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Displaying items by tag: Andrew Craig

Andrew Craig of the Royal Irish Yacht Club’s very clearcut overall win with his J/109 Chimaera in the Scottish Series, incorporating the Scottish IRC Championship 2019, has been a superb demonstration of boat and logistics management, personnel selection, and good old-fashioned sailing skills at the sometimes very flukey venue off Tarbert on lovely Loch Fyne.

It can take a crew of nine with complementary abilities to race a J/109 flat out. Yet the varied group brought together to race Chimaera were warm in their praise of Craig’s talent in assembling a crew who were personally compatible, with matching skill sets. Chimaera was a happy and successful ship, and her owner-skipper thoroughly deserves the “Sailor of the Month” title.

Published in Sailor of the Month

Dun Laoghaire trio Andrew Craig, Mark Pettit and Brian Mathews finished in the top half of the 70-boat Melbourne based Dragon World Championships at Port Philip yesterday after a six race series of predominantly light winds.

Hopes of bettering Ireland's best ever result at a Dragon Worlds, a fourth place overall, achieved by Craig in Tasmania in 2003, were dashed with a string of mid fleet results. The Irish crews best finish was tenth in a highly competitive fleet to be 26th overall. RESULTS HERE.

The event was won by Brtiain's Lawrie Smith who has not sailed since his Last Volvo Ocean Race campaign in 1999. "This really is such a joyous way to come back. I honestly did not think we'd get the win. Then again, I also thought it was going to blow 25 knots each day!" said Smith at the prizegiving.

Published in Dragon
After three races in the Dragon World Championships in Melbourne, Australia, Dun Laoghaire trio Andrew Craig, Mark Pettit and Brian Mathews are 29th overall counting a 19, 36 and 28 in the 70-boat fleet. The event is being led by top German helmsman Markus Wieser, Sergey Pugachev and Matti Paschen sailing the Ukranian entry Bunker Queen. Full Results HERE.
Published in Dragon
Andrew Craig, Brian Mathews and Mark Pettit sailing Chimaera have posted a 36th to add to their 19th at the Dragon World Championships in Melbourne yesterday. The second windward leeward race of the series was sailed in six to eight knots of wind. It puts the sole Irish competitors into 32nd place overall at the 73 boat championships.  Australian entry Puff-eu, Richard Lynn, Ian Olson and Ron Rosenberg lead with 4 and 6 scored. The regatta is still in its early stages with nine races left to sail. More HERE.
Published in Dragon
Andrew Craig, Mark Pettit and Brian Mathews have opened their account at the 2011 Dragon world Championships in Melbourne, Australia with a 19th place. The early leaders of the regatta are a legendary British trio Lawrie Smith, Ossie Stewart and Tim Tavinor.
Craig, of the Royal St. George in Dun Laoghaire, rounded the first mark in the middle of the 73-boat fleet but managed to gain places on each leg of the windward leeward course to finish 19th. Racing continues this week. More HERE.


Published in Dragon

Match Racing has been given full approval by the national sailing association. I reported a few weeks ago that Match Racing Ireland, which organises the racing, had made application to the Irish Sailing Association. This has been approved.

"We are now a recognised Category 3 organisation within the ISA and hope this will mean we can send a representative to the All-Ireland championships, dependent on an invitation to us. Being recognised as a formal body is important for funding or when individual teams need support at international events," Ric Morris of Match Racing Ireland told me. "Bringing people through from college sailing is something we are very interested in and we are at the moment targeting the 2012 World University Match Racing Championships in France."
That may mean having to get hold of a couple of J24s, the boats used for that event. Match racing here has so far been concentrated in the ISA J80 fleet. Ric said he was "confident match racing will continue to flourish. The question will be the scope of it. Howth, Lough Derg and Dun Laoghaire clubs have confirmed they will run match racing next year."
Next month Kinsale will be the location for two match racing events - the ISA Women's Match Race Championship on October 9 and 10 followed by the Open Match Racing Championships from October 22-25.
Dragons Are Still Alive

The English are known for preferring that the rest of the world would speak their language. That attitude resulted in a Norwegian-designed yacht being called a Dragon.

Sailed by a helm and crew of two, it was designed by Norwegian Olympic sailor, Johan Anker, in 1929 with two berths for cruising in his home waters. The boat became so popular that, within ten years, it had spread all over Europe and become established in the top echelons of yacht racing. The Clyde Yacht Association presented the Gold Cup to the class in 1937.

dragons

Dragons competing off Kinsale. Photo: Bob Bateman. Gallery HERE.

During negotiations for the official recognition of the boat by the international sailing federation, a translation of Anker's name into 'Draggen' was rejected by the English yachting association which found 'Dragon' easier. The name was applied to the boat. Johan Anker was killed in World War Two. After the war his family waived design royalties to allow English yards build the boats, "as a token of appreciation for British support of Norway" when it was invaded by the Germans. That led to an increase in its popularity.

Dragons raced their South Coast Championship off Kinsale with ranking points to be won for the World and European Championships. Local club sailors were hoping to end class domination by Dun Laoghaire, but just fell short of their target.

Andrew Craig sailing Chimaera took the South Coast title back to the Royal St.George in Dun Laoghaire, while his clubmate Martin Byrne in Jaguar was second. Cameron Good, Henry Kingston and Simon Furney, a long-established Kinsale team sailed Little Fella, to third overall, with club colleague James Mathews helming Diva, crewed by Rick and Rob Johnson in fourth.

I have heard the Dragons described as "old worldly" but the class is alive and well to judge from the racing in plenty of breeze off Kinsale, where the Dragon Gold Cup, a world event, will be held in 2012. Kinsale Yacht Club will also host the national championships next year.

KYC is and will be, a busy place.

• This article is reprinted by permission of the CORK EVENING ECHO in which Tom MacSweeney writes maritime columns twice weekly. Evening Echo website: www.eecho.ie

Published in Island Nation
13th September 2010

Kinsale Dragon Photos HERE!

A great event for the Dragon class in Kinsale rounded off the 2010 season at the weekend. Photos afloat and from the prizegiving by Bob Bateman are HERE
Published in Dragon
11th September 2010

Craig Takes the Lead in Kinsale

The Dragon South Coast Championships has a new leader in Kinsale. Andrew Craig's Chimaera now leads Martin Byrne's Jaguar, both are from the Royal St. George in Dun Laoghaire. Local Cameron Good's Little Fella is third.

Results following today's two races:

1. IRL211 Little Fella Cameron Good KYC
2. IRL192 Chimaera Andrew Craig RStGYC
3. IRL210 Diva James Matthews KYC

1. IRL192 Chimaera Andrew Craig RStGYC
2. IRL176 Phantom Neil Hegarty RStGYC
3. IRL210 Diva James Matthews KYC

Published in Dragon

Sharks in Irish waters

Irish waters are home to 71 species of shark, skates and rays, 58 of which have been studied in detail and listed on the Ireland Red List of Cartilaginous fish. Irish sharks range from small Sleeper sharks, Dogfish and Catsharks, to larger species like Frilled, Mackerel and Cow sharks, all the way to the second largest shark in the world, the Basking shark. 

Irish waters provide a refuge for an array of shark species. Tralee Bay, Co. Kerry provides a habitat for several rare and endangered sharks and their relatives, including the migratory tope shark, angel shark and undulate ray. This area is also the last European refuge for the extremely rare white skate. Through a European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) project, Marine Institute scientists have been working with fishermen to assess the distribution, diversity, and monthly relative abundance of skates and rays in Tralee, Brandon and Dingle Bays.

“These areas off the southwest coast of Ireland are important internationally as they hold some of the last remaining refuges for angel shark and white skate,” said Dr Maurice Clarke of the Marine Institute. “This EMFF project has provided data confirming the critically endangered status of some species and provides up-to-date information for the development of fishery measures to eliminate by-catch.” 

Irish waters are also home to the Black Mouthed Catshark, Galeus melastomus, one of Ireland’s smallest shark species which can be found in the deep sea along the continental shelf. In 2018, Irish scientists discovered a very rare shark-nursery 200 nautical miles off the west coast by the Marine Institute’s ROV Holland 1 on a shelf sloping to 750 metres deep. 

There are two ways that sharks are born, either as live young or from egg casings. In the ‘case’ of Black Mouthed Catsharks, the nursery discovered in 2018, was notable by the abundance of egg casings or ‘mermaid’s purses’. Many sharks, rays and skate lay eggs, the cases of which often wash ashore. If you find an egg casing along the seashore, take a photo for Purse Search Ireland, a citizen science project focusing on monitoring the shark, ray and skate species around Ireland.

Another species also found by Irish scientists using the ROV Holland 1 in 2018 was a very rare type of dogfish, the Sail Fin Rough Shark, Oxynotus paradoxus. These sharks are named after their long fins which resemble the trailing sails of a boat, and live in the deep sea in waters up to 750m deep. Like all sharks, skates and rays, they have no bones. Their skeleton is composed of cartilage, much like what our noses and ears are made from! This material is much more flexible and lighter than bone which is perfect for these animals living without the weight of gravity.

Throughout history sharks have been portrayed as the monsters of the sea, a concept that science is continuously debunking. Basking sharks were named in 1765 as Cetorhinus maximus, roughly translated to the ‘big-nosed sea monster’. Basking sharks are filter feeders, often swimming with their mouths agape, they filter plankton from the water.

They are very slow moving and like to bask in the sun in shallow water and are often seen in Irish waters around Spring and early Summer. To help understand the migration of these animals to be better able to understand and conserve these species, the Irish Basking Shark Group have tagged and mapped their travels.

Remarkably, many sharks like the Angel Shark, Squatina squatina have the ability to sense electricity. They do this via small pores in their skin called the ‘Ampullae of Lorenzini’ which are able to detect the tiny electrical impulses of a fish breathing, moving or even its heartbeat from distances of over a kilometre! Angel sharks, often referred to as Monkfish have a distinctively angelic shape, with flattened, large fins appearing like the wings of an angel. They live on the seafloor in the coastal waters of Ireland and much like a cat are nocturnal, primarily active at night.

The intricate complexity of shark adaptations is particularly noticeable in the texture of their skin. Composed of miniscule, perfectly shaped overlapping scales, the skin of shark provides them with protection. Often shark scales have been compared to teeth due to their hard enamel structure. They are strong, but also due to their intricate shape, these scales reduce drag and allow water to glide past them so that the shark can swim more effortlessly and silently. This natural flawless design has been used as inspiration for new neoprene fabric designs to help swimmers glide through the water. Although all sharks have this feature, the Leafscale Gulper Shark, Centrophorus squamosus, found in Ireland are specifically named due to the ornate leaf-shape of their scales.

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