain & Ireland Schools Championship in Scotland in the days when it was an event of prime importance, which is now a very long time ago. Since then, he has starred in Olympic Finns and Lasers to the highest international levels, while his unrivalled race management expertise been enacted with many high-profile events, including the multi-stage round-the-world Ocean Race.

This in getting him to oversee their 2022 Worlds from 14th to 19th August at Skerries with a fleet of 104 boats, the GP 14 Asociation and Skerries SC really were getting one of the Main Men to see them through a challenging week, from which Ian Dobson & Andy Tunnicliff (GBR) emerged as the Champoons, while the top Irish were the host club’s Colman Grimes crewed by Rob Gingles at fifth, and the top female helm was Jane Kearney of Royal North of Ireland YC in 14th, crewed by Oliver Goodhead.

CON MURPHY OF DUN LAOGHAIRE IS NOVEMBER “SAILOR OF THE MONTH (SERVICES TO SAILING)

A round Ireland sailing record holder for 19 continuous years, Con Murphy is noted for many other sailing achievements A round Ireland sailing record holder for 19 continuous years, Con Murphy is noted for many other sailing achievements 

There are few sailors in Ireland with more eclectic interests afloat than Con Murphy, as he is the husband and father of Olympic sailors, his wife Cathy having raced the 470 in the 1988 Olympics, while his daughter Annalise won the Silver Medal in the Lasers in 2016 in Rio.

But with interests extending in many directions, he has long been a multi-hull enthusiast, and in September 1993 he persuaded the late Steve Fossett to bring his superb 60ft trimaran Lakota to Ireland for a joint tilt at the Round Ireland Record, which had stood since November 1986. They did it with such style that their new time stood until June 2016, when the three larger MOD 70 trimarans finally sliced a little more off it during that year’s multiple record-breaking Round Ireland race from Wicklow.

An eye for the beauty of sail – one of Con Murphy’s “snatched” images while organising the Fireballs on Lough Derg. Photo: Con MurphyAn eye for the beauty of sail – one of Con Murphy’s “snatched” images while organising the Fireballs on Lough Derg. Photo: Con Murphy

Such breadth of experience brings its own deep sense of reassuring calm at challenging moments during World Championships, and on Lough Derg in late August Con Murphy oversaw an enjoyment-plus Fireball Worlds which saw Tom Gillard (GBR) and Andy Thompson (East Antrim Boat Club) take the title, while the best all-Irish team of Barry McCartin & Conor Kinsaella (Royal St George YC) just missed the podium with a very commendable fourth overall in a notably strong fleet.

DAVID LOVEGROVE OF HOWTH IS NOVEMBER “SAILOR OF THE MONTH (SERVICES TO SAILING)

In his element – David Lovegrove assessing the readings while setting a course. Photo: Judith MalcolmIn his element – David Lovegrove assessing the readings while setting a course. Photo: Judith Malcolm

September is always a bit of a gamble as the time for staging a major sailing championship, for although the sea temperature may be at its warmest, the closing in of the evenings and a sometimes unexpected nip in the air can combine with big winds – usually from the west – to tell us that our predecessors in sailing may have been wise in drawing most sport afloat towards a close by the end of August.

Yet, with modern boats and the growing precision of weather forecast, early September can be a real Godsend in completing the season’s main national and international events. But when David Lovegrove arrived at the beginning of September to oversee the Royal Irish YC’ staging of the SB20 Worlds 2022, he may have seen it as just another day’s voluntary work at the top level of the sport, as he had already master-minded the Wave Regatta at Howth in early June, and he’d overseen a host of other lesser events throughout the summer before taking on the J/24 Euros at his home port in the week before the SB20 Worlds began across the bay.

It was a tough one. If September was coming in as a month of gentle mists and mellow fruitfulness, it was doing so somewhere other than Dublin Bay. This was the Big Boys’ Game, and no mistake. But they battered their way through, and by the end Jose Paulo Ramada of Portugal was the winner out of a 56-strong fleet, while best of the Irish were Royal St George’s Michael O’Connor, Davy Taylor and Edward Cook in fourth.

Afterwards, David Lovegrove supposedly retired home to rest for a while at his house on the Hill of Howth. But rumours abound about him being spotted in the main role aboard the Committee Boat at various events since the SB 20s were blasting so spectacularly around Dublin Bay. Either way, he certainly deserves praise for his extensive work on behalf of sailing.

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Page 2 of 20

Marine Science Perhaps it is the work of the Irish research vessel RV Celtic Explorer out in the Atlantic Ocean that best highlights the essential nature of marine research, development and sustainable management, through which Ireland is developing a strong and well-deserved reputation as an emerging centre of excellence. From Wavebob Ocean energy technology to aquaculture to weather buoys and oil exploration these pages document the work of Irish marine science and how Irish scientists have secured prominent roles in many European and international marine science bodies.

 

At A Glance – Ocean Facts

  • 71% of the earth’s surface is covered by the ocean
  • The ocean is responsible for the water cycle, which affects our weather
  • The ocean absorbs 30% of the carbon dioxide added to the atmosphere by human activity
  • The real map of Ireland has a seabed territory ten times the size of its land area
  • The ocean is the support system of our planet.
  • Over half of the oxygen we breathe was produced in the ocean
  • The global market for seaweed is valued at approximately €5.4 billion
  • · Coral reefs are among the oldest ecosystems in the world — at 230 million years
  • 1.9 million people live within 5km of the coast in Ireland
  • Ocean waters hold nearly 20 million tons of gold. If we could mine all of the gold from the ocean, we would have enough to give every person on earth 9lbs of the precious metal!
  • Aquaculture is the fastest growing food sector in the world – Ireland is ranked 7th largest aquaculture producer in the EU
  • The Atlantic Ocean is the second largest ocean in the world, covering 20% of the earth’s surface. Out of all the oceans, the Atlantic Ocean is the saltiest
  • The Pacific Ocean is the largest ocean in the world. It’s bigger than all the continents put together
  • Ireland is surrounded by some of the most productive fishing grounds in Europe, with Irish commercial fish landings worth around €200 million annually
  • 97% of the earth’s water is in the ocean
  • The ocean provides the greatest amount of the world’s protein consumed by humans
  • Plastic affects 700 species in the oceans from plankton to whales.
  • Only 10% of the oceans have been explored.
  • 8 million tonnes of plastic enter the ocean each year, equal to dumping a garbage truck of plastic into the ocean every minute.
  • 12 humans have walked on the moon but only 3 humans have been to the deepest part of the ocean.

(Ref: Marine Institute)

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