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Competition Keeps Raising The Standard In INSC Spring Series

24th March 2014
INSC Spring Series on 23 March 2014
Pushing hard in Dublin Bay at the weekend with the INSC Irish National Sailing Club (INSC)
Competition Keeps Raising The Standard In INSC Spring Series

#INSC - Wind, wind and more wind greeted the participants in the Rathfarnham Ford Dublin Bay Spring Series at the weekend, writes Kenneth Rumball.

This is by far the windiest winter I have known so far with lots of sailing cancelled. Nonetheless the wind gods usually shone on Dublin Bay on Sunday mornings and allowed wind speeds to drop under the usual 40+ knots to allow the two INSC race training boats to compete in the Spring Series.

We weren’t always so lucky with two Sundays' racing lost due to the high winds. Chief organiser Fintan Cairns made an excellent decision to extend the series to run an extra race on 23 March to make up for one of the lost days.

The high winds did not allow the two team INSC boats, helmed and skippered by Kenneth Rumball and Alexander Rumball, to get out and do some pre-event training in their 1720 sportsboats prior to the first race of the series.

The team changed the configuration of their boats somewhat for this series by leaving the Dacron teaching sails on the dock and through some clever thinking modified 1720 class ‘Club’ jibs were able to be mounted on the Harken cruising foils usually used for teaching. Kevlar mainsails were also added in the drive to make the boats more competitive than ever. The signature navy antifouling remained in place to keep the boats from going too fast!

Most of the clients on the two boats had already sailed with team INSC in the DBSC Turkey Shoot Series and in the DBSC Winter Series last winter, so the lost training day did not hamper the teams as much as we had thought it would.

Due to the fact the INSC race teams had done some racing with us before meant we could push our boats harder than before, with our crews definitely making the jump from novice racer to seasoned 1720 crew. We had some fantastic races with both boats honing down wind with the 1720 mast head spinnakers and excellent crew work keeping the hull under the mast.

Screaming by other cruiser-racers with mouths ajar as to the speeds the INSC teams were doing downwind, the GPS on one boat saw a max speed of 16kts one day in a big gust.

Both INSC teams were always at the front of fleet, fighting for line honours. In fact in most races the only boats to place ahead of INSC2 were Wow, the Farr 42, and other much larger boats such as J109s.

The final day of Sunday 23 March saw both boats leaving the pontoons with gusts out in the bay of 30-plus knots. Both sets of crews were a little rusty having had a ‘rest weekend’ over the St Patrick's Day break and nerves were a little high on both boats. This, coupled with a long run from the yellow outfall mark off the West Pier down to the Muglins, meant both boats knew they would have to push hard down-wind to pass the fleet.

And push they did! INSC 1, INSC 2 and Déjà vu all rounded the top mark very closely in that order. A tight top reach mean the kites stayed in the ships, however on gybing around the outfall mark, INSC 2 hoisted their yellow afterburner fractional kite and took off. INSC 1 was a little later behind but had the kite up as soon as possible, with the apparent wind shooting forwards, the two boats along with RIYC2 another 1720, blasted to the Muglins.

By the Muglins, INSC 2 had taken the fleet apart from one boat with INSC 1 and RIYC 2 on their heels. Up the final beat home, INSC 1 and RIYC 2 caught close to INSC 2 with a big left shift. However INSC 2 took line honours with RIYC 2 and INSC 1 on their heels!

In the overall results, INSC 1 finished up seventh with INSC 2 in tenth place - both boats claiming a top 10 finish.

Another fantastic race training programme and what is being dubbed the best race training programme in the bay will continue on Tuesday nights into the summer. If you want to learn how to crew a race boat, check out www.insc.ie.

Published in Dublin Bay
MacDara Conroy

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MacDara Conroy

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MacDara Conroy is a contributor covering all things on the water, from boating and wildlife to science and business

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Dublin Bay

Dublin Bay on the east coast of Ireland stretches over seven kilometres, from Howth Head on its northern tip to Dalkey Island in the south. It's a place most Dubliners simply take for granted, and one of the capital's least visited places. But there's more going on out there than you'd imagine.

The biggest boating centre is at Dun Laoghaire Harbour on the Bay's south shore that is home to over 1,500 pleasure craft, four waterfront yacht clubs and Ireland's largest marina.

The bay is rather shallow with many sandbanks and rocky outcrops, and was notorious in the past for shipwrecks, especially when the wind was from the east. Until modern times, many ships and their passengers were lost along the treacherous coastline from Howth to Dun Laoghaire, less than a kilometre from shore.

The Bay is a C-shaped inlet of the Irish Sea and is about 10 kilometres wide along its north-south base, and 7 km in length to its apex at the centre of the city of Dublin; stretching from Howth Head in the north to Dalkey Point in the south. North Bull Island is situated in the northwest part of the bay, where one of two major inshore sandbanks lie, and features a 5 km long sandy beach, Dollymount Strand, fronting an internationally recognised wildfowl reserve. Many of the rivers of Dublin reach the Irish Sea at Dublin Bay: the River Liffey, with the River Dodder flow received less than 1 km inland, River Tolka, and various smaller rivers and streams.

Dublin Bay FAQs

There are approximately ten beaches and bathing spots around Dublin Bay: Dollymount Strand; Forty Foot Bathing Place; Half Moon bathing spot; Merrion Strand; Bull Wall; Sandycove Beach; Sandymount Strand; Seapoint; Shelley Banks; Sutton, Burrow Beach

There are slipways on the north side of Dublin Bay at Clontarf, Sutton and on the southside at Dun Laoghaire Harbour, and in Dalkey at Coliemore and Bulloch Harbours.

Dublin Bay is administered by a number of Government Departments, three local authorities and several statutory agencies. Dublin Port Company is in charge of navigation on the Bay.

Dublin Bay is approximately 70 sq kilometres or 7,000 hectares. The Bay is about 10 kilometres wide along its north-south base, and seven km in length east-west to its peak at the centre of the city of Dublin; stretching from Howth Head in the north to Dalkey Point in the south.

Dun Laoghaire Harbour on the southside of the Bay has an East and West Pier, each one kilometre long; this is one of the largest human-made harbours in the world. There also piers or walls at the entrance to the River Liffey at Dublin city known as the Great North and South Walls. Other harbours on the Bay include Bulloch Harbour and Coliemore Harbours both at Dalkey.

There are two marinas on Dublin Bay. Ireland's largest marina with over 800 berths is on the southern shore at Dun Laoghaire Harbour. The other is at Poolbeg Yacht and Boat Club on the River Liffey close to Dublin City.

Car and passenger Ferries operate from Dublin Port to the UK, Isle of Man and France. A passenger ferry operates from Dun Laoghaire Harbour to Howth as well as providing tourist voyages around the bay.

Dublin Bay has two Islands. Bull Island at Clontarf and Dalkey Island on the southern shore of the Bay.

The River Liffey flows through Dublin city and into the Bay. Its tributaries include the River Dodder, the River Poddle and the River Camac.

Dollymount, Burrow and Seapoint beaches

Approximately 1,500 boats from small dinghies to motorboats to ocean-going yachts. The vast majority, over 1,000, are moored at Dun Laoghaire Harbour which is Ireland's boating capital.

In 1981, UNESCO recognised the importance of Dublin Bay by designating North Bull Island as a Biosphere because of its rare and internationally important habitats and species of wildlife. To support sustainable development, UNESCO’s concept of a Biosphere has evolved to include not just areas of ecological value but also the areas around them and the communities that live and work within these areas. There have since been additional international and national designations, covering much of Dublin Bay, to ensure the protection of its water quality and biodiversity. To fulfil these broader management aims for the ecosystem, the Biosphere was expanded in 2015. The Biosphere now covers Dublin Bay, reflecting its significant environmental, economic, cultural and tourism importance, and extends to over 300km² to include the bay, the shore and nearby residential areas.

On the Southside at Dun Laoghaire, there is the National Yacht Club, Royal St. George Yacht Club, Royal Irish Yacht Club and Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club as well as Dublin Bay Sailing Club. In the city centre, there is Poolbeg Yacht and Boat Club. On the Northside of Dublin, there is Clontarf Yacht and Boat Club and Sutton Dinghy Club. While not on Dublin Bay, Howth Yacht Club is the major north Dublin Sailing centre.

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