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The Irish Sailing 49ers are getting ready to fly to New Zealand tomorrow, Saturday 9 November, ahead of their World Championships next month.

There’s a long list of logistics to prepare for before racing starts at the 49er Worlds in Auckland on 3 December.

Ryan Seaton and Seafra Guilfoyle and fellow duo Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove are heading out early to train and acclimatise for the competition, which is also their next chance to secure an Olympic place for Ireland in the 49er class at Tokyo 2020.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the skiff pairs also have a new coach in Matt McGovern, who previously represented Ireland at the Olympics with Seaton.

Published in ISA
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Former Irish Olympic 49er sailor Matt McGovern has rejoined the Irish Sailing team as coach in the two-handed skiff class.

McGovern, who represented Ireland in the 49er at London 2012 and Rio 2016 with Ryan Seaton, retired from active competition in February last year and subsequently took up the role of high performance manager with the RYANI.

He will now assume coaching responsibilities for the two Irish Sailing 49er teams, which include his former skiff partner Seaton’s duo with Seafra Guilfoyle. The pair placed sixth in the World Cup medal race at Enoshima, the site for next summer’s Olympics, this past August.

Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove, 2018 U23 49er World Champions and Volvo Irish Sailors of the Year, will also benefit from McGovern’s Olympic experience.

Irish Sailing head coach Rory Fitzpatrick said: “It’s great to have Matt join the coaching team. An accomplished athlete, he’ll bring a wealth of experience to the whole team. He is also one of the most organised and prepared athletes.

“In our Performance HQ we have a picture of him and Ryan in the workshop — it’s placed there as a reminder of Matt’s attention to detail, and something we want to inspire the younger athletes with.”

McGovern joins the team ahead of Ireland’s next bid for a place at Tokyo 2020 in the 49er Worlds this December.

Published in Olympic

Exploration and Discovery is the theme for the 2020 Irish Sailing Cruising Conference at the National Yacht Club on 15th February 2020 at Dun Laoghaire Harbour in County Dublin.

Met Eireann Meteorologist and Wave Expert, Sarah Gallagher, will be talking about waves and how we can forecast them and the effects they have on our shores.

The highly respected ornithologist and Antarctic wildlife tour leader, Jim Wilson, will be sharing the story of the discovery of Antarctica by Irish man Edward Bransfield – yes a Cork man was the Leader of the first expedition to see and chart the Antarctic Mainland on 30th January 1820.

Damian Foxall, Niall MacAllister and Lucy Hunt, currently known as Team South, are leading a series of expeditions in Antarctica this winter and will be sending us a message from the ice and give a on the ground feel for life out there and what Bransfield would have seen.

There will be a ‘fireside chat’ with Jamie Young, Expedition Leader, Skipper and owner of Killary Adventure Centre, catching up on his trip to Greenland and the Arctic Circle and what he has learnt from his icy adventures.

Racing sailor and adventure cruising sailor, Christine Heath, will share her travels sailing her Sadler 28 to Holland, Sweden, Norway and Scotland these past few years. She is now nestled in Kilrush Marina and looking forward to exploring our wonderful west coast in 2020.

Vera Quinlan returns to the conference by video to share the latest developments on her family cruising adventure sailing round the Atlantic Circle.

Tony O’Leary of Union Chandlery gives some professional advice on anode types and galvanic corrosion and more environmentally friendly anode options.

Norman Keane has been busy sailing round Ireland with his drone and will present a birds-eye view of our ports and harbours.

Cruising Association of Ireland will give us an insight into their plans for 2020 cruising.

Royal Cork Yacht Club share their plans to celebrate Cork300 with the Wild Atlantic Way Cruising in Company.

Plus breakout workshops … details to follow nearer the date.

Union Chandlery is back on board as event sponsors for the 4 years running now and in true Union Chandlery style they will be giving away a bonus prize on the day and goodies for everyone.

Kilrush Marina and Cruising Association of Ireland are joining the event again as supporters. The support of these organisations helps to keep the entry fee down to cover bare costs and keep this fantastic event accessible to everyone.

The conference will also have limited spaces for marine industry companies and agencies to promote their goods in a small expo. If you are interested in exhibiting please contact Gail on [email protected]

Space is 100 seats, so early booking is recommended here

Published in ISA

Irish Sailing Pathfinder Women at the Helm event has been awarded the prestigious Platinum Clean Regattas Award from Sailors for the Sea.

This is the highest award possible with the Sailors for the Sea Clean Regattas programme, which is the world’s only sustainability certification for water-based events. So we are up there with Kiel Week, Rolex Big Boat Series and 11th Hour Racing.

The key to the success of a “Clean Regatta” at any level, is the implementation of a Sustainability Ambassador and a ‘Green Team’. This award was achieved with the support of the National Yacht Club, the cooperation and enthusiasm of the event participants, the commitment by race officials and great teamwork by the event ‘Green Team’ members Gail MacAllister, Susan Spain and Tim O’Brien.”

Tyson Bottenus, Director of Clean Regattas told the team “This is an amazing accomplishment and on behalf of all of us here at Sailors for the Sea I’m proud to award you with a Platinum level certificate and medallion.”

Platinum status involves achieving 70 out of 75 “green” practices to reduce the impact of an event on the environment and leave a legacy of new habits and awareness. Clean Regattas has 4 levels an event can work towards based on their own capacity – Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum.

Irish Sailing Pathfinder Women at the Helm has left a legacy of assets that all clubs, centres and classes can dip into and help achieve certification for their events. If your club or class wants to work towards creating ‘greener’ events Irish Sailing have a sample NOR and SI recommendations, posters and basic guidelines on taking a step further into the consideration travel and product sourcing here

You can take a look at the event’s own sustainability page here 

Irish Sailing’s Sustainability Officer Gail MacAllister is happy to give advice to any club, class or centre that wants to reduce their environmental impact - [email protected]

Published in National YC
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Sailors and boaters and other stakeholders in Ireland still have two weeks in which to contribute to Irish Sailing's strategic review for its next five-year plan.

In conjunction with regional consultation meetings, Irish Sailing says it wants to garner input from all stakeholders via a short online survey.

This survey should take no more than five minutes to complete and will be available until Thursday 31 October.

Irish Sailing chief Harry Hermon has discussed the governing body's challenges future vision in a recent podcast with Tom MacSweeney, while this past weekend our own W M Nixon expressed positivity for the vast potential of sailing in Ireland.

Published in ISA

My Podcast this week is an interview with the Chief Executive of Irish Sailing, Harry Hermon, in which he discusses a decline in yacht ownership, lifestyle changes which have reduced the time people can give to organised club sailing, the need for more government investment in facilities for boating around the coast and the challenges facing sailing, powerboating and windsurfing in Ireland over the next five years.

The national governing body for the sport has been holding a series of meetings this week to get the views of members, clubs, sailing centres and individual sailors to help frame the development of its next strategic plan – for the years 2020 to 2025. The last one was somewhat controversial.

I attended the first meeting, held in Cork. Others were at Cullaun Sailing Club; in Castlebar and Greystones Sailing Club. The final one is scheduled for next Wednesday, October 8, at Howth Yacht Club.

The Cork meeting heard a lot of concern about a declining level of yacht ownership and lifestyle changes which have reduced the amount of time that can be given to participation in club activities, including racing. The trend of more motorboats and powerboats being sold was identified as a trend affecting sailing. The main positive for the sport is seen as being a sport for all, at all ages.

I discuss all these issues with Harry Hermon in the Podcast below.

Published in Tom MacSweeney

The Royal St George Yacht Club had reason to celebrate when members of the U25 squad took Class 1 and won the overall team prize in the Irish Sailing Pathfinder Women at the Helm Regatta this past weekend.

With Niamh Henry at the helm, Alanna Lyttle on main trim, Ellen Murray on pit, Roberta Bell King on bow and Gillian Ballesty on kite trim, the Class 1 team won both of their Saturday races on Dublin Bay in the event hosted by the neighbouring National Yacht Club.

“It was tough going but we worked well as a team and had some fun with the spinnaker in the big wind,” the crew said later.

The RSGYC also won the overall team prize with Helen O’Beirne in the Laser Radial and Grace O’Beirne in the 420.

Sligo Yacht Club’s sailors were the big winners on the day, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

Published in RStGYC

The first Irish Sailing Pathfinder Women at the Helm finished in Dun Laoghaire today with 61 boats and well over 200 people taking part at the National Yacht Club.

The “All Female Crew” prize was won by The Lady Caroline, a J24 boat from Sligo Yacht Club. The team was helmed by Rachael O’Dwyer who said “we entered because we’ve all been sailing with mixed teams and we never get a chance to helm. We wanted to show everyone, and ourselves, what we can do”.

All the racing was completed on Saturday which saw choppy waters and gusts up to 35 knots in Dublin Bay, making the courses challenging and blustery for the boats. Racing on Day 2 was cancelled due to the weather conditions.

Amongst the prizewinners was Louise McKenna who won the “Silver Sailor” prize for helms over 60. The Roy Family Club Perpetual Trophy for the most successful club was won by the Royal St George Yacht Club (Dun Laoghaire).

Women have been sailing with and against each other for decades, but this is the first regatta to be held at a national level. This was a truly unique event where women were actively encouraged to develop their leadership skills by only allowing women helms. (Men also sailed but women had to make up 50% of the crew, and all boats were required to be helmed by women).

Irish Sailing event organiser Gail MacAllister said “while there is already equality in sailing with boys and girls competing against each other from an early age, the regatta was designed to reverse the trend of women leaving sailing when careers and family take over – and to show to younger or less experienced sailors that women helming and being a leader can become the norm”.

For all the results here

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Entries are still open for the Irish Sailing Pathfinder Women at the Helm Regatta, hosted by the National Yacht Club on Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 August.

The event is open to PY dinghy and keelboat racing from Teens to Seniors. Full eligibility details are included in the Notice of Race.

The Perpetual Club Team Prize is open to all members of Irish Sailing affiliated clubs and there will be a wide range of category prizes.

Also planned for the weekend is a cruise in company with the Cruising Association of Ireland, as well as a Saturday night party in the NYC clubhouse.

This marks the first regatta held on a national level to celebrate women’s participation in Irish sailing, and interest may get a boost from news of Aisling Keller’s Olympic qualification for Tokyo 2020 in the Laser Radial.

Meanwhile, former Laser Radial competitor and Olympic silver medallist Annalise Murphy has spoken to The Irish Times about the challenges of her bid for Tokyo 2020 in the two-handed 49erFX with Katie Tingle.

For more on the Women at the Helm Regatta, read Gail McAllister’s write-up for Afloat.ie.

Published in National YC

Irish Sailing has been getting feedback from clubs and training centres of significant increases in insurance costs that are having a negative impact on the running of activities writes Gail McAllister of Irish Sailing. There is an element of déjà vu as this was a prevalent problem in the early 1990s. The issue at that time became so bad that some clubs and centres were unable even to get insurance quotes for their activities.

Group Schemes

One possible solution suggested is to establish a new group scheme specifically for Irish Sailing organisations. This was investigated in the early 90s, with a number of organisations signing up to a joint scheme. The issue, however, arises when an organisation makes a large claim – for example if a storm were to wipe out the pontoons of a club, or a large club were to be destroyed by fire resulting in a large claim. This would result in an inevitable hike in the premium for the group scheme, which whilst might be relatively manageable for larger organisations, would be unsustainable for the smaller organisations in the scheme.

The current group scheme for Irish Sailing affiliated clubs is set up via the Federation of Irish Sport with JLT Insurance, here https://www.irishsport.ie/insurance/. You can get a quote from them by referencing that you are an Irish Sailing affiliated organisation, and let Irish Sailing know the outcomes directly to [email protected]

Discount Schemes

Irish Sailing in the past has also looked into a discount scheme for Irish Sailing Clubs. Again the experience was not positive, as the discounts were applied as ‘introductory offers’, and over time - once the business was secured, clubs found their premiums rising again to market rates. As a result, at present there is no specific discount scheme for Irish Sailing affiliated organisations.

Irish Sailing and the Alliance for Insurance Reform

The issue of insurance is not solely a problem for sailing. As has been well publicised in the media, it is a problem in all sectors of Irish society today. Irish Sailing has joined forces with all sporting organisations in Ireland, and through the Federation of Irish Sport are now members of the ‘Alliance for Insurance Reform’.

The Alliance for Insurance Reform is a representative group formed with the sole objective of reducing spiralling insurance costs in Ireland to sustainable levels. The group consists of a wide range of civic, sporting and small business bodies as well as individual businesses; all of them affected by the unsustainable cost of insurance in Ireland. The Alliance has had several meetings with government officials and continues to lobby on our behalf to alert the government to the spiralling costs of insurance in this country. You can follow their progress here: https://insurancereform.ie

Irish Sailing want to hear from you

Irish Sailing would be interested to hear the recent experiences of their Clubs and Centres. Has your premium risen significantly in recent years? If so by how much? Is it as a result of recent claims, expansion of activities/premises or simply market forces? What are your experiences of group or discount schemes? Please email your thoughts and comments to [email protected]

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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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