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Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Dublin Bay Boating News and Information

Displaying items by tag: Optimist

Craftinsure will be supporting the Irish Optimist dinghy class again this year.

IODAI president, Alexander Walsh, says "IODAI are delighted to welcome Craftinsure as sponsors again for 2021".

The partnership has now passed its 10th anniversary.

Craftinsure director, Rod Daniel, has great memories of IODAI events that Craftinsure has supported over the years, including when his younger son sailed in the Optimist Leinsters at Skerries and had a wonderful time.  "The guys at Skerries sailing club and IODAI members could not have been more helpful," says Rod.

'Re-opening sailing clubs and reinstating youth sailing events when safe to do so can only be good for young people's well-being' he adds.

Published in Optimist
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Former Optimist dinghy champion Peter Fagan is coaching the 'Dun Laoghaire Optimist Group' (DOGs) for May's Irish trials hosted by the Royal St George Yacht Club and here Fagan outlines how he aims to prepare the sailors for the demands of competing at the Dublin Bay Trials

The Dun Laoghaire Optimist Group is a training collaboration between the waterfront clubs in Dun Laoghaire providing a high-performance programme for sailors with the annual Optimist Trials being the core goal. The programme has five experienced coaches, Clare Gorman, Nicola Ferguson, Sarah Fogarty, Tom Higgins and myself. We currently have 27 sailors in the programme split into four groups ranging from 10-15 years old. Unfortunately, due to the increase in Covid-19 restrictions, the programme has been put on hold until further ease in restrictions.

Having been given the opportunity to be the head coach for the 'DOGs', I was eager to pass on the knowledge that I gained from competitive sailing both in the Optimist and Laser class to the next generation of sailors. Now that the Royal St George Yacht Club, my home club and where I previously won the Optimist Trials back in 2014, has been announced as the host for the 2021 Trials, I am definitely very excited! I have no doubt that the Royal St. George will put on a fantastic event for the sailors. Dun Laoghaire always offers a true test of a sailor's skills, with conditions ranging from shifty westerly winds with choppy waves or an easterly with consistent breeze and swell.

Dun Laoghaire Optimist Group in training Photo: Peter FaganDun Laoghaire Optimist Group in training before lockdown Photo: Peter Fagan

The Optimist Trials is the most unique event of the calendar due to two main factors.

Firstly, the event traditionally has 13 scheduled races over the course of 5 days with only two discards in the series. This setup rewards the sailor who sails consistently and has a 'never give up' attitude. This year, however, there is a change to the event's usual setup where the number of days racing has been reduced to three, running over the course of the May bank-holiday weekend.

Secondly, sailors aren't just competing for silverware but a chance to qualify for a team to represent Ireland on an international stage such as the Optimist World and European Championships. This gives the event that added bit of pressure and a sailor that can stay composed over the event will have a great advantage to the rest of the fleet.

The Dun Laoghaire Optimist programme aims to prepare the sailor for the demands of competing at Trials. The programme is broken into multiple training blocks ranging from boat handling skills to practising racing situations. We recently had a talk from Finn Lynch who shared his experience with the sailors of what constitutes a successful mindset during a competition. Most importantly, having fun is fundamental to the programme where we've had paddle races and Christmas celebrations.

Operating under Covid-19 restrictions was challenging and forced us to adapt the programme by switching a lot of learning to online. We began to use Google Classroom for posting recaps and videos from training sessions, Google Forms to survey the sailor's performance at each session and lastly, Zoom calls for debriefs online at the end of each days sailing.

The programme wouldn't have been able to run successfully without the help of the programme organisers, parent volunteers, coach Pieter Van Den Bossche and the guidance of Ronan Adams, sailing manager at the Royal St George Yacht Club. I am certainly looking forward to coaching over the season ahead where fingers crossed competition will be re-introduced after a year of its near absence.

Optimist trainingUnfortunately, due to the increase in Covid-19 restrictions, the DOGs programme has been put on hold until further ease in restrictions. Photo: Paddy Madigan

Published in RStGYC

The Royal St George Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire Harbour will host the IODAI Optimist dinghy Trials on the May Bank Holiday  Weekend, 1st – 3rd May 2021.

The trials event is a great opportunity for younger sailors to compete on home waters and against their peers representing the best Optimist sailors in Ireland. 

The Royal St. George Yacht Club has a thriving optimist fleet comprising both beginners and those involved in competitive racing. 

The event is subject to COVID restrictions and a back-up date of 5th – 7th June 2021 has been earmarked in the event that the proposed May date is not run.

The Royal St George Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire will host the IODAI Optimist trialsThe Royal St George Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire will host the IODAI Optimist trials

Commenting on the announcement, the RStGYC Optimist Class Captains, Sarah & Brendan Foley said that: 'We are delighted to host this important and much-anticipated regatta in the Optimist calendar. We will be working very closely with both Irish Sailing and IODAI over the coming months to ensure that the proposed event provides high-quality racing in a safe environment for all participants and supporters.

We are looking forward to getting back out on the water as soon as permitted and to build on the progress made by our sailors in the DOGs (Dun Laoghaire Optimist Group) training programme.

The Irish Optimist Dinghy Association (IODAI) Annual General Meeting originally scheduled for Sutton Dinghy Club this Sunday has been rescheduled and will now take place at 20:30 on Monday the 21st December by Zoom online webinar.

Members wishing to attend must Pre-Register by e-mailing [email protected] by 13:00 on Friday the 18th December.

The AGM notice on the IODAI website has been updated here.

Published in Optimist
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In spite of fresh westerly conditions, the Optimist fleet in Spiddal, Co Galway completed its series of races yesterday for last weekend’s club’s annual regatta.

The Optimist class had been unable to begin their first race at the Cumann Seoltóireachta an Spidéil (CSS) regatta on September 19th, due to north-easterly winds which pushed the fleet below the start line.

However, six boats from the Spiddal club turned out on September 27th, with commodore Dave Cahill acting as race officer.

First place went to Sarah Donald, with Rory McHale taking second place and Micheál Breathnach came third.

the CSS resumed regatta Oppie competitors - from left, Katie Gaynor, Ciara Ní Chonghaíle, Michael Breathnach (3rd), Rory McHale (2nd), Realtiín Boinnard and Sarah Donald (1st) before the results were announced Photo: Bartley Fannin)The CSS resumed regatta Oppie competitors - from left, Katie Gaynor, Ciara Ní Chonghaíle, Michael Breathnach (3rd), Rory McHale (2nd), Realtiín Boinnard and Sarah Donald (1st) before the results were announced Photo: Bartley Fannin)

Oppie class second prize winner Rory McHale with CSS commodore Dave Cahill Photo: Bartley FanninOppie class second prize winner Rory McHale with CSS commodore Dave Cahill Photo: Bartley Fannin

Also competing in the close run series of three races were Katie Gaynor, Ciara Ní Chonghaíle and Realtín Boinnard - with Realtín receiving a special award for unl\uckiest competitor, \Katie winning the hardest trier category, and Ciara being awarded for best recovery.

Sarah Donald was also awarded the perpetual trophy for the Optimist fleet, which was presented to the club several years ago by former club commodore Dr Tiernan O’Brien.

As Afloat previously reported, the annual CSS regatta on September 19th marked the presentation of the inaugural John and Stephanie Hannan Award, in tribute to the late circuit court judge, sea kayaker and CSS member John Hannan who died earlier this year.

His wife Stephanie Adams has been junior organiser at CSS for a number of years, and their son Marcus is an active sailor and won third prize in the mixed fleet class at the regatta.

The new award – a dinghy on bog oak made by Spiddal-based glass artist Sue Donnellan was presented by Stephanie Hannan to Mark and Denise De Faoite, who were fastest adult sailors in the 420 fleet.

Winners of the 420 class at the CSS regatta were Ciaran Reaney and Cathal Conneely, with Mac O’Brien and Eoin Cahill taking second place.

Sadhbh Laila Riggott and Catherine Harvey took first in the mixed fleet, sailing a Laser Pico, with Alanna Ní Thuairisg and Kate Ní Chonghaíle taking second place in a Topaz Uno.

Published in Optimist
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After eight races sailed at Royal Cork Yacht Club, the host club's Alana Twomey continues to lead the club's Optimist Burns Trophy main fleet in Cork Harbour.

JP Curtin continues in second place in the 26-boat fleet, three points behind Twomey after two discards have been applied. 

Oisin Pierse is third but did not compete in either race seven or eight, so now trails 14 points behind Curtin.

As Afloat reported previously, RCYC's Burns Trophy is now in its 26th year and this year's edition has had ideal racing conditions so far. 

Two races, plus one for fun, is the format under the command of Race Officer Andrew Crosbie. 

Bob Bateman's photo gallery is below and results are here.

Optimist Burns Trophy Photo Gallery - September 26

Published in Optimist

After six races sailed with one discard at Royal Cork Yacht Club's Optimist Dinghy Class Burns Trophy Alana Twomey continues to lead the 24-boat main fleet in the month-long Cork Harbour series at Crosshaven.

Lying second overall is JP Curtin with third place taken by Oisin Pierse. 

As Afloat reported previously, RCYC's Burns Trophy is now in its 26th year and this year's edition has had some ideal racing conditions so far. 

Two races, plus one for fun, is the format under PRO Andrew Crosbie. 

Bob Bateman's photo gallery is below and results are here.

Published in Royal Cork YC

After four races sailed at Royal Cork Yacht Club's Optimist Dinghy Class Burns Trophy Alana Twomey leads the 24-boat main fleet in the month-long series.

Lying second overall is JP Curtin with third place taken by Oisin Pierse. 

RCYC's Burns Trophy is now in its 26th year and this year's edition has had some ideal racing conditions so far. 

Two races, plus one for fun, is the format under the stewardship of PRO Andrew Crosbie. 

Bob Bateman's photo gallery is below and results are here.

Published in Optimist

The Coolmore Race is an old Cork Harbour yacht race that has been brought back to life by Royal Cork Yacht Club after many years.

After a day of torrential rain, the downpour stopped and sadly the wind died with it. After the dinghies were launched they were towed up the Owenabue River to the start at Coolmore Estate.

The 50 competing boats started at the top of the tide and had the benefit of the ebb for a race back to the RCYC clubhouse. However, the course was shortened and the first boat to finish was James Dwyer (Matthews) in a Laser 4.7 but close on his heels came JP Curtin in an Optimist and won the Trophy. 

Coolmore Photo slideshow by Bob Bateman below 

Published in Optimist

Last weekend's AIB Optimist National Dinghy Championships at Royal Cork Yacht Club featured a 36-boat Regatta Fleet that features an introduction to sailing and welcomes children from 8-15yrs.

The fleet is designed to give children coaching and confidence in a fun atmosphere at an IODAI event with an emphasis on training. All this was certainly evident over the four days at Royal Cork Yacht Club, the hosts for the 2020 event where the regatta fleet sailed in the sheltered waters of Cork Harbour.

In the Regatta fleet racing, the Bateman family had great success with local sailor Ethel Bateman taking first place, closely followed by her brother Olin in second. Third place went to Henrietta Leech from Lough Ree Yacht Club, in fourth place was Fionn Hayes RCYC/MBSC and Maria Butler NYC finished in fifth place. 

Bob Bateman's Optimist Regatta Fleet SlideShow is Below

Published in Royal Cork YC
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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.

© Afloat 2020